A thumb-nail history of the city of Houston, Texas, from its founding in 1836 to the year 1912

THE CITY OF HOUSTON, TEXA 25
different wards or subdivisions of the city, under
the Houston system four aldermen are elected from
the body of the city by the votes of all the citizens,
in the same way in which the mayor is elected.
These four aldermen, together with the mayor, constitute
the city council or legislative department of
the city government. The executive power is vested
in the mayor, but by an'ordinance, for the administration
of the city's affairs, a large part of
executive or administrative power is subdivided
into different departments, and a committee is
placed over each department, and one of the four
aldermen, nominated by the mayor, is what is
known as the active chairman.
"The mayor and all four aldermen are members
of each committee. The active chairman of the
committee practically has control of the administration
of the department, unless his views are overruled
by the whole committee, but by the organization
of the committees the active chairman does the
work, to a certain extent, under the supervision and
direction of the mayor, who is, in the last analysis,
the head of each committee and the person in whom
the executive power of the municipal government
ultimately rests.
ider the old system of government, by which
twt;e aldermen were elected from as many different
precincts of the city, it frequently happened
that unfit men came to represent certain wards of
the city council. Now, unless a man has sufficient
standing and reputation throughout the body of

Young, Samuel Oliver. A thumb-nail history of the city of Houston, Texas, from its founding in 1836 to the year 1912. Houston, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth24649/. Accessed September 19, 2014.