Slaton city leaders hope to regain trust with 23 proposed charter amendments

Published: Oct. 13, 2022 at 8:14 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 13, 2022 at 10:17 PM CDT
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SLATON, Texas (KCBD) - Voters in the city of Slaton will have 23 proposed amendments to the Slaton City Charter on their ballot this November, amendments that address changes to vocabulary, city commissioner terms of office, passing ordinances and nepotism.

“The Charter was accepted in 1929,” Mayor Clifton Shaw said. “It was revised one time, I believe, in ‘61 or ‘63. There’s been lots of state law changes. Even though we’re home rule, and we don’t have to follow state law to the letter, we can’t violate state law.”

Shaw told KCBD the effort to revise the Charter began in 2021 when Slaton was searching for a new city manager.

“When we went to looking for new city manager, we needed to do contracts and stuff,” Clifton said. “Well, this old charter didn’t allow us to have contracts.”

The previous city manager announced his retirement amid KCBD Investigates reporting on potential conflicts of interest in city purchasing and nepotism. Both of those issues are addressed by proposed amendments on the ballot to comply with state laws.

“With these new amendments, it’s plain and clear how our city employees, our elected officials, can do things within the city,” Shaw said.

Shaw was not mayor at the time of those reports and hopes these changes to the charter can help restore transparency and trust.

“There’s been a lot of mistrust in city government over the last several years, and I’d like to get that trust back,” Shaw said.

Shaw told KCBD that he asked four city commissioners to appoint two people from each ward to serve on a committee to review the Charter with the city attorney. He said if they pass, they will take effect immediately.

“It’s simply bringing the terminology up to today’s standards and eliminating anything that violated state law,” Shaw said.

To view a sample ballot, click here.