The Houston City Council is the City’s legislative body, with the power to enact and enforce all ordinances and resolutions. Five Council Members are elected At-Large or city-wide, while eleven are elected to geographic districts of roughly the same population proportion.
The sixteen Council Members, along with the Mayor, act only by ordinance, resolution or motion. They adopt and alter the annual budget, confirm the Mayor’s appointments, and make land use decisions as well as legislating on a variety of other issues. Council is responsible for the appropriation and issuance of bonds, the awarding of contracts and the approval of City expenditures over $50,000. Council may lease or dispose of the City’s real estate and may levy assessments against property. Council determines its own rules of procedure, and its meetings are open to the public. Council Members are limited to serving two terms of four years each, with each term beginning on January 2.