Ask the editor: What is a city charter?


Olivia LueckemeyerHome 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.

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Olivia Lueckemeyer
Olivia Lueckemeyer graduated in 2013 from Loyola University New Orleans with a degree in journalism. She joined Community Impact Newspaper in October 2016 as reporter for the Southwest Austin edition before her promotion to editor in March 2017. In July 2018 she returned home to the Dallas area and became editor of the Richardson edition.
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