The San Antonio city council voted unanimously on Thursday, Aug. 16 place three city charter amendments on the Nov. 6 ballot for the voters to decide. The SA mayor and most members of the city council have opposed the amendments and formed a PAC to raise money to fight them.
The amendments would: 1) cap the salary of future city managers and place term limits on them; 2) lower the threshold for signatures on referendum petitions, increase the amount of time allowed for gathering them and remove prohibitions against overturning utility rates, tax levies and appropriations; and 3) give the Firefighters’ union the ability ask for arbitration if necessary.
The city has been fighting against these charter changes because they don’t want their power limited nor have the voters have a say in the matter. The SA city council has often ruled without having voter input on controversial issues, such as the oridnance forcing private businesses to provide sick-leave to their employees that was passed today.
Yesterday, Wednesday, Aug. 15, a state district judge denied a request from the city’s PAC to prevent the City Council from calling for a November charter amendment election at today’s meeting. The judge said the Firefighters’ union did not act illegally in gathering signatures for the petitions for the city charter amendments.
In a point of irony, opponents of the amendments provided a report to the city council claiming that the proposed amendments would have a negative economic impact on the city. But also on Thursday, the city council heard support for a city ordinance that would force private businesses to provide paid sick-leave to employees…and there was no report on the economic impact (undoubtedly negative) this ordinance would have on the city.
Unless a judge intervenes, the three city-charter amendments will appear on the ballot and they could bring sweeping changes to municipal government.
It is evident that the SA city government has become a large bureaucracy that does not want have its power and influence limited by the citizens and voters. City council members show their arrogance and dismissive attitude, by rarely attending the “Citizens to Heard” sessions to listen to citizens’ concerns.
The three city-charter amendments will give the citizens and voters a chance to limited the city’s power, and why wouldn’t taxpayers and citizens want to limit local government’s power?
When local government grows, personal local freedom shrinks. The defense of freedom and liberty starts at your local ballot box.