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Candidate Orientation January 24, 2011. Goals for Tonight’s session Informational in nature regarding the election process/introduction to the City of.

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Presentation on theme: "Candidate Orientation January 24, 2011. Goals for Tonight’s session Informational in nature regarding the election process/introduction to the City of."— Presentation transcript:

1 Candidate Orientation January 24, 2011

2 Goals for Tonight’s session Informational in nature regarding the election process/introduction to the City of Melissa. Not a session designed to get into specific issues. City will do its best to address any questions at the end and will follow up if necessary. Session is planned to last no more than one hour.

3 Rewards/Challenges Rewards Council’s essential role is developing policies and services that reflect the needs and values of the community. Working toward a better community as a team. Shape future of community. Challenges Required to regularly attend meetings/time away from family (typically in evenings). Varying viewpoints from residents on what is best for City. Infinite needs with finite resources.

4 Municipal Government Form – Type A General Law City. –Limited to authority specifically defined in State law. City beginning the process to present Home Rule concept to the voters in November 2011. City Council elected “at large.” City Council focus on policy direction while appointed City Administrator helps implement Council policy.

5 Roles and Duties of City Council City’s legislators’ primary duty is policy making. Council members’ goals should be to clearly identify community needs, formulate program to meet those needs, and then continuously measure effectiveness of programs. The City Council is the governing body for the City of Melissa and must bear responsibility for the integrity of governance. The Council shall govern the City with a commitment to preserving the values and integrity of representative local government and democracy. The Council must strive for continual improvement of each member’s personal knowledge and ability to serve in an atmosphere conducive to the responsible exchange of ideas.

6 Roles and Duties of City Council The Council will keep the community informed on municipal affairs; encourage communication between the citizens and Council and strive for constructive relationships with Collin County, neighboring communities, Melissa Independent School District and other governmental bodies. The Council will recognize and address the rights and privileges of the social, cultural, and physical characteristics of the community when setting policy. The Council will seek to improve the quality and image of public service. The Council will commit to improving the quality of life for the individual and the community, by being dedicated to the faithful stewardship of the public trust.

7 Council Meetings 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month with special meetings called as needed. Work shops or work sessions are designed to facilitate policy discussion or direction as needed by Staff.

8 Parts of the Agenda Consent - "Consent" items are routine items that can be considered and voted upon as a block. Regular Agenda - New ordinances or resolutions (or amendments to existing ones) or policies that Council Members or city staff wish to have the council consider. Under the open meeting law, each item to be considered must be described on the agenda. Executive Session - Closed meetings ("executive sessions") are permitted for the discussion of items that legitimately fall within the exceptions stated in the law.

9 Texas Open Meetings Act Requires that written notice of the date, hour, and location of every council meeting, together with an agenda specifically describing all of the items to be considered, be posted 72 hours in advance of such meeting. Exceptions to the 72-hour posting requirement are only for matters deemed a case of "emergency or urgent public necessity.” Executive Sessions are the only exception to Open Meetings Act and is defined under the OMA.

10 Public Information Act Chapter 552 of the Government Code requires that most city records, including those in the possession of Council Members, be open to public inspection. City has ten days to release requested information if it exists or request Attorney General’s Office make a ruling on exception to the request as allowed under the PIA.


12 Role of staff in election process Staff is politically neutral and will not be a party to election matters, with the exception of administering the election process. Staff is unbiased and works for the Council whom the community elects. While employees can cast their vote in the election (as long as they reside in Melissa) they cannot campaign and are to provide only factual data that is requested through the Public Information Act.

