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Understanding the 16 proposed Beaumont city charter amendments in the May 1 election

Many of the amendments are designed to bring the charter in line with state laws.

BEAUMONT, Texas — Voters in the City of Beaumont won't only be voting on a new mayor and in five city council races in the May 1 election.

The City of Beaumont has 16 propositions to make 16 amendments to the city's charter.

You won't see the city campaigning for any of the amendments as state law doesn't allow any city resources to be used to campaign for or against such amendments.

The amendments don't represent any big changes in how the city operates and many of them are designed to bring the charter in line with state laws.

MORE | Here's the entire Beaumont City Charter

Proposition A

Prop A would let the city clarify its physical boundaries, or city limits, from "time to time" using “properly adopted ordinances" instead of changing them by having to change the city charter.

Shall Article I, Sec. 3 of the Charter of the City of Beaumont be amended to clarify that the metes and bounds description may be adjusted from time to time by properly adopted ordinances of the City Council of Beaumont?

Proposition B

Prop B also has to do with the city's boundaries and how property can be added to the city. Prop B suggests that the charter be changed to use language from state law on the process.

Shall Article I, Sec. 4 of the Charter of the City of Beaumont be amended to amend the caption and repeal Subsections (a) and (b) to remove the methods of annexation by ordinance or petition and defer to the manner and form of annexation as authorized by the general laws of the State of Texas?

Proposition C

Prop C suggests dropping the requirement that anyone applying for a job with the city or running for office be paid up on anything they owe the city. State law actually says that these types of requirements would be a violation of the U.S. Constitution's equal-protection clause.

Shall Article III, Sec. 3 of the Charter of the City of Beaumont be amended to remove the prohibition on a person's eligibility to serve the City who is in arrears in the payment of any liability to the City?

Proposition D

Prop D would simply allow the city to publish the summary of an auditor's report on its website instead of in a local newspaper,

Shall Article III, Sec. 12 of the Charter of the City of Beaumont be amended to remove the reference to a summary auditor's report and providing for the full report to be posted on the City's website rather than in a local newspaper?

Proposition E

Prop E would remove a requirement that election officials could only serve in the election precinct they live in. Prop E would also call for election returns to be canvassed within the time prescribed by Texas Election code instead of "within five days."
Texas Election code says the canvas must be conducted no later than the 11th day after election day.

Shall Article IV, Sec. 2 of the Charter of the City of Beaumont be amended to remove the qualification that election officials reside in the same election precinct in which they are to serve; and remove the requirement that returns are to be canvassed within five (5) days after the election and provide that returns be canvassed within the time period prescribed by the Texas Election Code?

Proposition F 

Prop F would update the charter to match Texas Election Code for runoff elections and when elected officials take office.

Shall Article IV, Sec. 4 of the Charter of the City of Beaumont be amended to bring the Charter into compliance with the Texas Election Code as it relates to runoff elections and when all officials duly elected shall take office? 

Proposition G

Prop G would add language to clarify how the city includes its available budget reserves, or "rainy-day" funds, as expenditures in the city budget. 

Shall Article VI, Sec 2 of the Charter of the City of Beaumont be amended to add language to provide for available reserves to be considered as a component of total proposed expenditures in the budget? 

Proposition H 

Prop H would allow the city council to add budget items without having an additional public hearing each time something is added. A vote on the items would still be required and the public would be able to comment on the items.

Shall Article VI, Sec. 6 of the Charter of the City of Beaumont be amended to allow the Council to insert new items or increase or decrease items in the budget without the requirement of an additional public hearing on the budget?

Proposition I 

Prop I, like Prop H, would also allow the city council to add budget items without having an additional public hearing each time something is added. A vote on the items would still be required and the public would be able to comment on the items.

Shall Article VI, Sec. 7 of the Charter of the City of Beaumont be repealed to remove the requirement that an additional public hearing be held for the Council to insert additional items or make increases to amounts in the budget?

Proposition J 

Prop J would have the city follow Texas Tax Code when setting the city property tax rate.

Shall Article VI, Section 8 of the Charter of the City of Beaumont be amended to bring the Charter into compliance with the Texas Tax Code as it relates to the required vote of the Council setting the tax rate? 

Proposition K

Prop K moves the city into line with the Texas Local Government Code on the deadline to adopt its annual budget which would be within 30 days of when the city makes its tax levy for the fiscal year.

Shall Article VI, Sec. 9 of the Charter of the City of Beaumont be amended to remove the requirement that the budget be finally adopted not later than the twenty-seventh (27th) day of the last month of the fiscal year and provide that the final adoption of the budget shall be in accordance with the Texas Local Government Code? 

Proposition L 

Prop L would simply allow the city to post its adopted budget on the city's website instead of filing it with the Jefferson County Clerk and the state comptroller.

Shall Article VI, Sec. 10 of the Charter of the City of Beaumont be amended to remove the requirement that the adopted budget be filed with the County Clerk of Jefferson County, and the State Comptroller of Public Accounts in Austin and provide for the budget to instead be posted on the City's website?

Proposition M 

Prop M, like Prop K, moves the city into line with the Texas Local Government Code on the deadline to adopt its annual budget which would be within 30 days of when the city makes its tax levy for the fiscal year.

Shall Article VI, Sec. 20 of the Charter of the City of Beaumont be amended to remove the requirement that the Capital Program be adopted on or before the 27th day of the last month of the current fiscal year and provide that the adoption of the Capital Program shall be in accordance with the Texas Local Government Code?

Proposition N

Prop N would streamline the granting of franchises by the city and allow them take effect 30 days after being published on the city's website. The requirement to read them at three council meetings and publish them in the newspaper for four weeks would be removed.

Shall Article XV, Sec. 3 of the Charter of the City of Beaumont be amended to remove the requirement that ordinances granting franchises be read at three (3) separate regular meetings of the City Council and publication for four (4) weeks in a newspaper of general circulation, and provide that the franchise shall take effect thirty (30) days after passage by the City Council and publication on the City's website?

Proposition O 

Prop O, similar to Prop N, would streamline the granting of side track, spur track and switching privileges by removing similar publication requirements

Shall Article XV, Sec. 4 of the Charter of the City of Beaumont be amended by the repeal of section 4 relating to the effective date and publication exceptions applicable to the granting of side track, spur track or switching privileges granted by franchise?

Proposition P 

Prop P, like Prop C, suggests dropping the requirement that anyone applying for a job with the city or running for office be paid up on anything they might owe the city. State law actually says that these types of requirements would be a violation of the U.S. Constitution's equal-protection clause. 

Shall Article XVII, Sec. 11 of the Charter of the City of Beaumont be repealed to remove the prohibition on a person's qualification to hold municipal office or employment who is in arrears in the payment of taxes or other liabilities due the City?

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