Council, Place 1

Jessica Ortega Councilwoman Ortega is a 1992 graduate of Mission High School and a 1997 graduate of the University of Texas Pan American with a Bachelor’s degree in Arts of Communication-Journalism and 2005 with a Master’s degree of Science in Social Work. Councilwoman Ortega is serving her third term having been elected in May 2014, 2018, and 2022 to a four-year term. She is the Life Skills Coach with the Pregnancy Education and Parenting Program with the La Joya I.S.D. Councilwoman Ortega was named Mission’s Woman of the Year in 2007 for years of community service.  She is a past president of Silver Ribbon Community Partners against Elder Abuse and was a member of the Rio Grande Valley Diabetes Association and Mission Leadership class of XXVII Alumni.

Council, Place 2 Mayor Pro Tem

Ruben Plata Mayor Pro Tem Ruben Plata attended the University of Texas-Pan American and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and accounting. Councilman Plata was elected to office in October 2007 to fill the vacancy created by Councilwoman Gen Long’s resignation. Councilman Plata was elected to a four-term in May 2008, 2012, 2016 and ran unopposed in May 2020. Councilman Plata has served as member and chairman of the Greater Mission Chamber of Commerce, member and vice-president for the Mission Boys and Girls Club of Mission, member of Mission Economic Development Authority, Cimarron Country Club, Regional Mobility Authority, North American Butterfly Association, member and chairman of the Mission Historical Museum, and member and chairman of the United Way of South Texas. Councilman Plata was named Mission’s Man of the Year in 2006 for his significant service to the city. He was also named the 2007 SBA Financial Services Champion of the Year for South Texas. Councilman Plata is a past president of the Valley Bankers Association, a past member of the Mission CISD Facilities Advisory Committee, and is currently a board member of the Rotary Club of Mission.

Council, Place 3

Marissa Ortega Gerlach Councilwoman Marissa Ortega Gerlach graduated from Sharyland High School in 1994 and received a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from the University of Texas-Pan American in 1999.  Councilwoman Gerlach was elected in December 2023 during a special election held to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Councilman Abiel Flores. Councilwoman Gerlach’s career in accounting includes internal and external auditing for various companies and financial institutions, Securities and Exchange Commission reporting, and compliance assurance.  She is currently Jaguar Hydrostatic Testing, LLC’s business manager and head of human resources.  Councilwoman Gerlach is the treasurer and founding member of the Veterans Memorial High School Golf Booster Club, a founding member of the Greater Gold Foundation, a member of the American Petroleum Institute – Rio Grande Valley Chapter, and has volunteered with the Texas Citrus Fiesta.

Council, Place 4

Jose Alberto Vela, PharmD Councilman Alberto Vela is a Pharmacist and business owner. Councilman Vela was born and raised in Mission, Texas, attended Mission High School, and graduated from Texas Southern University in Houston, Texas, where he pursued his Doctorate in Pharmacy. Councilman Vela was appointed to the City Council in June 2019 and was elected to a four-year term in 2020, running unopposed.

Councilman Vela has been a pharmacist since 2002 and a business owner since 2004, calling Mission home to his first pharmacy, TLC Pharmacy & Medical Equipment. He has now expanded his business to own other pharmacies and has become a prominent land developer. Councilman Vela has always been an advocate for his profession and has been involved in many associations; RGV Pharmacy Association, Texas Pharmacy Business Council, and Texas Pharmacy Association, among others. Councilman Vela owns multiple companies and has over 360 employees. Councilman Vela became a stockholder and is a board member of Freedom Bank.

Council Overview

The City Council is the legislative and governing body of the City of Mission, Texas. The City Council is composed of the Mayor and 4 Council members. The members of the City Council are elected from the City of Mission, Texas by an at-large election. City Council members, excluding the Mayor, hold place numbers 1 through 4. Council members serve for 4-year staggered terms. The City Council, at its first meeting after an election, will elect one of its members to serve as Mayor Pro-Tem. City Council meetings are held every second and fourth Monday of the month at 4:30 p.m. at the City Hall Council Chambers at 1201 E. 8th St. The City Council may call a special meeting as it deems necessary, which will be posted to the public in the same manner as a regular meeting.

The City Council has the power to determine all matters of policy for the city, as well as the power to:

  • Adopt the city’s budget
  • Authorize the issuance of bonds through a bond ordinance
  • Inquire into the conduct of any office, department, or agency of the city and make investigations regarding municipal affairs
  • Provide for such additional boards and commissions, as may be deemed necessary, appoint the members of all boards and commissions, and to confer powers and duties to such boards or commissions as stated in the City Charter, by the city ordinance, or by law
  • Adopt and modify the zoning plan and building code of the city
  • Adopt and modify the official map of the city
  • Adopt, modify and carry out plans of the Planning and Zoning Commission
  • Regulate, license and fix the charges or fares made by any person, firm or corporation owning, operating or controlling any vehicle used for the carrying of passengers for hire or the transportation of freight for hire on the public streets and alleys of the city
  • Provide for the establishment and designation of fire limits and the kind and character of the buildings and structures or improvements to be erected therein, and to provide for condemnation of dangerous structures or buildings
  • Fix the salaries and compensation of city officers and employees
  • Provide for sanitary garbage disposal and set fees and charges, and provide penalties for failure to pay such fees and charges
  • Exercise exclusive dominion, control and jurisdiction in, upon, over and under the public streets, avenues, sidewalks, alleys, highways, boulevards and public grounds of the city and provide for the improvement of the same
  • Compromise and settle any and all claims and lawsuits of every kind and character in favor of or against the city
  • Define all nuisances and prohibit the same within the city and outside the city limits for a distance of 5,000 feet
  • Appropriate money from the general fund for the establishment and maintenance of a public library, a Board of City Development and/or other public organizations or activities having a valid municipal purpose

Neither the City Council nor any of its members shall direct the hiring of any person. Except for the purpose of inquiry, the City Council and its members deal with the administrative services of the city solely through the City Manager.

Mayor Pro-Tem

The members of the City Council are elected from the City of Mission, Texas by an at-large election. The City Council, at its first meeting after an election, will elect one of its members as Mayor Pro-Tem. The Mayor Pro-Tem will perform all mayoral duties in the absence or disability of the Mayor.

Conflict of Interest Statements

Local Government Code 176.009 requires municipalities to post Conflicts Disclosure Statements.