Another city lawyer fights the citizens with our money

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.

The facts

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


9 Responses to Another city lawyer fights the citizens with our money

  1. Tickedofftaxpayer says:

    Our crooked politicians have been getting away with making up rules as they go along for such a long time that he probably figured no one would look up the actual language.


  2. The quote says secretary, not clerk. There is a difference.


  3. JerryK says:

    And who/what is the “city authority”? It reads like the secretary is under the direction of this authority that, I presume, is the CC.

    I sympathize with the Durangito folks and I sure do not want to see us build another facility for Paul and Woody to use, but I kind of agree with the city on this that you can’t have neighborhood associations making zoning rules by a vote alone. That would be rule-by-NIMBY. This is a city-wide decision as we will all have to live by it and so should be made by CC or the voters.

    It’s called democracy even when it’s bought and paid for.


    • M.T. Cicero says:

      The authority is not the CC but the authority granted to those who prepared the legal petition and the secretary is to act as the statute states and put it on the ballot. Your politics is immaterial for this discussion.


    • anonymous says:

      It’s both sad and disgusting that you think the the wants and desires monied special interests are more acceptable than the wants and needs of property owners. That smells like elitism. Oddly, the city has set a precedent for small groups of people determining what happens in their own back yard. Take the downtown management district for example.


  4. Old Gringo says:

    As I said previously, William Shakespeare had it right. ‘FIRST, WE KILL ALL THE LAWYERS.”


  5. Anonymous says:

    He’s a LAWYER. That’s what they do. The City tells him to LIE, deny, deceive US stupid, ignorant peons, that’s what HE does. THEY still pay him, with OUR money, of course. There is no HONOR, INTEGRITY, MORALS among THIEVES/POLITICIANS. Margo is a career politician. He is like many others in El Taxo. Just moves from one POLITICIAN chair to the next one. And ALL of them leave El Taxo as very rich Public Officials, Politicians.


  6. abandon hope says:

    Good catch, Brutus. You are my hero. Gotta keep checking on these guys.


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