DeSoto City Council Votes On Special Election
The DeSoto City Council met Tuesday evening to discuss an election to fill the vacant Mayor’s seat. The work session was fairly long as they discussed all of the processes and what ifs around the process. The meeting began with City Attorney Joe Gorfida presenting a number of points to consider for conducting the special election for mayor.
Gorfida stated the city charter and the Texas Constitution requires that the city hold a special election for mayor within 120 days of the position being vacated. This would mean an election must be held prior to February 25th. Because Glenn Heights will be holding an election February 2nd it would save the city a great deal of money if the elections could be combined. Early voting would start January 20th.
Councilmember Andre Byrd asked what the cost would be to do a “stand alone” special election and City Secretary Kisha Morris-Perkins replied that she was told it would cost between $55,000 and $60,000 to do this. He then asked if it was shared would the costs be roughly half that, and she replied this was her assumption.
Mayor Pro-Tem Kenzie Moore III asked City Attorney Gorfida what the consequences would be if the city decided to not hold a special election and wait until the next regularly scheduled election in May. Gorfida replied that the city would be in violation of the Texas Constitution and the City Charter and any citizen could have a cause or action to bring the city to court.
During the regular meeting City Manager Brandon Wright relayed that staff recommends that the special election be held February 2nd. Those interested in filing to run for mayor should begin filing their paperwork November 18th through Wednesday, December 2nd.
Councilmember Raphiel asked what are the parameters for appointing someone to assume the council position of anyone currently on the council who might choose to resign their council position to run for mayor. Could there be an election for that position on February 2nd as well?
Mr. Gorfida replied that it would depend on the time they turn in their seat. There would have to be enough time for the council to have another meeting to make an amendment to the election order that it would pass at this meeting. “It would be a very short window,” he said. If this does not happen, the election for the vacant position could not happen until May.
Councilmember Raphiel emphasized the only reason she was asking is for citizens to be able to make that choice at the polls rather than it be done by appointment.
Councilmember Marks then stated, “If there is anyone on the council that is thinking about running, please do us a favor and put your name in as soon as possible. If you are going to run, you know you are going to run … Please, please, please!”
Councilmember Byrd moved to approve the ordinance and Councilmember Quarles seconded. The motion passed unanimously so there will be an election on February 2nd.
In keeping with the results of the recent election, Council was required to nominate and vote on a Mayor Pro-Tem. Councilmember Byrd nominated Kenzie Moore III continue in that position. Councilmember Quarles seconded the motion, which then passed unanimously.
Facility Closures for Thanksgiving
In other business of concern to citizens, all city facilities including the recreation center, the library and city hall will be closed for the Thanksgiving holiday from November 26 (Thursday) until Monday, November 30. There will be no trash collection on Thanksgiving. Trash will be picked up on Friday and normal Friday trash collection will move to Saturday.
Children under 18 years of age are invited to submit logos for the “Keep DeSoto Clean” contest until November 30th. The logo must contain a clean up initiative for the community. It must contain original artwork, no clip art and not contain any copyrighted material. The winner of the contest will receive an ipad.
Live tutoring covering 60-plus subjects can be accessed through the DeSoto Public Library. For any questions on how to take advantage of this service please call 972-230-9661.