How a city operates

Published 9:06 am Wednesday, July 8, 2015

By Jimmy Sims

I have many things to be thankful for; my family, my faith, and the passion and honor to serve as Mayor for the Citizens of Orange.  I appreciate the Orange Leader’s invitation to participate in submitting this article and hope you find it enlightening and interesting.  I want my comments to evolve into what the City of Orange is doing but in order to do that, I want to start with the basics of how the City operates.
The Citizens of Orange adopted a Home Rule municipal form of government.  This affords the Citizens the ability to set its boundaries, borrow funds, and pass Ordinances to name a few.  The form of operation of the City is known as the Council-Manager form of government.  This means that the City Council is an elected body which will enact local legislation, adopt budgets, determine policies, and appoint the City Manager.  All powers of the City comes from the City Charter which was last updated in 2010 by the Citizens of Orange.
The City Council consists of a Mayor and six other Council Members.  Four Council Members shall be residents of the districts in which they reside.  The City is divided into four separate districts.  These districts are known as Districts 1, 2, 3, and 4.  Two Council Members and the Mayor are elected at-large meaning they are elected by all of the Citizens and do not have to reside in a specific district to be elected.  Each member of Council serves a staggered three year term and cannot serve more than five consecutive terms.
The City Council appoints the City Manager.  The Citizens of Orange are fortunate to have a stable and professional management team.  The City Manager is the chief administrator and executive officer of the City.  City Council sets the policies and direction of the City and the City Manager operates the day-to-day activities of the City.  The City Manager is chosen based on executive and administrative training, experience, and ability.
The City Manager appoints and directs all department heads, prepares and submits the annual budget to the City Council for approval, submits an annual audit of all the City accounts to City Council for approval, reports the financial condition to the City Council and other duties as prescribed by City Council.
I hope this helps explain and outline the structure and operation of the City.  We always want citizens to participate in their government and encourage them to attend our Council Meetings.  The Council Meetings are held on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month.  The second Tuesday meeting of the month is held at 9:00 am and the fourth Tuesday meeting of the month is held at 5:30 pm.  These meetings are held at 220 North 5th Street in the Council Chambers.
I look forward to discussing future topics with you.  If you have a topic of particular interest, please contact me at 409-883-1016 and I will include it in a future discussion.  The Council, staff, and I are here to serve the Citizens of Orange.

Jimmy Sims is the City of Orange Mayor.