The City Council is the legislative and policy-making body of the City of Abilene, a "home-rule" city, operating under the authority of the city charter, adopted in 1962. The council enacts legislation, adopts the budget, sets the tax rate, determines policies, approves the Mayor's appointment of the City Manager, City Secretary, City Attorney, Municipal Court Judge, and all Boards and Commissions members.
Six City Councilors represent each of six "places" in the city (three north of S. 1st Street and three south of S. 1st) but are elected and serve "at-large", representing all the citizens of Abilene. Councilors serve staggered three year terms with two members up for reelection each year. The Mayor is also elected at large and also serves a three-year term. There are no term limits for either the Council or the Mayor.
The Council receives information from the following groups to decide issues and set policy:
- Recommendations from City staff based upon study and analysis
- Inquiries and information from citizens
- Decisions and advice from City Boards and Commissions
- Professional advisers/consultants as needed
The City Council holds regularly scheduled meetings on the second and fourth Thursday of every month in the Council Chambers, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 555 Walnut Street; second Thursday meetings begin at 4:30 pm, and fourth Thursday meetings begin at 8:30 am. At times, the Mayor and City Council meet in special session to discuss urgent matters.