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Saturday, November 1, 2008

Mayor's Right to Vote at Meetings Revisited

As mentioned previously on BATB, the Charter Review Committee voted to amend Section 12 of Article V concerning the mayor's right to vote at meetings. The City Commission voted months ago to follow Robert's Rules of Order which subsequently removed the mayor's right to vote.

Now, the City Commission will revisit its decision at Monday's meeting and possibly return that right to the mayor.

Under Article V, the Charter Review Committee had recently discussed the following:

Section 11. Duties of mayor. The mayor of the City shall be the presiding officer of the commission, except that in his absence a mayor pro-tempore may be chosen. He shall be entitled to vote and make motions and seconds as a member of the commission; sign all bonds; be the official head of the city, and exercise all powers and perform all duties imposed upon him by this Charter and by the Ordinances of the city. [Ord. No. 93-1270, Prop. 6, dated 11-16-1993]

Section 12. Meeting of the commission.All meetings of the City Commission shall be noticed and conducted as provided by applicable Texas law. Roberts Rules of Order may be the procedural guideline for the conduct and protocol of all city commission meetings if adopted by the commission unless if (sic) conflicts with city ordinances or the laws of Texas. [Ord. no. 2005-1440, Prop. #7, dated 08-10-2005 & Res. No. 2005-044, Prop. #7, dated 11-16-2005]

The City Commission majority did vote months ago to adopt Robert's Rules of Order as a “procedural guideline” as denoted in Article V, Section 12.

However, the Charter Review Committee majority felt that ordinances do not supersede the City Charter. And, an obvious conflict exists between Sections 11 and 12.

Therefore, the Committee majority recommended that Section 12 be amended to reflect that Robert's Rules of Order may be adopted by the commission unless it conflicts with city ordinances, the law of Texas and the CITY CHARTER. This was also done not only to clarify the Mayor’s right to vote at meetings as denoted in Article V, Section 12, but to hold elected officials accountable for their decisions and/or votes, including the Mayor.

Monday's City Commission agenda item states:

Consideration and ACTION to amend procedural rules to permit the Mayor to vote on all City agenda items. (Commissioners C. Atkinson/L. T. Garza)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

matter of favors

Saturday, November 01, 2008  
Anonymous ahumadapat said...

It has always been my opinion that the City Commission over stepped its' bounds when they passed Robert's Rules of Order with the intent to silence the mayor and remove his ability to make motions and vote. This was a vindictive way to control the mayor's position, because they all want to be mayor's.

Sometime back, I had asked the City Attorney to draft letter requesting an Attorney General Opinion on the matter, because I felt then and do now that the commisison was violating my civil rights and denying the citizens of Brownsville their voice on the commission table, along with disenfranchising those citizens who voted for the mayor to represent their best interest.

Politics has and is the norm, which has lost its way as seen by the commissioner's past and present actions. They have no respect for the office of mayor and constantly are trying to remove me as the presiding officer and / or constantly going against everything and anything that is proposed by the mayor for the betterment of this community.

This commisison says one thing and does another, they claim to be against the wall, but do everything to undermine the mayor's efforts to stop the wall.
All the mayors and commissioners from El Paso and Brownsville are united, with the exception of the Brownsville City Commisison to fight the Wall and sue the federal government, but this city commisison has opted to go on their own and hire Willette as the attorney to represent the city on the Wall, when the TBC has an attorney that filed the law suit and is not charing the city any money, but they prefer to spend tax payers money then to do what all the other cities along the border are doing in a united way to fight the fence.

They threaten to kill the weir project by returning $18 million dollars to the federal government granted to the City of Brownsville. Who has ever returned money to the federal government? By 2040 Brownsville will run out of water. Why kill a project that is going to provide additiional water to meet our future growth and needs?

Another example of their refusal to listen is the Baseball Stadium they tentatively approved against the advice I gave them, which was not to do so due to the fact that the local and national economy is in a recession, Brownsville has dipped into its' reserves for the past two years to balance the budget, property evaluations will be most likely dropping next year, which will result in less revenue to the city, sales taxes are dropping causing the same affect and bridge crossings are also dropping, along with the peso devaluing. What does all this mean? Brownsville cannot afford to partner up with private entities on risky ventures such as a baseball stadium that we will most likely have to pay for due to economic forecasts.

There is more that I can say where the commission has cost the city enormous amounts of money because they will not listen, but hopefully this next election cycle the voters will elect people who will make the city the agenda and are willing to work with the mayor for the benefit of our community.

Saturday, November 01, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Saturday, November 01, 2008  
Blogger MsGibby said...

The Mayor makes a valid point. He was elected by the people so why shouldn't he have the same voting rights? Just seems kind of bizarre that the highest elected city official would not be allowed to make motions and vote on all agenda items.

Saturday, November 01, 2008  

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