History and Form of Government
Pantego first incorporated as a Village in 1952. Today, it is a Type A General Law Municipality governed by a Town Council comprised of a Mayor and five Councilmembers who are elected at-large for staggered two-year terms on the first Saturday of 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. The Council elects one member to serve each year as Mayor Pro Tem. This role presides over meetings or attends events in the absence of the Mayor. All members of the Council and their various advisory boards and commissions serve without compensation.
In 1980, the Town adopted a Council-Manager form of government – a structure similar to that of private corporations. The shareholders (residents) elect a board of directors (the Council) who then hire a President or CEO (the City Manager) to administer daily affairs.
The Council serves as the legislative body responsible for setting policies, approving an annual budget, setting the property tax rate, and determining the scope and function of our local government. The Council also enacts ordinances, resolutions, and regulations, issues debt necessary to support capital projects, and appoints the City Manager, City Secretary, City Attorney, Municipal Judge, and members of various statutory and advisory boards and commissions. Town Council holds regular meetings on the second and fourth Monday of each month at 6:30 p.m., with special meetings called as needed. The public is encouraged to attend any meeting of the Council or the boards and commissions. Meeting agendas are posted on the bulletin board outside Town Hall (1614 S Bowen Road) and at townofpantego.com/agendas at least seventy-two (72) hours prior.
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 directors, and performs countless other vital administrative functions. Under the Council’s authority, the Town of Pantego provides a full range of municipal services including general administration, public safety (police, fire, and EMS), streets, parks, animal control, planning and zoning, code compliance, municipal court, stormwater management, utility billing, and water and wastewater utilities.
What is a General Law Municipality?
General Law cities are smaller – often with a population of less than 5,000 – and their powers and duties are limited to what the state authorizes or permits them to do. 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, general law municipalities like Pantego may only exercise those powers and duties specifically granted or implied by statute. This designation was created in 1858, with much of the original language 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. Because Pantego is not divided into wards or precincts, the Council consists of a Mayor and five Councilmembers elected at large. A quorum is a majority (three) for general business or two-thirds for special meetings or those concerning taxation. The Mayor does not count towards a quorum and does not vote, except to break a tie.