Posts tagged “elections

5 things to watch at Monday’s city council meetings

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

The College Station City Council gathers Monday at city hall for its workshop (4 p.m.) and regular (6 p.m.) meetings.

Here are five items to watch:

  1. Canvassing of Election Returns: The council will canvass returns and declare results from the Nov. 6 election for places 4 and 6 on the city council and five city charter amendments.
  2. Vessali Takes Oath of Office: Place 4 Councilwoman-elect Elianor Vessali will take the oath of office, followed by a short reception bidding farewell to outgoing Councilman Barry Moore. Place 6 will be decided in a Dec. 11 run-off between Elizabeth Cunha and Dennis Maloney.
  3. Open Storage: On the consent agenda is an amendment that eliminates the open storage of commodities for sale, lease or inventory in areas zoned rural and allows the storage of materials for private use that are not visible from the public right-of-way.
  4. Accessory Living Quarters: After a public hearing, the council will consider amending the city’s Unified Development Ordinance regarding off-street parking and the rental of accessory living quarters.
  5. Single-Family Height Protection: After a public hearing, the council will consider amending the city’s Unified Development Ordinance regarding single-family height protection and building height.

The meetings can be watched live on Suddenlink Channel 19 or online. Please note that we won’t be doing a live blog from this meeting.

Related Links:                                                                 

 


About the Blogger

Colin Killian (@ColinKillian) has been with the City of College Station since 2010 after serving 23 years as associate media relations director for the Texas A&M Athletics Department. Killian has also worked as a reporter and editor for the Corpus Christi Caller-Times and Lewisville News. A native of Hobbs, N.M., he graduated from Texas Tech with a bachelor’s degree in journalism/political science.


 

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A closer look at the proposed city charter amendments

By Tanya Smith, City Secretary

If you plan to vote in the November election, you probably have a pretty good idea about how you are voting to fill national, state and local offices, but you may not have thoroughly examined the proposed changes to College Station’s City Charter.

In April, the city council asked the city attorney and city secretary to review the charter and propose changes. After discussion and debate, the council unanimously voted to add five propositions to the November ballot.

If you wait until you vote, you may find the ballot language a bit confusing, so it’s important to know what you are voting for – or against – before you head to your voting place.

Let’s take a closer look at each proposition and what it means to vote for or against it.

Proposition No. 1: Expansion of Council Terms

Shall Article III (The City Council), Section 17 (Number, Selection, Term) of the College Station City Charter be amended to provide for the regular election of the Mayor and City Council Members to be held in even-numbered years, for four (4) year term lengths for the Mayor and Council Members, and that the Mayor and Council Members be eligible to serve consecutive regular terms totaling no more than eight (8) years?

If you vote FOR the amendment, it means you want the terms of offices for the mayor and city council members to change from three to four-year terms. The term limit would also expand from six to eight years.

Voting for this proposition also allows city elections to remain in November, but elections would only be conducted in even-numbered years. If this proposition carries, the next general election for the council and mayor would still take place in November 2019 to keep the terms staggered.

If you vote AGAINST the amendment, it means you want the mayor and council members to continue serving three-year terms with term limits of six consecutive years. You also want elections every November.

Proposition No. 2: City Attorney’s Residency

Shall Article III (The City Council), Section 29 (City Attorney) of the College Station City Charter be amended to permit the City Attorney to reside either within the City or within the extraterritorial jurisdiction of the City?

If you vote FOR the amendment, you want to allow the city attorney to live within the city limits or its extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ), which extends five miles past the city limits. If you vote AGAINST the amendment, you want to require the city attorney to live only within the city limits.

Proposition No. 3: Mandatory City Internal Auditor

Shall Article III (The City Council), Section 30 (City Internal Auditor) of the College Station City Charter be amended to make the appointment of the City Internal Auditor mandatory and to remove the reference to contracting for the duties of City Internal Auditor?

If you vote FOR the amendment, you want the appointment of an internal city auditor to be mandatory. The city has had an internal auditor for several years.

If you vote AGAINST the amendment, you want the city council to have the authority to either appoint an internal auditor, hire an outside firm to fulfill those duties, or leave the position vacant.

Proposition No. 4: City Manager’s Residency

Shall Article IV (The City Manager), Section 40 (Qualifications) of the College Station City Charter be amended to permit the City Manager to reside either within the City or within the extraterritorial jurisdiction of the City?

