The City of Kerrville has released a statement regarding the upcoming May 2022 General Election. During last week’s city council meeting, council adopted a resolution which sets out the city’s May election, to occur on Saturday, May 7.
Kerrville residents will be voting on Mayor, Councilmembers for Places 3 and 4, plus a bond election, which if approved would authorize the issuance of bonds for the development of a Public Safety Complex. Prior to the council’s vote on the resolution setting the election, a citizen addressed council with arguments that holding the council election this May violates the city’s charter. According to a press release, the citizen has repeatedly made this argument to the city since December 2020.
The statement from the city states that the Kerrville City Attorney has not changed his position on this matter since he first began researching the issue and does not believe that the city is violating any law by holding its election in May.
In March 2020, at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued a proclamation which authorized all Texas cities to postpone their May 2020 elections until November 3, 2020, in response to COVID-19 concerns. This essentially suspended the Texas Election Code to the “extent necessary” to allow cities and other political subdivisions to take this action “without otherwise adjusting the term of office.”
Pursuant to the governor’s emergency power authority stemming from the public health crisis, the Kerrville city council adopted a resolution postponing the city’s May 2020 election to November 2020. The Texas Secretary of State’s guidance provided that “postponing an election is not a permanent move.”
The formal statement goes on to say that the result is that a city’s current office holders will be holdovers until the next election occurs, and that newly-elected officers in November will have a shorter term. The Secretary of State concluded by confirming that the following elections would revert back to the May date.
Pursuant to the Texas Election Code, Section 41.001, which applies to the city’s elections, provides that entities must hold their election on a uniformed election date, which the City of Kerrville has done every year since 1988, with the exception of May 2020. Entities wishing to change their election date must look to Section 41.0052 of the Election Code for the authority to do so. This particular section’s authority expired in 2016, meaning there is no authority for the city to change its election date from May.
The governor’s proclamation issued in 2020 due to coronavirus concerns can be viewed at: