Words to Know

Have you ever heard a word used in a Town setting and was unsure of its meaning? No problem! We compiled a list of words that are often misunderstood, unknown, and in some cases specific to the Town of Flower Mound. So, the next time a someone mentions a 'referendum', you will know what they are talking about.

Amendment:

A change or addition to a bill.

Autonomy:

Independence or freedom; the right of self-government.

Bill:

A legislative proposal.

Candidate:

A person seeking election to an office.

Chairman:

The presiding officer of a group or committee.

Citizen:

A native or naturalized member of a state or nation who owes allegiance to its government and is entitled to its protection.

Committee:

A group of people appointed for a specific function, typically consisting of members of a large group.

Congressional District:

A portion of a state containing approximately 600,000 people represented by one Member of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Constituents:

The residents of a district represented by a Member of Congress.

Constitution:

The legal document enumerating the structure of the United States federal government and its powers.

Debate:

A formal discussion, as in a legislative body, in which opposing arguments are put forward.

Democratic:

Characterized by the principle of political or social equality for all.

Districts:

Each state is divided into districts based on the state's population. Each district elects one Representative to serve in the House of Representatives.

Federal Government:

The central government of the United States established by the U.S. Constitution, composed of the legislative, executive, and judicial branches.

General Election:

Election held the Tuesday after the first Monday in November of even-numbered years, where representatives are chosen in all constituencies of a state.

Government:

The leadership of a community, state, or nation.

Hearing:

A meeting or session of a committee of Congress, usually open to the public, to obtain information and opinions on proposed legislation, conduct an investigation, or oversee a program.

Laws:

A rule of conduct established and enforced by the authority, legislation, or custom of a given community, state, or nation.

Initiative:

A procedure by which a specified number of voters may propose a statute, constitutional amendment, or ordinance, and compel a popular vote on its adoption.

Members-elect:

People elected to serve as a Councilmember who have not yet taken the Oath of Office.

National:

A citizen or subject of a particular nation who is entitled to its protection.

Naturalization:

The official act by which a person is made a national of a country other than his native one.

Oath of Office:

The oath each Member-elect must take to officially become a Councilmember.

Public Policy:

The set of policies that form the foundation of public laws.

Primary Election:

An election held to decide which candidates will represent the party in the November general election ballot.

Protocol:

A code of diplomatic rules of behavior.

Provisions:

A particular section or clause in legislation or law.

Quorum:

The minimal number of councilmembers or officers of a committee, usually a majority, who must be present for a valid transaction of business.

Redistricting:

The process within the States of redrawing legislative district boundaries to reflect population changes following the decennial census.

Referendum:

The submission of a law, proposed or already in effect, to a direct vote of the people.

Report:

The printed record of a committee’s actions, including its votes, recommendations, and views on a bill or question of public policy or its findings and conclusions based on oversight inquiry, investigation, or other study.

Session:

The length of time Town Council assembles to conduct business.

Subcommittee:

A committee composed of some members of a larger committee, board, or other body and reporting to it.

Tabling Motion:

Enables the assembly to set aside the pending motion temporarily to take up something more urgent.