Whitehouse voters approve 7 City Charter amendments; write-in candidate leads Place 1 City Council race

Whitehouse voters approved seven of the city's nine charter amendments and had a write-in candidate leading the Place 1 City Council race, according to complete but unofficial returns for Tuesday's election.

Two amendments failed. These would have abolished term limits, extended council and mayoral terms and allowed residents with nonviolent felonies to serve on the council.

City Manager Aaron Smith said the failure of Proposition A, which would have extended terms, would mean Proposition E is moot, as that proposition would have moved the years in which Place 5 and the mayor are elected beyond the two years currently allowed.

As for the city council races, Place 3 incumbent Paul Hickey and Place 5 incumbent Dick Jackson had no opposition.

Place 1 had no candidate on the ballot, so the position will be determined by write-ins. Smith County Elections Administrator Karen Nelson said only votes for eligible residents will count.

A total of 167 write-in ballots were cast for the position with James Wansley receiving 114 votes to Michael Fleming's 38 votes.


Here's what those propositions mean for the City of Whitehouse and how voters cast their ballots:


Prop A – Failed

This proposition would have abolished term limits for mayor and City Council, it also would have extended terms from 2 to 3 years for those elected officials.

229 votes against or 74.11 percent


Prop B – Failed

This proposition would have disqualified council candidates convicted of a crime of moral turpitude within the past 15 years. This item also changes disqualifying acts to allow candidates with nonviolent felony convictions to serve.

Its failure means all felony convictions bar a candidate from being eligible to serve on the council.

169 votes against or 56.15 percent


Prop C – Passed

This proposition allows the council to fill vacant seats until the next regularly called municipal election. If Place 1 failed to produce a qualified candidate, this would allow the council to appoint someone.

223 votes for or 72.40 percent


Prop D – Passed

This proposition would require the city to maintain an unrestricted fund balance for unforeseen expenditures.

As we've seen with Smith County, this also can help the municipality secure loans.

242 votes for or 79.34 percent


Prop E – Passed

This proposition changes the order in which seats on the council are filled as a response to possible term changes, however with the failure of Prop A, City Manager Aaron Smith said it would not take effect.

209 votes for or 71.33 percent


Prop F – Passed

This proposition amends the city's initiative, referendum and recall process.

205 votes for or 72.44 percent


Prop G – Passed

This proposition would require the city to adhere to state guidelines regarding conflicts of interest.

265 votes for or 91.38 percent


Prop H – Passed

This proposition removes language concerning municipal liability to help the council defer to state's guidelines.

223 votes for or 77.43 percent


Prop I – Passed

This proposition implements a plan of succession in case of disaster.

259 votes for or 86.33 percent



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Cory is a multimedia journalist and member of the Education Writers Association, Criminal Justice Journalists and Investigative Reporters and Editors. He has appeared on The Murder Tapes, Crime Watch Daily and Grave Mysteries on Investigation Discovery.