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Socorro City Officials React to Senator's Accusations

Socorro City Officials React to Senator's Accusations

POSTED: Thursday, August 9, 2012 - 5:11pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, September 26, 2012 - 10:40am

Reaction Thursday from the City of Socorro in response to accusations from state Senator Jose Rodriguez that leaders there broke the law.

Senator Rodriguez said in his letter that council members changed their election dates, and by doing so, extended the council's terms.

He said that violates the Voters Right Act.

Spokesman David Garcia said changes in election dates, and therefore term limits, are allowed under Senate Bill 100.

He said the bill allows entities to delay elections for a year, so now elections are scheduled for November 20-13 and 2014.

Garcia says the city can't afford an election yet, so delaying the election saves taxpayers money.

"Socorro has studied the issue," Garcia said.  "This is not a knee jerk action. This was done back in December. It was put on agenda. This was not something that was done in a smokey back alley of Socorro. Those days of Socorro are past."

The mayoral election, along with councilman at large and district four elections have been moved from this past May to November 20-13.

Another election date change for reps of districts one, two and three from May 20-13 to November 20-14.

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Who said we, the voters of Socorro don't mind them extending their terms by 1 year and a half when their terms were up in May 2012 for the Mayor, Councilman At Large, and District 4. I don't think that the Legislators would have drawn bills to be in conflict with the Texas Constitution. They passed House Bill 1545 and Senate Bill 100 to allow the military to get their ballots in on time, however, in my opinion the City Council of Socorro took advantage of this to give themselves more time.

Who said we the citizens don't mind them extending their terms that were up in May 2012. The City Council needs to allow the voters to approve the extending of terms to 4 years through an election amending the City Charter. They just gave themselves a free ride for another year and a half. I thought that the Texas Constitution Article XI, Section 11 and Section 5 puts it very clearly for home-ruled cities. The Texas Attorney General and Secretary of State better informed them ASAP.

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