The other day one of the out of town lawyers the city has hired to fight the recently denied second petition (see Killing initiative) either told a whopper or the Times misquoted him.
According to the Times:
Denton said the wording of the City Charter language regarding petition initiatives must have caused confusion.
The City Charter states the petition may be submitted to the city clerk and that official must verify the signatures and “thereafter must place the reproposed ordinance on the ballot at the next general election specified in state law.”
“The charter purportedly states the city secretary immediately puts the initiative onto the ballot, but the city secretary has no authority in Texas law to place something on the ballot,” Denton said.
Section 52.002 of the Texas election code reads this way:
Sec. 52.002. AUTHORITY PREPARING BALLOT. Except as otherwise provided by law, the following authority shall have the official ballot prepared:
(1) for an election ordered by the governor or a county authority, the county clerk;
(2) for a primary election, the county chair of the political party holding the primary;
(3) for an election ordered by a city authority, the city secretary; and
(4) for an election ordered by an authority of a political subdivision other than a county or city, the secretary of the subdivision’s governing body or, if the governing body has no secretary, the governing body’s presiding officer.
Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 211, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 864, Sec. 48, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.
Point 3 clearly indicates that our city secretary (and only the city secretary) has the authority to prepare the ballot.
The city’s website explains it this way:
The City Clerk’s Division is responsible for conducting City elections for Mayor, City Representatives, El Paso Municipal Court and El Paso Municipal Court of Appeals Judges, Charter elections, recall elections, bond elections, and referendums.
Our city charter requires the city clerk to put such items on the next general election ballot and state law confirms the authority.
So was this guy lying or is he ignorant? Can we get a refund on his fees?
We deserve better