Glenn Heights City Council Continues Charter Debate

Glenn Heights Charter Debate

Glenn Heights Charter Debate Continues

GLENN HEIGHTS—The topic of altering the Glenn Heights City Charter has been a subject of much debate this month. If consensus was met by the August 16 deadline a Special Election could have been called this November to determine city council salaries and term limits.

During the August 9 meeting the topic of ending council member term limits was raised by Glenn Heights Mayor Leon Tate. After much debate, council unanimously voted to continue discussion on a possible Special Election at the August 16 Meeting.

Hon. Leon Tate
Hon. Leon Tate

In preparation for further discussion, council directed the City Attorney’s Office to develop proposition language based on input from the council members.

However, the City Council ran out of time last week before approval of a Special Election could come to a vote. Four other propositions would have been put to residents as well.
These propositions included clarification regarding municipal judge appointments and the residency requirements for the City Manager, Fire Chief and Chief of Police.

After revision the City of Glenn Heights Home Rule Charter requires a minimum of two years before it can be changed again. The last time the city’s Charter was amended was in May 2012.

Currently there is a three term limitation for Glenn Heights City Council members and Mayor. In recent history, former Mayor Pro-Tem Kathy Dixon reached her term limit in 2015. If re-elected in November, Mayor Leon Tate will be serving his last term.

The city charter also prohibits compensation for council members. However, members are allowed to be reimbursed for approved expenditures made on behalf of the city.

During last week’s proceedings Tate reported there are some councils that receive compensation in the area. He also asserted that Glenn Heights is the only city in Ellis County that still has term limits. Red Oak, also in Ellis County still has term limits however, as well as the City of DeSoto in Dallas County.

The Special Election item will be back on the agenda next week and council members could decide to bring these propositions to voters in 2017.