WOLFFORTH, Texas – Early voting in the November election is fast-approaching. All Texas voters will see 14 constitutional amendments on their ballots. All Lubbock County residents will have the chance to decide on a $35 million bond for a new medical examiner’s facility. Some cities will have additional questions, which for Wolfforth residents will be an opportunity to adopt a city charter.
“In a lot of ways, it’s like the growing up of Wolfforth,” said Randy Criswell, city manager for the City of Wolfforth. “A lot of times, I, as the city manager, would not encourage people how to vote on certain things, but in this situation, I really hope that people will support and vote for the charter. I think it’s a good thing.”
Wolfforth is currently a General Law City, which means it has no charter and operates under Texas state law.
Once a city reaches a population of 5,000, it’s eligible to become a Home Rule City which, if approved, would allow Wolfforth to go by its self-created constitution that gives citizens the power to determine how its government will function.
“A lot of citizens picture themselves as us against them, the citizens versus City Hall,” Criswell said. “That’s really not the way the government is supposed to be, so Home Rule allows those citizens quite a bit more power.”
Before coming to Wolfforth in 2022, Criswell served as city manager for the City of Canyon and the City of Mineral Wells which were both already home rule cities prior to his reign.
“Most cities in this area are too small to be eligible to become Home Rule or became Home Rule a long time ago,” Criswell said. “Wolfforth happens to be a growing community who was not eligible to be Home Rule a handful of years ago, but rapidly grew and exceeded that 5,000 threshold.”
According to the U.S. Census Bureau data, Wolfforth’s population grew 50% from 2010 to 2020. The city’s 2022 estimate has over 6,589 residents.
“I think it would be inappropriate for us not to become a Home Rule City with the growth and the rapid expansion that we’re seeing in Wolfforth,” Criswell said. “It’s kind of like when you’re a child, you follow the rules that are given to you, and when you become a grown up, you do what’s best for you, unless it’s against the law, generally speaking. We’re growing into a real grown-up city now, and hopefully, our voters will see that and support that.”
Early voting runs Oct. 23 – Nov. 3. Election day is Nov. 7. If you’d like to find more information, head over to VoteLubbock.org.