What are some other distinctions between a General Law and a Home Rule city?

There are numerous distinctions between a Home Rule City and a General Law City. A few distinctions that receive the most attention amongst cities considering the transition include the following:

  1. Home Rule governance is synonymous with self-governance. The Charter is written by a commission of citizens, adopted by the citizens and defines the local government. The community prepares its Charter based on community norms, values, and priorities. Unlike the general laws of the State, which may address a multitude of conditions faced in many Texas communities, Home Rule Cities define for themselves how they want to be governed.
  2. Home Rule communities have a variety of tools available to manage the affairs of city government. The Charter provides a local response to the form of government desired by citizens; defines the structure of city government; establishes controls over city finances; and limitations on the powers of city government.
  3. Initiative, Referendum and Recall are three separate facets of direct democracy reserved for exclusive use by local voters that provide direct remedies in unusual situations. These powers are unique to Home Rule Cities and not available to voters at any other level of government.
  1. An initiative petition asks the City Council to act on a specific issue when it has not done so previously. If valid, the Council must adopt the petition or submit it to a vote of the people.
  2.  A referendum petition asks the City Council to reverse an action already taken or proposed. The Council can rescind the ordinance that is the subject of the referendum petition or submit it to a vote of the people.
  3. A recall petition asks the City Council to call an election for a vote to remove one or more Councilmembers and/or the Mayor from office. The targeted official may resign or stand for the recall election.

  4. Once a Charter is adopted, the citizens retain control over the Charter through the amendment process. 

Show All Answers

1. What is Home Rule?
2. What is a city charter?
3. What is the difference between General Law and Home Rule city?
4. How is a Home Rule Charter adopted?
5. What are some typical matters included in a Home Rule Charter?
6. What are some other distinctions between a General Law and a Home Rule city?
7. How has the public been involved in the Home Rule Charter process?
8. Why vote in the Alvarado Home Rule Charter election?