Two propositions affecting the structure of the Leander Fire Department will go before voters during the city’s May 4 special election.

What’s on the ballot?

If approved, Proposition A would establish civil service, a system that standardizes the department’s internal hiring and disciplinary processes, keeping them free from political influence, said Brad Moore, president of the Leander Professional Firefighters Association, in an email to Community Impact.

Proposition B would allow collective bargaining, giving firefighters the opportunity to negotiate benefits, pay and working conditions with the city. Moore said collective bargaining gives firefighters a “seat at the table to work on those items with administrators in a formalized and transparent setting.”

Moore said both propositions, should they be approved, would help the fire department with recruiting and retaining more experienced firefighters. A city representative said city officials are not able to comment on the election.

Over 80 municipalities across the state have adopted either one of both these statutes, including Cedar Park, Georgetown, Round Rock, Austin and Taylor, Moore said.

The conditions

If both propositions pass, Moore said the Leander Professional Firefighters would be a formal partner with the city administration in identifying public safety solutions and maintaining the best standards.

However, if the propositions fail, the fire department would be at risk of falling behind and losing qualified, tenured firefighters to neighboring communities with these statutes in place, Moore said.

Neither proposition would result in a tax rate increase.

“We emphasize that these propositions reduce the politics in the workplace, which protects the city and firefighters—without raising taxes,” Moore said.

Keep in mind

Early voting will run from April 22-30. Election day is May 4.

Visit the city of Leander elections website for more information on the upcoming special election.