El Paso City Charter

Ballot Language

For the first time since 2007, the City of El Paso proposed amendments to the City Charter. These proposed amendments were selected after several public meetings were held by an Ad Hoc Charter Advisory Committee. The Committee, comprised of members of the public, worked with City Council to review and make recommendations on the amendments and these were taken to the voters of El Paso during the May 11, 2013, special election.

Below are the nine ballot questions that the citizens voted on and the voting results of each amendment.

Proposition 1

SHALL SECTIONS 2.1 A AND B, 2.2 E, 2.3 A, 2.4 A AND 8.7, OF THE CITY CHARTER, RELATING TO THE CONDUCT OF ELECTIONS, CITY OFFICERS, AND TERMS OF OFFICE: TO MOVE THE CITY'S GENERAL ELECTIONS FROM MAY IN ODD NUMBERED YEARS TO NOVEMBER IN EVEN NUMBERED YEARS BEGINNING IN 2018; TO REVISE THE REQUIREMENTS FOR FILING FOR OFFICE TO CONFORM WITH STATE LAW; TO PROVIDE FOR THE SCHEDULING OF SPECIAL ELECTIONS ON DATES WHEN THE ELECTION WILL BE CONDUCTED BY THE COUNTY ELECTIONS ADMINISTRATOR; AND TO PROVIDE THAT THE COUNCIL MAY TAKE ACTION TO INCREASE THE NUMBER OF DISTRICT REPRESENTATIVES FROM EIGHT TO TEN AT SUCH TIME AS THE CITY'S POPULATION REACHES ONE MILLION?

What It Does?

 
  • Move the City general elections from May in odd numbered years to November in even numbered years (beginning in 2018)
  • Amend the candidate petition to conform to State law – the greater of 25 qualified voters or .5% of the total vote
  • Special elections to be held on next uniform election date or next election conducted County Elections Administrator
  • Increase council districts to 10 when population reaches 1 million
  • All changes contingent upon approval of Voting Rights Section of the Department of Justice

Proposition 2

SHALL SECTIONS 3.5 A AND D, 3.7, 3.9 B AND C, 3.14, 3.18 AND 4.1 B OF THE CITY CHARTER BE AMENDED, RELATING TO CITY COUNCIL PROCESSES, PROCEDURES, AND APPOINTMENTS: TO ALLOW FOR THE CANCELATION OF NOT MORE THAN SEVEN REGULAR COUNCIL MEETINGS ANNUALLY AND NOT MORE THAN TWO IN A ROW; TO ALLOW THE COUNCIL TO AUTHORIZE LEASES OF PUBLIC PROPERTY AND TEMPORARY USES OF STREETS AND RIGHTS-OF-WAY BY RESOLUTION; TO PROVIDE THAT ORDINANCES AND THE CITY CODE BE MADE AVAILABLE BY CONTEMPORARY MEANS SUCH AS THE INTERNET; TO PROVIDE THAT THE CITY ATTORNEY IS APPOINTED BY THE CITY COUNCIL SOLELY ON THE BASIS OF LEGAL EXPERIENCE AND QUALIFICATIONS; AND TO PROVIDE THAT THE MAYOR AND REPRESENTATIVES EACH UNIFORMLY HAVE THE ABILITY TO SUBMIT NOMINATIONS FOR THE APPOINTMENTS TO THE CITY'S BOARDS AND COMMISSIONS?

What It Does?

