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The City of Portland was formed as a Private Act Charter Municipality.  The City Charter provides for the specific powers, duties and responsibilities of the Mayor and *Board of seven (7) Aldermen.  Private Act Charter Municipalities make up more than sixty percent of all of Tennessee’s cities.

Although Portland was incorporated in May 1905 and the first Mayor and Board of Aldermen elected at that time, Portland’s Private Act Charter was not established until 1939 by action of the Tennessee Legislature, defining the duties of the Mayor and Board of Aldermen.

Municipal elections are now held in November to coincide with General Elections (Ordinance #12-01).   The mayor is elected to a four-year term.  Three of the seven Board of Aldermen seats are filled in the same city election as that of mayor; each to four-year terms.  The remaining four Board of Aldermen seats are up for election to four-year terms in the next election cycle, two years later.  This results in ‘staggered terms’ and was intended to retain experienced people in office at all times.

The Mayor and Board of Aldermen meet on the first and third Monday evenings of each month in the Council Room at Portland City Hall.   Meetings are open to the public.

*Also referred to as City Council Members