Charter city

In the United States, a charter city is a city in which the governing system is defined by the city's own charter document rather than by general law. In states where city charters are allowed by law, a city can adopt or modify its organizing charter by decision of its administration by the way established in the charter. These cities may be administered predominantly by residents or through a third-party management structure, because a charter gives a city the flexibility to choose novel types of government structure. In conclusion, they do have certain rights.



For example, in California, cities which have not adopted a charter are organized by state law. Such a city is called a General Law City, which will be managed by a 5-member city council. A city organized under a charter may choose different systems, including the "strong mayor" or "city manager" forms of government.[1][2] As of 22 February 2013, 121 of California's 478 cities are charter cities.[3] A few examples include Norco, Oakland, Newport Beach, Palo Alto, Huntington Beach, Alameda, San Francisco, San Luis Obispo, Irvine, Los Angeles, San Jose, Merced and the capital, Sacramento.[4] However, charter cities that are subordinate to the rules of larger institutions (such as provinces or nations) have limited flexibility to adopt new governance structures.


Under Texas law, unless a city charter is passed, cities have only those powers granted under the Texas Constitution and the general laws of the state, and no more.

Once city reaches a population of 5,000, the voters may petition an election for a city charter. If the charter is approved by the voters, the city is governed under home rule status, which allows the city to pass any ordinance which is "not inconsistent" with either the Texas Constitution or the general laws of the state. This has caused some turmoil between cities seeking to pass laws and the Legislature attempting to keep them from doing so; examples include plastic bag bans (or plastic bag fees) and bans on oil and gas drilling within city limits. The city may retain home rule status even if the population subsequently falls below 5,000.

Texas law does not allow counties or special districts (other than school districts) to operate under a charter, their powers are strictly limited to those under the Texas Constitution and general law. School districts may petition for a charter; however, no school district has done so.

Development potential

Economist Paul Romer proposes founding many new charter cities in developing countries. Romer suggests that a developing country pass a law that sets aside a tract of land for a new charter city. This charter city would be administered by a developed third-party guarantor government, and citizens from the host country (and maybe other countries) could move in and out as they please. The point of the charter cities idea is to give citizens the choice about where they want to live and to provide the basic rules and amenities required for economic growth. Ideally, by establishing a city with highly developed rules and governance in an underdeveloped region, living and working in a charter city may provide a closer and more attractive alternative to moving far away to more developed countries.[5][6]

In Romer’s conception, there are three main factors in the creation of a charter city. First, there is the developing host country. The host country provides the land, and designates that land as a special reform zone, subject to the foundational set of rules. Second, the developed guarantor country administers the region, perhaps with a board of governors and an appointed chairman like the Federal Reserve System in the United States. Third, the source country will be where the charter city’s residents come from. This may be predominantly from the host country, but there also may be a number of source countries.[6]

In practice, some countries have been receptive to Romer's idea. After a meeting of Romer with president Marc Ravalomanana, Madagascar considered creating two charter cities, but the plan was scrapped when the political leadership that supported the idea was removed from power.[7] More recently, the government of Honduras has considered creating a charter city, though without the oversight of a third-party government. In 2011 Honduras made the necessary legal changes. Romer served as chair of a "transparency committee" but resigned in September 2012 when the Honduran government agency responsible for the project signed agreements with international developers without knowledge of the committee.[8] In October 2012 the Honduran Supreme Court declared charter cities to be unconstitutional because the laws of Honduras would not be applicable there.[9][10]

See also


  1. ^ "Charter Cities". League of California Cities. 2007-05-09. Retrieved 2008-04-17.
  2. ^ "California Government Code, Title 4 Government of Cities, Chapter 2 Classification". State of California. Retrieved 2008-04-17.
  3. ^ "Charter Cities List". League of California Cities. 22 February 2013. Retrieved 2016-06-23.
  4. ^ "Charter Cities". League of California Cities. Archived from the original on 2008-11-14. Retrieved 2008-11-14.
  5. ^ Sebastian Mallaby (July–August 2010). "The Politically Incorrect Guide to Ending Poverty". The Atlantic.
  6. ^ a b Concept Archived May 11, 2011, at the Wayback Machine from
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Plan for Charter City to Fight Honduras Poverty Loses Its Initiator". New York Times. 30 September 2012.
  9. ^ "Honduran supreme court rejects 'model cities' idea". Yahoo News. 18 October 2012.
  10. ^ Brian Doherty (June 2013). "The Blank Slate State". Retrieved 2013-05-16.

