Charter Review Committee Set By Council; Who Are They And What Do They Do?

Matt Briscoe
Publisher/Managing Editor
Southside Light
Email Matt Briscoe

The City of Corpus Christi took a major step Tuesday afternoon towards making updates the city’s Charter. A charter review committee was nominated and appointed by the council and is comprised of members of the community appointed by the council members. 

Corpus Christi’s charter is a baseline document that Home-rule municipalities like Corpus Christi must establish that dictates how a city's government is going to operate.

In short, the city charter includes items related to the basic structure of local government, city council term limits, salaries, planning and zoning, rules about bids and elections, as well as standards of conduct for officials and city employees.

However, despite recommendations by the unpaid committee, voters are the ones who have the ultimate final say on any changes in the charter. In essence, the committee will make suggestions as to how the city will operate. 

Chairing the committee will be Toby Futrrell, who is no stranger to politics at all. In fact, Frutrell was arguably the most beloved city manager in the history of Austin. In fact, Futrell became so beloved in the state’s capital city in part because she was transparent, supportive and responsive. Futrell also knows public policy—she taught it at the LBJ School of Public Affairs 

The mainly industrial area of District 1 will have one member on the committee, Rick Miley. Likewise, in the dichotomous District 2, which encompasses an economically diverse area of the city, there is only one appointment. That is held by well respected local businessman John Wilson. 

District 3, which covers parts of the near south side and the CCIA area will be represented by dual members, Eugene Hernandez and veteran news manager Bob White. 

The big winner in the committee makeup is District 4. Chairperson Toby Futrell, who was appointed by the Mayor lives in District 4 along with architect Phillip Ramirez and retirees educator and Flour Bluff community activist Shirley Thornton. Ramierez received his appointment from Councilman Ben Molina. Thornton was appointed by Councilman Greg Smith. 

Former city council member Chad Magill and Oscar Martinez make up the representation from the south side’s District 5. 

As for the Island are of Corpus Christi, their major source of represent lies solidly in the hands of Committee Chairperson Toby Futrell, who as stated earlier was appointed by Mayor McComb. 

It’s likely that the ad hoc committee will likely present several issues to council and eventually the voters—extending council term limits to 4 years and increasing member stipends. 

The committee will hold public meetings for community input, which will be announced at a later date.