Form of Government
Pantego first incorporated as a Village in 1952. Today, the Town of Pantego is a Type A General Law Municipality with a Town Council comprised of a Mayor and five Councilmembers each serving staggered two-year terms with elections on the first Saturday each May. The Mayor and Places 4 and 5 are elected in odd-numbered years; and Places 1, 2, and 3 in even-numbered years. Shortly following each May election, the Town Council elects one Councilmember to serve for one year as Mayor Pro Tem. This role has the authority to preside over meetings or attend other events in place of the Mayor. All members of the Council and their Advisory Boards serve without compensation.
In 1980, the Town of Pantego adopted a Council-Manager form of government, which is structured similarly to private corporations in which the stakeholders (residents) elect a board of directors (the Council) which then hires a CEO (the City Manager) to administer the Town's daily affairs.
Under the Council-Manager form of government, the Council serves as the legislative body — setting policies, approving an annual budget, setting the property tax rate, and determining the scope and function of your local government. The Council also enacts ordinances, resolutions, and regulations and appoints members of various statutory and advisory boards, the City Manager, City Secretary, City Attorney, and Municipal Judge.
The City Manager serves as the chief administrative officer and is responsible for the operationalization of those policies and directives set by the Council. The City Manager ensures that all applicable laws and ordinances are uniformly enforced, appoints and supervises chiefs and departmental directors, and performs countless other vital administrative functions.
Your Town Council holds regular meetings on the second and fourth Mondays of each month at 6:30 p.m., with special sessions scheduled as needed. All meetings of the Council and the various Advisory Boards and Commissions are open to the public. Agendas are posted at Town Hall (1614 S Bowen Road) and online at least 72 hours prior to the meeting.
What is a General Law Municipality?
General Law towns and cities usually have a population under 5,000. While a Home Rule City may do anything authorized by its charter that is not specifically prohibited or preempted by the Texas Constitution or state or federal law, a general law municipality (like Pantego) has no charter and, therefore, may only exercise those powers and duties specifically granted or implied by statute. This type of municipal designation was created in 1858, with much of the original language from this founding legislation still appearing in the Local Government Code today.
General law cities operate under the aldermanic or commission form of government. The term “alderman” is often used interchangeably with the term Councilmember. If the municipality, like Pantego, has not been divided into wards or precincts, the governing body consists of a Mayor and five Councilmembers elected at large. A quorum consists of a majority for general business (three Councilmembers), and two-thirds for specially-called meetings or those concerning taxation. The Mayor does not count towards a quorum and does not vote, except when necessary to break a tie (except in elections).