Celina City Council discussed adjusting the city charter to potentially amend the city’s no-term-limit policy.

The details

The charter topics that could be seen on a future ballot includes:
  • Term limits
  • Role of City Council in appointing and terminating department heads
  • Clarifying relationship of mayor and City Council
The council discussed the charter amendments during a March meeting and gave further instruction to staff during an April 9 meeting. The major topic of discussion April 9 was whether council wanted to conduct a citizen survey, which staff recommended against, and when to hold the potential election—November 2024 or May 2025, Strategic Services Manager Anthony Satarino said.

The May election would be during a City Council general election, which would mean no additional cost will be added for the city, Satarino said. Whereas the November election would require a projected $55,000—though it would likely have a larger voter turnout with it being a presidential election year.

Most of the council opted to hold the election in May, while council members Philip Ferguson and Wendie Wigginton preferred to hold the election in November.

“It makes more sense to do it in November simply because of voter turnout,” Ferguson said.

He noted the presidential election will bring more people to the polls compared to stand-alone municipal elections.

The specifics

Council agreed during the April meeting that they would like to use a charter commission to determine priorities and draft ballot language.

City staff will look to use a lottery system to create the commission instead of City Council appointing the participants, Satarino said. Staff is also finalizing requirements to serve on the commission ensuring participants are:
  • A resident
  • A registered voter
  • Aware of the time requirement
Ferguson also wanted to include that anyone who currently serves on a city board cannot also serve on the commission. He added that even those who live in the same household as a current board member also not serve on the charter commission.

The commission will bring their work to council regularly ahead of the election for guidance before council makes a final decision to place it on the ballot.

For the November election, items must be placed on the ballot by Aug. 29. The May election has a Feb. 28 deadline for ballot items.

The background

Celina already has some term limits in place. The Celina Economic Development Corporation has director term limits, which has been in place since 2023. Directors can serve staggered two-year terms with no more than three full terms. The planning and zoning commission has limits of no more than three full three-year terms, which have been in place since 2019.

Details of the charter topics and commission have not yet been finalized, though they will be discussed at a future council meeting.