Monday we received a petition from the attorney for candidate McMillan filed with Travis County District Court electronically at 6:59 p.m. Here is that petition.
- Council, per the Secretary of State and legal counsel, paused the charter section that caused 3 year terms because of issues with conflicts with the Texas State Constitution. There were basically 2 issues we were not made aware of during the 2014 Charter changes.
- 1. 3 year terms require a majority vote instead of plurality. That means that if a candidate does not receive 50% + 1 it would force a runoff.
- 2. Because of the majority issue, council seats should have been done as "places" - that means the 6 candidates would have to have chosen which seat they wanted to run for. This would have made any runoff work - the top two vote getters for each "place" would have been in the runoff. As it is, there was no way or case law showing how to do a runoff.
- Council "paused" the charter and went back to 2 year terms. That also threw out the resign to run issue that Council Member Hennagin faced when she chose to run for mayor. It also negated the requirement to hold an election to replace her within 120 days and the confusion of having a runoff election and the election to replace Ms. Hennagin on the same date.
Yesterday we expected the judge to make a ruling on the TRO. That did not happen and the judge requested briefs from the attorneys. Here is the brief from the city's attorney.
Because Ms. Cox was filed on and is not yet a city official, she was forced at her expense to hire an attorney to represent her.
Briefs were filed and an opinion was expected today with a possible hearing after 2:30 p.m.
Council went ahead with the scheduled hearing and as required by law canvassed the vote - this means we received the final report from the county and certified the vote count. That canvass showed Ms. Cox winning the mayors seat with 42% of the vote. Steve Smith and Keith Trecker received the most votes in the council race.
The court was silent this afternoon on any orders prohibiting any of the actions taken. There was no action taken on requiring a runoff as requested by McMillan.
After the meeting I was informed that Ms. Cox had done paperwork and taken the oath of office for mayor.
I know this is a lot to take in, I expect more information from the court tomorrow and will post it when I get it. If Ms. McMillan is successful in her bid for a runoff election it will cost about $45,000 tax dollars. We will see where this goes soon.
620 was shut down around 2:30 p.m. because of an accident on 620 at Comanche Trails (turn off for Oasis). A Southbound fire truck crossed into the oncoming lanes, hit 5 cars and turned over. There were 10 individuals transported to hospitals, all but one have been released - no fatalities - we are blessed! We wish all the best for the firefighters and civilians that were injured and wish a fast recovery for all!
Finally, you might have received a letter from Gil Johnson about the build method on the police station. He passed the letter out at the Men's Breakfast Club a few weeks ago and asked for corrections or issues if anyone could help. I took that letter and had staff write a red line response - here is that response with matrix included at the end. It showed significant errors in his letter and his assumptions. Although given correct data, he sent out his letter without any consideration for those corrections.
Today we finished a response to that letter. Here is that response. I am disappointed although Mr. Johnson started out saying he did not suggest any inappropriate conduct, that he then went on to state that City Manager Steve Jones and I were loose and mismanaged taxpayer funds. Mr. Johnson's quote: "I submit that this is loose and unacceptable mismanagement of $23,000,000 of taxpayer funds."
There is NO mismanagement of these funds and all the city has done has tried to protect taxpayers dollars. Please read the red line and response.
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