Posts tagged “elections

Live Blog: Monday’s City Council Meetings (Nov. 19)

This is a live blog from the College Station City Council’s workshop and regular meetings on Monday, Nov. 19. It’s not the official minutes.

The workshop and regular meetings can be watched live on Suddenlink Ch. 19, or online. An archive of previous council meetings also is available on the site.

4:04 p.m.

The workshop meeting has started. Council member Julie Schultz is absent tonight.

4:10 p.m.

Election Results

The council voted unanimously to canvass the results of the city’s special election earlier this month, when voters approved nine city charter amendments .

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Five things to watch at Monday’s city council meetings

The College Station City Council will meet Monday at city hall for its workshop (4 p.m.) and regular (7 p.m.) meetings.  The workshop will break for executive session at 5 p.m. before returning to the agenda at 6 p.m.

Here are five items to watch on Monday:

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Live Blog: 2012 City Charter Amendment Election Results

FINAL RESULTS – All nine propositions pass.

With all 23 College Station precincts reporting, here are the totals (this does not include 407 provisional ballots):

Proposition No. 1 (Initiative, Referendum and Recall)

  • FOR:  80.7% (15,000)       AGAINST:  19.3% (3,590)

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2012 Election: Gender neutrality, oath of office among proposed amendments

NOTE: This is the last in a series of five blog posts that examine the City of College Station’s nine proposed charter amendments that appear on the November election ballot. The charter is the city’s governing document.

Two of the amendments concern the oath of office for city council members and the adoption of gender neutral language in the charter. Click on the proposition name to see the actual changes that would be made to the charter language if voters approve the proposition.

Proposition No. 4

FOR/AGAINST: Shall Article XII (General Provisions), Section 118 (Oath of Office) of the College Station City Charter be repealed and a new section added to Article IX (Nominations & Elections), providing for an oath of office?

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2012 Election: Proposition No. 8 would change conflict of interest language

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the fourth in a series of five blog posts that examine the City of College Station’s nine proposed charter amendments that appear on the November election ballot. The charter is the city’s governing document.

Amendment No. 8 deals with the conflict of interest provisions in the charter. Click on the proposition name to see the actual changes that would be made to the charter language if voters approve the proposition.

Proposition No. 8

FOR/AGAINST: Shall the language in Article XII (General Provisions), Section 115 (Personal Interest) of the College Station City Charter be replaced with language providing that members of City Council and any officer or employee of the City shall comply with state law pertaining to conflicts of interest of local government officials, including TEXAS LOCAL GOVERNMENT CODE, Chapter 171?

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2012 Election: Amendments No. 2 and No. 5 address charter language, processes

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the second in a series of five blog posts that will examine the City of College Station’s nine proposed charter amendments that appear on the November election ballot. The charter is the city’s governing document.

Two of the nine amendments address language and processes in the charter. One concerns the process of filling a vacancy on the city council and the other defines a business and calendar day throughout the document. Click on the proposition name to see the actual changes that would be made to the charter language if voters approve the propositions.

Proposition No. 2

FOR/AGAINST: Shall Article III (The City Council), Section 21 (Vacancies) of the College Station City Charter be amended to authorize a process to be followed to call an election in the event of a vacancy in the office of Mayor and in the event of a vacancy in the office of Mayor and all Council Members?

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2012 Election: Two proposed charter amendments would affect recall provisions

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the first in a series of five blog posts that will examine the City of College Station’s nine proposed charter amendments that appear on the November election ballot. The charter is the city’s governing document.

Two of the nine proposed amendments (Nos. 1 and 3) to College Station’s City Charter concern the Initiative, Referendum and Recall section. Click on the proposition name to see the actual changes that would be made to the charter language if voters approve the propositions.

Proposition No. 1

FOR/AGAINST: Shall Article X (Initiative, Referendum, Recall), Sections 94 (Recall; General), 95 (Recall Procedure), 96 (Recall Petitions), and 97 (Recall Election) of the College Station City Charter be amended to require grounds for removal of Council Members by recall; provide that such grounds be included in the recall affidavit and in the recall petitions; allow the City Secretary a reasonable time to deliver the recall petition blanks; clarify the City Secretary’s role in examining the recall petitions; and amend the number of days allowed for an officer whose removal is sought to resign?

