Six city charter amendments on Sherman ballot

SHERMAN, Tex. (KXII) -- Sherman residents are being asked to vote on amending the city charter with changes like allowing family members of elected officials to work for the city part-time.

There are six proposed amendments that city staff came up with.

Some are to improve outdated language or remove taxes on specific occupations, but others focus on the rights of city officials and their scope of power.

"Do you think it's a good idea for us to be able to vote a city councilman off in extreme circumstances or not?" Sherman City Council member Shawn Teamann said.

Right now in Sherman, if a council member does something wrong, it's up to them to resign on their own. But Amendment A would give the council the power to kick off that council member with as little as three votes.

This would avoid situations like what happened in Tom Bean when a council member got arrested but kept his seat for about a month before deciding to resign.

The power to force another member out, is a power councilman Shawn Teamann said he isn't so sure he wants.

"That's the one I had the most questions about, trying to get my mind wrapped around, what are the stipulations on this," Teamann said.

Amendment E would eliminate a part of the nepotism restriction, making it possible for family members of the mayor, city council or city manager to be able to work part-time or seasonally for the city.

"Individuals who have been serving on the city council who have wanted the ability for their kids to be able to lifeguard at the pool, to be able to work part time over the summer at the parks department," Nate Strauch with the city of Sherman said.

"I can see where that might be something that wouldn't be that big of a deal, but I can also see on the other side of that anytime you start talking about nepotism, you don't want to get too involved with any particular family," Teamann said.

Amendment D would lower the number of city planning and zoning board members from nine to seven, something the city said nearby communities already have.

Overall it's all up to the voters.

"It's up to the voters to decide, if the voters decide they don't want that to be the case, then they can certainly vote against that," Strauch said.

Early voting ends Nov. 3, and election day is Tuesday Nov. 7.

To view the full description of each proposed amendment, click on the related link to see a sample ballot.