By Rita Cook / The Ellis County Press
HUTCHINS – Come May 6, 2017 the residents of the City of Hutchins will have the chance to get out and decide whether it’s time to change the way city government is being conducted.
Voters will be asked to decide whether to keep the city’s current General Law City status or move to the Home Rule City type of government.
Hutchins City Manager Carl Sherman said this vote “speaks to the interest of the city. The city council wants to raise the standards and establish our own standards.”
In a home rule city situation the city council can do anything authorized by its charter that is not specifically prohibited or preempted by state or federal law, according to the website www.Texascityattorneys.org. In a general law city, there is no city charter and council is only able to exercise the powers that are granted or necessarily implied by state or federal law.
Specifically for the city of Hutchins, if this item passes on the May 6 ballot, the terms for the city council members and the mayor will be altered slightly and staggered for two and three years.
Council members will also be representing Places/Districts.
Currently the city council members do not represent specific districts.
There would be an additional council seat added to the existing four council seats, one mayor pro-tem and one mayor.
The Home Rule City designation would also give the Mayor the right to vote.
If the Home Rule City change does pass Sherman said it would likely be May 2018 before the new city council seat was filled.
At the 2018 election the plan would be for the mayor and councilmember for place 3 to be elected for three-year terms.
Also in 2018 council members in place 2 and place 6 would be elected for two year terms. In May 2019, Council members for Place 1, Place 4 and Place 5 would be elected for a three-year term, in May 2020, Council members for Place 2 and Place 6 would be elected for a three-year term and in May 2021 the Mayor and Council member for Place 3 would be elected for a three-year term.
On the ballot for the City of Hutchins voters are asked to vote for or against the adoption of the proposed Home Rule Charter form of government.
The City Secretary’s office has mailed out 1,725 copies of the charter to registered voters in Hutchins.