By Megan Wehring
KYLE – Propositions for an amended Kyle Charter will now be in the hands of voters to consider on the Nov. 3 ballot. Kyle City Council voted unanimously to order the special election after finalizing amendments that could be made to the charter.
Amendments to the annexation and deannexation, city boundaries, non-binding ballot propositions, polling places and police department sections will be listed on the ballot.
The list of proposed amendments include:
Annexation & Deannexation
City Council proposed, before territory is annexed or disannexed, a public hearing will be held at least 10 but not more than 20 days after a notice is published in a newspaper. Notices will also be officially circulated in means established by the city council.
Non-binding Ballot Propositions
According to the proposed amendment, city council would be authorized to call elections on non-binding propositions when they want voters’ positions on an issue. City attorney Paige Saenz said it would ultimately be up to council if they elect to use a survey instead.
“Your answers are only as good as the number of people who participate,” Saenz said. “So you always have to take that into consideration. You got that issue with those surveying and voting.”
An ordinance calling an election for non-binding propositions must be approved by an affirmative vote of at least six members of council if the amendment is passed.
City council proposed the Kyle Police Department remain transparent with the community. In-person briefings, news publications and social media on a quarterly basis are also proposed to maintain citizen engagement.
The chief of police would also be held responsible for supervising and evaluating the entire police department, upon review by the city manager and city council.
Councilmember Alex Villalobos said the police department would be able to plan for future success as they provide more timely data reporting and resources.
“I would hope that the department, based on the criteria that they are going to be reporting, is going to be able to advocate for themselves on behalf of the community,” Villalobos said. “They’re going to show and be able to highlight what they are actually doing because they are going to be required to present them and it’s going to be based on data.”
Councilmember Dex Ellison said the amendment could help create a better relationship between the police department and the community.
“To be abreast to what’s going on and to make sure that we are working with our PD to make sure all of us are building departments, enforcement and community policing that we can all be proud of so we are not in situations that we have seen in other countries,” Ellison said.