San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg is asking the city’s charter review commission members to gather and discuss potential amendments voters may weigh at the polls in the November 2024 election.

The background

Council created the charter commission in 2014; the panel of mayoral appointees has overseen charter updates and revisions that voters approved in the May 2015 and May 2021 elections. Charter amendments may be made every two years, according to state law. Nirenberg asked the reconstituted 15-member commission to examine nine topics:

  • Whether the city should be able to appoint an independent ethics auditor with a legal background
  • Whether the city’s ethics review board should be autonomous with independent oversight and power to request testimony
  • Whether council members should be paid on indexed terms that more accurately reflect the city’s cost of living and lower barriers to city government participation
  • Whether mayoral and/or council terms should be extended from two to four years with a two-term limit and whether those terms should be staggered
  • Whether council should have authority to hire, manage and determine the length of the city manager’s service
  • Whether council should determine the city manager’s compensation based on market and competitive indicators
  • Whether increasing the number of single-member council districts would improve representation of residents
  • Whether the decennial council redistricting process should be handled by an independent, autonomous citizens committee and how that panel’s membership should be appointed
  • Whether the charter should be amended to update its language to more accurately reflect city processes and roles
Nirenberg said Bonnie Prosser-Elder and David Zammiello will co-chair the charter review commission. Prosser-Elder is VIA Metropolitan Transit’s general counsel and senior vice president of legal services. Zammiello, previously president and CEO of local nonprofit Project QUEST, now heads DAZA Consulting Services, a local firm.

What they’re saying

Nirenberg said he hopes the commission will complete its work by early summer 2024 and submit recommendations to the council by June 14.

“Together, I am confident we will strengthen our city’s governing document and enshrine a better future for our community,” Nirenberg said.