 
  • Allow for the cancelation of up to seven regular City Council meetings per year but not more than two in a row
  • City Attorney appointed by entire City Council solely on the basis of legal experience and qualifications
  • Appointments to the City’s boards and commissions by entire City Council
  • Allow ordinances and the City Code be made available by any contemporary means such as the internet
  • Allow the Council to authorize leases of public property and temporary uses of streets and rights- of-way by resolution in lieu of ordinance
  • Clarify the Mayor is allowed to make appointments to boards and commissions

Proposition 3

SHALL SECTIONS 3.5 A AND D, 3.7, 3.9 B AND C, 3.14, 3.18 AND 4.1 B OF THE CITY CHARTER BE AMENDED, RELATING TO CITY COUNCIL PROCESSES, PROCEDURES, AND APPOINTMENTS: TO ALLOW FOR THE CANCELATION OF NOT MORE THAN SEVEN REGULAR COUNCIL MEETINGS ANNUALLY AND NOT MORE THAN TWO IN A ROW; TO ALLOW THE COUNCIL TO AUTHORIZE LEASES OF PUBLIC PROPERTY AND TEMPORARY USES OF STREETS AND RIGHTS-OF-WAY BY RESOLUTION; TO PROVIDE THAT ORDINANCES AND THE CITY CODE BE MADE AVAILABLE BY CONTEMPORARY MEANS SUCH AS THE INTERNET; TO PROVIDE THAT THE CITY ATTORNEY IS APPOINTED BY THE CITY COUNCIL SOLELY ON THE BASIS OF LEGAL EXPERIENCE AND QUALIFICATIONS; AND TO PROVIDE THAT THE MAYOR AND REPRESENTATIVES EACH UNIFORMLY HAVE THE ABILITY TO SUBMIT NOMINATIONS FOR THE APPOINTMENTS TO THE CITY'S BOARDS AND COMMISSIONS?

What It Does?

 
  • Clarify that the prohibition against the sale of alcoholic beverages in “residential districts” does not apply to mixed use areas

Proposition 4

SHALL SECTION 3.2 AND 3.3 A OF THE CITY CHARTER BE AMENDED, RELATING TO THE SALARIES OF THE MAYOR AND DISTRICT REPRESENTATIVES, AND PROHIBITIONS REGARDING OTHER EMPLOYMENT: TO PROVIDE THAT BEGINNING IN 2015, THE ANNUAL SALARY OF THE DISTRICT REPRESENTATIVES SHALL BE SET EACH YEAR AT THE SAME AMOUNT AS THE HUD PROGRAM INCOME LIMITS MEDIAN INCOME FOR EL PASO COUNTY, AND THE ANNUAL SALARY OF THE MAYOR SHALL BE SET EACH YEAR AT 150% OF THAT AMOUNT; AND TO PROHIBIT COUNCIL MEMBERS FROM HOLDING ANY OTHER PUBLIC EMPLOYMENT CONTRARY TO STATE LAW?

What It Does?

 
  • Increase annual salary of the District Representatives to the H.U.D. median income for a family of 4 for El Paso County (beginning in 2015)
  • Increase annual salary of the Mayor to 150% of the amount of District Representatives (beginning in 2015)
  • Clarify the prohibition against Mayor and Council holding another public office or public employment and conforms with State law (not more prohibitive)

Proposition 5

SHALL SECTION 3.20, ETHICS AND ACCOUNTABILITY, OF THE CITY CHARTER BE CREATED, SECTION 3.6 BE AMENDED, AND SECTION 2.2 G BE DELETED, RELATING TO ETHICS AND ACCOUNTABILITY: TO MOVE AND AMEND THE PROVISION GOVERNING THE ETHICS REVIEW COMMISSION TO GIVE THE COMMISSION THE POWER TO ENFORCE ITS DECISIONS BY ASSESSING CIVIL FINES AND SANCTIONS AS AUTHORIZED BY ORDINANCE; AND TO CREATE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF AN INDEPENDENT INTERNAL AUDIT FUNCTION AND A FINANCIAL OVERSIGHT AND AUDIT COMMITTEE TO PROVIDE OVERSIGHT OF THE AUDIT FUNCTION AND REVIEW CITY FINANCIAL POLICIES?

What It Does?