Further reading

External links

Alameda, California

Alameda ( AL-ə-MEE-də; Spanish: [ala'meða]) is a city in Alameda County, California, United States. It is located on Alameda Island and Bay Farm Island. It is adjacent to and south of Oakland and east of San Francisco across the San Francisco Bay. Bay Farm Island, a portion of which is also known as "Harbor Bay Isle", is part of the mainland adjacent to the Oakland International Airport. The city's estimated 2017 population was 79,928. Alameda is a charter city, rather than a general law city, which allows it to provide for any form of government. Alameda became a charter city and adopted a council–manager government in 1916, which it retains to the present.

Bell, California

Bell is an incorporated city in Los Angeles County, California, near the center of the former San Antonio Township (abolished after 1960). Its population was 35,477 at the 2010 census, down from 36,664 in the 2000 census. Bell is located on the west bank of the Los Angeles River and is a suburb of the city of Los Angeles. At 2.5 square miles (6.5 km2), Bell is the thirteenth-smallest city in the United States with a population of at least 25,000.In 2007, the U.S. Census Bureau ranked Bell's land area at 1245 out of 1257 cities (defined as incorporated areas) and two unincorporated areas that had a population of at least 25,000 in year 2000. Ten cities in the list of 1267 cities had no land area data (e.g., Goleta, California).

City residents voted to become a charter city in a special municipal election on November 29, 2005. Fewer than 400 voters turned out for that special election. More than half of those votes were dubiously obtained absentee votes. Being a charter city meant that city officials were exempt from state salary caps. A scandal ensued, in which several city officials were indicted for giving themselves extraordinarily high salaries.

General-law municipality

In the systems of local government in some U.S. states, a general-law municipality, general-law city, or statutory city is a municipality whose government structure and powers are defined by the general law of its state. This is contrast to a charter city or home-rule city, whose government structure and powers are defined by a municipal charter.

States may allow only general-law municipalities, only charter municipalities, or both. In states having both, general-law municipalities generally have less autonomy than charter municipalities do. Five states do not allow municipal charters, meaning that every municipality is a general-law municipality. Other states may allow or require charters for all municipalities or may allow charters only for municipalities meeting certain criteria, requiring other municipalities to be general-law municipalities.

Government and politics in Saint Paul, Minnesota

Saint Paul, Minnesota is the capital of Minnesota. The city is also the largest city and county seat of Ramsey County. Saint Paul has a strong mayor-council government. Seven city council members elected in wards and one mayor elected at large serve the city.

Government and politics of Seattle

Seattle, Washington, is a charter city, with a mayor–council form of government, unlike many of its neighbors that use the council–manager form. The mayor of Seattle and two of the nine members of the Seattle City Council are elected at large, rather than by geographic subdivisions. The remaining seven council positions are elected based on the city's seven council districts. The only other elected offices are the city attorney and Municipal Court judges. All offices are non-partisan. Seattle is a predominantly liberal city and tends to elect left-leaning politicians to office. Jenny Durkan was elected as Mayor of Seattle in a municipal election on November 7, 2017, becoming the second woman to hold the office.

Government of Los Angeles

The Government of Los Angeles operates as a charter city (as opposed to a general law city) under the Charter of the City of Los Angeles. The elected government is composed of the Los Angeles City Council with 15 city council districts and the Mayor of Los Angeles, which operate under a mayor–council government, as well as several other elective offices. The current mayor is Eric Garcetti, the current City Attorney is Mike Feuer and the current City Controller is Ron Galperin.

In addition, there are numerous departments and appointed officers such as the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD), the Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT), the Los Angeles Public Library (LAPL), and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP).

Government of Sacramento, California

The Government of Sacramento operates as a charter city (as opposed to a general law city) under the Charter of the City of Sacramento. The elected government is composed of the Sacramento City Council with 8 city council districts and the Mayor of Sacramento, which operate under a manager-council government. In addition, there are numerous departments and appointed officers such as the City Manager, Sacramento Police Department (SPD), the Sacramento Fire Department (SFD), Community Development Department, City Clerk, City Attorney, and City Treasurer. As of May 29, 2018, the current mayor was Darrell Steinberg and the current councilors were Angelique Ashby, Allen Warren, Steve Hansen, Jay Schenirer, Jeff Harris, Eric Guerra, Rick Jennings II, and Larry Carr.

