Oscar Hernandez
Professor Gonzales
Government 2301
November 6,1998

Augustus C. Allen and John K. Allen laid out the plan for Houston after a Mexican Army destroyed European settlement. Houston served as a capital in 1837 for Austin because of the revolution but it was then granted incorporation to Houston on June 5, 1837. Houston is one of the two largest cities in Texas and among the biggest in the United States. The City of Houston received its first Charter from the Congress of the Republic of Texas in 1837 as an apparent amendment to a bill that was originally intended to incorporate the city of Nagadoches. In 1839, the Congress of Texas granted the city it's own unique Charter, which was amended by various times by Legislature in 1905 and again in 1911. Houston's governments consist of a mayor, a fourteen-member city council, and a city controller. The Mayors who are Lee Brown serves as the Executive Officer of the City. As the City's chief administrator and official representative, the mayor is responsible for the general management of the City and for seeing that all laws and ordinances are enforced. Some of the administrative duties include the appointments, with council approval, of department heads and persons serving on advisory board. The Mayor administers and signs all motions, resolutions and ordinances passed by City Council. The Mayor also serves a legislative function, presiding over City Council with voting privileges and is responsible for advising council of the City's financial condition and presents to Council an annual budget for approval. The Council is the City's legislative body, with power to enact and enforce all ordinances and resolutions. Nine council members are elected from the districts which include; Bruce Tatro, Michael Yarbrough, Martha Wong, Jew Don Boney Jr., Rob Todd, Ray Driscoll, Jean Kelly, Felix Fraga, and John Castillo and are in office now. Also, five are elected at-large, by all voters of the City and include; Annis D. Parker, Joe Roach, Orlando Sanchez, Chris Bell, and Carroll Robinson. These fourteen members, along with the Mayor, act only by ordinance, resolution or motion. They adopt and may alter the annual budget and confirm the Mayor's appointments. Council is responsible for the appropriation and issuance of bonds, the awarding of contract and the approval for the City's expenditure over $5000. Council may lease or dispose of the City's real estate and may levy assessment against property. Council determines its own rule of procedure, and it's meetings are open to the public. The city controller is the one who maintains current records of all money received and spent by the City, handles all City disbursements, approves expenditures and participates in the issuance of bonds. The Controller is also responsible for providing Council with a yearly report of the City's financial transaction. Houson's City controller is Sylvia Garcia. Houston's City attorneyis Anthony W. Hall and thei City secretary is Anna Russell.