Create a Website Account - Manage notification subscriptions, save form progress and more.
Show All Answers
Home Rule is the privilege of citizens at the grass roots level to manage their own affairs with minimal interference from the State. Home Rule assumes that government issues should be solved at the level closest to the people. “Local self-government is the cornerstone of democratic government.”
The Citizens of Sunnyvale voted to become Home Rule in May, 2013.
Home Rule - cities with a population over 5,000 in which the citizens have adopted a home rule charter to define the structure, power, duties, and authority of their local government. The legal position of Home Rule cities is the reverse of General Law cities. Rather than looking to state statutes to determine what they may do, as General Law cities must do, Home Rule cities look to their local Charters to determine what they may do. A Home Rule city may generally take any action that is not prohibited by the Texas Constitution or statutes as long as the authority is granted in the Charter of the city. Home Rule cities have the full power of self-government and may take any action in the interest of the citizens' health, safety and welfare that is not contrary to the Texas and U.S. Constitutions or federal or state laws.
 Frank Sturzl, Executive Director, Texas Municipal League
Home Rule cities must write and adopt a Charter. The Charter is akin to a municipal constitution that is written and adopted by an election of the citizens. The Charter defines and limits the powers, duties and responsibility of local government based on local preferences and desires. It defines the form of local government and establishes organizational provisions. The citizens determine the necessary controls over their city government such as elections, referendums, initiatives and recall, and define the procedures to amend the Charter. Essentially, the Charter describes and defines local government based on local preferences and controls as opposed to general laws written by the Texas legislature.
First adopted in May, 2013, it is required that the Town Council appoint a citizen's committee to review and recommend any changes to the Charter every 5 years.