McKinney City Council to hold public hearing, discuss city charter amendment election Dec. 18

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McKinney City Council is discussing a possible charter election and reviewing recall procedures nearly two weeks after City Council member La’Shadion Shemwell was arrested on suspicion of continuous violence against the family.

Discussions about the recall procedures took place during a regular work session meeting Monday, Dec. 17, and a public hearing will be held Tuesday, Dec. 18.

Mayor George Fuller said issues that have come to light over the last month have led to inquiries from residents about the recall process.

“This [charter]is something that will live far beyond this council,” Fuller said.

The city’s charter states a recall petition must be signed by at least 25 percent of the voters who cast ballots in the last regular municipal election. The charter also states that at least 15 percent of the signatures must be from qualified voters, or those at least 18 years or older who is a U.S. citizen, has not been determined to be mentally incapacitated, has not been finally convicted of a felony, is a resident of Texas and is a registered voter.

There are 105,653 registered voters in McKinney. During the last municipal election in May 2017 there were 11,376 votes cast, City Attorney Mark Houser said. In order for a recall petition to be valid it must receive more than 15,000 signatures in 30 days.

The city charter related to recall petitions has not been updated since 1959, Houser said.

Should City Council call for a charter election, it must be done by Feb. 15 to be placed on the May 4 city election, Houser said.

Plano’s charter states a recall petition must be signed by qualified voters equal to 30 percent of votes cast during the city’s last regular municipal election with no less than 150 signatures. Frisco’s charter states the petition must be signed by qualified voters equal to at least 30 percent of the number of votes cast at the last regular mayoral election, or 150 signatures, whichever is greater.

Under state law a McKinney City Council member may be removed after a recall election, after forfeiture for failure to reside in McKinney or council district, or by failure to maintain qualifications under City Charter Section 15 or 15b, which also relate to being a qualified voter, Houser said.

Should a council member be removed from the council during a recall the council member would remain in their seat until an election is held to fill the seat, Houser said.

The public hearing Dec. 18 will take place at the regular City Council meeting beginning at 6 p.m. at City Hall, 222 N. Tennessee St., McKinney.

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Cassidy Ritter
Cassidy graduated from the University of Kansas in 2016 with a degree in Journalism and a double minor in business and global studies. She has worked as a reporter and editor for publications in Kansas, Colorado and Australia. She was hired as senior reporter for Community Impact Newspaper's Plano edition in August 2016. Less than a year later, she took the role of editor for the McKinney edition.
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