 
  • Establishment of Financial Oversight and Audit Committee in the Charter
  • Grants the Ethics Review Commission the power to assess monetary fines in addition to sanctions
  • Establishment of an independent internal audit function in the Charter
  • Creates dual reporting for internal auditor
  • Internal auditor shall be appointed and removed by the City Manager with the approval of City Council.

Proposition 6

SHALL SECTIONS 6.1-1, 6.1-2, 6.1-3, 6.1-4, 6.1-6 D, AND 6.13-8 OF THE CITY CHARTER BE AMENDED, RELATING TO THE FUNCTIONS AND DUTIES OF THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION: TO STATE THE PURPOSE OF THE CIVIL SERVICE SYSTEM; TO PROVIDE FOR THE SPECIFIC DUTIES AND FUNCTIONS OF THE COMMISSION; TO ESTABLISH UNIFORM STARTING DATES FOR THE TERMS OF OFFICE FOR THE MEMBERS OF THE COMMISSION; TO PROHIBIT THE APPOINTMENT OF A PERSON CLOSELY RELATED TO A CITY EMPLOYEE TO THE COMMISSION; TO SPECIFY THE TIME FOR THE CITY COUNCIL TO TAKE ACTION ON PROPOSED RULES; AND TO PROVIDE WHEN THE COMMISSION MAY REDUCE DISCIPLINARY ACTION TAKEN AGAINST AN EMPLOYEE AND RE-HEAR A DISCIPLINARY APPEAL?

What It Does?

 
  • State the purpose of the Civil Service Commission
  • Provide for the specific duties and functions of the Civil Service Commission
  • Establish uniform starting dates for the terms of office for the members of the Civil Service Commission
  • Prohibit the appointment of a person closely related to a city employee to the Civil Service Commission
  • Specify the time for the City Council to take action on proposed rules from the Civil Service Commission
  • Clarify that the Civil Service Commission may reduce disciplinary action taken against an employee
  • Allow the Civil Service Commission to re-hear a disciplinary appeal

Proposition 7

SHALL SECTIONS 6.1-11, 6.2-2, 6.4, 6.6, 6.10-4, 6.10-5, 6.13-2, 6.13-3, 6.13-4, 6.13-11 A AND 6.14 OF THE CITY CHARTER BE AMENDED, RELATING TO THE APPOINTMENT, DISCIPLINE AND TERMINATION OF EMPLOYEES, AND THE TERMS OF THEIR EMPLOYMENT: TO PROVIDE THAT ALL EXECUTIVE LEVEL EMPLOYEES AND SHORT-TERM GRANT FUNDED EMPLOYEES SHALL BE IN THE UNCLASSIFIED SERVICE; TO PROVIDE THAT EMPLOYEES MAY BE HIRED AS REGULAR FULL OR PART-TIME, PROVISIONAL, TEMPORARY, OR CONTRACT EMPLOYEES IN ACCORDANCE WITH CITY POLICIES; TO REQUIRE THE CITY COUNCIL TO ANNUALLY PROVIDE FOR THE CLASSIFICATION AND COMPENSATION PLANS FOR EMPLOYEES AND ESTABLISH MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS FOR WHAT MUST BE INCLUDED IN THE PLANS; TO PROVIDE FOR NON-DISCRIMINATION IN EMPLOYMENT AND PROVISION OF BENEFITS; TO REVISE THE LIST OF CAUSES FOR DISCIPLINARY ACTION OF EMPLOYEES; TO CHANGE THE TERM PERMANENT EMPLOYEE TO REGULAR EMPLOYEE IN ALL PLACES WHERE THE TERM APPEARS; AND TO RE-TITLE SECTIONS AS NECESSARY?

What It Does?

 
  • Provide for non-discrimination in employment and provision of benefits
  • Provide that all executive level employees and short-term grant funded employees shall be in the unclassified service/require the Human Resources Director to update classification and compensation plans as part of the City budget
  • Provide that employees may be hired as regular full or part-time, provisional, temporary, or contract employees in accordance with City policies
  • Revise the list of causes for disciplinary action of employees
  • Change the term “permanent employee” to “regular employee” in all places where the term appears
  • Delete Charter provisions related to reduction of compensation, salary standardization, provisional appointments, temporary appointments, lay-offs, leaves of absence, reinstatement, sick leave.

