The San Antonio Charter Review Commission will provide a final opportunity for public feedback on May 9 before forwarding final recommended city charter changes to City Council.

Current situation

San Antonio residents are invited to the commission's in-person public input period, which will start at 5:30 p.m. at the Central Library, 600 Soledad St.

Local officials said the charter can be amended every two years to add new procedures, protocols and policies.

The commission consists of 15 community members, appointed by Mayor Ron Nirenberg for their expertise in areas of municipal law, finance, education, public policy and community engagement, city representatives said.

Commission members have spent the past four months meeting in public, discussing and gathering input about potential amendments to the charter.

Dig deeper

Community members attending the May 9 commission meeting will be asked to comment only on the items that have been discussed by commission members:
  • 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 compel testimony, and whether any additional recommendations would strengthen the effectiveness, authority and/or jurisdiction of the board
  • Whether mayoral or mayoral and council terms should be extended to four years with a limit of two terms and whether such terms should be staggered
  • Whether City Council members should be compensated on indexed terms that more accurately reflect the city’s cost of living and lower barriers to participation in city government
  • Whether City Council should have the authority and discretion to hire, manage and determine the length of service of the city manager
  • Whether City Council should determine the compensation of the city manager so that market and competitive indicators are taken into account
  • Whether an increase in single-member council districts would appropriately enhance representation for San Antonio residents
  • Whether the decennial council redistricting process should be conducted by an independent, autonomous citizens committee and how such a committee’s membership shall be appointed
  • Whether the city charter shall be generally amended to update its language to more accurately reflect current processes, acknowledgments and roles
  • Evaluate language that provides for special City Council meetings, and how those meetings should differ in purpose, use and timing from current policymaking processes, such as council consideration requests
Many people who have attended commission meetings have focused their criticism on proposals to increase compensation for council members, changing how the city handles the city manager and making council more accessible to the public.

Take action

San Antonio residents may visit to leave a comment or sign up to speak at the session. Public comment registration closes at noon May 9 online and 15 minutes before the session begins in person, local officials said. Residents can also call 311, or 210-207-6000, to leave comments by phone.

The commission will meet at 5:30 p.m. May 20 and 23 at the Central Library to prepare final recommendations for council, which is expected to decide whether to call an election for charter amendments. If that happens, council will determine which recommended charter amendments will make it onto the ballot.