Fort Worth, Texas

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Fort Worth, Texas
Fort Worth seal.jpg
General information
Betsy Price.jpg
Mayor:Betsy Price
Mayor party:Nonpartisan
Last mayoral election:2013
Next mayoral election:2015
Last city council election:2013
Next city council election:2015
City council seats:9
2014 FY Budget:$572 million
City website
Composition data
Population in 2013:792,727
Gender:50.9% Female
Race:White 61.1%
Hispanic or Latino 34.1%
African American 18.9%
Asian 3.7%
American Indian and Alaska Native alone 0.6%
Two or More 3.1%
Unemployment:4.7%
Median household income:$51,105
High school graduation rate:78.9%
College graduation rate:26.0%
Related Fort Worth offices
Texas Congressional Delegation
Texas State Legislature
Texas state executive offices
Fort Worth is a city in Texas that extends into Tarrant County and Denton County. As of 2013, its population was 792,727.[1]

City government

See also: Council-manager government

The city of Fort Worth utilizes a council-manager system. In this form of municipal government, an elected city council, which includes the mayor and serves as the city's primary legislative body, appoints a chief executive called a city manager to oversee day-to-day municipal operations and implement the council's policy and legislative initiatives.[2]

City manager

The city manager is the city's chief executive officer. The responsibilities of the city manager include overseeing the city's day-to-day operations, planning and implementing the city's operating budget and appointing departmental directors and other senior-level positions.[3]

Mayor

The mayor is a member of city council. He or she presides over city council meetings and official city ceremonies. The mayor also represents the city on the state, national and international levels. Betsy Price is the current Mayor of Fort Worth.[2]

City council

The Fort Worth City Council is the city's primary legislative body. Its responsibilities include levying taxes, adopting an annual operating budget, approving city ordinances, appointing committee members and overseeing all major real estate transactions and city contracts.[2]

Council membership

The city council consists of nine members including the mayor. While the mayor is elected at-large, the other eight members are elected by the city's eight districts.[2].

A full list of city council members can be found here

Boards and commissions

A series of advisory boards and commissions that are made up of non-elected citizens, whom city council members have appointed and approved, advises the Fort Worth City Council. The roles of these boards and commissions are to review, debate and comment upon city policies and legislation and to make recommendations to the city council.[4]

For a full list of Forth Worth's city boards, commissions and committees, see here.

Elections

2015

See also: Fort Worth, Texas municipal elections, 2015

The city of Fort Worth, Texas will hold elections for mayor and city council in 2015. Information on election dates will be posted once they are made available. All eight city council seats are up for election.

Budget

Fort Worth's adopted operating budget for fiscal year 2014 was $572 million.[5]

Contact Information

City of Fort Worth
1000 Throckmorton St.
Fort Worth, TX 76102
Phone: (817) 392-1234

To contact individual city council members and the mayor, see here

Ballot Measures

See also: Tarrant County, Texas ballot measures and Denton County, Texas ballot measures.

Fort Worth is located in Tarrant County and Denton County, Texas. A list of ballot measures in Tarrant County is available here; in Denton County, here.

Initiative process

See also: Laws governing local ballot measures in Texas

Population as of the July 2011 census update: 758,738.[6] Fort Worth is a charter city. Signature requirement is 20% of the total number of registered voters as shown by the registration books. Petition form requirements are in Fort Worth Charter, Art. XX, Sec. 2, including listing 5 registered voters as petitioners committee. File petitions with city secretary. After certification, the council has 30 days to pass the ordinance or submit at the next election occurring in the city; provided, that the city council shall, if in their judgment the public interests demand it, order an election to be held at an earlier date to be fixed by the council.

DocumentIcon.jpg Fort Worth Charter, Art. XX

Lobbying

In 2013, Fort Worth's federal lobbying related expenses amounted to approximately $160,000.[7] The issues for which the city filed in 2013, as well as the number of reports, can be seen in the box below. The issues column lists the generic issues that lobbyists working for local governments are required by law to disclose on quarterly federal disclosure forms.[8][9] The reports column gives the number of reports lobbyists filed in regards to each generic issue. To learn more about the details of the specific issues for which Fort Worth filed reports, read the federal disclosure forms by clicking the "Issues" links in the box below.

