City Council Meetings are a chance for you to see your local government in action and make your voice heard. There are often public workshops to discuss important topics, and it’s the chance for you to see exactly where your tax dollars are going and get a fascinating, first-hand look into the municipal decision-making process.
City Council is made up of a Mayor and six Councilmembers. Four of those Councilmembers are designated as “ward Councilmembers,” and two other Councilmembers are elected as “at-large” Councilmembers, representing the city as a whole. The ward councilmembers are elected by citizens who live in that area and are required to live in the ward they represent. The meeting is run by the City Manager, who executes or directs staff to execute any decisions they approve.
Check what ward you’re in here!
Since Beaumont’s charter was adopted in 1947, the city has operated as a “council-manager” form of government. This means that an elected group of councilmen, collectively called the City Council, will be responsible for enacting local legislation, adopting budgets, determining policies, and appointing the City Manager and other officials such as City Clerk, City Magistrate, and City Attorney.
The Open Meetings Act (Government Code, Chapter 551) requires that all meetings of governmental bodies be open to the public (except for expressly authorized executive sessions). This, along with the Quorum Act, are two key laws that guarantee that all decisions regarding the city are done in accordance with Beaumont’s city charter and Texas state law. A quorum is also required for any City-related business to be discussed and decided upon, which states that at least four councilmembers must be present, and for any vote to pass, they also need a majority of four.
Want to learn more about the charter and policies for Beaumont
You can read the charter here.
When & Where:
Beaumont City Council meets every Tuesday at 1:30 PM in Council Chambers, on the first floor of City Hall (801 Main Street). There is also one special nighttime meeting each quarter. Agendas for the following week are released every Friday afternoon, which can be viewed along with the supporting documents in the meeting packet on our website.
There are two opportunities to speak – at the beginning, on any of the agenda items to be discussed, or at the end during public comment. This is when you can voice any concerns about what’s going on in your neighborhood or even give ideas to the Mayor and Council about what you would like to see for the future of Beaumont.
To speak at the meeting, fill out the bright green comment slip located at the back of the room and notate whether you want to speak on behalf of one of the agenda items or during the public comment section. The City Clerk will call your name when it is your turn. You must be physically present, and you are required to state your first name, last name, and address for the City Council Meeting Minutes, which are recorded by the City Clerk. You’ll have 3 minutes, which is kept track of with a countdown timer at the podium.
Beaumont’s government is for the people, by the people. This means that your elected officials work for you, and that’s no small undertaking! City Council makes major decisions on things like city infrastructure projects, budgets, and tax rates. If you want to have a say in what’s going on in your city and have a vested interest in your community, watching or attending city council meetings is the best way to stay informed about what’s going on in Beaumont. They also appoint citizens to serve on boards like the Historic Landmark Commission and the Planning and Zoning Commission. These boards have regular meetings in Council Chambers as well, and you can see that schedule on the City Calendar.
Get in Touch:
In addition to attending the meetings, your elected officials make it a point to be as approachable as possible. On the city’s website, there is an option to Contact Your Councilmember or the Mayor, where you can submit a message to any of the elected officials. This is a great way to contact them directly to provide your feedback or ask your questions!