Good morning Paul – Thanks for taking the time to explain some of the thought processes of the City Council. First, it takes a great deal of moxie for you to go on to the forum and engage in some of the issues, especially with some of the “full time” VA residents.
Second, I’m not aware of any other council members that have gone onto the VA web site and explained their position as you have (nothing against them, I’m just now aware of any instances), and I hope that you will continue to do so because it does add to transparency. You are not in my district, but it helps me understand the insight of the council a little better.
And lastly, even though you believe that you are doing the right thing by the people of Victoria, there will always be those who criticize, second guess, and arm chair quarterback. Until someone “sits in the seat”, they will bloviate upon their belief of how they could do it better or different. Keep the faith.X
Thanks for taking the time to share your opinion with everyone here. We will just have to disagree. I guess in the end the public has made their decision.
I attended the meeting where Tom Halepaska glossed over the work done by the committee as if it were insignificant, if you will recall.
The affidavit for the petition will be a duplication of an action already performed by the elections office. A petitioner has no way to validate each signature. That is why the elections office does that job. Are you certain it is not designed to discourage folks from presenting petitions? [Don't answer that--I know you will say no.]
The residency requirement change is necessary because there are not enough local folks seeking the position? Maybe rather than enlarging the pool thinking a charter amendment doing that would fix that problem, the city could investigate why more folks don't want the job. We don't have a shortage of qualified folks in this town. I'm sure the city would have to hire a consultant to help Thomas Gwosdz figure it out, but the fix seems to be on the wrong end of the issue.
The City Secretary answers to the Council. Sure she has other public contact, but that largely falls to her staff. Leaving her where she was makes more sense. She no longer answers to the Council; she answers to the City Manager.
This is just my opinion, but it is formed from paying attention to what goes on down at City Hall.
EdithAnn,Regarding your question “Why the move to 'clean up' something that had not been challenged?” I personally wanted a charter that was easy to understand for our citizens. Over the decades state law has changed so much many items in the charter were no longer aplicapable they had been superseded by new and/or revised laws. I wouldn’t say the committee’s goal was to redefine anything but rather to clarify the intent. Much of the language of the charter was written 50 years ago a lot of things have changed.
Regarding the movement of the city secretary’s position. For me personally I could not understand why the city secretary was ever hired directly by the council in the first place. The city secretary and his/her staff has a great deal of contact with the public and I think would be fine under the supervision of the city manager just like most every other city position. After much discussion we could only conclude historically this position used to actually do much more hands on work directly for city council members, which is no longer the case.
The affidavit is used to ensure a petition is valid. If someone circulates a petition we are simply asking they make sure each person signing it is unique. For example, a petitioner could print 10 signature pages of a petition and leave them in the waiting room on 10 offices and come back later and pick them up and they might be full of signatures. The affidavit requires (asks) the petitioner to witness each signature on each page. It is only an effort to help make them more valid. It has always been in the charter.
The residency requirement was loosened slightly to allow for a wider pool of candidates for this position. We didn’t see any reason to exclude a potential good candidate simply they haven’t lived in the city for 3 years yet.
All of this was discussed at council meeting and is available on line to watch. http://www.vtv15.org/
Of course these are just my opinions and do not reflect the opinions of other council members or any member of the charter revision committee.Thanks,
You were on the committee. Why the move to 'clean up' something that had not been challenged? More than 99% of the public has no clue what's even in the Charter, much less when something is being violated.
You are perhaps the one that can explain the committee's decisions to redefine certain terms and conditions.
Why did the City Secretary need to be moved?
Why does there now have to be an affidavit attached to a petition certifying the signatures? The elections office certifies the signatures, I believe.
Why was it suggested that the residency requirement for municipal judge be removed? Like there are not a zillion attorneys in this town. Can't find anyone to take the job?
Stuff like this. The real meaning behind the charter amendments.
With respect to amendment 4, my understanding is this item would not stand up constitutionally. It basically said anyone who worked somewhere where they were paid with taxpayer dollars could not run for council. If this were strictly interpreted it could possibly excluded a lot of potential candidates. The change was made to specify a candidate could not be employed/paid by city tax dollars. For example VISD employs over 2,000 people, technically none of them would have been allowed to run for council, doesn’t seem fair to me. I am reminded of former mayor Ted Reed. Mr. Reed was principal of Stroman high school while he was mayor. Under this provision someone could have made a case he was not eligible. I supported the change, it made it much more clear.
EdithAnn, what is your interpretation of “the real meaning of the words”? I am curious.
Sgt. Jiggler, I do believe you are correct! The 'housekeeping' disclaimer that Halepaska provided was to distract the rest of us from the real meaning of the words. I also think some of the amendments are Plan B items that may come into play later.
Amendment 4 was BS as there is already a UHV employee on a city commission and he was appointed under the old wording of the charter.
I hope I'm wrong about this:www.victoriaadvocate.com/weblogs/man-...