Celina City Council members discussed assembling a city charter commission to recommend amendments—namely to the city’s no-term-limit policy—during a March 26 meeting.

If council members decide to go forward with the amendments, Celina’s registered voters could potentially see the items on the November ballot.

City charter explained

A city charter is like a constitution for home-rule cities, such as Celina, Strategic Services Manager Anthony Satarino said. Celina’s charter was first established in 2007 and allows for amendments to be brought to voters every two years.

The most recent charter amendments were approved in November 2022.

The options

Mayor Ryan Tubbs was the one who asked staff members to look into a term limit-related charter amendment, Satarino said.

If term limits are the only amendment needed, then city staff could begin drafting ballot language immediately before the Aug. 29 deadline to call a November election, Satarino said.

If council members feel there is more to discuss and change, then a commission would be formed to review the entire charter and recommend additional amendments. This would take slightly longer, but the commission could still finish before the Aug. 29 deadline, Satarino said.

Council could choose to wait until the May 2025 election to bring forward any charter amendments. Asking residents to consider it this November, which is also when the next presidential election will be held, could bring higher voter turnout, Satarino said.

“In terms of really taking the temperature of how most of the people in Celina feel, that's an election you're gonna get a big turnout for versus our typical municipal election,” council member Philip Ferguson said.

What they’re saying

Council member Brandon Grumbles said while he agrees with the concept of term limits, Celina does not need any yet due to the small number of candidates it typically sees for city elections.

Grumbles, Tubbs and council member Mindy Kohen all ran unopposed, he said.

“[Longtime council members] made it through the process and experienced it, and I think that that's valuable,” Kohen said. “I don't like the concept of losing that experience.”

Tubbs said term limits have been on his agenda since he was elected.

Implementing term limits would ensure fresh perspectives on council as the city’s population continues to grow, council member Wendie Wiggington said.

“I think the timing is right,” Wiggington said. “I think if we looked at two years ago, where we were from a population perspective, and where we are today, I think it's right.”

Keep in mind

Multiple communities near Celina, such as Prosper, Frisco, McKinney, Allen, Denton and Richardson, have term limits for the council members and mayor, according to a meeting presentation.

If term limits are eventually approved for Celina, they could be enacted in a way to not hurt council members running for re-election in May, council member Jay Pierce said.

“It doesn't have to be retroactive,” he said. “Anyone sitting on this council should not be upset or worried.”

Going forward

Council members and city staff will continue to discuss charter amendments and other details associated with calling a special election, such as potential costs, before council gives an update during an April 9 meeting, City Manager Robert Ranc said.

City staff will discuss sending out a survey to residents to get their input in the coming weeks, Ranc said.

“The voters have the ultimate control, and that's the point of turning the power over to the voters,” Tubbs said.

Editor’s note: The original post has been edited to correct an error. City staff are planning to discuss sharing a term limit-focused survey with residents.