Texas Emergency Service District Board Term Limits, Proposition 10 (2009)
The Texas Emergency Service District Board Term Limits Amendment, also known as Proposition 10, was on the November 3, 2009 ballot in Texas as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment, where it was approved.
The proposition limited the terms of governing board members of emergency service districts to four years. The bill was authored by Rep. Patricia Harless and was sponsored by Sen. Dan Patrick.
|Texas Proposition 10 (2009)|
Election results via: Legislative Reference Library of Texas
Text of measure
|“||The constitutional amendment to provide that elected members of the governing boards of emergency services districts may serve terms not to exceed four years.||”|
The full text of the measure can be read here.
- See also: Amending the Texas Constitution
|The Legislature may provide that members of the governing board of a district or authority created by authority of Article III, Section 48-e, Article III, Section 52(b)(1) or (2), or Article XVI, Section 59, of this Constitution serve terms not to exceed four years.|
Some counties did not feel the need for the passage of the amendment, as some emergency service districts were appointed in procedures other than elections. In Comal County, board members were appointed by Commissioners Court. According to an article published in the local newspaper, seven districts provided emergency service to parts of Comal County. According to Jay Wetz, president of ESD No. 1 in Comal County: “It’s quite a bit of work involved with no pay. We have trouble getting people on the board as it is ... I wouldn’t want to see us go to an election system."
No committees or contributions to campaigns in opposition to Proposition 10 were reported.
Media editorial positions
- Main article: Endorsements of Texas ballot measures, 2009
- The El Paso Times said,"This would allow members of emergency services district boards to serve four-year terms rather than the current two years. This would provide more continuity and experience on the boards."
- The Austin Chronicle said,"trivial, and this belongs in ordinary legislation, not the state constitution."
- In an editorial published by the San Antonio Express-News, the publication expressed their support for both Proposition 7 and 10. The newspaper justified their support for proposition 10 by claiming:
- "The boards of the other emergency districts are appointed by the county commissioners of the county in which the district is located."
- "Elections cost time and money. Extending the term of office for these public servants makes fiscal sense for taxpayers."
- The Star-Telegram said,"The constitution allows creation of emergency services districts that can levy property taxes to pay for things like ambulance service and rural fire control within their boundaries. Prop 10 would allow the elected board members in some of those districts in and around Houston to serve terms of four years rather than two. This is goofy. There’s no good reason why board members of obscure districts in Harris County should have longer terms than members of the Texas House."
Path to the ballot
- See also: Laws governing direct democracy in Texas
As laid out in Article 17 of the Texas Constitution, in order for a proposed constitutional amendment to be placed on the ballot, the Texas State Legislature must propose the amendment in a joint resolution of both the Texas State Senate and the Texas House of Representatives. The joint resolution can originate in either the House or the Senate. The resolution must be adopted by a vote of at least two-thirds of the membership of each house of the legislature. That amounts to a minimum of 100 votes in the House of Representatives and 21 votes in the Senate.
- Texas 2009 ballot measures
- 2009 ballot measures
- List of Texas ballot measures
- History of direct democracy in Texas
- KGNS-TV, "Eleven proposed constitutional amendments before Texas voters this November," October 19, 2009
- The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, "Key items on ballot for Texans," October 18, 2009
- History of HJR 85
- Legislative Reference Library of Texas, "Constitutional amendment election dates," accessed January 20, 2015
- Texas Legislative Council, "Amendments to the Texas Constitution Since 1876," accessed January 20, 2015
- Texas Secretary of State, "Official Ballot Language and Order for the Nov.3, 2009 Constitutional Amendment Election," July 28, 2009
- Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
- Texas Legislature Online, "Enrolled Version of HJR 85," accessed January 20, 2015
- The Herald-Zeitung, "Proposition 10 would extend terms of ESD members," October 16, 2009
- Follow the Money, Proposition 10
- El Paso Times, "Propositions: Appraisal reform on November ballot," October 18, 2009
- The Austin Chronicle, "The Austin Chronicle' Endorsements," October 16, 2009
- San Antonio Express-News, "Voters should approve Propositions 7 and 10," October 14, 2009
- Star-Telegram, "Nov. 3 election recommendations," October 16, 2009 (dead link)
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