When El Campo voters select their at-large representatives in May, they might be picking their mayor too – it all depends on whether a proposed charter change is approved.

The amendment, brought to the ballot via a petition, will immediately change how El Campo mayors are selected if approved in May.

If successful, whichever at-large candidate earns the most votes will become mayor in May 2020. The second most vote-getter among at-large candidates will become mayor pro tem.

If the amendment is rejected by voters, council will continue to decide among itself who will be mayor and mayor pro tem. In most cases, council has selected at-large representatives, but it is not required.

“The public needs to be aware of this,” City Manager Courtney Sladek said Monday.

A legal review conducted by Knight Law Firm, LLP, found no concerns with the proposed amendment, Sladek told Council. A previous Department of Justice ruling which was used to stop direct election of the mayor has no bearing, she added.

In the 2018 at-large race, Councilman Chris Barbee collected the most votes. Randy Collins, who was later selected as mayor, was actually the third place finisher in balloting. Philip Miller, currently mayor pro tem, was the second place finisher.

City Councilmen Barbee and David Hodges sponsored the petition that needed 5 percent of municipal voters or 314 verified signatures. City Secretary Lori Hollingsworth did the review and notified council of the verification.

Miller and Barbee are currently the only at-large candidates. Anisa Longoria-Vasquez has filed for the District 1 post she was appointed to in January.

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