The Killeen City Council approved 33 amendments to the city charter Tuesday to be placed on the ballot for voter approval in the May 11 election.
Although the majority of the propositions are unsubstantial revisions of outdated language, seven of the proposed amendments will alter the process for recalling council members.
Proposition 24 will require recall petitions for district council members to be signed only by registered voters in the council member’s district.
The city allowed signatures from residents citywide to sign the recall petitions for district council members in 2011, when residents recalled five of the city’s seven council members.
The debate over who should be allowed to sign recall petitions was a major impetus for the sweeping revisions to the charter that the council proposed.
“There were some things in there that did not promote good government,” Mayor Dan Corbin said. “We have nothing in there but updates to language that should have been updated periodically since the 1950s.”
Corbin said the most substantial amendment would require the council — not city staff — to designate an external auditor for the city, so that the auditor “is not appointed by those who it is auditing.”
The ballot was approved by a 6 to 1 vote of the council, with the dissenting vote cast by District 3 Councilman Terry Clark.
Clark said he opposed the ballot because of the challenge it would place on residents to make educated votes on the proposed 33 ballot items, which will run in the same election as candidates for the district council race.
“Three of the propositions represent more than 50 percent of the proposed edits to the document,” Clark said, after the meeting.
The last time Killeen held a charter election, in 2005, the charter ballot contained eight propositions.
Throughout its three-month review of the charter, the council read all 151 sections of the 45-page document — which outlines the city’s legal framework.
“The citizens are going to have to do the same work that I did to understand what they are voting on,” Clark said.
Copies of both the current city charter and the charter with the proposed amendments are available on the city of Killeen website, www.killeentexas.gov.
Contact Brandon Janes at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7552