Though the official election results won’t be finalized until today (Nov. 14) according to the Fort Bend County election website, the unofficial results show that all 13 amendments passed.
Stafford has more than 18,000 residents and less than 3,500 voters made their choices. Of those voting, the amendments passed with an overwhelming majority – between 61 and 85 percent.
In a city that has had the same mayor for 49 years, the changes affect term limits for the mayor and the city council and fair market compensation for the elected city officials.
For example, Amendment B said the mayor shall be elected at-large to a four-year term of office. Currently, the mayor is elected every two years. So, 72.8 percent of the voters said yes to the change. Both Mayor Leonard Scarcella and Councilmember Wen Guerra, who is also president of the Stafford Economic Development Corporation, have announced their intention to run for mayor in 2019.
Garnering the most votes with 85 percent in favor was Amendment K, which changed the city charter to provide that the person “receiving the majority of votes cast for an office of the city subject to election shall be declared by the city council elected.” Which means 50 percent plus one.
Additional amendments addressed expectations of when the mayor would submit a budget and when a council member could expect an item to be placed on the meeting agenda.
Capturing the second highest voter approval with 84.75 percent saying yes was Amendment L, which stated the mayor has to submit the city budget no later than 45 days before Sept. 30.
Stafford Mayor Leonard Scarcella was opposed to that, arguing that it gave him 15 fewer days to prepare the annual city budget which is problematic as the needed financial reports from various departments historically come in late with necessary last minute details, he said earlier this summer.
Here are the amendments A-M and how residents voted:
A: Streamline the City Charter and delete the list of enumerated powers: For: 61.23%, Against: 38.77%
B: Mayor to be elected at-large to a four-year term: For: 72.80%, Against: 27.20%
C: Mayor shall not serve for more than four consecutive terms or parts of terms: For: 69.47%, Against: 30.53%
D: Council members shall not serve for more than four consecutive terms or parts of terms. For: 77.67%, Against: 22.33%
E: Council members shall be elected to at-large positions 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6: For: 79.44% Against: 20.56%
F: Council members shall be elected to a term of three years to provide for initial staggered terms of two years for positions 1, 2, and 4 for elections in 2019 and 2020. Then provide thereafter for three-year terms. For: 79.24%, Against: 20.76%.
G: Mayor shall get pay and compensation to not exceed the fair market value of a city’s chief executive officer of a comparable size of the City of Stafford. For: 73.09%, Against: 26.91
H: Council members may receive pay and compensation as prescribed and set by the City Council. For: 66:04%, Against: 33.96 percent
I: Any council member may request an item be placed on the City Council meeting agenda and that item shall be on the next regular City Council meeting agenda unless a different time was specified in the request. For: 81.39%, Against: 18.61%
J: Delete requirement that the term of office for judges of the city municipal court be concurrent with the mayor’s term of office. For: 71.46%, Against: 28.54%
K: The person receiving the majority of votes cast for any office of the city subject to election shall be declared elected. For: 85.09%, Against: 14.91 percent
L: Change to the amount of time for budget submission: For: 84.75%, Against: 14.91%
M: Amend charter sections to delete obsolete and transitional provisions. For: 79.46%, Against: 20.54%.