Your decision to serve your local community can be very rewarding and fulfilling. Serving on the Town Council or any other board of the Town can be an interesting and challenging task. There are many things to consider when deciding to run for a local office. The booklet A Guide to Becoming a City Official may answer some questions that you may have. I am available for questions at any time as you go through the process.
How a Municipality Works
Terms, Qualifications, and Vacancies
A city is home rule if it has a charter. It is Type C (general law) if it is governed by a mayor and two commissioners. If the city is not home rule or Type C, it is either Type A or Type B. Type A and Type B general law cities have five aldermen and a mayor. The only way to determine which type a city is, is to obtain a copy of the records of the incorporation election from the county clerk or the city secretary. If a general law city with an alderman form of government has a population of over 600, it is probably (but not absolutely) a Type A City.
The general rule for residence and age requirements is section 141.001(a)(2),(5) of the Election Code.
Any city, whether home rule or general law, that has increased its terms of office to 3 years or 4 years must fill vacancies by a majority vote at a special election within 120 days after the vacancy or vacancies occur; except that a home-rule municipality may provide by charter or charter amendment the procedure for filling a vacancy occurring on its governing body for an unexpired term of 12 months or less. See Art. XI, Sec.11 (as amended) for details.
Type A City (Local Gov't Code, Section 22.010)
- Term of office -- 2 years/can opt for up to 4 (Local Gov't Code, Section 22.035)*
- Population -- at least 600 (Local Gov't Code, Section 6.001)
- One vacancy -- city council may fill vacancy by appointment (majority of remaining members, excluding the mayor, make the appointment) until the next regular city election (at which time office will go on ballot for unexpired term, if any) or call a special election to fill the vacancy for the remainder of the unexpired term.*
- Two vacancies at same time -- city council must order a special election to fill the vacancies for the remainder of the unexpired term.*
- A special election ordered to fill these vacancies is governed by Title 12 of Election Code.
- *A 3-year or 4-year term requires adoption by election (Art. XI, Sec.11, Tex.Const.); once adopted, vacancies must be filled by special election. See Art. XI, Sec.11 for details.