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Serving on council a choice, not a career

By Dawn Burleigh

The Orange Leader

 

Those serving on city council are among those who believe in giving back to the community and serving others.

For many, the position of mayor or council member is seen as a career, when according to Orange City Charter, councilmembers receive a monetary compensation of $100 a month for serving on the council. The mayor receives $200 a month for his services. A councilmember serving also as Mayor Pro Tem, Councilmember District 1 Patrick Pullen at this time, does not receive any extra for his extra duties.

“By charter, the amount can only be changed by voters,” Orange City Manager Mike Kunst said.

While the mayor is the presiding officer of the city council and shall be recognized as the head of the city government for all ceremonial purposes, all administrative duties fall to the city manager. 

“Council sets the policies and the budget,” Kunst explained. “The staff carries out the policies and runs the city.”

The mayor and council members are elected for three-year terms with no one serving more than five consecutive years on the council.

While the council selects the City Manager, the council approves the recommendation for City Secretary by the city manager.

The city manager is the one responsible for the hiring or firing of city offices, not the mayor. 

The council does, however, have the power to inquire into the conduct of any office, department, agency or officer of the city and to have investigations made as to municipal affairs.

The City of Orange received its Charter as a Home Rule City on July 21, 1914. The Council-Manager form of government was adopted in 1954 and continues today.

To serve on the council, one must be an United States citizen, 18-years of age, mentally competent, not be convicted of a felony, resided in the state of Texas for 12 months and within the city of Orange for six months, not be in arrears in the payment of any debt owed the city and be a qualified voter.