Weatherford Democrat

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April 16, 2014

Proposed change in city charter goes before W’ford voters next month

By BRIAN SMITH

Weatherford residents will have the chance to vote on a pair of charter amendments on Election Day May 10.

The first, if approved, involves the staggering of council terms to ensure that the majority of the council would never be up for election at any given time. City Secretary Malinda Nowell said the council thought the measure had been passed as part of changes to the charter in 2010, but it was later determined the council would have had to increase its numbers from five to seven to get it to pass.

Under the proposal, in 2015, the mayor’s position would be up for election for a one-year term along with the election for Places 3 and 4, presently held by Waymon Hamilton and Mayor Pro Tem Craig Swancy, and then be up again in 2016 for a normal three-year term. After that, two positions would be up for election every year, followed by the mayor’s term.

The second change to the charter would, if approved, allow the council to appoint someone to a council position if there was less than one year left in their term if a council member was unable to continue serving.

Nowell said voters approved the change to the Texas Constitution last November. Previously, cities where council members served three-year terms had to fill their spots via special election within 120 days.

Early voting runs April 28 through May 6 and can be done at the Parker County Courthouse Annex, 1112 Santa Fe Drive, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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