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.


East West Manufacturing will retain 30 jobs and create an additional 30 new jobs for a total of 60 full-time jobs in Round Rock over five years, according to an economic incentive agreement signed Oct. 22. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Round Rock to add 60 jobs and more Central Texas news

Read the latest business and community news from the Central Texas area.

Juliet Italian Kitchen
Juliet Italian Kitchen to open Arboretum location and 7 other dining updates in Northwest Austin

Juliet Italian Kitchen is set to open its second Austin restaurant in the Arborteum early in 2021.

Leander ISD combines attendance rezoning for Tarvin and Elementary School No. 29

District officials and board members elected to combine the two schools' rezonings to lessen confusion for families.

Eanes ISD trustees met Oct. 20 for a board meeting. (Courtesy Eanes ISD)
Eanes ISD sees dip in enrollment numbers

Eanes ISD has seen receding enrollment numbers as a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, according to an update from Deputy Superintendent Jeff Arnett during an Oct. 20 board meeting.

Leander ISD adds 17 early-release school days to give teachers planning time

The early releases will begin Nov. 11 and includes 17 Wednesdays through the rest of the school year.

A screen shot of Elon Musk speaking into a microphone
Tesla CEO Elon Musk confirms 2021 opening for Travis County gigafactory

Musk said construction is moving apace at the new electric auto factory east of Austin.

The bakery is known for its Texas Sized Donut weighing 2 pounds and can trace its history back to 1926 when Reinhold R. Moehring opened the shop in downtown Round Rock. (Community Impact file photo courtesy Round Rock Donuts)
Round Rock Donuts coming to Cedar Park and more Central Texas news

Read the latest business and community news from the Austin area.

Oct. 23 is the last day Texas voters can apply for a vote-by-mail ballot. (Courtesy Pexels)
Tackling Texas' vote-by-mail system: Applying, delivering, tracking your ballot

Oct. 23 is the last day Texas voters can apply for a vote-by-mail ballot.

Lake Travis ISD Superintendent Paul Norton gave a presentation during the annual State of the District luncheon Oct. 21. (Courtesy Lake Travis Chamber of Commerce)
LTISD superintendent holds his first State of the District

Lake Travis ISD Superintendent Paul Norton delivered his first LTISD State of the District speech during an Oct. 21 luncheon sponsored by the Lake Travis Chamber of Commerce.

The Eanes ISD board of trustees met Oct. 21 to pass a resolution regarding STAAR testing for the 2020-21 school year. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Eanes ISD calls for suspension of STAAR testing for 2020-21 school year

Eanes ISD officials are urging Gov. Greg Abbott and the Texas Education Agency to suspend the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, or STAAR, test for the 2020-21 school year.