Rosenberg voters had to spend a few extra minutes at the ballot box this year. 

The city of Rosenberg had a whopping 51 propositions on the ballot, an unusually large number of propositions for a town of nearly 40,000. 

While city propositions usually indicate growth and change, in Rosenberg’s case, it was change of a different kind — changing the language in the city’s charter, said Tanya Kveton, the city’s public information officer.

The charter is an official document that establishes a municipality and its organizational structure. Some of the revisions included condensing or expanding current charter language. 

While there have been some specific changes to the document since its adoption nearly 70 years ago, city officials felt that several portions of the charter had become outdated, Kveton said. 

A person walks to the Rosenberg City Hall
A person walks to the Rosenberg City Hall, Thursday, Nov. 9, 2023, in Rosenberg. (Marie D. De Jesús / Houston Landing)

To bring the charter up to date, the city of Rosenberg appointed a review committee to take a hard look at the charter earlier this year. The committee spent nearly four months reviewing the charter from top to bottom to compile revision suggestions to present to City Council members. 

The council reviewed the proposed changes at its Aug. 15 meeting and voted to approve an ordinance to call a special election for charter amendments the same day. 

The proposed changes mostly focused on “eliminating obsolete references” and updated ordinances to “current legal usage.” In addition to updating the language, the city also proposed some new additions to the charter such as requiring the creation of a comprehensive plan to guide the city and the implementation of a charter review committee that will meet every five years.

Although lengthy, the separation of the propositions by each amendment was required according to state law, Kveton said. When revising a charter, each proposed amendment cannot include more than one subject. 

In addition to passing the charter amendments, residents also passed two bonds worth $51.5 million. Proposition A, an $18.5 million bond, will create a complex for emergency services that will house a new fire station and an emergency operations center. 

Proposition B, worth $33 million, will create a public services complex that will consolidate and house departments for utilities, parks, maintenance and capital projects all in one building. 

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Briah Lumpkins is a suburban reporter for the Houston Landing. She most recently spent a year in Charleston, South Carolina, working as an investigative reporting fellow at The Post and Courier via Frontline...