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Huntsville, Texas

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Budget Y
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Meetings Y
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Elected Officials Y
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Administrative Officials Y
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Permits, zoning Y
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Audits Y
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Contracts Y
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Lobbying N
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Public Records Y
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Local Taxes
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Transparency grading process

Huntsville is a city in Walker County, Texas. It is located in the East Texas Piney Woods on the Interstate 45 corridor between Houston and Dallas. Huntsville is home to Sam Houston State University, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Huntsville State Park, the HEARTS Veterans Museum of Texas, located on Texas State Highway 75 at Interstate 45, and the Texas Prison Museum, also on Highway 75 near Interstate 45. Huntsville served as the residence of Sam Houston, who is recognized in Huntsville by the Sam Houston Memorial Museum and a statue on Interstate 45.

Evaluating The Website

In 2011 Huntsville earned a Sunny Awards for having a perfect website transparency score.

This site was most recently evaluated on March 7, 2013.

The good

  • Budget
    • Current budget is posted.[1]
    • Budgets are archived for at least three years.
  • Elected Officials
    • The names and contact information of all city council members are listed.[2]
  • Meetings
    • City council minutes and agendas are published.[3]
    • Meeting minutes are archived to 2005.[4]
  • Administration
    • Administrative officials are listed in their departments, as well in the city staff directory.[5]
  • Permits and Zoning
    • Information on building permits are posted.[6]
    • Zoning information is posted.[7]
  • Audits
    • Annual audits, quarterly and monthly financial reports, credit card statements, and accounts payable records posted.[8]
    • Audits are archived to 2005.[9]
  • Contracts
    • Contracts and bidding information posted.[10]
    • Awarded bids are posted.[11]
  • Public Records
  • Taxes
    • Information on tax rates available.[13]

The bad

  • Lobbying
    • There is no information on lobbying.

Elected Officials

Office Name
Mayor J. Turner
At Large #1 James Fitch
At Large #2 Lydia Montgomery
At Large #3 Don H. Johnson
At Large #4 Keith D. Olson
Ward 1 Dr. Tom Cole
Ward 2 Mac Woodward
Ward 3 Jack Wagamon
Ward 4 Dr. Wayne Barrett

City Manager

The current city manager is William Baine.[14]

The purpose of the Office of City Manager is to provide plans, controls, direction, and coordination to the activities and functions of all City departments, resources, personnel, capital and projects of the City.[14]

  • The City Manager exercises leadership in maintaining effective communication between the City Council, City employees, and the citizens of Huntsville. As the City's Chief Executive Officer, the City Manager helps develop the City's mission, implements policies, and oversees legislative processes.
  • The City Manager also formulates, reviews, and submits the annual budget to the City Council for adoption. This office helps to preserve and enhance the quality of life for the Citizens of Huntsville.
  • The City Manager also performs other duties as assigned by the City Council.

Budget

The City of Huntsville's fiscal year runs from October 1 through September 30. Each spring the city begins the annual budget process to provide City Staff members with instructions and directions for budget request preparation. In accordance with the goals and priorities that resulted from this strategic planning session, City staff then prepare their departmental budget requests. Each City department prepares a base budget request and a supplemental budget request for each of their divisions.[15]

The base Budget is the portion of the budget that provides for the continuation of operations at the current service level taking into account the updated costs required to provide these services. The Supplemental Budget is the portion of the budget that includes new programs and personnel, new equipment, and any changes to the present level of service. Each department of the City prepares a budget that seeks to fulfill the City Council's strategic plan and long-term vision for the future of our community through every service they perform, both in daily operations and special projects and programs. Because of Huntsville's limited resources, not every budget request can be funded.[15]

The City manager reviews departmental budget requests and weighs them against available funding and other requests. The City Manager then presents a proposed budget to the CIty Council that includes recommended supplemental requests for new or expanded programs, additional personnel, new equipment, and proposed projects. The Council has the opportunity to revise the budget to conform with its objectives. Public Hearings regarding the budget and tax rate are held in July/August and open to the public.[15]

The city budget contains several different funds with the largest being the General Fund which is used for general government services that do not need to be accounted for separately. Examples of general government services are police protection, fire protection, park maintenance, and administrative activities. Once adopted, the budget takes effect on the first day of the fiscal year (October 1) and any major change must be approved by the City Council.[15]

Operating Budget Summary - Five Year Historical:[16]

06-07
Actual
07-08
Actual
08-09
Actual
09-10
Estimate
10-11
Adopted
Total Operating and Capital Budget $43,875,502 $54,602,004 $55,938,115 $51,757,802 $53,870,722

Taxes

The current Huntsville sales tax rate is 8.25%, of which:[13]

  • 1.50% to City
  • 0.50% to Walker County
  • 6.25% to the State of Texas

Public Employees

Below are the City of Huntsville compensation ranges for fiscal year 2009-10 by pay grade.[17] The website also has a list of positions by pay grade for reference.[18]

Grade Minimum
Annual
Median
Annual
Maximum
Annual
1 $22,298 $25,210 $30,742
2 $25,501 $28,850 $35,152
3 $29,182 $33,030 $40,206
4 $31,970 $36,171 $44,075
5 $33,259 $37,627 $45,843
6 $35,339 $39,978 $48,714
7 $37,398 $42,307 $51,522
8 $41,267 $46,675 $56,888
9 $42,162 $47,694 $58,094
10 $42,806 $48,443 $59,030
11 $49,046 $55,494 $67,642
12 $53,061 $60,029 $73,133
13 $59,592 $67,434 $82,139

Taxpayer-funded lobbying

Main article: Texas Municipal League members list

Huntsville pays membership dues to the Texas Municipal League, a government sector lobbying association.

External links

References

  1. Budget Documents
  2. Mayor and City Council
  3. [1]
  4. Archived Minutes
  5. Staff Directory
  6. Permits
  7. Zoning
  8. Financial Reports
  9. Archived Audits
  10. Bids and Contracts
  11. Awarded Bids
  12. Public Records
  13. 13.0 13.1 Taxes
  14. 14.0 14.1 City Manager
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 About the Budget
  16. 2010-11 Budget
  17. City of Huntsville Compensation Ranges, Fiscal Year 2009-10
  18. positions by pay grade