Lakeway officials make headway toward November ballot propositions regarding term lengths, elections

Lakeway City Council discussed possible ballot propositions regarding the city charter for a November election. (Courtesy Fotolia)
Lakeway City Council discussed possible ballot propositions regarding the city charter for a November election. (Courtesy Fotolia)

Lakeway City Council discussed possible ballot propositions regarding the city charter for a November election. (Courtesy Fotolia)

Lakeway voters could decide on November ballot propositions ranging from the city's power to modify its boundaries to the length of terms of office for council members.

During a special meeting June 1, officials continued a discussion that started in May on proposed changes to the city charter.

Verbiage shifts in the charter brought about by the ballot propositions, if approved, would amend language on the city's annexation power to read "“The Council has the power to modify the boundaries of the City by ordinance as

provided for in state law/Texas Local Government Code."

Other possible ballot propositions could include a vote on three-year or two-year terms for City Council members, whether the city manager should be required to reside within Lakeway, whether to eliminate the volunteer office of the city treasurer and whether he mayor should appoint the chair of the city's Charter Review Committee.


"We're not finalizing language tonight," Mayor Sandy Cox said, adding council still has more time to prepare the ballot propositions ahead of the November election.

Lakeway City Attorney Cobby Caputo said the propositions he drafted can still be discussed in the coming weeks.

"You don't have to have all of these items on the ballot. Of course, it's the council's prerogative," Caputo said. "None of this is set in stone."

As it stands now, the propositions up for continued discussion by officials are lettered A through H.

One version of Proposition B would see voters decide on three-year terms at a maximum of no more than six years and require council members be elected by a majority vote. Also, the city's six council members would occupy positions numbered one through six, consecutively.

Other language within that proposition, which Caputo called "the complicated one," requires council to call a special election within 120 days of a vacancy occurring on City Council.

Proposition B for the three-year terms also requires a run-off election for the top two vote-getters in the event no candidate takes a majority of votes.

However, Proposition B could be changed to require a vote on two-year terms for council members, and language would need to state that no mayor shall serve more than three two-year terms.

"Let me be clear on this. You have to choose one or the other of these," Caputo said regarding three-year or two-year terms for council members.

During official discussion of the potential ballot propositions, council members decided they wanted to pursue a vote on two-year terms and add another proposition on whether to change the maximum time frame to no more than three successive terms per council member.

Though it was not technically on the evening's agenda, officials also discussed whether Lakeway elections should move from May to November elections.

Mayor Pro Tem Laurie Higginbotham said the data suggest the best time for the city to hold elections to be November based largely on voter turnout numbers.

"All the numbers, whether it's financial numbers or voter turnout, point to November," Higginbotham said. "My No. 1 reason is voter turnout is so dramatically different in November."

Despite Higginbotham's firm stance on November elections, the council was still split on the matter and will continue discussions in upcoming meetings.

Cox said the next City Council discussion on the ballot propositions would be at a July meeting.
By Brian Rash
Brian has been a reporter and editor since 2012. He wrote about the music scene in Dallas-Fort Worth before becoming managing editor for the Graham Leader in Graham, Texas, in 2013. He relocated to Austin, Texas, in 2015 to work for Gatehouse Media's large design hub. He became the editor for the Lake Travis-Westlake publication of Community Impact in August 2018.


MOST RECENT

Stage 5 is not triggered by an exact number but could be triggered anywhere above 70 hospitalizations per day over the past seven days, depending on the recent rate of the increase. (Courtesy Travis County)
With 74.8 new hospitalizations per day over past week, Travis County could move into coronavirus risk Stage 5

Under Stage 5, Austin Public Health could suggest only essential businesses remain open.

A screen capture of a virtual meeting of the Travis County Commissioners Court, feauring Gerald Daugherty and Sam Biscooe sitting in the courtroom
Travis County sets legal team discussion on Tesla economic incentives for July 8

County commissioners will hear a briefing from Travis County's economic development staff and possibly take a vote when they reconvene July 8.

The Texas Education Agency released guidelines about on-campus activities, attendance requirements, and health and safety precautions for the 2020-21 school year. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Texas Education Agency issues guidelines for 2020-21 school year

The guidelines address on-campus activities, attendance requirements, and health and safety precautions that should be enforced at Texas schools this year.

Edward Logan is the new CEO of Sport Clips Inc. (Courtesy Sport Clips Inc.)
New Sport Clips Haircuts CEO to succeed founder

In his early work with Sport Clips, Edward oversaw the company-owned stores, taking many of them to top performers within the system.

The Woods of Westlake homeowners association has reported public intoxication and other safety hazards at its Barton Creek Greenbelt trailhead. (Amy Rae Dadamo/Community Impact)
Woods of Westlake calls for closure of its greenbelt access, citing public safety hazards

A petition approaching 1,000 supporters was drafted by the Woods of Westlake homeowners association in early June that seeks to characterize what the document describes as years of dangerous behavior and potential ecological damage.

In-person appointments for driver license renewal and replacement are now being offered at driver license offices across the state. (Nicholas Cicale/Community Impact Newspaper)
Texas driver license offices reopen for in-person renewal, replacement services

The second phase of reopening announced July 7 expanded services offered at driver license offices.

New guidelines released by ICE require foreign students to take mostly in-person classes to stay in the U.S. on education visas. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
New U.S. guidelines require exchange students to take in-person classes this fall

The guidelines released by ICE require foreign students to take mostly in-person classes to stay in the U.S. on education visas.

The Texas Education Agency and Renaissance have partnered to give students unlimited access to enhanced digital books in English and Spanish. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Texas students given access to thousands of books, news articles for summer reading through TEA partnership

The Texas Education Agency and Renaissance have partnered to give students unlimited access to enhanced digital books in English and Spanish.

The State Fair of Texas is expected to return in 2021. (Courtesy Kevin Brown/State Fair of Texas)
State Fair of Texas cancels 2020 season

This is the eighth time in the fair’s 134-year history that the event has been called off.

Interim President Jay Hartzell said in a letter to the UT campus July 7 that a staff member has died from COVID-19. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
University of Texas custodial services staff member dies from COVID-19

This is the university's first death related to COVID-19, according to a message from interim President Jay Hartzell.

Sales tax revenue totaled $2.67 billion in June, down 6.5% from a year ago. (Courtesy Pexels)
Conservative strategy a key factor in initial Lakeway budget strategy talks

Lakeway officials commenced budget discussions during the July 6 City Council meeting

Lakeway City Council has proposed several ballot propositions for the November election. (Courtesy Canva)
Ballot propositions on local elections see further advancement in Lakeway

Lakeway City Council has proposed several ballot propositions for the November election centered on, among other topics, term limits for its City Council and when the city’s elections are held.