BEEVILLE – The monthly stipend for the Beeville City Council will remain unchanged after voters defeated a proposal to increase their pay.
The measure was one of 14 proposed amendments to the city’s home-rule charter that voters had to consider in the Nov. 3 election. This was the first such election since the charter was adopted in 1951.
Monthly compensation will remain at $60 for the mayor, $40 for the mayor pro tem and $35 for each of the three remaining councilmen.
If the proposition had passed, the mayor’s monthly pay would have increased to $500, while the mayor pro tem’s would have increased to $450 and each of the three councilmen’s would have increased to $400.
“The charter committee’s recommended figures was based on the cost of living change from 1950s dollars to today,” said Mayor Francisco Dominguez.
The measure failed by more than 600 votes (2,147 to 1,499).
The mayor said when he was elected to the council, he accepted the compensation rate and had an understanding that it would not change.
“I definitely don’t do it for the money,” Dominguez said. “It’s a labor of love. I certainly respect the vote of the people and it doesn’t change my opinion.”
A second proposition, which would have taken away the requirement that the city manager must reside within the city limits, failed by more than 500 votes (1,984 to 1,467).
Dominguez said that while the city currently has a quality city manager in John Benson, keeping the residency requirement could complicate things in the future.
“It may certainly limit potential recruitment in the future by making it harder to get a good, qualified candidate,” he said. “I commute to Corpus for work every day. Commuting to work is a lot more common than it was in the 50s.”
Voters approved the remaining 12 propositions, including:
1. Deleting outdated descriptions of the city’s boundaries.
2. Change the qualifications to be an elected council member to be consistent with the Texas Election Code.
3. Changing the requirement that the municipal court judge must live in the city limits, allowing them to reside anywhere in Bee County.
4. Changing the requirement that the city attorney must live in the city limits, allowing them to reside anywhere in Bee County.
5. Amend the charter to update requirements for posting notice of meetings to be consistent with the Texas Open Meetings Act.
6. Amend the charter to require that the city’s financial audit be conducted within 180 days of the end of the fiscal year.
7. Change the rules for referendums and recalls to allow a petition to be signed by 25 percent of the people who voted in the last election, or 200 people, whichever is greater.
8. Change the rules for initiating ordinances to allow petition to be signed by 25 percent of the people who voted in the last election, or 200 people, whichever is greater.
9. Update the purchasing procedures to be consistent with Chapter 252 of the state Local Government Code, with the exception of Section 252.021c.
10. Amend and update the requirements for notifying voters of a potential charter amendment.
11. Make corrections to grammar, spelling, punctuation errors in all articles of the charter, delete reserved sections, renumbering articles and making nonsubstantive vocabulary changes to reflect modern terminology and titles.
12. Add a section requiring the city council to review the charter every five years.
Beeville voters also reauthorized the city’s street maintenance tax by a vote of 2,667 to 1,221.