Liberty Hill voters might consider adopting the city’s Home Rule Charter in the upcoming November election.

The Home Rule Charter, which almost every city has, allows cities with over 5,000 residents to determine and manage their own affairs, such as city manager and council relationship as well as council terms.

Zooming in

The city’s Home Rule Charter Commission is about halfway through the process of having a draft of the charter ready for council’s review. City Secretary Elaine Simpson said the draft should go before council in July.

If council approves the draft, it would then call an election for it in August. The election for the city’s Home Rule Charter would then go on the November 2024 ballot.

Simpson said the commission is using a generic document called “the model city charter” to draft Liberty Hill’s Home Rule Charter. Almost every city in Texas uses a variation of the model city charter.

So far, Simpson said the commission has discussed including the following on Liberty Hill’s Home Rule Charter:
  • A council-city manager form of government, which means City Council will determine a policy and the city manager will then execute it
  • Retainment of the three-year City Council terms
  • Ability to have recall elections, which allows voters to oust an elected official before their terms end
“[These] are things that a little town that’s a general law city like we are now—we can’t do that. Because it’s not part of state law for cities,” she said. “So this is one of the big benefits of going to home rule. You get to determine [these things].”

What’s next?

The Home Rule Charter Commission will be hosting a town hall-style meeting June 10, where the community will be allowed to ask questions about the charter. Simpson said a draft of the charter will more than likely be presented to council on July 8.

“I am positive on this one. I’ve been impressed with the commissioners [and] the work of the commission so far,” she said. “I think they’re going to turn in a really, really well-thought-out draft.”