Nadia Galindo with KGBT Channel 4 interviewed Hidalgo Councilman Guillermo Ramirez and attorney Jerad Najvar prior to last Friday’s temporary injunction hearing in Palmas v. Sanchez.
Najvar objected to procedural deficiencies with the Plaintiffs’ petition, and the judge rescheduled the hearing for November 1, allowing the plaintiffs to amend. In the meantime, as Defendants pointed out, the court had no further authority to extend the temporary restraining order, so S to N Transport was able to finally begin running its buses–competing directly with Councilmember Franz’s STS Transportation–picking up passengers at the Hidalgo-Reynosa International Bridge and transporting them to McAllen.
Without taking a position on the local political issues, the changes suggested by the Mayor (via Fox 34 Lubbock) are already part of many charters in Texas.
“My input would be that if you had a failed recall petition on a councilman, another one couldn’t be started for a minimum of six months,” Robertson said. “That would get rid of this, ‘one after another, after another, after another.’ The other thing I would like to change is that if a councilman has less than a year left on their term, you can’t file a petition.”
Another illustration of traps for the unwary in recall petitions. While city charters provide for recall procedures, most charters are not frequently updated. The Texas Election Code provides additional requirements and sometimes trumps contrary city provisions. In this case, the Council reportedly rejected the recall attempt of four councilmembers because the petition was submitted too late for the election to be placed on the November ballot. The city must comply with state rules regarding how far in advance the ballot must be prepared. However, this seems to raise a question as to whether the City has a duty to place the election on the next available uniform election date, which would be May 2014.