Bryan Voters Will Decide on Changes to Charter Following Petition

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BRYAN - An initiative to change part of Bryan's city charter will be on the ballot come November.

Friday, city officials said they had ruled the "Citizens for Bryan" group had collected enough signatures for their cause.

According to City Secretary Mary Lynne Stratta, the group needed 1,442 signatures (5 percent of Bryan voters) in order to get the item on the ballot, and the group got 1,562.

If approved by voters, the measure would prohibit councilmembers from appointing their relatives to jobs or committees with the city. Opponents say that would disqualify good candidates from service, but supporters believe there could be conflicts of interest.

Currently, just one close relative of a current councilmember is known to be on a board. Mayor Jason Bienski's brother, Pete, is on the planning and zoning commission.

Also on the ballot as part of the amendment, councilmembers could be restricted from endorsing other candidates if the measure is approved, and from voting on items brought forward by donors of more than $250 to their campaigns.

The general election will be held November 4.

Previously, the city council had decided in a 4-2 vote not to put the item on the ballot, leaving the petition as the lone option to get the issue to the voters.

Bryan's election also features races for city council's Single Member Districts 3 and 4.