Texas Town Taking the Initiative

Mon, Nov 11 2013 by Neal Hobson

An initiative petition to allow for initiative petitions?

“We’re out to get our rights, we’re out for our town to be a good city again,” says Electra, Texas, citizen and activist Sue Howell. She has circulated petitions to amend the city charter to establish a process by which citizens can petition to put ballot initiatives before city voters and to recall elected officials when needed.

Sue Howell and others in the small north Texas town, just across the border from Oklahoma, became frustrated by infighting between the council and the local police and decided something needed to be done. Unfortunately, recall was not available. Through research, Sue discovered that Texas has home rule municipal laws allowing citizens to gather signatures and propose legislation. With assistance from a friendly attorney, they were able to draft a petition, gather signatures and submit those signatures to the city.

It appears that she gathered enough signatures from registered voters in Electra to gain a spot on the city ballot for her amendment. On November 12, Sue and the people of Electra expect a determination on the validity of the petition signatures and, therefore, whether voters will have the opportunity to decide on bringing initiative & referendum to their city.

Citizens asserting their right to self-governance is a beautiful thing. We may each disagree over favoring certain initiatives or not, but we should all support citizens getting involved and asserting their rights to have a say in their government.

-Scott Tillman

Texoma’s Homepage: Electra City Commissioners Reviewing Petition to Change City Charter

News Channel 6: Electra Petitions Sent To City Hall

News Channel 6: Electra Turmoil