If you vote FOR the amendment, you want to allow the city manager to live within the city limits or its ETJ, which extends five miles past the city limits.

If you vote AGAINST the amendment, you want to require the city manager to live only within the city limits.

Proposition No. 5: Competitive Purchasing Notices

Shall Article VII (Finance Administration), Section 68 (Contracts for Improvements) of the College Station City Charter be amended to allow the City to determine by ordinance the methods to be used to satisfy notice requirements for competitive purchasing?

If you vote FOR the amendment, then you want language permitting the city to specify the method of notice for competitive bids and competitive proposals to be set by ordinance to the extent allowed by state law. This change would allow – but not require – the council to adopt an ordinance providing for alternative methods of publicizing notice of bids and proposals.

If you vote AGAINST the amendment, then you want notice of the time and place that competitive bids are publicly opened to be published at least weekly for two consecutive weeks in the newspaper with no alternative method of public notice per state law.

Don’t Miss the Bottom of the Ballot!

When you vote, be sure to scroll to the bottom of the ballot to participate in your local elections. Since municipal elections are non-partisan, a straight-party vote will not include these critical items. You must vote for these issues separately.

Election Day is Nov. 6. Early voting starts Oct. 22 and runs through Nov. 2.

For complete voter information, go to cstx.gov/elections or brazosvotes.org.

 


About the Blogger

A certified Texas municipal clerk, Tanya Smith is in her second year as College Station’s city secretary after serving 10 years as deputy city secretary. She was city secretary in Madisonville from 1998-2008.


 

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Live Blog: Thursday’s city council meetings (July 26)

(L-R): Bob Brick, Linda Harvell, Jerome Rektorik, Karl Mooney (mayor), John Nichols, Barry Moore, James Benham.

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

Welcome to our live blog from the College Station City Council’s workshop and regular meetings on Thursday, July 26. It’s not the official minutes.

The meetings can be watched live on Suddenlink channel 19 or online. An archive of previous council meetings is available on the website.

5:26 p.m.

The workshop has started. No action was taken out of executive session.

Councilmen Bob Brick and James Benham are participating by teleconference. Councilman Jerome Rekrotik is absent tonight.

5:35 p.m.

Consent Agenda Discussion

The council will vote on items listed on the consent agenda during tonight’s regular meeting. Councilmembers pulled these consent items for workshop discussion:

  • Carters Creek Wastewater Plant Improvements: The $608,000 contract is for design and construction phase services for centrifuge improvements at the Carters Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant.
  • East Side Sewer and Lift Station: The $267,000 contract is for design and construction phase services for the East Side Sewer and Lift Station Project.

5:47 p.m.

BVSWMA Budget

The council unanimously endorsed the Brazos Valley Solid Waste Management Agency’s FY19 budget, which includes $8.64 million in revenue, $6.42 million in operating expenses, and $3.67 million in capital expenses. Total reserves, cash, and investments are $11.75 million.

The budget also reduces the gate rate for the cities of Bryan and College Station from $20 to $18.50 per ton.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

6:07 p.m.

Texas Weekend of Remembrance

After reviewing the 2018 Texas Weekend of Remembrance, the council directed staff to continue plans for 2019.

The TWR is a time for military members, veterans, and their families to come together and honor the memory of their lost loved ones through camaraderie and commemoration of their sacrifice. The Memorial Day weekend event allows everyone to show their pride and respect for the men and women who paid the ultimate price.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

6:08 p.m.

Mayor Karl Mooney suspended the workshop. The regular meeting will start after a short break.

6:13 p.m.

The regular meeting has started.

6:34 p.m.

Historical Markers

The Historic Preservation Committee presented historical markers to St. Matthew Baptist Church (409 Holleman Dr.), Pleasant Grove Baptist Church (1216 Detroit St.), Sterling Whitley (500 Holleman Dr.), Thomas & Sharon Merchant (1102 Detroit St.), Bobby Searcy & Adrian Merchant (1106 Phoenix St.), and Rudell Baker-Wilson (1202 Phoenix St.).

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

6:39 p.m.

Hear Visitors

One person spoke during Hear Visitors when citizens might address the council on any item that doesn’t appear on the posted agenda.

