Posts Tagged ‘Jo-Christy Brown’

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.

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

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City of Bastrop Descends Into Deeper Crisis

Mike Talbot, longtime Bastrop City Manager, Statesman photoThe city of Bastrop has descended ever deeper into crisis with its two top management officials resigning. Longtime City Manager, Mike Talbot resigned for the second time in June. Tuesday night, longtime City Attorney Jo-Christy Brown tendered her resignation stating,

“This negativism, which I believe is entirely unwarranted, has now escalated to an extent that I simply no longer have the energy or desire to continue to subject my good name and hard-earned reputation to it any further”.

Not three hours after Brown’s resignation came Interim City Manager Steve Adcock’s. Adcock is also respected and an honest guy in law enforcement.

Frankly, what we fear most is what’s coming next. That would be the appointment of a new city manager and city attorney on Tuesday. You can bet they will be part of the good ol’ boy network in Bastrop. How do we know this? Here’s Mayor Ken Kesselus’ response to Adcock’s departure in today’s Austin American-Statesman:

“I don’t know what to make of it except that my mother used to work in a funeral home and said that death always comes in three,” he said. “I don’t know if it’s an old wives’ tale or what, but it seems to be true.”

Seriously? This is the guy who is leading the city of Bastrop?

Listen up people. Kesselus and his clan are trying to shift the blame for their own mismanagement and misplaced priorities onto their employees. It’s really that simple.

We have put out a warning to all. Bastrop’s high growth, if not managed properly, spells for a new and unfamiliar kind of disaster. We cannot afford to make the mistakes that Austin’s “growth machine” has made, leading to an affordability collapse. Bastrop is far more vulnerable than Austin. We all know it. So let’s not treat this like a crazy aunt in the basement that no one is willing to talk about.

Only the voters can do anything about this now. Here’s what can YOU do.
Note:  Last call Monday for petitions!

Go to our Petition page here and get our petitions signed by city voters.
Click here to see a map of the Bastrop City Limits
You can also call us and we’ll do home visits.

We deeply appreciate your financial contributions and your participation so very much!

All three photo credits are to the Austin American-Statesman.

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Austin is Not Developers’ Monopoly Board

Sign it, if you live in Austin

Austin is Not Developers' Monopoly Board

Dear Mayor Adler and Austin City Council Members:

[signature]

Why don't you share this with your friends, please:

Make Growth Pay for Itself

No Vista Ridge/San Antone Hose

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