Our current Mayor is Todd Gottel. Todd is well liked and has done a pretty good job. Todd and I don't agree on everything. I have differences of opinion with many others. That's okay. It makes for good discussions. I do not consider ALL of City Council and staff as experts in real estate development, including Todd. This seems to irritate our mayor. Actually, I don't expect the mayor, council, and staff to be experts in real estate development. However, I do expect them to properly vet and investigate proposed real estate deals before them. Go get an expert.......and don't get an expert that has something to gain by their recommendations!! But.....that's another story.
Judging from Facebook chatter, it would appear Todd is running for office again. This could be a problem.
Personally, I don't know anyone "out there" that is better suited to serve as Rowlett's mayor, at this time. There are probably other good candidates, but they are not surfacing. Todd works hard at mayor and his heart seems to be in the right place. Hell, he even gives away puppies, which I completely endorse. However, the issue isn't so much whether Todd is qualified for the job. The voters would decide that. The issue is the abandonment of Rowlett's body of rules called The Home Rule Charter. These rules are how Rowlett governs the city, and answers to the State of Texas.
I can find nothing in the Charter that says some rules don't count. There is no small print that I can find that says it's okay to ignore certain rules. If you follow the logic which implies rules are ignored as needed to its conclusion, then its okay not to follow ANY rules. At that point, we have chaos. There are no rules. I truly believe the State of Texas is not going to buy into that logic.
The real issue isn't whether Todd would be a good mayor. The real issue is whether we are following the Term Limits rules of the charter, or not. If we aren't bound by the rules, there are a whole bunch of changes I would like to make.
One other parting issue. If a Charter Review Committee is convened to "correct" something, it should not "correct" something that would benefit existing office holders. It should be for future office holders. To ignore this only puts a meeting between lawful and chaos. "Officialdom" could change the charter at will to satisfy any sitting official's needs. That is a pure subterfuge.
I think Todd has served two terms, therefore, ineligible to run for mayor in the next election. I have been told by two sources that the City Attorney has advised Todd that he is eligible. I disagree.........and I like the City Attorney, too.
Please read the partial re-print of my earlier blog post below. The language referenced comes straight out of Rowlett's Charter.
Reprinted from Blog Post dated May 19, 2015.
"You need to put your thinking cap on. I have a brain tease for you. Below is language from the Rowlett Charter defining a "term" when one is elected to serve in office.
"After an individual vacates an office, if fifty percent (50%) or less remains of the individual's term, the term shall be considered a full term for reasons of calculating term limits."
Read the above carefully. Again. It is a very poorly written passage. However, it means something important. You need to use logic to determine what it means.
Here's the way I read it. If someone vacates an office (resigns), and he/she served over 50% of the time of their term......then, the time he/she served constitutes a full term. Therefore, the remaining time served by his/her replacement would not be considered a full term. It doesn't seem possible to have two people with both serving full terms within the same time frame. It is reasonable to assume that the new occupant, if serving less than 50% remaining in the term, would be as in the Charter example above and would not be serving a full term.
So, what happened when John Harper resigned as mayor? He resigned after serving one year of a three year term. Therefore, he served 33% of his term, and his time in office would not be considered a full term. It is reasonable to conclude that Harper's replacement, serving 67% of the term, did in fact, by definition above, serve a "full term."
Some will say the replacement's term is not addressed by the charter. That is technically correct, but that is an error of omission. Sensible people can deduce that somebody had to serve a term. The taxpayer was certainly paying a salary to someone for serving.
The definition contained in the Charter clearly defines that Harper did not serve a full term when only serving 33% of the term. Logic tells me that the replacement, Todd Gottel, fulfilled a full term by serving 67% of the term. To say that neither Harper or Gottel served a term is simply stupid."