Lakeway propositions on Nov. 3 ballot aim to tweak City Charter

Seven propositions are on the ballot in Lakeway. (Brian Perdue/Community Impact Newspaper)
Seven propositions are on the ballot in Lakeway. (Brian Perdue/Community Impact Newspaper)

Seven propositions are on the ballot in Lakeway. (Brian Perdue/Community Impact Newspaper)

The city of Lakeway will have seven propositions on the Nov. 3 ballot. The propositions will either update outdated rules of the charter or change the charter to be in compliance with state law.

Proposition A: Extension of boundaries


“Shall Section 1.03 be amended to make the city’s power to annex new territory into the city conform to the requirements and limits of state law?”

What it means: The Lakeway City Charter is currently in conflict with state law with regard to the methods of annexation. Under state law, cities may annex only after a petition by affected landowners or an election in the affected area. If approved, the proposition would strike the different methods for annexation from the charter and instead state that the city will follow state law with regard to annexation.

Proposition B: Two-year terms


“Shall Section 3.01(a) be amended to return to two-year terms of office for council members and mayor to comply with the Texas Constitution?”

What it means: The Lakeway City Charter is in conflict with state law with regard to how a candidate is elected. In 2014, a charter amendment extended city terms from two to three years. The charter states that persons elected must receive the most votes of any candidate, not the majority of total votes. However, the Texas Constitution states that mayors or council members elected to terms longer than two years must be elected by a majority of total votes. If approved, the proposition would amend the charter provision regarding terms of office and revert the standard to two-year terms of office. Candidates would continue to be elected by receiving the most votes of any candidate.

Proposition C: limit on successive years of service


“Shall Section 3.01(c) be amended to permit a maximum of six (6) successive years in office for Mayor or Council and Section 3.09 be amended to exclude partial terms of one year or less from counting towards the limit on successive years of service?”

What it means: The Lakeway City Charter currently limits elected officials to two consecutive three-year terms (see Prop. B). Before the 2014 charter, service was limited to three two-year terms. If approved, the proposition would change the term limit from maximum number of terms to a maximum of six successive years.

Proposition D: Residency requirement for city manager


“Shall Section 4.01 be amended to eliminate the requirement that the City Manager reside within the City limits?”

What it means: If this proposition is approved, the Lakeway City Charter would no longer require the city manager to live in the city limits. However, City Council could still require city residency as part of an employment agreement with a city manager.

Proposition E: Office of Treasurer


“Shall Section 4.06 be deleted, thereby eliminating the volunteer office of City Treasurer, and other Charter provisions be amended as necessary to remove references to the City Treasurer?”


What it means: If this proposition is approved, all city treasurer references would be deleted from the Lakeway City Charter. The duties of the city treasurer, a volunteer position, would be shifted to the city’s finance department.

Proposition F: Official ballots


“Shall Section 5.02(a) relating to the placing of names of candidates on the ballot be amended to conform to the state law governing the withdrawal or death of a candidate?”

What it means: If this proposition is approved, city candidates’ names will be printed on ballots without a party designation. Candidates who have died or withdrawn from the election shall be removed from the ballot in accordance with state law. The Lakeway City Charter currently does not provide a deadline or a process for removing a candidate's name after they have withdrawn or died.

Proposition G: Authorizing bonds


“Shall Section 8.09(b) be amended by deleting the reference to Certificates of Obligation to conform to state law in the first sentence, and adding a new sentence to Section 8.09(b) mandating that Certificates of Obligation may only be issued upon the affirmative vote of two-thirds of all members of the Council members?”

What it means: The Lakeway City Charter currently requires voter approval for a wide variety of debt options the city may pursue, including certificates of obligation. However, state law dictates that a city may issue certificates of obligation without voter approval. If approved, this proposition would strike the invalid voter approval requirement for certificates of obligation from the city charter. Instead, the charter would require that certificates of obligation be approved by a supermajority, or two thirds of council members, for it to pass.

A more detailed explanation of all the propositions is offered on the city's website.
By Brian Perdue
Brian Perdue is the editor of the Lake Travis-Westlake and Northwest Austin editions of Community Impact Newspaper. A native of Virginia's Appalachian Mountains, he has been a journalist since 1992, living and working in Virginia, Washington D.C., Hawaii's Big Island, Southern California and Florida before moving to Austin in 2019.


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