Mayor Friedberg’s latest blog post details the steps necessary to hold a Special Election dealing with sidewalks.

A group of Bellaire citizens turned in a petition to City Council calling for “three charter amendments to be submitted to the voters concerning sidewalks”.

Here are the amendments outlined in the petition according to a website set up to promote it.

1)   If Bellaire wants to add sidewalks, they need to put in drainage to offset the associated increase in water discharge
2)   If Bellaire wants to add sidewalks to a block, the City needs to obtain the approval of ~50% of residences on a block in signature
3)   Prior to asking for resident’s signatures, the City must provide a detailed plan of trees to be removed and how far the sidewalks will encroach on folks’ property

The Mayor explains that a city charter can not be altered, amended, or repealed more often than every two years. Since the Bellaire City Charter was last amended on November 7, 2017 and the next general election is November 5, 2019, these amendments cannot be on the ballot this November. A special election must be held for a vote on this matter and the next available date for an election is Saturday, May 2, 2020.

The Mayor points out that the estimated cost of such a special election will be “upwards of $50,000, and could even be much more, if there are no voting machines available for lease (as opposed to purchase) at that time.”

See the Mayor’s full blog post HERE.