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Mayor Gail Lohn called a special City Council session for 5:30 PM, Monday, January 28 to review recommendations of the Charter Review Commission. The Mayor appeared at the Commission meeting on January 14 and surprised both the commission and observers by her behavior and comments. She angrily told the Commission they were only to work on Charter provisions identified by the Mayor and Council. She stated, “this work is going nowhere”. She also hammered them for presenting recommendations that would clearly establish the City Manager as the chief operating officer for the City; she expects to function as the chief executive officer. The Mayor wants to increase the 20% recall percentage to a super majority of 66.7%; this proposal would limit voters’ ability to recall bad Mayors and Councilmen.

Mayor Lohn also told the Commission that she and the Council were OMNIPOTENT in Charter matters. Most dictionaries define “omnipotent” as “Unlimited in power, ability, or authority, i.e. God". Following the meeting, the Mayor sent an E-mail to Commission members saying they would no longer be allowed to use City Hall or City employees after 5:30 PM. She also denied them access to the City Attorney for advice and demanded they conclude their work no later than January 28. The Mayor’s conclusion of omnipotence seems to be at odds with the charter provisions because Section 13.12 gives the Charter Review Commission a degree of autonomy not afforded to other City committees and commissions.

Section 13.12 of Brady’s City Charter Commission says the Commission shall consist of seven (7) registered voters with one member appointed by the Council as temporary chairman. Listed below are their duties:

  • Shall serve a term of four years until a successor Commission is appointed.

  • Shall elect officers and prescribe its own rules.

  • Inquire into the operation of City government and determine if any Charter revisions are required.

  • Make recommendations to insure compliance with Charter provisions by City government.

  • Propose Charter amendments to improve effective application of Charter to current City requirements.

  • Report its findings and make recommendations to the City Council.

  • Act as a Review and Oversight Committee during its four-year term to determine if Charter provisions are observed by the City Council, the City and its employees. At any time during its term, the Commission may notify the City that it is not adhering to Charter provisions and shall outline the violations with relevant facts to support its position.

  • The Commission may schedule public meetings and shall have the power to compel the attendance of any City official or employee and require submission of any City records is deems necessary. The Commission may issue an opinion but may not make a final or binding interpretation of action.

Action by Council: The Council shall receive and have published in the official City newspaper the Charter Review Commission report; shall consider the recommendations of the Commission, and may order amendments presented by the Commission’s report to be submitted to register voters of the City as provided by Texas Local Government Code Chapter 9.

If the Charter Review Commission does not present a report during its term, all records are to be filed with the City Secretary and shall become a public record.

The Mayor may appoint a registered voter to fill an unexpired term, but, according to law, is certainly not omnipotent with regard to Charter Commission matters.

Before a newly-elected Brady Mayor or Councilman takes office they attest they have read and understand the Brady City Charter and Brady Ordinances. BBN contributors’ reading of Section13.12 appears to be very different from the Mayor’s interpretation.

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