Arlington Council Schedules Two Special Meetings To Get Alternate Term Limits Measure Onto Ballot

Andrew Greenstein
August 17, 2018 - 12:56 pm
Arlington Term Limits
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ARLINGTON (1080 KRLD) - After a judge issued a temporary restraining order against an alternative term limits measure drafted by the Arlington City Council, the council has scheduled a pair of special meetings to get it onto the ballot.

The judge issued the injunction after the city council added its own term limits measure onto the ballot at its Tuesday meeting after just one reading and no public comment.

The city charter requires two readings, each with public comment.

It also requires at least one reading to be during a regularly-scheduled meeting and for the readings to be at least 72 hours apart.

With Monday being the deadline to get measures onto the November ballot, the city council has scheduled special meetings for 7:00 p.m. Sunday and 6:30 p.m. Monday.

At the outset of Sunday’s meeting, the council will vote on resolutions to temporarily suspend the 72-hour rule and the rule requiring at least one reading to be during a regularly-scheduled meeting.

The next regularly-scheduled meeting is Tuesday, one day after the deadline for ballot placement.

Zack Maxwell, who is heading up the group that got the original measure on the ballot, calls the city’s move corruption.

“This is a state of emergency type of thing that you do. The mayor is essentially abusing his power in order to service his donors,” Maxwell says.

Maxwell’s group wants a limit of three, two-year terms for the mayor and council with no chance of serving again afterwards.

The council’s measure would also impose a limit of three terms; however, it would increase the term length from two years to three years and would allow a termed-out official to serve again after being out of office for three years.

Maxwell says the city is up against the clock, and time is not on its side.

“It’s the end of the deadline for them. They’re up against a wall, and they are now showing to the citizens of Arlington (that) this is their true colors.”

Jay Warren, director of communication and legislative affairs for the City of Arlington, says the scheduling of the meetings is in direct response to the judge’s injunction.

“To comply with a temporary restraining order filed in a Tarrant County District Court on Wednesday, the Arlington City Council will hold special meetings this Sunday and Monday to take votes on separate propositions anticipated to go before Arlington voters on Nov. 6,” Warren writes in a statement.

“The City of Arlington is also preparing its case for an injunction hearing set for August 24,” Warren’s statement continues.

It’s unknown what would happen if both measures pass, assuming the city’s measure makes it onto the ballot.

Maxwell says if both do, the city would be thrust into chaos.

“They know that they are setting the city up for a costly legal battle that could cost taxpayers hundreds of thousands — potentially millions — of dollars in the courts,” Maxwell says.

In any event, Maxwell says the mayor and council should be held accountable for their actions.

“If this happens, the citizens of Arlington must demand the resignation of Mayor Jeff Williams and every sitting council member.”