In less than a week, Fort Worth voters will get the chance to make some changes to the city’s charter. That hasn’t been done since 2006.
Voters will decide on 11 propositions. Of those, seven clean up language in the charter to coincide with state law. The other four have caused the most chatter: increasing to three years from two years the term of a council representative; increasing the size of the city council from eight members plus a mayor to 10 plus a mayor; increasing council pay; and determining how and when a vacant council seat is filled.
In the first four days of early voting, 1,643 people went to the polls in Fort Worth, according to the Tarrant County Elections Office. Early voting ends Tuesday. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday.
Most council members have mailed letters or fliers to their constituents, and posted opinions on social media. Mayor Betsy Price held a Twitter town hall last week for residents to ask question of her and District 2 Councilman Sal Espino. District 9 Councilwoman Ann Zadeh joined the conversation to encourage residents to vote.
State Rep. Ramon Romero Jr., D-Fort Worth, sent out an email blast to constituents urging them to support increasing the size of the council as well as the pay raise.
“Our residents, councilmembers and staff deserve a more manageable workload,” he wrote, adding that smaller geographic districts promote “smarter and more accessible government.”
Low pay for the council, he said, “closes the door to many who would like to represent their community.”
Price has said she supports passage of all the propositions, as does District 8 Councilwoman Kelly Allen Gray. District 3 Councilman W.B. “Zim” Zimmerman asks constituents in a letter to vote down increasing the council size as well as filling a vacant council seat.
More council members will increase bureaucracy, and selection of council members should be left in voters’ hands, Zimmerman said.
Where to go
For a list of polling places, go online to the Tarrant County Elections Office at www.tarrantcounty.com/elections.