Category: Ask the mayor

I was informed you are Mayor and you take no salary. Also, I observed you as a spokesman at a city council meeting. In the city I just left, that would have been a direct conflict of interest. Please explain.

I was informed you are Mayor and you take no salary.  Also, I observed you as a spokesman at a city council meeting. In the city I just left, that would have been a direct conflict of interest. Please explain.

The mayor is not compensated for his/her duties and is only reimbursed for personal expenses incurred during official capacity.

 The City of Terrell is a Home Rule city. Home rule assumes that governmental problems should be solved at the lowest possible level, closest to the people. Home rule cities look to the state to tell them what they are prohibited from doing, rather than for specific grants of authority to undertake particular functions. Home rule cities have the inherent authority to do just about anything that qualifies as a “public purpose” and is not contrary to the Constitution or laws of the state. 

Inherent Powers of Home Rule Cities – An “inherent power” is one that is possessed by a city without its having been specifically granted by the state. It is the right to perform an act without having received that right from the Texas Constitution or the state legislature. Home rule cities have many inherent powers. The City Municipal Organization, in contrast to smaller Texas general law cities whose organization is fixed by state law, the governmental structure of a home rule city is left entirely to the discretion of local voters. Subject to compliance with the federal Voting Rights Act, the citizens of a home rule city are free to decide their form of municipal government (mayor-council, council-manager, and so on); choose between a large or small city council; provide for the election of the city council at-large, by single-member district, or by place; fix the terms of office for council members at two, three, or four years; or establish overlapping terms of office. Moreover, they can decide whether the mayor is to be elected directly by the voters, selected from among members of the council, or chosen by some other method. 

The citizens of a home rule city also have total discretion over the city’s administrative structure. Subject only to local preferences, the CHARTER can establish a simple administrative framework or a complex one, provide for the appointment or election of major administrative officials, and so on. And finally, the CHARTER can provide for the creation of any boards or commissions that local voters decide are necessary to make the city function effectively.  The City of Terrell Mayor is elected at large by the majority vote of the Citizens of Terrell. The Mayor for the City of Terrell is the main spokesperson for the City Council. The Original City Charter, voted in by the Citizens of Terrell in April of 1973, called for Council members to serve without pay. That Section of the Charter was not changed in the Charter amendment election of 2004. 

Excerpt from the City Charter of 2004.

Section 2.02.     Compensation, Expenses.

Members of the city council shall serve without pay or compensation; provided, however, they shall be entitled to all necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their official duties upon approval by the city council.

Should you have any additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Thank you,
DJ Ory