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A Guide to Home Rule Cities of Fort Bend County

Not all city governments in Texas are created alike, as there are two categories: general law cities and home rule cities. The latter have their own charters and the composition of those can vary from one home rule city to the other.

For example, Fort Bend County has seven home rule cities, and as the guide linked here shows, they are not identical in laying out their authority. Fulshear* and Rosenberg have a council-manager form of government, while Stafford has a mayor-council form of government.

In Texas, a general law city lacks a charter and may only exercise powers that are expressly granted by the state. Once a city’s population reaches 5,000, however, it can hold an election to ratify a home rule city charter.

A home rule city decides for itself what specific form of government it will take and which ordinances to adopt. It only looks to the state law for any prohibitions on what it may do. In this sense, a home rule city is in the opposite legal position as a general law city, which must look to state law to determine what it is allowed to do, notes the Texas Municipal League.

*The City of Fulshear adopted its Home Rule Charter on May 16, 2016. The linked guide pre-dates that adoption and the outline of its charter’s authority was listed as proposed.

Randle Law Office represents governmental entities and municipalities throughout Texas. The firm also serves as city attorney for several cities, including the City of Fulshear.

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