Bryan Charter Amendment Election

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On May 13, the city of Bryan voters will cast their ballot not only in the city council race, but also in a special city charter amendment election.

The charter has not been updated since 1994, now 16 propositions have been recommended by a committee for voter consideration.

"It's very out of date, there's a whole lot of sections that don't comply with state law anymore and a lot of sections that just are not keeping with the operation of a modern local government," City of Bryan Secretary Mary Lynn Stratta said.

To revamp the city charter, 16 propositions are on the ballot.

Proposition 1 would guarantee council member reimbursement for local expenses.

"In addition to the $10 a month, it would give each council member and the mayor a $250 reimbursement for expenses locally as part of their service on the council," Stratta said.

Currently council members are paid $120 a year plus any out of town expenses.

The second proposition deals with the reporting duties of the city auditor. Currently, the auditor reports to the city manager.

Proposition 2 would put the city council in charge.

"They would report to the city council and they would be appointed by the city council so it would add a fifth council appointee to our charter. Right now there's four," Stratta said.

Now, the appointed positions include city manager, city attorney, city secretary, and municipal court judge.

Proposition 10 would update A 1941 charter requirement that calls for all seven council members to be present to pass an emergency ordinance.

Recent disasters like Hurricane Katrina prompted this amendment.

"If one of them can't be here there hands are tied and we think that's scary," Stratta said.

Proposition 10 would not make it necessary for all council members to give their approval.

The last time Bryan's Charter was voted on, was in 2000, in that year none of the propositions were passed.

This year, Bryan City Council is hoping for a change.

The remainder of the propositions calls for a review of items not in compliance with state laws.

Propositions 6, 7, and 8 specifically touch on elections, public hearings, and council candidacy.