Proposed Charter Amendments

Proposed Amendments


ARTICLE III SECTION 3.1 – CREATION: COMPOSITION; POWERS AND DUTIES: to allow each Representative the discretion and full authority to appoint and remove district staff as allowed by the budget.


  • Should section 3.1 of the City Charter, relating to creation, composition; powers and duties of Council be amended to allow City Council Representatives to appoint and remove district office staff?


Each Representative shall have the discretion and sole authority to appoint and remove legislative aide district office staff.


ARTICLE III SECTION 3.18 – LEASE; FRANCHISE; AND CONVEYANCE: to allow City Council to authorize leases for an initial term of 40 years or less by Resolution or Ordinance.


  • Should section 3.18 of the City Charter relating to Leases, Franchises, and Conveyances be amended to authorize Council to lease City-owned property for 40 years or less by Council resolution or ordinance? 


The right of control, ownership, and use of streets, alleys, parks, and public places of the City is declared to be inalienable except as provided by an ordinance passed by the Council and except for uses of less than thirty days which may have a separate approval process as established by ordinance.

Any authorization ordinance providing for the conveyance, lease, or grant of a franchise regarding the property of the City shall provide for payment to the City of a reasonable fee as consideration for that conveyance, lease, or franchise. 

Any sale of City-owned property in fee simple, franchise, or lease for an initial term longer than forty years shall be approved by ordinance.

In addition, any authorization ordinance providing for a the lease or franchise shall must provide that: 1. At the termination of the lease or franchise, the property involved, together with any improvements thereto, made or erected during the term of the lease or franchise, shall (either without further compensation or upon payment of a fair valuation therefore as determined by the terms of the ordinance), become the property of the City; and 2. Every lease or franchise the City may be revoke it d by the City if necessary to secure efficiency of public service at a reasonable rate, or to and must assure that the property is maintained in good order condition throughout the life of the lease or franchise grant.


ARTICLE III SECTION 3.5 A – CITY COUNCIL MEETINGS: to allow Council to adjust for emergencies or City holidays and allow less than a majority to call special meetings.


  • Should section 3.5A of the City Charter be amended to allow Council to reschedule meetings by resolution to allow for City holidays but shall hold no less than two regular meetings per month? 
  • Should section 3.5A of the City Charter be amended to allow the Mayor to cancel a meeting if necessary due to a Federal, State, or Local declared emergency?


Regular meetings of the Council shall be held in Council chambers no less than once every other week at such times as may be prescribed by resolution, except that Council may reschedule meetings by resolution to allow for City holidays but must have no less than two regular meetings per month. The Mayor may cancel a meeting if necessary due to a Federal, State or Local declared emergency.


ARTICLE III SECTION 3.9 B – ORDINANCES IN GENERAL: to have copies of all ordinances available electronically.
ARTICLE III SECTION 3.10 B – EMERGENCY ORDINANCES: to align to State Law that requires 1-hour notice for the introduction of Emergency Ordinances.
ARTICLE VI SECTION 6.1-12 – CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION: to clarify the process for hearing officers to serve on behalf of the Commission and align to the regular process.


  • Shall Sections 3.9B, 3.10B, 6.1-12 of the City Charter be amended to eliminate provisions that have become inoperative because they have been superseded by state law; replace obsolete references, and update terminology to current legal usage?

PROPOSED AMENDED LANGUAGE (ARTICLE III SECTION 3.9 – ORDINANCES IN GENERAL): A reasonable number of copies shall be available in the office of the City Clerk, and at such other public places as the Council may designate, for examination by interested persons.

PROPOSED AMENDED LANGUAGE (ARTICLE III SECTION 3.10 B – EMERGENCY ORDINANCES): An emergency ordinance shall be introduced in the form and manner prescribed for ordinances generally, except that it may be introduced on one two hours’ public notice, and shall contain, after the enacting clause, a declaration stating that an emergency exists and describing the emergency in clear and specific terms. An emergency ordinance may be adopted with or without amendment or rejected at the meeting at which it is introduced, but the unanimous vote of the Council members Representatives present, and the consent of the Mayor, shall be required for adoption.