  • Ann Marsh spoke about ways the city can solve issues caused by trash containers.

6:41 p.m.

Consent Agenda

The council voted unanimously to approve the entire consent agenda:

  • An amendment to the Solid Waste Facilities Operations Agreement with BVSWMA that governs communications and procedures during extended periods of landfill inaccessibility.
  • The first reading of a franchise agreement with Organix Recycling for the collection of recyclables from commercial businesses and multi-family locations.
  • A contract with Pebble Creek Interests for easements needed for the Lick Creek Parallel Wastewater Trunk Line Project.
  • A contract with Aggieland Properties for land needed for the State Highway 47 Electric Substation Project.
  • A second amendment to the lease agreement with Wirestar that increases the leased fiber optic strand miles to 88.74.
  • An annual price agreement not to exceed $1,873,500 with Knife River ($1.44 million) and BPI Material ($438,000) for Type D hot mix asphalt for the maintenance of streets
  • A $209,656 contract with CF McDonald Electric to install purchased VFDs at Sandy Point Pump Station.
  • The removal of parking on the west side of Boyett Street beginning 60 feet north of the intersection of University Drive and ending 130 feet north of University Drive on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.
  • The creation of a passenger loading zone in the Northgate Promenade Parking Lot to help address pedestrian safety and traffic congestion issues. The loading zone would be in place from 9 p.m.-3 a.m.
  • Changed the definition of a junked vehicle in the city’s Code of Ordinances to align with the Texas Transportation Code. The amendment also transfers cost responsibility
  • to remove a junked vehicle from the city to the owner.
  • A $60,000 change order for the contractor to bore under Wellborn Road and the railroad track to build an additional feeder to the Jones Crossing development.
  • A $608,000 contract with Jones and Carter for design and construction phase services for the Carters Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant Centrifuge Improvements Project.
  • A $267,000 contract with Jones and Carter for design and construction phase services for the East Side Sewer and Lift Station Project.
  • A contract not to exceed $120,000 with Krause Paint and Body Shop for heavy truck paint and body repairs.
  • A $800,077.30 bid award for annual blanket purchase agreements for electrical items: KBS Electrical Distributors ($100,044.30), Wesco Distributors ($41,898), Texas Electric Cooperatives ($119,737.50), Techline ($509,373.50), and Anixter ($29,024).

This item was moved to the Aug. 9 council meeting:

  • Renewal of the inter-local agreement with the City of Bryan for management of the Larry J. Ringer Library.

6:55 p.m.

Committee Term Lengths and Limits

After a public hearing, the council unanimously voted to change the term lengths for appointees to various city boards, commissions, and committees to three years – except for the Planning & Zoning Commission – and to remove term limits that aren’t required by law. Planning and Zoning commissioners will continue to be limited to two terms.

The modifications are a response to the declining number of citizens applying to serve. 

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:09 p.m.

Fun for All Playground

The council unanimously approved a $942,123 construction contract for the first phase of an all-abilities park at Central Park. The Fun for All Playground will be a fully accessible park that will provide inclusive play for everyone.

The improvements will be funded primarily by civic groups and private citizens. Phase 1 includes a playground, swings, splash pad, parking, fencing, and general infrastructure.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

7:10 p.m.

The council discussed and reviewed future agenda items.

7:10 p.m.

Mayor Mooney adjourned the meeting. The workshop will resume after a short break.

7:17 p.m.

The workshop has resumed.

8:21 p.m.

Possible City Charter Amendments

The council discussed possible city charter amendments that may be included in a special election in November: They approved the following items for the ballot:

  • Expand the terms from three to four years for mayor and city council members with regular elections in even-numbered years.
  • Expansion of residency requirement for the city manager and city attorney to allow them to live in the extraterritorial jurisdiction.
  • The mandatory appointment of an internal auditor.
  • Add language permitting the city to specify by ordinance the notice required for competitive bids and proposals.

Here’s the PowerPoint presentation:

8:23 p.m.

Mayor Mooney adjourned the workshop after the council discussed its calendar and received committee reports. The council meets again on Thursday, Aug. 9.

