Charter Election

Charter Election
In May, the Belton City Council appointed a 10-member committee to review the City Charter.  The Charter Review Committee met weekly, May 28 to July 6, to consider potential Charter amendments. After much discussion, the Committee selected five propositions for City Council consideration.

The City Council had two public hearings on the recommended amendments (July 14, July 28). On Aug. 11, the Council called for a Charter election to be held on Nov. 3.

Proposed Charter Amendments
 Proposition A:   3 Year Terms/Places
 Proposition B:  Appointment of Mayor by City Council
 Proposition C:  Filling Vacancy by Appointment
 Proposition D:  Flexibility in General Election Date
 Proposition E:  Flexibility in Polling Locations

Proposition A
Proposition A would change City Council terms from 2 to 3 years, which would require future City Council elections to change from completely at-large to an at-large places format. The places format determines elections by a majority vote (>50%) rather than the current plurality requirement (top vote getters).
Pros
  • Longer terms for councilmembers allowing for continuity.
  • More stable process, 2-3 positions open each year, rather than 3-4 positions, which puts majority of City Council up for election every other year.
  • Places would allow candidates to run against a specific incumbent rather than potentially running against multiple incumbents.
Cons
  • Places may lead to negative campaigning.
  • Could increase election costs if a run-off election was necessary.
Proposition B
Proposition B would change the direct election of the mayor to appointment of the mayor by the City Council. Appointment of the mayor would be for 1 year compared to 2-year terms under the current at-large format or 3-year terms under the places format (Proposition A).
Pros
  • Safeguards against an inexperienced person being mayor.
  • Appointee will be aware of required time commitment for the mayor position.
  • May lead to greater involvement by Council, since it is only a 1-year commitment.
Cons
  • Public may feel less in control because it cannot directly elect the mayor.

Proposition C
If Proposition A passes, the Charter would need to address how vacancies in office are filled when there are 12 months or less remaining on an unexpired term. Proposition C would direct City Council to fill the position by appointment rather than calling a special election.

Proposition D
Proposition D allows the City Council the flexibility to change to a November election (or another uniform election date) should state law allow such a change in the future. Date cannot be changed more than once every five years.

Proposition E
Allows flexibility in the City's polling location.

Charter Committee Members
  • Dave Covington (Chair)
  • Alton McCallum (Vice Chair)
  • Brett Baggerly
  • Brandon Bozon
  • Daniel Bucher
  • Jane Dominguez
  • Dan Kirkley
  • David K. Leigh
  • Craig Pearson
  • Jeannie Pittman