Federal Lobbying Issues, 2013
Reports Issues
4 Defense
4 Housing
4 Transportation
4 Urban Development

Public pensions

See also: Texas public pensions

The city guarantees pensions for life for its public employees. Fort Worth was listed number #10 in the nation with the shortest solvency horizons for municipal pension systems according to a report published by Northwestern University. The city is expected to pay out a total of $430 million in pensions between 2010 and 2040.[10]

Website evaluation

Grade2.pngB
Budget Y
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Meetings Y
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Elected Officials Y
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Administrative Officials P
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Permits, zoning
{{{1}}}
Audits Y
600px-Yes check.png
Contracts Y
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Lobbying N
600px-Red x.png
Public Records Y
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Local Taxes
{{{1}}}

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Transparency grading process

The good

  • Elected officials
    • Elected officials are listed with a mailing address, phone number and personalized email.[11]
  • Meetings
    • Meeting minutes are archived for 12 years.
    • Meeting agendas are archived for 8 years.
    • A meeting calendar is available and names the times and locations of public meetings.
    • Meeting video or podcasts are available.[12][13]
  • Administrative officials
    • Department heads are listed for each department.
    • Contact information for most administrative officials is provided including a mailing address and phone number.[14]
  • Public records
    • The public information officer is identified and maintained by Records and Information Management Office. This office provides a mailing address, phone number and personalized email.
    • A public records form is provided by the Records and Information Management Office.
    • A fee schedule for documents is provided.[15]
  • Budget
    • The most current budget is listed.
    • Budgets are archived for 8 years.[16]
  • Campaign Finance Reports are published.[17]
  • Information on ethics, contracts, and the tax rate are published.[18][19]
  • Permits and zoning
    • Zoning ordinances are posted online.
    • Permit applications can be downloaded on the site, along with information on how to apply for the permits.[20][21]
  • Audits
    • The most recent audit is posted.
    • Audits dating back to 2007 are available.[22]
  • Contracts
    • Bids and RFPs are posted online.
    • Approved contract statements are provided for vendors.[23]
  • Taxes
    • Tax revenues are broken down by federal, state, and local funding in the budget.
    • Local taxes, like property taxes, are available online.
    • Residents are able to pay taxes online.[24]

The bad

  • Administrative officials
    • Emails not provided for many officials. Some positions/departments have no contact information.[25]
  • There is no information on lobbying.

See Also

External links

References

  1. U.S. Census, "State and County Quick Facts," accessed on August 25, 2014
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 City of Fort Worth, "City Council," accessed on August 25, 2014
  3. City of Fort Worth, "City Manager," accessed on August 29, 2014
  4. City of Forth Worth, "Boards, Commissions & Committees," accessed on August 25, 2014
  5. City of Fort Worth, Texas: FY 2014 Annual Budget accessed on August 29, 2014
  6. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named census
  7. Open Secrets, "City of Fort Worth, TX," accessed on August 24, 2014
  8. U.S. House of Representatives: Office of the Clerk, "Lobbying Disclosure Act Guidance," accessed on November 11, 2014
  9. Open Secrets, "Methodology," accessed on November 11, 2014
  10. Texas Watchdog, "Fort Worth could run out of money for pensions in 2023, city on top 10-list based on predicted insolvency," October 13, 2010
  11. City of Fort Worth, "Officials," accessed on August 25, 2014
  12. City of Fort Worth, "Agendas Minutes and Agendas," accessed on August 25, 2014
  13. City of Fort Worth, "Recordings," accessed on August 25, 2014
  14. City of Fort Worth, "Departments," accessed on August 25, 2014
  15. City of Fort Worth, "Public Information," accessed on August 25, 2014
  16. City of Fort Worth, "Budget and Audits," accessed on August 25, 2014
  17. City of Fort Worth, "Campaign Finance Reports," accessed on August 25, 2014
  18. City of Fort Worth, "Ethics," accessed on August 25, 2014
  19. City of Fort Worth, "Contracts," accessed on August 25, 2014 (dead link)
  20. City of Fort Worth, "Permits," accessed on August 25, 2014
  21. City of Fort Worth, "Zoning," accessed on August 25, 2014
  22. City of Fort Worth, "Budget and Audits," accessed on August 25, 2014
  23. City of Fort Worth, "Contracts," accessed on August 25, 2014
  24. City of Fort Worth, "Taxes," accessed on August 25, 2014
  25. City of Fort Worth, "Departments," accessed on August 25, 2014