Richland Hills Voters to Decide on City Merger

North Richland Hills voters also would have to approve merger

By Andrew Tanielian
|  Friday, May 11, 2012  |  Updated 8:58 PM CDT
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Richland Hills Voting on City Merger

AP

Residents will decide this weekend if Richland Hills should be dissolved.

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Editor's Note: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that the passage of Proposition 1 would dissolve Richland Hills. However, North Richland Hills voters also would have to approve the matter before Richland Hills could be dissolved. NBC 5 regrets the error.

Voters will decide Saturday if Richland Hills should merge with North Richland Hills.

A group of Richland Hills citizens said it wants the consolidation because North Richland Hills' government is better.

"What's going on is, we feel our government has become all about them instead of us," Gerrit Spieker said.

If the measure passes, North Richland Hills voters would have to vote to adopt Richland Hills.

Spieker, who lives in Richland Hills, started the effort to put Proposition 1 on the ballot in November. The proposal finally made the ballot after three previous attempts, he said.

"It's really the combination with a long frustration with a lot of people that the council wasn't able to govern the city," he said.

Richland Hills Mayor David Ragan said he opposes Proposition 1 and supports the City Council.

"The council that was elected -- I think they have moved forward in a lot of things," he said.

Ragan said he thinks consolidation would ruin the atmosphere of Richland Hills.

"We have a laid-back city, and I think the citizens appreciate that," he said.

He told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in February that he was confident the voters in Richland Hills would turn down any proposal to dissolve the city.

North Richland Hills Mayor Oscar Treino is not commenting on Proposition 1 but is waiting to see what the vote outcome is.

Spieker said his group still wins even if the proposition fails.

"If we don't succeed, the council has a wake-up call," he said. "They have lost political legitimacy if 15, 20, 25 percent of the electorate has no confidence in them."

NBC 5's Greg Janda contributed to this report.

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