In May of 1955, Margate became a town and then on June 22, 1961, Margate became incorporated as a City. At that time, Margate had a Mayor/Council form of government. In March of 1977, the form of government was changed to City Manager/Commission and that has not changed since that time. With this form of government, the City Manager is the chief administrative officer of the City and is responsible for administering the affairs and the day-to-day operation of the City. Our City Manager is responsible to the City Commission and carries out the policies set by the Commission.
The City Commission is the legislative body of our government and is comprised of five members who are elected "at large" by the voters of Margate. That means they do not have to live in a certain district of the City. Our Commissioners serve a four-year term of office. Starting in 2012, the City elections will be held in the month of November, in conjunction with Broward County elections. Every March the five Commissioners elect from among themselves a Mayor and a Vice Mayor to serve a one-year term. The Mayor serves as the ceremonial head and as the Chairman of the City Commission for their meetings. Both the Mayor and Vice Mayor have full voting powers on the Commission.
The most important document concerning our city government is the "City Charter". The following is an example of what our Charter contains:
- Type of government.
- Commission terms of office and filing requirements.
- Duties of elected officials.
- Duties of City Manager and City Clerk.
- Sets forth budget and fiscal requirements for the City.
- Provides for certain city boards (volunteers who are appointed by the Commission).
- Contains city boundaries
The Regular City Commission meetings are held on the first and third Wednesday evening at City Hall and start at 7:00 PM. Special meetings are called for as needed. The City Commission also has Workshop Meetings to discuss specific items when more time needs to be devoted to special matters. Historically, the City Commission goes on break in the summer and again for the winter holidays. In order to meet the requirement of Section 3.17 of the Margate Charter to hold no less than two City Commission meeting per month, the City Commission meets the first two Wednesdays in July and the last two Wednesdays in August. Likewise, the City Commission meets the first two Wednesdays in December, and the last two Wednesdays in January. In October of each year, the City Commission schedule is approved by resolution. A copy of the meeting schedule is posted on the bulletin board outside of city hall and on the city's website.
All the city meetings (Commission, board and committee) are open to the public with proper notice being given by posting all meeting notices on the bulletin board located on the front of our City Hall and by mailing the notices to the press for reporting to the public on meetings to be held.
In Florida we have a law known as "THE SUNSHINE LAW" that requires open meetings where proper notice must be given by governmental agencies. We welcome your attendance at any of our meetings and encourage you to see your government at work.
Each department of the City is managed by a Department Head who is responsible to the City Manager for the efficient management of their department. The City Clerk and the City Attorney, however, are responsible to and work for the City Commission.
Margate has grown considerably since 1967 when there were approximately 5,700 residents. As of April 2009, there are 53,207 residents. City laws are called ordinances and are passed upon the approval of a majority of the City Commissioners at a public meeting. Ordinances require two meetings and are voted on at each of the two meetings with a record being made of how each Commissioner votes on every item that comes before them. Minutes are required for all city meetings and are available for public inspection.
Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact the City Clerk.