HARLINGEN — The ballot is loading up for what is being called the city’s biggest election in more than 20 years.

So far, the city commission’s new majority has tacked two propositions calling for amendments to the City Charter onto the ballot of the May 7 election, in which Mayor Chris Boswell and Commissioners Richard Uribe and Frank Puente are planning to run for re-election.

In August, commissioners tacked on a proposition calling on voters to decide whether they wanted to limit the mayor’s and commissioners’ tenures to four, three-year terms.

The proposal, whose term limits would become effective in 2024, would not count incumbents’ current terms against them if they chose to run for re-election.

In May, voters in Brownsville and McAllen overwhelmingly passed propositions setting term limits on their mayor’s and commissioner’s tenures.

Call to move city elections to November

On Wednesday, commissioners added a proposition calling on voters to decide if they wanted to push the city’s elections from May to November as part a plan to draw more voters to the polls.

The charter amendment would move May’s elections to the first Tuesday following the first Monday in November beginning in 2024.

Last month, commissioners argued November elections would draw more voters to the polls when they’d run alongside national and state elections.

Proposal to change airport board appointment process

Now, commissioners are planning to call for a proposition allowing voters to change the way the charter appoints members to the prominent board overseeing Valley International Airport.

In 2006, the charter gave the mayor sole power to appoint members to the nine-member board.

For weeks, commissioners have been planning to call on voters to amend the charter to create a seven-member airport board, allowing each commissioner to make an appointment to the board while the mayor would appoint two members.

“It’s just simple checks and balances,” Puente said Thursday. “It opens the opportunity to people who want to serve on the board. We want a diverse board representing our respective districts. Not only are we looking for people well suited for positions but we’d like to include outside expertise — for example, someone with experience in aviation policy.”

Boswell, Puente, Uribe on ballot

Across town, politicos are calling the election the biggest since 1998, when former City Commissioner Connie de la Garza won 4,304 votes to defeat businessman Humberto Zamora, who picked up 3,444 votes amid the highest voter turnout in years.

In the May 7 election, three commission seats are up for grabs, including Boswell’s, Puente’s and Uribe’s.

Last month, Puente, who oversees District 2, said he was running for a second term.

Uribe, who hasn’t responded to messages requesting comment, has said he plans to run for a third term to the District 1 seat, Puente said.

In October, Boswell said he plans to run for a sixth term in office.

Meanwhile, attorney Norma Sepulveda announced plans in October to run against Boswell in a bid to become the first woman to serve as the city’s mayor.

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