Mission to hold charter amendment election in May

The city of Mission City Hall on Jan. 26, 2022. (Delcia Lopez | [email protected])
Only have a minute? Listen instead
Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

This May, officials in Mission will be asking voters to decide on a bevy of revisions and updates to the Mission City Charter.

If approved, the 24 proposed amendments will allow Mission to bring anachronistic sections of the city charter in line with current state law and to delete other obsolete portions.

The Mission City Council unanimously ordered the charter amendment election during its meeting on Monday. The call for an election came after an ad hoc charter review committee spent months reviewing the document.

The review committee presented their recommendations — listed as Propositions A through X — during a council workshop on Jan. 8.

Among those recommendations are proposals for some major changes to future municipal elections, as well as increased financial accountability.


Mission is proposing five election-related amendments.

The first and perhaps most impactful proposal — Proposition E — will ask voters if they want to institute term limits for the office of mayor. If approved, a mayor would be limited to serving a total of three four-year terms.

The term limits would apply whether or not those three terms are served consecutively. However, no term limits would be applied to any of the city council seats, nor would a mayor who has termed out be prohibited from running for another seat on the council.

Another proposed amendment — Proposition D — will ask Mission voters to move the timing of future municipal elections from May to the uniform election date in November.

Candidates seeking municipal office could also face new requirements before getting on the ballot should Proposition R pass.

That proposition would require council hopefuls to pay a $500 filing fee, or submit a “petition in lieu of filing fee for candidate filing.”

A successful petition would require a candidate to gather a number of signatures equal to one-half of 1% of the number of people who voted in the most recent mayoral general election, or 25 signatures, whichever is greater.

Proposition R would also change the definition of a qualified candidate.

Proposition F would update the way the city council fills vacancies.

If approved, the council would be empowered to appoint a councilmember to fill an unexpired term that is less than 12 months. But for any vacancy longer than that, the council would have to order a special election.

Finally, Proposition S would slightly amend the rules for how residents themselves can call for a referendum to be placed up for election. Proposition S would also clarify that residents cannot call for a referendum that would change how the city appropriates money.


City officials are proposing several charter amendments that deal with Mission’s finances.

Chief among them would be Proposition K, which calls for the creation of an internal auditor position.

The internal auditor would be appointed by the city council and would report to the city’s audit committee and city manager.

The mayor and two council members may also request that the auditor conduct an audit at any time.

However, none of the auditor’s preliminary findings, draft documents or other working papers will be accessible by the public, according to a draft copy of the proposed charter amendments.

Proposition I would require that Mission’s annual fiscal audits be filed with the city secretary’s office and be available for public inspection.

A related amendment, Proposition J, would remove language from the charter that requires the city to publish semiannual simplified financial reports in a local newspaper.

Proposition U would make slight revisions to the timeline by which the Mission city manager must present a proposed fiscal budget to the city council.

The city manager would be required to present such a proposed budget 60 days before the start of a new fiscal year, rather than sometime between 60-90 days.

Proposition U would also remove language that requires a mandatory appropriation equal to 3% of the city’s annual budget for use as a “contingency appropriation.”

Finally, Proposition O would make small revisions to several different sections of the charter, including those governing the conduct of elections, the appraisal of property, and financial interest in city transactions. The revisions would bring those sections in line with existing state statutes.

Proposition O would also simplify how conflicts of interest are defined for elected officials and Mission employees.

“No member of the City Council, officer or employee of the City shall have a financial interest, directly or indirectly, in the sale to the City of any land, or rights in any land, materials, supplies or services, except as authorized in accordance with the constitution and laws of the State of Texas,” the new charter language of Sec. 11.02 would read.

But a large portion of that section would also be removed should Prop O pass, including language that describes such a personal interest violation as “malfeasance in office” that would require forfeiture of office, as well as void any affected contract.


A baker’s dozen of further proposed amendments run the gamut from clarifying the powers of the city, to removing requirements for obsolete departments or offices.

They include:

>> Prop A: To construe the provisions of the charter liberally to favor the city.

>> Prop B: To give the city council the power to alter the boundaries of the city via annexation, and to allow residents to petition for deannexation from the city, in line with a new state law that went into effect on Jan. 1.

>> Prop C: Clarifying that the city has the power of self-government to the fullest extent of the law.

>> Prop G: Clarifying that the city will abide by the Texas Open Meetings Act.

>> Prop H: Clarifying that the city will abide by prevailing state law in regard to providing public notice of newly passed ordinances. Currently, the charter requires that new ordinances be published in a local newspaper.

>> Prop L: Clarifying that the police and fire chiefs are appointed by the city manager, and that each chief is responsible for hiring and firing the employees within their respective departments.

>> Prop M: Removes a requirement that the Mission municipal judge be a registered voter of the city of Mission. Prop M would also set municipal judge appointments at two years.

>> Prop N: Removes the city secretary and assistant city secretary as the “ex officio” clerks of the municipal court.

>> Prop P: Defines the duties of the city attorney and outlines procedures by which the city can retain outside legal counsel.

>> Prop Q: Removes a provision that allows the Mission City Council to combine the police and fire departments into one department.

>> Prop T: Defines the authority of the Planning and Zoning Commission as an advisory committee to the city council, and gives the P&Z board the authority to plat and subdivide land “both with and without the City.”

>> Prop V: Removes the requirement for a Department of Taxation, as well as the power to form a “joint tax office,” and clarifies that property appraisals are the domain of state law.

>> Prop W: Removes the requirement of a city treasurer.

>> Prop X: Removes the requirement for a Department of Health and Sanitation, and eliminates the requirement for a city health officer.

Early voting begins Monday, April 22 and runs through Tuesday, April 30. Election day is Saturday, May 4.