13 Election Calendar - Summary FEBRUARY 14, 2011*FIRST DAY for candidate to file application with City Secretary for a place on the ballot. *City Hall offices are closed on Saturday, February 12; therefore the first day to file will fall on Monday, February 14, 2011. MARCH 14, 2011LAST DAY to file application with City Secretary for a place on the ballot. (5:00 p.m.). MARCH 15, 2011CONDUCT DRAWING order of names on ballot. MARCH 22, 2011LAST DAY for candidate to withdraw (5:00 p.m.) from the election and have name removed from ballot. APRIL 14, 2011LAST DAY for submitting voter registration application in time to vote at the election or for requesting transfer of registration in time to vote in new precinct not in the same county and territory. MAY 14, 2011ELECTION DAY MAY 23, 2011REGULAR CITY COUNCIL MEETING MAY 23, 2011 CANVASS ELECTION (REGULAR CITY COUNCIL MEETING). (Tentative) CANVASS MUST OCCUR BETWEEN THREE AND ELEVEN DAYS AFTER THE ELECTION.

14 If you decide to file, candidate packet will include information on Political Advertising “What You Need to Know” Fair Campaign Practices Act Code of Fair Campaign Practices Title 15 of the Texas Election Code 2011 Filing Schedule Texas Ethics Commission Campaign Finance Guide for Candidates and Officeholders Who File with Local Filing Authorities Candidate/Officeholder Campaign Finance Report and Instruction Guide Websites included for forms and other needed information

15 Political Signage City is not the political sign police—complaints should be directed to the State Ethics commission. However, general guidelines are as follows (more information in the candidate packet) –Political signs may not be placed in the public rights of way. –Political signs may only be placed on private property with the consent of the property owner. –Any political sign placed within City right-of-way will be removed and kept at City Hall until released to owner or disposed of in accordance with the Sign Ordinance (City will need contact information to let candidate know sign has been picked up and where it is being stored). –Political signs shall not: (i) exceed 8’ from the ground to the highest point of the sign; (ii) exceed 30 square feet in area; (iii) contain any moving parts; or (iv) be dilapidated or cause a hazard.

16 Ballot Draw In the event of multiple candidates running for a specific seat, a ballot draw will be conducted to determine the order of the names on the ballot. The drawing is posted according to law and held in a public place with notices given to all candidates of the dates and times – candidate not required to attend but notice will be given to all candidates via email. Ballot Order is then submitted to Collin County Elections for ballot design and printing.

17 Night of election At 7:00 p.m. on election night, the polls close and votes are tabulated by Collin County Elections. City receives notice at same time as Collin County posts results on their website ( As a General Law city, Melissa is under the plurality system, where the most votes in a given race determines the winner (opposed to majority—thus no runoffs in Melissa).

18 Swearing in The official swearing in cannot occur until the County releases the official results and the City canvasses said results (3-11 days after election). Between election night and swearing in, Staff and Council will work diligently to bring new members up to speed as quickly as possible.

19 Elected Officials Training Internal orientation with Mayor/Council and Staff Texas Municipal League’s (TML) Newly Elected Officials Conference in Austin– July 15-16 & August 5-6, 2011. Texas Municipal League Conference – October Miscellaneous Trainings to be determined

20 Plans Comprehensive Plan: –The document reviewed many building blocks for community development including utilities, thoroughfares, parks, facilities, housing, and many other issues. –Action steps that were to be considered in the future were outlined and designed to help the City address any existing issues identified through the study or to help the City proceed in the desired direction. Capital Improvement Programs: –Plans are for the ultimate growth of each of these systems and total in excess of $100 million. Each plan is built upon the assumption of growth in the City of Melissa tax base/ customers/community and established general timelines on what infrastructure needs to be in place if certain growth occurs. If the growth does not occur, the projects are not constructed until the need exists.

21 Plans SWOT Analysis: –In August 2009, the University of Texas-Arlington's School of Urban and Public Affairs were asked to conduct an Economic Development Strategic Plan for Melissa. –UTA conducted a Strengths-Weaknesses-Opportunities-Threats analysis for the Melissa community as it related to economic development and what items the City should be most focused on in the coming years. Service Summary Planning: –The Summary is a tool that gauges City Council opinion on many different topics. –The compiled results are then reviewed together to gauge the collective opinion of the City Council and help set the direction for the upcoming budget process and to identify those long term items that need to be addressed.

22 Questions

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