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A closer look at the proposed city charter amendments

If you plan to vote in the 2012 election, chances are you have a pretty good idea about how you are voting to fill national, state and local offices, but you may not have fully examined the nine proposed amendments to College Stations’ City Charter.

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 polling place. In the next few days, we’ll be blogging about each of the proposed amendments to help clarify what each proposition means.

Here’s the blog schedule:

One more thing: 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 important items. You must vote for these issues separately. Click here to view a sample ballot.

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Live Blog: Thursday’s City Council Meetings (Sept. 13)

This is a live blog from the College Station City Council’s workshop and regular meetings on Thursday, Sept. 13. It’s not the official minutes.

The workshop and regular meetings can be watched live on Suddenlink Ch. 19, or online. An archive of previous council meetings also is available on the site.

3:05 p.m.

The workshop meeting has started. Councilmember Dave Ruesink is out of town.

3:35 p.m.

Conference Center Options

The council heard a brief history of the College Station Conference Center, an overview of its operations and discussed options for its future. The facility was closed in early July because of safety concerns. Staff estimates that necessary repairs and upgrades would cost between $1.6 million and $2.1 million.

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Five Things to Watch at Thursday’s City Council Meetings

The College Station City Council will meet on Thursday at city hall for its workshop (3 p.m.) and regular (7 p.m.) meetings.  With so many key items on this week’s agenda, the council will start its workshop at 3 p.m., and after breaking for the executive session at 5, will resume the workshop at 6. The regular meeting will start at 7 p.m., as usual.

Here are five things to watch on Thursday:

1.      FY13 Proposed Budget and Tax Rate: After reviewing the $253.1 million budget proposal and making final changes during the workshop, the council will adopt the budget and new tax rate in the regular meeting.  The proposed budget reduces the property tax rate for the second straight year and focuses on providing efficient core services with an emphasis on public safety and infrastructure. The city’s FY12 tax rate already was the fifth lowest in the state among similar-sized cities. A 5 percent increase is proposed for wastewater rates, but the budget includes no other utility rate increases.

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Live Blog: Thursday’s City Council Meetings (Aug. 23)

This is a live blog from the College Station City Council’s workshop and regular meetings on Thursday, Aug. 23. It’s not the official minutes.

The workshop and regular meetings can be watched live on Suddenlink Ch. 19, or online. An archive of previous council meetings also is available on the site.

6:01 p.m.

The workshop meeting has started.

6:04 p.m.

Mayor Berry proclaimed September as Library Card Sign-Up Month.

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City Council Meeting Preview (August 23)

Here’s a quick look at some of the items the College Station City Council will be discussing at its workshop and regular meetings on Thursday, August 23. This blog is not the complete and official agenda.

The workshop and regular meetings can be watched live on Suddenlink Ch. 19, or online. Previous council meetings are archived on the website. A detailed live blog from the meetings will be posted on this site and can also be accessed through the city’s Facebook page.

Workshop Meeting (6 p.m.)

Wastewater Collection Projects

The council will hear a report on the status of major wastewater collection construction projects, which will require significant capital investment in the next decade to meet demands and enable development. The major projects they will discuss are the Bee Creek Trunk Line, Wellborn Gravity Sewer Line, East Side Sewer System, Northeast Trunk Line, and the Spring Creek Corporate Campus and Lick Creek Trunk Lines.

South Knoll-The Glade Utility Rehabilitation Project

The council will receive a presentation on the South Knoll-The Glade Utility Rehabilitation Project. The council will consider the construction contract for the project as part of the consent agenda. The project includes the rehabilitation of water and wastewater utility infrastructure in the area generally bordered by Glade Street, Haines Drive, Langford Street and Bee Creek Drive.

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Live Blog: Thursday’s City Council Meetings (Aug. 9)

This is a live blog from the College Station City Council’s workshop and regular meetings on Thursday, Aug. 9. It’s not the official minutes.

The workshop and regular meetings can be watched live on Suddenlink Ch. 19, or online. An archive of previous council meetings also is available on the site.

6:05 p.m.

The workshop meeting has started. Council members Jess Fields and Dave Ruesink are absent.

6:44 p.m.

