Sugar Land, TX - Early voting for Sugar Land’s City Council and Charter Amendment election begins April 25. The complete schedule is posted at www.sugarlandtx.gov/earlyvoting.
The mayor and council member at-large positions one and two are on the May 7 ballot; each position serves a two-year term. Voters will also be asked to consider eight amendments to the City Charter.
In order for citizens to ensure their system of local governance is meeting their needs, a process was established in the 1981 Charter for periodic reviews and amendments. Every five years the Charter requires City Council to establish a Charter Review Commission to study the state and condition of local governance and recommend any needed changes.
In November 2013, a five-member citizen Charter Review Commission with municipal, legal and background knowledge and expertise that recognized and understood the complexities of the legal basis of the government structure was appointed; these individuals, without a political forum or platform, brought forth neutral perspectives that promote and support the goal of effective local government.
The commission was charged with the responsibility of reviewing the operations of city government to ensure that it continues to provide reliable guidance on the relationship between the structure and performance of the city government, and that the structure will achieve the goals of efficiency, effectiveness, and equity.
“The charter review commission is a vital part of city government,” said City Secretary Glenda Gundermann. “The leadership and qualifications of the charter commission has a very important role in examining and reaffirming the charter provisions for optimal governance performance and principals, as well as political leadership and professional administration. The document serves as the City ‘constitution,’ permitting citizens to have a voice and participate in the governing process.”
The commission presented its report and recommended a set of amendments for City Council consideration on March 2014. Through a series of workshops, City Council evaluated the recommendations and determined a package of amendments to be placed before voters. With the cancellation of the 2014 and 2015 general elections as a result of unopposed city officer candidates, the decision was made to save election costs and delay placing the amendments on the ballot until May 2016.
The following information details the proposed Charter amendments and anticipated impacts.