Home rule cities such as Richardson have city charters. A home rule city is any city with a population of more than 5,000 people where residents have adopted a home rule charter, according to the Texas Municipal League.
A city charter establishes the city’s governmental structure and determines the distribution of powers and duties, as long as they are not prohibited by state law.
For instance, a city charter can determine the number of people on a city council or the responsibilities of governmental bodies, according to the Texas State Historical Association.
Richardson’s city charter, adopted in 1956, established a council-manager form of government that is still in place today. A revised charter was approved by voters in 1989 and amended in 2007 and 2012. The city also called for a charter election in 2015 that included 83 amendments, one of which doubled the pay per meeting for council members to $100.