Clerk Will Verify that the Firefighters Collected Enough Signatures to Force Charter Vote


Chris Steele announcing the fire union's petition campaign on Feburary 20 - FACEBOOK VIA SAN ANTONIO PROFESSIONAL FIRE FIGHTERS ASSOCIATION
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  • Chris Steele announcing the fire union's petition campaign on Feburary 20
San Antonio's city clerk will confirm tomorrow that the fire union has collected enough signatures to force a November referendum to change the city charter.

City Clerk Leticia Vacek will present that confirmation at Thursday's city council meeting. She worked with the Bexar County Elections Department to verify that each of three petitions circulated by the union has the minimum 20,000 valid signatures required under Texas law.

The San Antonio Professional Firefighters Association is seeking three changes to the charter, each of which would need separate voter approval. One would constrain the city manager's salary, another would let the union dictate when it's reached an impasse with the city on contract bargaining, and the last would lower the number of signatures needed to place a referendum on the ballot.

The union maintains it's seeking the three ballot initiatives to constrain city power and give citizens a civic voice. But critics argue the firefighters are delivering a truckload of sour grapes because the city didn't yield to contract demands.

“If the petitions are certified and the fire union proposals are on the ballot, we will make sure San Antonians know that all three of the measures are bad ideas," Mayor Ron Nirenberg said in a written statement.

Council has until Monday, Aug. 20, to put the measures on the November ballot.

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