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Streetcar Charter Amendment Heads To Full Council

Joey Palacios
Texas Public Radio
A draft of the charter amendment approved without changes.

An amendment to the city charter regarding a public vote for future streetcar and lightrail funding is heading to the city council.

A governance committee comprised of Mayor Ivy Taylor and four council members voted to approve the one sentence amendment. The first step of putting the streetcar amendment on the ballot has passed.

Abbreviated, it states that any grant of permission to alter or damage any public way for streetcar or lightrail tracks or any funds or bonds appropriated for such projects must be approved by a majority of voters.

District 9 City Councilman Joe Krier said the wording when compared to the street car petition is not exact.

“But it is the language that the people who led that drive are agreeable to, and the city is agreeable to,” Krier said. “The problem with the literal language is it had some lack of clarity, which caused a number of my lawyer colleagues to believe that it could applied to things that had nothing to with streetcar; for example, people wanting to put Google Fiber across city right-of-way.”

The streetcar amendment now goes to a full city council and if approved it will go to the voters in May. The committee also approved creating a new commission to re-evaluate the charter every two years.

“We said we wanted to be a standing committee that would every two years look at the charter and see if anything needed to be cleaned-up,” Taylor said.

That will also go to council for approval.

Joey Palacios can be reached atJoey@TPR.org and on Twitter at @Joeycules