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    October 7, 2020

    Educational Information: City of Bryan Charter Amendment Election: Nov. 3, 2020

    The following amendments to the City of Bryan’s Charter have been initiated by the Bryan City Council following a Citizen Charter Review Advisory Committee review of the City Charter. The Citizen Committee represented all single member districts of the City of Bryan. The City Charter sets the framework for a home rule city such as Bryan, and is, in effect, the City’s constitution. The City Charter may only be amended by a vote of the registered voters of the City. A home rule Charter may be more restrictive than State law; however, the Charter may not contain any provision that is inconsistent with the Constitution or State law. A Charter may only be amended as frequently as (or no sooner than) every two years.

    What are the Proposed Amendments to the Bryan City Charter?

    PROPOSITION NO. 1 IS AS FOLLOWS:

    Shall Section 6 of the Bryan City Charter entitled “Contracts and Purchases” be amended to allow the City Council to set the amount below which the City Manager may reject bids without first having to appear before the City Council of the City of Bryan?

    Explanation of proposition: If this proposition is adopted, the Charter language will provide that the Council may set the amount below which the City Manager may reject bids without Council approval. The Council may change this amount at any time by ordinance. The City Manager’s current spending authority without Council approval is $100,000. If approved, this proposition would allow the Council to establish that the two amounts are the same.

    There is no cost to the City should this Charter amendment be approved by the voters.

    PROPOSITION NO. 2 IS AS FOLLOWS:

    Shall Section 5(d) and Section 7(g) of the Bryan City Charter entitled, respectively, “City Council: Terms; Limitation on Consecutive Terms” and “Elections: Staggered Three-Year Terms” be amended so that members of the Bryan City Council have terms of four years, to match terms of Brazos County and College Station officials, and to provide that once two full terms have been served, a Councilmember must lay out two years unless running for Mayor?

    Explanation of proposition: If this proposition is adopted, Councilmembers will be elected to four-year terms, the same as the City of College Station and Brazos County, with general elections being held in even numbered years only. The positions of Mayor and Councilmember Single Member District One and Councilmember Single Member District Two will appear on the ballot together; and Councilmember Single Member District Three, Councilmember Single Member District Four, Councilmember Single Member District Five and Councilmember At Large, Place 6, will appear on the ballot together. Bryan residents would have an at large election in every general election going forward. The proposition also lays out a transition plan to move to holding elections in even numbered years and incorporating four-year terms.

    The adoption of this Charter amendment would eliminate general elections for Councilmembers in odd numbered years, which each cost approximately $50,000.

    PROPOSITION NO. 3 IS AS FOLLOWS:

    Shall Section 3 of the Bryan City Charter entitled, “Annexation of Territory” be amended to reflect State legislation enacted in 2019 that severely curtails annexation authority, particularly without the consent of the property owners?

    Explanation of proposition: The current Charter language sets out that the City can annex property “with or without the consent” of property owners. However, State legislation passed in 2019 removed that ability. This Charter amendment, if passed, sets out that the City must follow State law relative to future annexations.

    There is no cost to the City should this Charter amendment be approved by the voters.

    PROPOSITION NO. 4 IS AS FOLLOWS:

    Shall Section 16(a) of the Bryan City Charter entitled “Utilities: Streets, Avenues, Alleys and Highways; Public Works. (a) Power to Own” be amended to allow, but not require, the City to own and operate fiber broadband internet?

    Explanation of proposition: If this proposition is adopted, it will allow, but not require, the City to offer broadband internet services.

    It is estimated the cost for the City of Bryan to build out a network to offer broadband internet services is approximately $125 million with estimated gross revenues of $21 million after ten years.

    PROPOSITION NO. 5 IS AS FOLLOWS:

    Shall Section 5(c)(1) and Section 7(f) of the Bryan City Charter entitled, respectively, “City Council: (c) Qualifications” and “Elections: (f) Residency Requirements” be amended to require that a person be a resident of the City of Bryan city limits and their single member district for one year to be eligible to run for office?

    Explanation of proposition: If this proposition is adopted, it will require a person running for an at large seat on the Council to have lived in the City continuously for one year prior to election day, or have lived in their single member district continuously for one year prior to election day if running for a single member district seat on the Council. The residency requirement in the current Charter is six months continuous residency prior to the last day to file for a place on the ballot. If approved, this Charter amendment will in effect add three months to the current residency requirement.

    There is no cost to the City should this Charter amendment be approved by the voters.

    PROPOSITION NO. 6 IS AS FOLLOWS:

    Shall Section 9(d) of the Bryan City Charter entitled “Ordinances. (d) Effective Date” be amended to correct a non-substantive lettering typographical error that cites the incorrect provision pertaining to when city ordinances go into effect?

    Explanation of proposition: This proposition would correct a typographical error in the reference to Section 9(d) in this section to change it Section 9(c), which is the correct provision.

    There is no cost to the City should this Charter amendment be amended by the voters.

    PROPOSITION NO. 7 IS AS FOLLOWS:

    Shall Section 16(n) of the Bryan City Charter entitled “Utilities; Streets, Avenues, Alleys and Highways; Public Works. Power to Grant Franchises” be amended to include the authority of the City to enter into contracts regarding solid waste?

    Explanation of proposition: The City currently issues permits to private waste haulers that operate within the City of Bryan. If this proposition is approved, it will allow the City to enter into franchise agreements with private waste haulers, allowing the City to negotiate terms of private waste hauler operations within the City.

    The estimated annual revenue to the City should this proposition pass is $70,000.

     
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