Proposed City Budget

The council got its first look at the city’s proposed Fiscal Year 2013 budget, which includes a reduced property tax rate and no rate increases for most utilities for the second straight year, including electric and water. The tax rate is the city’s lowest in 12 years. A public hearing will be Aug. 23, and the council is set to adopt the budget on Sept. 13. The council will review the proposed budget at a series of workshops scheduled for Aug. 16-17 and Aug. 20-21.

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City Council Meeting Preview (Aug. 9)

Here’s a quick look at some of the items the College Station City Council will be discussing at its workshop and regular meetings on Thursday, Aug. 9. This blog is not the complete and official agenda.

The workshop and regular meetings can be watched live on Suddenlink Ch. 19, or online. Previous council meetings are archived on the website. A detailed live blog from the meetings will be posted on this site and can also be accessed through the city’s Facebook page.

Workshop Meeting (6 p.m.)

Proposed City Budget

The council will receive a presentation on the city’s proposed Fiscal Year 2013 budget. A public hearing will be Aug. 23, and the council is set to adopt the budget on Sept. 13. The council will review the proposed budget at a series of workshops scheduled for Aug. 16-17 and Aug. 20-21.

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What Happens if You Run for City Council – and Win?

While recent primaries and the upcoming presidential election have been the focus of the nation’s attention, the City of College Station has been gearing up for its own election with places 4 and 6 on the city council at stake in November.

Why do people run for political office, particularly at the local level? In College Station, our council members devote many long hours to fulfill their responsibilities — and aren’t paid a dime. Among the many reasons they do it is the opportunity to serve their community or to bring about change. Before they can serve, they must be willing to endure a campaign that takes a lot of time, energy and money.

But what happens after they’re elected? 

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City Council Preview (Jan. 12)

After a month-long break for the holidays, the College Station City Council will have its first meeting of 2012 on Thursday, Jan. 12, with topics ranging from the city’s tree trimming program to an update on the Medical District. This blog is intended as a quick overview of just some of the topics the council will be considering and is not a complete and official agenda. Click here to see the official agenda packets.

The workshop and regular meetings can be watched live on Suddenlink Ch. 19, or online. Previous council meetings are archived on the website. The Public Communications Office’s live blog from the meetings will be posted on this site and also can be accessed through the city’s Facebook page.

Workshop Meeting (3 p.m.)

Citizens Charter Review Commission

The council will discuss a possible timeline for a charter amendment election, as well as areas of the city charter that need to be addressed. The Citizens Charter Review Commission had just begun its charter review last spring when a new state law shifted its focus to addressing the city election date, which was resolved with a charter amendment election in November. The commission is ready to resume its charter review but needs to know when the council expects the next charter amendment election. The earliest possible date for the election is November 2012, which will also include the presidential election. The other available dates are May and November in 2013.

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City Council Preview (Nov. 21)

Here’s a quick look at some of the items the College Station City Council will be considering Monday, Nov. 21, at its workshop and regular meetings. This blog is not intended as a complete and official agenda. Click here to see the entire agenda packets.

Workshop Meeting (3 p.m.)

Local Preference for Bids/Contracts

The council will consider a local preference policy in bid/contract awards on a case-by-case basis. The city can legally give preference to a bidder whose principal place of business is in College Station if the bid is within 3 percent of the lowest bid price. Unfortunately, the law doesn’t also Bryan for inclusion as local. The council must determine that the local bidder offers the best combination of price and additional economic development opportunities.

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City Council Preview (Sept. 8)

Here’s a quick look at some of the items the College Station City Council will be considering Thursday, Sept. 8, at its workshop and regular meetings. This blog is not intended as a complete and official agenda. Click here to see the entire agenda packets.

Workshop Meeting (3 p.m.)

Research Valley Partnership
The city council will receive a presentation from the Research Valley Partnership (RVP) on the organization’s budget request for FY 2012. The RVP promotes economic development in the Brazos Valley. The group’s budget request for the next fiscal year is $350,000. The RVP currently receives $300,000 from the city’s general fund.

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City Council Meeting Summary (August 11)

This blog is a summary of the College Station City Council’s workshop and regular meetings on August 11 and is not the official minutes. Changes made to specific items will be recorded in the minutes, which will be available in approximately two weeks.

Workshop Meeting Highlights

Click here to watch the entire workshop meeting. Click on individual agenda items listed beneath the video window to view a specific segment.

