Texas’ constitution says that voters “shall have the right to vote for Mayor and all other elective officers.” Too bad some cities in Texas circumvent that right.
A citizen-led effort — aptly named “Richardson Citizens For A More Democratic Government” — is underway in the Metroplex city of Richardson to change that. And the good-old-boy network in town is hollerin’ mad.
For years, not only have voters in Richardson been denied the right to elect the mayor, but the decision has been made behind closed-doors. This has effectively disenfranchised voters by denying them the ability to see their government in action, and hold the city council accountable.
Now these upstart ne’er-do-well citizens are organizing a petition drive to change the city charter and put it in line with the state constitution, and common sense.
Supporting the status quo — and opposing the citizens — is the Richardson Coalition. As one might expect, this entity serves as the go-to-group for insiders seeking to maintain control over city hall, most especially right now by keeping the citizens out. For inexplicable reasons, they oppose allowing Richardson voters the opportunity to vote on the office of mayor.
Exactly why the Richardson Coalition really opposes more open, honest and transparent government is a mystery, but one can assume it has mostly to do with keeping power in as few hands as possible. As the Just My 2 Cents Worth blog noted recently: “They are used to calling the shots from the darkened backrooms.”
Well, it’s time to light up those rooms.
More sunlight in government is always better, and you never go wrong putting more power in the hands of people. Actions taken behind closed doors may be many things, but a welcome part of the democratic process in our republic they are not.