PROPOSED AMENDED LANGUAGE (ARTICLE VI SECTION 6.1-12 – CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION): The hearing officers will serve at the Commission’s pleasure, and will not be classified. Reasonable compensation shall be paid by the City. will be procured through the City's procurement process


ARTICLE III SECTION 3.11 INITIATIVE: to review the initiative petition process for benchmarking purposes.


  • Should section 3.11 relating to the initiative petition of the City Charter be amended to remove the requirement for a second petition, and institute a process for the public to initiate a City ordinance?


Any registered voter may initiate an ordinance that complies with federal, state, and local law by filing with the City Clerk a statement that they intend to circulate a petition. Such statements must include the names and addresses of the petitioner and the full text of the proposed ordinance.

The City Clerk shall place the proposed Ordinance on the City Council Agenda for introduction within thirty days after receiving the statement, followed by a public hearing at the second reading. If City Council fails to adopt the ordinance or adopts it with amendments, the City Clerk will notify the petitioners.

If the petitioners still wish to seek adoption of the ordinance after Council fails to adopt, or does not agree to Council’s amendments, it will then have 365 calendar days after notice from the City Clerk to complete the petition by gathering signatures in the form required by state law, including but not limited to the original signature, printed name, residence address and date of birth or voter registration Whenever of a number of registered voters equal to at least five percent of the voters who voted in the last general City election, or 7,500, whichever number is smaller. sign a The petition must setting forth the precise content of an the ordinance desired by the petitioners. signers.

The City Clerk shall review the petition without delay, but no more than 60 City Clerk office working days, to verify if it meets all requirements, and if authenticated with the required number of signatures, the Council must place that ordinance on the agenda of a Council meeting to be held within thirty working days of the receipt, authentication by the City Clerk, of the petition bearing the authenticated names and addresses of the petitioners. Such an item shall be treated by the Council exactly as any other proposed ordinance.

Should an ordinance proposed by such petition not be enacted by the If Council does not adopt, or should it be enacted adopts the proposed ordinance in an amended form, a second petition, signed by a number of registered voters equal to at least five percent of the voters who voted in the last general City election, may be submitted to the City Council and that official shall have twenty working days in which to authenticate the signatures and thereafter must place the reproposed ordinance on the ballot at one of the next two uniform elections, no later than the next citywide general election specified in State law meeting all deadlines. If the proposal receivesd the favorable vote of a majority of those voting in that election it shall thereupon become a City ordinance. Initiative ordinances adopted or approved by the electors shall be published and may be amended or repealed by the Council, as in the case of other ordinances; provided, however, that no ordinance adopted at the polls under an initiative may be amended or repealed by the Council within two years of adoption.




ARTICLE VI SECTION 6.1-4 – CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION: to clarify language for appointment to the commission and align to best practices.


  • Should 6.1-4 of the City Charter be amended to change the qualifications requirements for Civil Service Commissioners to allow for the appointment of Commissioners that reflect the diversity of the community and City workforce?

PROPOSED AMENDED LANGUAGE: At least two Commissioners must hold or have retired from positions other than managerial or professional. The City should adopt rules that reflect the diversity of the community and City workforce. No more than three Commissioners may be former city employees, and any such Commissioners are not eligible for appointment until two years following separation from the City. Any commissioner may be either actively employed or retired.


ARTICLE VI SECTION 6.7-1 and 6.8-1 – CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION: to streamline processes and be competitive in recruitment and promotion.


  • Should Sections 6.7-1 and 6.8-1 be amended to establish policies and procedures for the promotion of City employees?


EXAMINATIONS. An applicant in any examination who uses or attempts to use any unfair or deceitful means to pass the examination shall be excluded from further participation in the examination and the papers not rated, except as may be provided in the applicable Rules or policies and procedures.

PROPOSED AMENDED LANGUAGE (Sec. 6.8-1): The Human Resources Director shall establish administrative policies and procedures for the promotion process, including examination and eligibility, consistent with the provisions of this Article and all applicable federal and state employment laws. Promotion to any position in the Civil Service shall be by examination weighed by seniority and performance record, except as otherwise provided in the Charter or Rules. Eligibility criteria and rating factors for promotions shall be established by Rule and shall include a credit for seniority.


ARTICLE VI SECTION 6.13-11 D – CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION: to eliminate the Police/Fire Department Pension Cap and align to State statute for changes in City contribution.