Government of San Jose

The government of San Jose, officially the City of San José, operates as a charter city within California law under the San José City Charter. The elected government of the city, which operates as a council–manager government, is composed of the Mayor of San Jose (currently Sam Liccardo), the San Jose City Council, and several other elected offices.

The greater public administration of San Jose includes numerous entities, including the San Jose Police Department, the San Jose Fire Department, and the San Jose Public Library, as well as a mix of state and county level institutions.

Kandy Municipal Council

The Kandy Municipal Council (Sinhala: මහනුවර මහ නගර සභා Mahanuwara Maha Nagara Sabha) is the local council for Kandy, the second largest city and hill capital of Sri Lanka. The council was formed under the Municipalities Ordinance of 1865 and first met in 1866. The municipal council is the second oldest and largest local government authority in Sri Lanka. It has 24 elected representatives.

Kandy is a charter city, with a Mayor Council form of government. Mayor of Kandy and the council members are elected through local government elections held once in five years. Head of administration is the Municipal Commissioner, who handles day-to-day operations of the 16 departments that it is made up of.

The Municipal Council provides sewer, road management and waste management services, in case of water, electricity and telephone utility services the council liaises with the Water Supply and Drainage Board, the Ceylon Electricity Board and telephone service providers.

United National Party has always held power in Kandy Municipal Council other than 2011-2015.

Lancaster, California

Lancaster is a charter city in northern Los Angeles County, in the Antelope Valley of the western Mojave Desert in Southern California. As of 2013, Lancaster was the 31st largest city in California. Lancaster is part of a twin city complex with its southern neighbor Palmdale and together they are the principal cities within the Antelope Valley region.Lancaster is located approximately 71 miles (114 km) north (via I-5 and SR 14) of downtown Los Angeles, near the Kern County line. It is separated from the Los Angeles Basin by the San Gabriel Mountains to the south, and from Bakersfield and the San Joaquin Valley by the Tehachapi Mountains to the north. The population of Lancaster grew from 37,000 at the time of its incorporation in 1977 to over 156,000 in 2010. According to the Greater Antelope Valley Economic Alliance report of 2015, Lancaster has a population of 168,049.

List of Pennsylvania municipalities and counties with home rule charters, optional charters, or optional plans

This is a list of Pennsylvania municipalities and counties with home rule charters, optional charters, or optional plans, including municipalities with home rule charters, optional charters, or optional plans.

List of mayors of Kansas City, Missouri

The Mayor of Kansas City, Missouri is the highest official in the Kansas City, Missouri Municipal Government.

Since the 1920s the city has had a council-manager government in which a city manager runs most of the day-to-day operations of the city. Unlike most cities of its size, by charter Kansas City has a "weak-mayor" system, in which most of the power is formally vested in the city council. However, the mayor is very influential in drafting and guiding public policy. He or she presides over all city council meetings that he attends, and has a casting vote on the council. Due to these combined factors the mayor, in fact, holds a significant amount of de facto power in the city government.

Since 1946 Mayors of Kansas City are elected by the voters of Kansas City to four-year terms, and are limited to two terms under the city's charter. Mayors initially served one-year terms until 1890 when they began serving two-year terms. Technically, according to the City Charter, city elections are non-partisan, meaning that the mayor and city council run without nominal political affiliation. The mayor of Kansas City occupies an office on the 29th floor of the Kansas City City Hall, the building's highest floor. Eleven of Kansas City's mayors are interred in Elmwood Cemetery (Kansas City, Missouri). The current mayor of Kansas City is Sly James, who was elected in 2011.

Merced, California

Merced (Spanish for "Mercy") is a city in, and the county seat of, Merced County, California, United States, in the San Joaquin Valley. As of 2014, the city had a population of 81,743. Incorporated on April 1, 1889, Merced is a charter city that operates under a council-manager government. It is named after the Merced River, which flows nearby.

Merced, known as the "Gateway to Yosemite," is less than two hours by automobile from Yosemite National Park to the east and Monterey Bay, the Pacific Ocean, and multiple beaches to the west. The community is served by the passenger rail service Amtrak, a minor, heavily subsidized airline through Merced Regional Airport, and three bus lines. It is approximately 110 miles (180 km) from Sacramento, 130 miles (210 km) from San Francisco, 45 miles (72 km) from Fresno, and 270 miles (430 km) from Los Angeles.

