Charter Amendments

Alice Echo News Journal

With questions arising and misinformation being spread amongst our community regarding the proposed charter changes, I felt impelled to clear up any misconceptions. The changes I am referring to are the propositions you will find on your ballot when you go in to vote. 

One Set of questions that was raised was “Why now? Why not during our city elections in May? And why only five?” The answer is simple, presidential elections have always been known to record the highest number of voters showing up to the polls. More voters means a more representative voice of the community. This is the reason why this council openly discussed and agreed to the 5 items being placed on the current ballot. Five items that we felt are a necessity to move Alice forward at this time. I openly expressed, that we needed to address the NEEDS, not the wants, in an effort to avoid overwhelming the voters with these changes. I personally feel that there are more items that need to be addressed; however, this is just the first step in updating our City’s outdated charter. 

When it comes to the misinformation, I don’t know if the people who are opposing our progress are just ignorant to our cause or purposely falsifying the facts to cause these to fail in an effort to fit their agenda and make this council look inept. 

The five propositions placed on your ballot have been throughly researched and recommended to be critical and necessary by professional legal consultants (attorneys) and not just picked out if thin air, as portrayed by our opposition. 

The following is a quick breakdown of the 5 propositions & their respective explanations: 

A. Removes anything unnecessary and/or already covered by state and federal law. 

B. Removes anything that conflicts or contradicts state and federal law and is basically illegal. 

C. Will allow council to continue transacting business in the case of multiple vacancies on the Dias. For example, council member resignations, passing away or as I’m sure we all remember the special election to have certain individuals removed from office through recall. 

Which brings me to Proposition D which would restrict individuals that have been recalled from running for city office for 2 years.

And lastly, Proposition E simply moves the Public Recreation Board from our existing charter to ordinance, like all other boards. This change will allow council and staff to better manage and assist in its involvement with the community. 

There is absolutely nothing in these charter changes that will increase the authority of any sitting or future councilmember, mayor or council as a whole, permanently restrict a citizen from being able to run for city office, permanently dissolve a board or, more absurdly, allows for the closure of the library! Truth be told, the library is in place as a quality of life service to the citizens of Alice and is no way required by the charter. There is a BIG difference in the word must, will and shall. 

The Real Truth is, in fact, if the people out there telling citizens to vote against these changes were actually properly informed, they would know all of this (facts are true whether one chooses to believe them or not). The people protesting against these necessary charter amendments should have at least properly researched them in depth before attempting to discredit our cause. 

These five charter changes were all voted on and passed unanimously by council. They are a good thing, and I ask that when you go out and vote, vote in favor of these much needed amendments. In doing so, you will be contributing to the forward progress of YOUR CITY. Please vote FOR Propositions A through E. 

If you have any questions, more detailed information can be found on our city website homepage under ‘News and Announcements’. Or if you feel so inclined, please feel free to reach out to me or my fellow council members, as I’m sure they will be more than willing to bring clarity to your concerns. 

God Bless,

Pete H. Crisp