Hutchins approves City Charter change to be added to May election

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By Rita Cook / The Ellis County Press

HUTCHINS – At the Hutchins City Council meeting last week, the city council approved a move to add a City Charter vote to the May 6 election. 

If the vote wins the charter will allow for the City of Hutchins to move from a General Law City to a Home Rule City. 

At the website www.Texascityattorneys.org it said the difference between a Home Rule versus General Law city is “A home rule city may do anything authorized by its charter that is not specifically prohibited or preempted by state or federal law. A general law city has no charter and may only exercise those powers that are expressly granted or necessarily implied by state or federal law.”

Hutchins City Manager Carl Sherman said “This speaks to the interest of the city. The city council wants to raise the standards and establish our own standards.”

If the Charter item passes in May then the terms for city council members will eventually be staggered for two and three years and council members will represent Places/Districts.

“You don’t have to live there, it will be a Place At-Large seat,” Sherman explained. 

The Home Rule City designation will also allow for the mayor to vote.

There will also be an additional seat added to the city council.

Sherman said with the vote coming up in May of this year to decide on the Home Rule City change, it would likely be May of 2018 before anyone was voted into the newly formed city council seat.

In the beginning, to establish staggered terms for the Mayor and Council members beginning with the may 2018 election, the Mayor and Councilmember for Place 3 would be elected for a three-year term. Council members for Place 2 and Place 6 would be elected for two year terms. In May 2019, Council members for Place 1, Place 4 and Place 5 would be elected for a three-year term, in May 2020, Council members for Place 2 and Place 6 would be elected for a three-year term and in May 2021 the Mayor and Council member for Place 3 would be elected for a three-year term.

The terms of the current city council members in office now would not be shortened by the transition if the Charter vote wins in May.

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