  • Should section 6.13-11D relating to the police and fire pension fund be amended to establish that the City of El Paso shall contribute to the El Paso Policemen and Firemen Pension Fund no less than eighteen percent of the total amount expended for wages of the participants, and any increase to the contribution rate shall be as allowed by state law?

PROPOSED AMENDED LANGUAGE: Fireman and Policemen Pension Fund of El Paso. The City shall continue to augment the Firemen and Policemen Pension Fund of El Paso in a manner consistent with the laws of Texas. To augment the Fireman and Policemen Pension Fund, the Council shall in each fiscal year beginning after May 2023, February , 1968 appropriate no less than eighteen percent of the total amount expended for wages of the participants, and may increase this contribution rate as allowed by the relevant state law requirements based on a qualified actuary’s report; an amount equal to three times the amount paid into the fund by the participants therein; provided that the amount contributed by the City shall not exceed eighteen percent of the total amount expended for salaries of the participants.; provided further, however, that in the event age limits for participation in the pension fund, or any division of the fund, are increased as permitted by law and the raising of the age limits causes an increase in funding costs as determined by an actuary, the City shall appropriate an amount equal to such cost increase notwithstanding that such increased appropriation may exceed the otherwise determined eighteen percent of the total amount expended for salaries of the participants, but such increased appropriation shall in no case exceed eighteen and one-half percent of the total amount expended for wages salaries of the participants.


ARTICLE III SECTION 3.20 B.5 – INTERNAL AUDIT FUNCTION: to change the reporting structure for the Chief Internal Auditor to report directly to City Council.


  • Should Section 3.20B of the El Paso City Charter be amended to change the reporting structure of the Chief Internal Auditor so the position reports directly to City Council?


On and after the effective date of this amendment, the Chief Internal Auditor shall be appointed and removed by the City Manager subject to the approval of the Council, and report to the Council. The City Manager Chairman of the Financial Oversight and Audit Committee shall maintain operational oversight over the internal audit function and. The City Manager shall be responsible for the implementation of any audit recommendations for changes to City administrative procedures and operations as requested by the Council.


Citizen-Led Petition to Add Climate Policy to the City Charter



  • Should the City Charter be amended, as proposed by a petition, to add Article IX to create a climate policy requiring the City to use all available resources and authority to accomplish three goals: to reduce the City’s contribution to climate change, invest in an environmentally sustainable future, and advance the cause of climate justice; to require the City Council to employ a Climate Director, who shall be appointed and removed by City Council and report directly to City Council; to require the creation of a Climate Department to be directly overseen by the Climate Director; to require the creation of a nine member climate commission appointed by City Council, with recommending and investigative powers, for the purposes of overseeing the implementation and fulfillment of a City climate policy, with removal of individual members only for incompetence or nonfeasance, misfeasance or malfeasance in office; to require the creation of an annual goal for climate jobs and the adoption and implementation of a policy that will transfer current City employees to climate work and provide a preference for contractors who are able to advance the City’s climate policy; to require the creation of an annual Solar Power Generation Plan for the City of El Paso and to require the City Manager to establish and maintain policies that encourage the development of rooftop solar power generation capacity within the City of El Paso using existing City facilities and require both new buildings and retrofitted buildings to include solar power generation capacity; to require the employment of all available methods so that all energy used within the City is generated by clean renewable energy, with the goals of requiring (1) 80% clean renewable energy by 2030 and (2) 100% clean renewable energy by 2045; to require the City of El Paso to employ all available efforts to convert El Paso Electric to municipal ownership; to require the City of El Paso to undertake all necessary efforts to prepare City infrastructure to withstand extreme weather conditions and ensure uninterrupted provision of basic services and utilities to City residents; to require the City of El Paso to ban the use of City water for fossil fuel industry activities, defined to include El Paso Electric, outside of the city limits and prohibit the City of El Paso from selling or transferring any water for purposes of fossil fuel industry activities outside of the city limits, or otherwise allow any City water to be used for such purposes; to prohibit the City of El Paso from imposing any fees, fines, or other financial or nonfinancial burdens that limit the purchase, use, or generation of renewable energy and nullifying any such fees, fines, or other burdens in existence at the time the charter amendment takes effect.

PROPOSED AMENDED LANGUAGE: The proposed amended language can be found in this 9-page document.