Proposition 8

SHALL SECTIONS 6.5-1, 6.5-2, 6.7, 6.8, 6.9-5, 6.10-1, 6.10-3, 6.10-6, 6.10-7, 6.11, 6.12, AND 6.14 OF THE CITY CHARTER BE AMENDED, RELATING TO THE DUTIES OF THE CITY MANAGER AND THE HUMAN RESOURCES DIRECTOR AND THE CREATION OF ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURES: TO REQUIRE THAT ADMINISTRATIVE POLICIES AND PROCEDURES CONFORM TO FEDERAL AND STATE LAW AND THE CHARTER; TO ALLOW FOR THE CREATION OF ADMINISTRATIVE POLICIES AND PROCEDURES TO ADDRESS THE FOLLOWING EMPLOYMENT PROCESSES: EXAMINATION PROCEDURES, TRANSFERS AND LAYOFF PROCEDURES, LEAVE OF ABSENCE AND REINSTATEMENT PROCEDURES, THE CERTIFICATION PROCESS FOR HIRE AND PROMOTION, AND THE DEVELOPMENT OF STANDARDS OF EFFICIENCY; TO PROVIDE FOR THE USE OF THE RULE OF FIVE IN THE PROMOTION PROCESS; TO DEFINE THE TERM HUMAN RESOURCES DIRECTOR; AND TO RE-TITLE AND RE-NUMBER SECTIONS AS NECESSARY?

What It Does?

 
  • Provides for the establishment of administrative policies and procedures by the City Manager and Human Resources director to address administrative policies and procedures conform to federal and state law and the charter for the following employment processes:
    • examinations
    • transfers and layoffs
    • leaves of absence and reinstatements
    • the certification process for hire and promotion
  • Allow the use of the “Rule of Five” in promotions
  • Add a definition for “Human Resources Director”
  • Re-title and re-number sections as necessary
  • Delete provisions relating to matters being dealt with administratively

Proposition 9

SHALL SECTIONS 7.4, 7.7 AND 7.17 OF THE CITY CHARTER BE AMENDED AND SECTION 7.23, LEASE AND LEASE PURCHASE, BE CREATED, RELATING TO THE FINANCIAL OPERATIONS OF THE CITY: TO REQUIRE THE CITY TO MAINTAIN A CASH RESERVE IN A MINIMUM AMOUNT OF 5% OF THE OPERATING EXPENSE BUDGET; TO PROVIDE THAT CITY INVESTMENTS BE GOVERNED BY AN ANNUAL INVESTMENT POLICY; TO ESTABLISH THAT GENERAL OBLIGATIONS BONDS MAY BE APPROVED BY THE VOTERS FOR ANY LAWFUL PURPOSE; AND TO ALLOW FOR THE USE OF LEASE-PURCHASE AND SIMILAR AGREEMENTS FOR THE ACQUISITION OF PROPERTY?

What It Does?

 
  • Require the City to maintain a cash reserve in a minimum amount equal to 5% of the operating expense budget for the prior year
  • Provide that City investments be governed by an investment policy that must be received and approved by Council annually
  • Permit voter-approved general obligations bonds for any lawful purpose
  • Permit the use of lease-purchase agreements for the acquisition of property

 


Charter Video


Community Meetings

Community Meetings Schedule  

Member List

Yolanda Giner
Chair

Eileen Karlsruher
Vice-Chair

Bob Brannon

Gene Finke

David Porras

Gustavo Reveles Acosta

David Thackston

Antonio Williams

Lisa Turner

Ad Hoc
Charter Advisory Committee
Meeting Videos

January 7, 2013

January 22, 2013

January 28, 2013

 
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