In 2005, the city became home to the 10th University of California campus, University of California, Merced (UC Merced), the first research university built in the U.S. in the 21st century.

Palmdale, California

Palmdale is a city in northern Los Angeles County in the U.S. state of California. The city lies in the Antelope Valley region of Southern California. The San Gabriel Mountains separate Palmdale from the city of Los Angeles to the south.

On August 24, 1962, Palmdale became the first community in the Antelope Valley to incorporate. Forty-seven years later, in November 2009, voters approved making it a charter city. Palmdale's population was 152,750 at the 2010 census, up from 116,670 at the 2000 census. Palmdale is the 33rd most populous city in California. Together with its immediate northern neighbor, the city of Lancaster, the Palmdale/Lancaster urban area had an estimated population of 513,547 as of 2013.

Sacramento River Cats

The Sacramento River Cats are a Minor League Baseball team of the Pacific Coast League (PCL) and the Triple-A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants. They are located in West Sacramento, California, and play their home games at Raley Field which opened in 2000.

Sacramento was previously represented in the PCL by the Solons, a charter member of the league which was founded in 1903. Three different versions of the Solons played in California's capital city in 1903, 1905, from 1909 to 1914, from 1918 to 1960, and from 1974 to 1976. As of 2018, Sacramento is the only charter city that hosts a PCL team.

The team has won four PCL championships. Most recently, the River Cats won back-to-back in 2007 and 2008. They went on to win the Triple-A National Championship Game in both seasons. Sacramento also won the PCL crown in 2003 and 2004.

In 2016, Forbes listed the team as the most valuable Minor League Baseball team with a value of $49 million.

Statutory city

Statutory city may refer to:

Statutory city (Austria), an Austrian municipality acting as a district administrative authority

Statutory city (Czech Republic), a Czech city with special privileges

Statutory city (Minnesota), a Minnesota city that is not a home rule charter city

Kreisfreie Stadt (or Stadtkreis), a German city acting as a district administrative authority

Statutory city (Poland), a Polish city acting as a county

Stretch Armstrong and the Flex Fighters

Stretch Armstrong and the Flex Fighters is an American animated series produced by Hasbro Studios and distributed by Netflix. It is based on the 1970s action figure Stretch Armstrong. The Netflix series features a brand new superhero universe, new characters, new villains, and new lore. The series was developed by Executive Producers Kevin Burke, Victor Cook, and Chris "Doc" Wyatt.

Victor Cook also oversaw the series as Supervising Director, Burke and Wyatt as Story Editors.

Burke and Wyatt also wrote a tie-in comic book for IDW Publishing. The first season was released on Netflix on November 17, 2017. The second season was released on September 7, 2018.

Trujillo, Honduras

Trujillo is a city and a municipality on the northern Caribbean coast of the Honduran department of Colón, of which the city is the capital.

The municipality has a population of about 30,000 (2003). The city is located on a bluff overlooking the Bay of Trujillo. Behind the city rise two prominent mountains, Mount Capiro and Mount Calentura. Three Garifuna fishing villages—Santa Fe, San Antonio, and Guadelupe—are located along the beach.

Trujillo has received plenty of attention as the potential site of a proposed Honduran charter city project, according to an idea originally advocated by American economist Paul Romer. Often referred to as a Hong Kong in Honduras, and advocated by among others the Trujillo-born Honduran president Porfirio Lobo Sosa, the project has also been met with skepticism and controversy, especially due to its supposed disregard for the local Garifuna culture.

Vista, California

Vista (; Spanish: view) is a city in Southern California and is located in northwestern San Diego County. Vista is a medium-sized city within the San Diego-Carlsbad, CA Metropolitan Area and has a population of 101,659. Vista's sphere of influence also includes portions of unincorporated San Diego County to north and east, with a county island in the central west. Located just seven miles inland from the Pacific Ocean, it has a Mediterranean climate.

Originally the lands of Rancho Buena Vista and Rancho Guajome, Vista was founded on October 9, 1882 with the establishment of a post office. It was incorporated on January 28, 1963 and became a charter city on June 13, 2007.

Vista has more than 25 educational institutions for youth, and a business park home to over 800 companies. Vista is ranked as the 173rd-best place in California out of 240 for families, based on factors such as family life, recreational opportunities, education, health, safety, and affordability in a 2015 review.

Designations for types of administrative territorial entities

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