Posts Tagged ‘Bastrop Mayor Ken Kesselus’

Just filed our petition in Bastrop!

At approximately 10:30 am today, we filed our charter amendment petition with the City Screen Shot 2016-08-01 at 8.23.12 AMof Bastrop!

Click here to read our media release and a memorandum to Bastrop Mayor Ken Kesselus and the Bastrop City Council. It also contains the slide show linked under the picture to the right, “The Right to Petition: Bastrop Voters’ Source of Power to Take Back Their Town“. (You can also click on the picture to go directly to our slide show.)

Bastrop, the home of the water wars, is otherwise no different than many towns and cities across Texas. The “good ol’ boys” are running amok and you — and we at Independent Texans — do not have to put up with it. That’s because the people of Texas, in the late 1800s, had the good sense to build a movement for the right to petition for initiative, referendum and recall.

Share the materials and let us know how we can help you and yours take back your own town!


Release: Charter Amendment Petition Filed in Bastrop

For Immediate Release                                                                        August 1, 2016  Screen Shot 2016-08-01 at 8.23.12 AM

Charter Amendment Petition Filed for
Reasonable Petition Requirements in City of Bastrop

Bastrop, Texas: At approximately 10:30 am, Independent Texans PAC filed signatures for a charter amendment to the Bastrop City Charter for “Reasonable Petition Requirements in the City of Bastrop” with Bastrop City Secretary, Ann Franklin. If petitioners meet the required 214 signatures, the measure will be certified by the City Secretary and the Bastrop Council must place the measure on the November ballot for a vote of the people. Bastrop city voters will then have the opportunity to vote on easing petition requirements for citizens’ initiatives, referenda and recalls. The group also announced the end of the petition to recall Bastrop Mayor Ken Kesselus, citing the city’s 25% petition hurdle as “draconian,” when most Texas cities require 10%.

“We offered to hold this charter amendment for the May election to give a charter revision committee appointed by the Council the time to review the city charter,” explained Linda Curtis, director of Independent Texans PAC. “However, this changed for us with City Attorney Jo-Christy Brown’s resignation this week, followed three hours later by that of the Interim City Manager, Chief Steve Adcock, a respected law enforcement official. Kesselus and his clan of self-interested influence peddlers like water marketer Joe Beal and recently retired Bluebonnet Electric Coop General Manager, Mark Rose, have pushed this city into a real crisis of confidence, and it is time to take action.”

Bastrop City Secretary, Ann Franklin, looking over the petitions for "Reasonable Petition Requirements"

Bastrop City Secretary, Ann Franklin, looking over the petitions for “Reasonable Petition Requirements”

In a memorandum to the Mayor, City Council and City Secretary that accompanied today’s filing, Independent Texans explained that this filing of 298 valid signatures is “a portion of the total signatures gathered and should readily meet the 214 signatures required for ballot certification.” The group did not reveal how many total signatures they have gathered for either petition.

The memorandum also spelled out in detail what the group believes the Council is legally bound to do and why they are prohibited by state and federal law from “playing petition games in order to deny Bastrop voters the right to vote for or against this amendment.” The memorandum stated that once the City Secretary certifies the signatures, the Council is bound to place the measure on the next available ballot – the November 8th election. The Council can do so at any upcoming meeting.

“After watching the recent actions of this mayor and council, I fully support this initiative to allow citizens a means to more easily recall self-serving or inept city officials, and to overrule their actions when they don’t match our citizens’ needs,” commented former Bastrop City Council Member Kelly Gilleland. “If these more realistic petition percentages were already in place, there would also have been enough signatures to initiate a recall on Kesselus. As it stands now, our elected officials know that the current charter makes it virtually impossible for recall, no matter how badly they behave. We don’t have to accept being treated like lowly serfs in a royal kingdom.”

At a recent City Council Meeting Councilman Willie DeLaRosa complained that a November city election could cost the city as much as $13,000. Today Curtis fired back, “What the city will spend on this election is less than the $17,500-plus the City has shelled out in legal fees dealing with Kesselus’ repeated attempts to circumvent the Ethics Ordinance, City Charter, and Texas Open Meetings Act. This Mayor and Council better not waste one penny fighting the rights of citizens to vote to secure their petition rights.”

The group also released a slide show entitled, “The Right to Petition: Bastrop Voters’ Source of Power to Take Back Their Town.” It explains some of the history of petition rights, starting with founding fathers Jefferson and Madison, the 1913 Texas constitutional amendment guaranteeing citizens living in home rule cities the right to petition and the details of their proposed amendment.


For more information:
Linda Curtis
512-535-0989 office
512-657-2089 cell


Too many smoking guns…headed for May 2017!

pistol_smoking_md_clrFor more than 18 months, we have witnessed far too many smoking guns not to take action in a city at ground zero in the Texas Water Wars — Bastrop, Texas. We’re talking violations of law, ethics violations, official oppression and bald-faced cronyism.

Citizens of Bastrop are in process of taking back their city as we prepare to file a petition for Reasonable Petition Requirements at Bastrop City Hall tomorrow. We’re headed for the May 2017 ballot!

Read this memorandum delivered to the City Council and Mayor.

Tonight you can witness a city loved by its residents in meltdown. We say this with sadness and incredible frustration, but we are taking action to do something about it by exercising the right to petition guaranteed to us by the Texas Constitution.


(or watch it on Time Warner Ch. 10 or AT&T Ch. 99 or come down to Bastrop City Hall)

We’re not about to let them get away with this and neither should you. Get involved dear friends.

P.S. The petition to recall Mayor Ken Kesselus will remain in the field until Monday, August 1st. Keep it going y’all.

P.P.S. Yes, we need funds to support our work. Go to our donation page and give online or mail us something. 🙂


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