Proposed FY2012 City Budget
The council received its first glimpse of the city’s proposed FY 2012 budget, which includes the city’s lowest property tax rate in a decade and recommends no rate increases for electric, water or sanitation services. The council will conduct four days of budget workshops next week (Aug. 15-18), followed by a public hearing on Sept. 8. Final adoption of the budget and tax rate is set for Sept. 22.

Click here for the press release about the budget presentation.

Click here to see the entire proposed budget.

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Previewing Thursday’s City Council Meetings (August 11)

Here’s a quick look at some of the items the College Station City Council will be considering at its workshop and regular meetings on Thursday, August 11. This blog is not intended as a complete and official agenda. Click here to see the entire agenda packets.

Workshop Meeting (3 p.m.)

Proposed FY2012 City Budget
The council will receive the proposed 2012 city budget. The budget process includes a public hearing on Sept. 8, with final adoption set for Sept. 22. Workshop meetings are scheduled for August 15-18 for the council to review the proposed budget. Several areas will be discussed, including fiscal and budgetary policies, a review of all funds, the proposed pay plan, tax rate options, outside agency funding, capital projects, utility rates and other issues.

Carters and Burton Creek Bacteria
The council will hear a workshop presentation on state and local plans to restore and maintain Carters and Burton creeks, which have elevated bacteria levels. The two creeks run through most of Brazos County and are among 271 waterways in Texas that do not meet quality standards. The cities of College Station and Bryan, along with Brazos County, Texas A&M and the Texas Department of Transportation, are working with AgriLIFE and the Natural Resources Conservation Service to formulate a proactive implementation plan.

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Where Should We Go With City Elections?

The College Station City Council has been discussing the impact of a recently-enacted Texas law on our city elections. Their options are limited because of budget constraints, time frames and legal considerations, but they have expressed the desire to receive additional input from the public before making a decision. The council will have a second public hearing on this issue Monday, August 8 at 7 p.m. at city hall.   

Brief History

In June, Gov. Rick Perry signed Senate Bill 100 into law to bring the State of Texas into compliance with the Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act (MOVE), which was enacted in 2009.  The intent of the act was to make it easier for military and overseas voters to cast their ballots in a timely manner.  The act requires that ballots be provided to these voters 45 days before the election date. 

How does this affect College Station?  Senate Bill 100 directly impacts primary election dates, which remain on the first Tuesday in March of even-numbered years.  However, the primary runoff date will move from the second Tuesday in April to the fourth Tuesday in May.  Our city elections are conducted the second Saturday in May, and early voting for the primary runoff would begin only two days after our election. 

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City Council Meeting Summary (July 25)

This blog is a summary of the College Station City Council’s workshop and regular meetings on July 25 and is not the official minutes. Changes made to specific items will be recorded in the minutes, which will be available in approximately two weeks.

Place 2 Council Member Jess Fields missed the workshop due to illness, but returned for the regular meeting. Place 5 Council Member Julie Schultz is on vacation and was absent from both meetings.

Workshop Meeting Highlights

Click here to watch the entire workshop meeting. Click on individual agenda items listed beneath the video window to view a specific segment.

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New State Law Could Change City Elections

How will Texas Senate Bill 100, which was signed into law in June by Gov. Rick Perry, affect College Station’s city elections?  Monday’s regular city council meeting includes a public hearing on SB 100, and the council will consider all options. Citizens are encouraged to learn more about how the new law impacts our elections and to provide the council with input. The meeting starts at 7 p.m. at city hall.

Effective Sept. 1, SB 100 was enacted to assure compliance with the Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment (MOVE) Act passed by Congress in 2009. The admirable goal of the MOVE Act is to make the voting process easier and faster for military and overseas voters.  Absentee ballots must be transmitted at least 45 days before an election.  The act applies to any election that includes a federal office or to fill a vacancy in the state legislature.  It also applies to joint elections when a federal office is on the ballot. 

The law’s impact on the entire election calendar is significant and can be somewhat confusing. Primary elections will remain on the first Tuesday in March, but the absentee ballot mandate moves the primary runoff to the fourth Tuesday in May – after the May uniform election date. The uniform election date in even-numbered years is limited to non-county elections, while the uniform date in odd-numbered years is unaffected.

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