Since the passage of HB 2127, a great deal of conflict has arisen between some Texas municipalities and state entities. Several mayors and other elected officials expressed strong disagreement with the power of the new law to limit the rights of local governments from passing regulations. State officials pushed back against municipal disapproval in equal measure. The resulting tension has strained relations between some municipalities and the state. However, local leaders are putting in the effort to repair their relationships moving forward – here is how.
Repairing a history of conflict
It is nothing new for local and state elected officials to disagree on everything from budgets to ordinances. Last year, Gov. Abbott’s signing of HB 2127 proved a particularly sore spot for cities and counties throughout the state. The bill received vocal and extensive controversy, particularly from municipal officials who objected to the limitations placed on municipalities to govern themselves.
For the upcoming year, prominent city officials such as Mayor Kirk Watson of Austin and Mayor-elect John Whitmire of Houston have pledged to put in the effort to mend relations with state officials. Some of their methods include:
- Reaching across political lines.
- Placing constituents’ needs first.
- Avoiding social media fights.
- Collaborating with the state to solve local issues.
Local constituents seem to support these efforts. Many are tired of the back-and-forth quarrels between the officials they have elected at the local and state levels. Whether the efforts of city leaders will succeed is not yet known.
Positive relationships moving forward?
The air of conflict in the political arena is certainly not limited to the federal level, as the last year has shown. If municipal and state officials wish to reduce animosity, they will need to make a commitment to fostering positive relationships. This is true even when they disagree on major issues.