 


About the Blogger

Colin Killian (@ColinKillian) has been with the City of College Station since 2010 after serving 23 years as associate media relations director for the Texas A&M Athletics Department. Killian has also worked as a reporter and editor for the Corpus Christi Caller-Times and Lewisville News. A native of Hobbs, N.M., he graduated from Texas Tech with a bachelor’s degree in journalism/political science.


 

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5 things to watch at Thursday’s city council meetings

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

The College Station City Council gathers Thursday at city hall for its workshop (5 p.m.) and regular (6 p.m.) meetings.

Here are five items to watch:

  1. Possible City Charter Amendments: The council will have a workshop discussion about proposed city charter amendments that may be placed on the ballot in the November election.
  2. Historical Marker Presentations: The Historic Preservation Committee will present historical markers to the owners of six homes.
  3. Boyett Parking Removal:  As part of the consent agenda, the council will consider the removal of parking on the west side of Boyett Street on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. The no parking zone would start 60 feet north of University Drive and extend another 160 feet.
  4. Northgate Passenger Loading Zone: Another consent agenda item is the creation of a passenger loading zone in the Northgate Promenade Parking Lot to help address pedestrian safety and traffic congestion issues. The loading zone would be in place from 9 p.m.-3 a.m.
  5. Fun for All Playground: The council will consider a $942,123 contract with CRT GC, Inc. for construction of a Fun for All Playground at Beachy Central Park. The all abilities facility would provide accessible and inclusive play for everyone and will be funded primarily by private donations and civic groups.

The meetings can be watched live on Suddenlink Channels 19 or online. We’ll post a detailed live blog on this site.

Related Links:                                                                 

 


About the Blogger

Colin Killian (@ColinKillian) has been with the City of College Station since 2010 after serving 23 years as associate media relations director for the Texas A&M Athletics Department. Killian has also worked as a reporter and editor for the Corpus Christi Caller-Times and Lewisville News. A native of Hobbs, N.M., he graduated from Texas Tech with a bachelor’s degree in journalism/political science.


 

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Live Blog: 2017 city election results

By Colin Killian, Public Communications Manager

Welcome to our live election blog from the Brazos County Administration Building. The latest results are also available on the City of College Station’s Twitter and Facebook pages, on Suddenlink Channels 9 and 119 (HD), and at cstx.gov/cstv19.

UPDATED Nov. 7 to include late mail-in and provisional ballots.

FINAL RESULTS (all 26 voting centers reporting)

The vote will be officially canvassed at the Nov. 20 city council meeting.


Place 1

Full three-year term 

Brick is elected.

Bob Brick 2,817 58.75 %
Elianor Vessali 1,978 41.25 %

Place 3

Full three-year term

Harvell is elected.

Linda Harvell 3,296 68.34 %
Dallas Shipp 1,527 31.66 %

Place 5

Full three-year term 

Nichols is elected.

John Nichols 3,782 100.0 %
unopposed

 

 

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What happens if you run for city council – and win?

By Tanya McNutt, Deputy City Secretary

In my years as a deputy city secretary, I can’t count the times I’ve heard a newly-elected city council member ask these questions:

  • “What do you mean I can’t (fill in the blank)?”
  • “I have to do WHAT?”

In College Station, city council members devote many long hours to fulfill their responsibilities — and aren’t paid a dime. Before they can serve, they also endure campaigns that take a lot of time, energy, and money.

But what happens after they’re elected?

City Council Places 1, 3 and 5 will be at stake in the Nov. 7 election. If you are considering running, we invite you to attend a free City Council 101 seminar at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, June 27 at the City Hall Council Chambers.

The program is designed to help candidates better understand the requirements, duties, and limitations of the office, as well as open meetings laws and conflicts of interest. We’ll cover our form of government, the role of city staff, and discuss the critical issues facing our community.

Our goal is to help potential candidates make informed decisions about running and to gain an accurate understanding of what’s expected if they are elected.

The filing period to run for council is July 24-Aug. 24. Candidates must be at least 18 years old, U.S. citizens, qualified Texas voters, and College Station residents for at least one year before Election Day.  Candidate information packets are available at the City Secretary’s Office at College Station City Hall.

For more details, contact me at 979-764-3580 or tmcnutt@cstx.gov.

 


About the Blogger

A certified Texas municipal clerk, Tanya McNutt is in her 10th year as College Station’s deputy city secretary. She served as city secretary in Madisonville from 1998-2008.


 

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