Several changes to League City’s charter have been added to the Nov. 5 ballot for voter consideration, including a new policy to allow the city to approve fireworks within city limits and how the city fills council vacancies.

The gist

On June 11, League City City Council voted to add several updates to League City’s charter for voter consideration on the Nov. 5 ballot.

According to city documents, some of the highlights include:
  • A special election will be called when there is a vacancy on City Council with an unexpired term of more than 12 months. If there is a vacancy of 12 months or less, City Council will appoint someone to fill the vacancy until the next regular election.
  • City Council may allow for the discharge of fireworks within the city limits during New Year’s and Fourth of July celebrations.
  • City Council may submit measures and ordinances to voters to adopt or reject, or may submit for repeal any existing ordinance or resolution.
The amendment to allow for the discharge of fireworks doesn’t grant City Council new powers, but council members said at the meeting they hope the measure will act as a referendum for voters to see how they feel about fireworks.

Community Impact previously reported on May 14 that City Council voted against updating the city’s code of ordinances to allow residents to light fireworks within city limits on certain holidays.

What they’re saying

In reference to the proposal to allow the City Council to appoint individuals to fill vacancies on City Council if the remaining term is less than 12 months, council member Chad Tressler defended the amendment by stating it would prevent the city from having to hold costly elections.

“I realize this one might look like we’re trying to stack the deck with our friends,” Tressler said. “That’s not the case. What’s going on with this one is what we have right now requires us to hold an expensive election to replace someone for a short period of time as we witnessed not too long ago.”

Council member Tom Crews disagreed that it wasn’t worth the cost to hold the special election and cited the money spent to hold the recent special election where voters selected council member Courtney Chadwell to fill the rest of former council member John Bowen’s term.

Community Impact previously reported League City called for a special election on Jan. 13 following John Bowen’s resignation in November.

“On this one, I am just absolutely against it,” council member Tom Crews said. “On this one, the last election we had with [council member] Chadwell, the amount was a $40,235 cost. ... These things are important to the citizens, otherwise there wouldn’t be as much money spent.”

Also of note

City Council declined to approve the following proposed changes for voter consideration:
  • The number of voter signatures needed in a petition to propose legislation or initiate a referendum will decrease from 20% to 10%, with a minimum of 2,000 signatures required.
  • League City residents can recall an elected official with a petition including a number of signatures that has 10% of the number of people who voted in the previous general election, with a minimum of 2,000 signatures required.
  • No person shall serve more than two full terms on City Council for any position, including mayor or council member.
  • No person shall be a candidate for any position on City Council, including mayor or council member, who is presently serving a second full term or has previously served two full terms as mayor or council member.
  • City Council shall appoint all members of its city boards and commission by majority vote, a power currently held by the mayor.
What’s next?

League City voters will have the opportunity to adopt or reject these changes during the Nov. 5 election.