Houston voters will get a chance to decide in November on whether the city should amend its charter to allow members of the Houston City Council to place items on the council's weekly agenda.

What happened: Council members voted Aug. 2 to approve placing the item on ballots for Houstonians to vote on during this year's election Nov. 7.

The backstory: The issue is tied back to a 2021 petition by a group called the Houston Charter Amendment Petition Coalition. Petitioners gathered the required amount of signatures, and the petition was verified in 2021. However, the Texas Constitution gives city councils the power to decide if a charter amendment should go before voters during the soonest possible election or if it should go during the next mayoral election. When presented with the petition in 2021, the Houston City Council ended up choosing the 2023 election date for the item, with Mayor Sylvester Turner at the time arguing that it would yield a higher turnout.

Zooming in: Currently, the mayor in Houston has sole discretion to determine what should and should not be placed on the agenda each week, which petitioners said was unusual for a city the size of Houston, Community Impact previously reported. If the charter amendment is approved by voters, any council member would be able to place an item on the agenda as long as they had the backing of at least two other council members, according to agenda language. The mayor would not be able to veto the placement of an item that is supported by at least three council members. Agenda items would still need a majority of the council's approval—at least nine votes in favor—in order to pass the council.

What they're saying: District I Council Member Robert Gallegos said he supported the amendment, but warned that it would likely result in a lot more items being placed on agendas. Gallegos is also among the candidates who has thrown his hat in the ring to be Houston's next mayor.

"I think council members should have the opportunity to place something on the agenda," Gallegos said at the Aug. 2 meeting. "I just fear the chaos of the number of items coming every week on the agenda."

What's next: Following council's vote at the Aug. 2 meeting, the item to amend the charter will be placed on ballots during the Nov. 7 election.