Missouri City City Council moves forward with proposed May charter amendment election

If City Council approves, voters would choose whether to adopt the charter amendments during a May 1 special election. (Claire Shoop/Community Impact Newspaper)
If City Council approves, voters would choose whether to adopt the charter amendments during a May 1 special election. (Claire Shoop/Community Impact Newspaper)

If City Council approves, voters would choose whether to adopt the charter amendments during a May 1 special election. (Claire Shoop/Community Impact Newspaper)

Missouri City City Council gave initial approval to six charter amendments and a May election where residents will vote on each proposed amendment during its Jan. 11 special meeting.

Each of the six charter amendments was recommended by the 2020 Charter Review Commission, a committee of five Missouri City residents which meets every four years to discuss proposed changes to the city charter. The charter outlines how the city government is structured as well as its rules and procedures.

The six proposed charter amendments are as follows:




  • to delete the provision in the charter that states the mayor shall act as chief administrative officer until a city manager is appointed;

  • to extend the term of mayor and all City Council positions from two to four years;

  • to limit council service to 12 consecutive years before requiring a minimum two-year sit-out period before an individual can serve on council again;

  • to change the amount of time the city manager may transfer unencumbered funds from 60 to 90 days after the end of any given fiscal year;

  • to clarify that bids are only required to be received and considered by council for competitive bond sales; and

  • to change the appointment month of Charter Review Commission members from July to January.



Assistant City Attorney James Santangelo, who presented the Charter Review Commission's findings to council, said the two most discussed items were the ones pertaining to term length and term limits.

“The term length and the term limit were probably the longest discussed and liveliest discussed items because there were so many alternatives presented, and people did have some strong feelings about whether a council member’s term of service should be limited to a certain number of terms or a certain number of years,” Santangelo said.

Council discussed revising the proposed charter amendment to increase the length of terms from two years to three years but settled on the commission’s recommendation of increasing the term length to four years.



“I agree with the four-year terms,” Council Member Vashandra Edwards said. “I do think you need enough time to make sure you understand how the City Council is ran, how the position is ran and give you time to be comfortable within the position—I believe four years will give you that comfortability.”

If this particular charter amendment is approved by voters in May, the four-year terms will go into effect for the district council members beginning after the November 2021 election and beginning after the November 2022 election for the at-large and mayoral positions, City Attorney E. Joyce Iyamu said.

While all council members voted in favor of putting the charter amendment related to term length on the ballot, only Edwards voted against moving forward with the rest of the charter amendments—which were added in one vote.

Edwards objected to the proposed charter amendment that would remove the mayor as the chief administrative officer during periods when there is no sitting city manager. Edwards said she was concerned this was an attack on the previous administration. Former Mayor Yolanda Ford served as chief administrative officer under this provision in the interim between City Managers Anthony Snipes and Odis Jones.

However, Santangelo said this amendment was included because the current language contradicts with two other sections of the charter that say no one on council should hold another city office or employment during an elected term and that no City Council member should also serve as the city secretary, city manager or acting city manager.

City staff will draft an ordinance calling for the election as well as ballot language, which will be presented to council for final approval at an upcoming meeting. Council still has the opportunity to add additional charter amendments to the ballot.

If the council moves forward with an election, Missouri City residents will be able to vote for or against amending the city charter during a May 1 special election.

By Claire Shoop
Claire joined Community Impact Newspaper in September 2019 as the reporter for the Sugar Land/Missouri City edition. She graduated from The University of Texas at Austin in May 2019 where she studied journalism, government and Arabic. While in school, Claire was a fellow for The Texas Tribune, worked for the student newspaper, The Daily Texan, and spent a semester in Washington, D.C. She enjoys playing cards with her family and listening to the Boss, Bruce Springsteen.


MOST RECENT

Hoover Oaks Memory Care and Assisted Living will be located at 1722 Eldridge Road in Sugar Land. (Courtesy Hoover Oaks Memory Care and Assisted Living)
New memory care and assisted-living facility coming to Sugar Land in spring 2021

Hoover Oaks Memory Care and Assisted Living will provide 24-hour assistance to 16 residents.

Feeding Texas hosted a Jan. 19 webinar to discuss legislative highlights for the 87th Texas Legislature. (Screenshot courtesy Feeding Texas)
Food insecurity in Texas' 87th Legislature: Hunger relief organization Feeding Texas to propose legislation addressing hunger

Hunger relief organization Feeding Texas hosted a webinar Jan. 19 to discuss increasing funding and accessibility for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program in the 87th legislative session.

COVID-19 vaccines
DATA: Texas has vaccinated about 9% of estimated Phase 1 recipients

Over 1.1 million individuals from the Phase 1 population, which is estimated to include 13.5 million individuals total, have received at least one dose.

Bob Popinski, policy director of Raise Your Hand Texas, shared the organization's top education priorities for the ongoing legislative session. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
‘What does virtual learning and remote learning look like moving forward?': Raise Your Hand Texas policy director talks legislative priorities

Bob Popinski is the director of policy for Raise Your Hand Texas, an Austin-based organization committed to improving public education. He spoke with Community Impact Newspaper in late December about the 87th legislative session, which began Jan. 12.

Bayou City Art Festival Downtown is scheduled to return in person in October. (Courtesy Katya Horner/Bayou City Art Festival)
Bayou City Art Festival scheduled for in-person return in October

The Memorial Park version of the festival will be celebrated through alternative virtual and smaller in-person events.

2943 Oak Pointe Blvd., Missouri City sold for $250,001-$285,000 on Aug. 7. The 3,162-square-foot house has 3 bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms. (Courtesy Houston Association of Realtors)
See the latest Sugar Land, Missouri City home sales data, plus a look at the Oak Pointe neighborhood

Year over year, the number of homes sold and the median price of homes sold increased throughout much of Sugar Land and Missouri City in November 2020. However, ZIP code 77478 saw a year-over-year decline of nearly 20% in the median price of homes sold.

Bocca Italian Kitchen serves seasonal, Italian-inspired dishes, such as polenta and various pastas. (Courtesy Marco Torres)
Italian eateries open in Generation Park; Houston bike lane fines enforced and more local news

Read the latest business and community news from the Houston area.

The Coalition to Combat Human Trafficking in Texas promotes public services announcements to help raise awareness about human trafficking and how to get help. (Courtesy The Coalition to Combat Human Trafficking in Texas)
New sheriff: Human trafficking is ‘another pandemic’ facing Fort Bend County

Combating human trafficking is a top priority for newly elected Fort Bend County Sheriff Eric Fagan.

Here are the latest coronavirus case count updates in Fort Bend County. (Community Impact staff)
Fort Bend County totals 2,886 new coronavirus cases Jan. 8-14; active cases increase by 1,000

Here are the latest coronavirus case count and hospitalization updates in Fort Bend County.

Officials expect demand for the vaccine will be huge once it opens to the general public. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Montgomery County plans vaccine distribution; FDA warns of false negatives and more top Houston-area news

Read the most popular stories from the past week from the Houston area.

The following list is noncomprehensive. (Photo courtesy Sweet Paris Crêperie & Café)
Find out which 22 restaurants opened in Sugar Land, Missouri City in 2020

As part of our 2021 Annual Community Guide, Community Impact Newspaper gathered a list of restaurants that opened in the Sugar Land and Missouri City area in 2020.

This list is noncomprehensive. (Graphic by Community Impact Newspaper staff)
30 Sugar Land, Missouri City shopping destinations that opened in 2020 or are coming in 2021

Revisit the beauty, education, food and beverage, and health and fitness businesses that opened in Sugar Land and Missouri City in 2020.