Home Rule Charter Election November 7, 2023

Below, you will find a copy of the proposed Home Rule Charter for the City of Wolfforth, Texas.  Registered voters within the city limits of Wolfforth will have the opportunity to vote on its adoption.  The election will be held on November 7, 2023, and you are encouraged to vote.

The Charter was prepared by a group of fellow Wolfforth citizens who worked many hours to create the Charter, and they fully support and recommend its adoption.  The members of the Wolfforth Charter Commission are:  L. Scott Mann, Chair; Lee Flores, Vice-Chair; Misti Welch, Chelsea Salazar, Kris Kerr, Larry Holland, Marie Garza, Mike Bickle, Shawn Vinson, Steve Haynes.  Please feel free to reach out to any of them that you may know, and they’ll be happy to share their thoughts with you. 

Today, Wolfforth is a General Law City as defined by the Texas Local Government Code.  In Texas, when a City reaches a population of 5,000, the City is eligible to become a Home Rule City, which involves the adoption of a City Charter, thereby changing the authority of the City and placing more control into the hands of the citizens.  Nearly every eligible city in Texas has made the choice to become Home Rule, and the members of the Wolfforth Charter Commission and the Wolfforth City Council support our change to Home Rule as well.     

Following is a list of Frequently Asked Questions that we think you’ll find helpful and informative.  We encourage you to read the proposed Charter and if you have any questions, please reach out to City Manager Randy Criswell at rcriswell@wolfforthtx.us, or to Terri Robinette (City Secretary) at trobinette@wolfforthtx.us.

Click here to view the City of Wolfforth Proposed Home Rule Charter


What kind of City is Wolfforth now?

  • Wolfforth is a “Type A General Law Municipality” under the Local Government Code. A General Law Municipality has no power of its own; only the power specifically granted to it by the State of Texas.  In General Law, the State of Texas is in control, not the citizens.    

What is a “Home Rule Municipality”?

  • Under Home Rule, a local government has all powers except those prohibited by statute or constitutional provision; the citizens have much more control than in General Law. The adoption of a Home Rule Charter changes the City’s authority under the law.

What is a Home Rule Charter?

  • A home rule charter is a fundamental governing document for a City in Texas. A Charter enables citizens of a city to define the basic organization, powers, duties, functions, and essential procedures of its government.

What is a Home Rule Charter Commission?

  • The Home Rule Charter Commission is a commission of citizens appointed by the City Council for the purpose of creating a proposed charter.

What did the Home Rule Charter Commission do?

  • The Commission held several meetings, finished creating the proposed charter, and presented it to the City Council, who ordered an election to be held for the purpose of the citizens of Wolfforth to vote on the adoption of the proposed home rule charter.

What does this mean in terms of Our Municipal Authority?

  • Home Rule Municipalities give the authority to the citizens of a City to determine its form of government and how it operates. This includes among other things: the number of seats on City Council and how they are elected; the apportionment of power between the mayor, the council, and the manager; the duties of administrative staff, including the City Manager and City Secretary and the ability for citizens to petition the government to initiate legislation, repeal adopted legislation and recall City Council members.

What aspects of City Government will be affected by the proposed charter, if adopted?

  • Changing to Home Rule will not impact your daily life but does impact citizen control over municipal government. If adopted by the voters, the proposed charter would constitute the governing document of the City of Wolfforth, and would govern the city operations, planning, ordinances, and finances.  Making the change would assist the City with long-term planning and allow for greater flexibility in funding sources.  The proposed charter would also contain limitations on the powers of the City and its elected and appointed officials.

If this charter is adopted, will it cause my property tax, sales tax, water and/or gas bills to increase?

  • Taxes and fees are subject to other entities and variables, and are not affected by the adoption of a Charter.    

What are some specific provisions for citizen powers of the proposed City of Wolfforth Charter?

  • First, the proposed charter includes the power of recall. Under the terms of the charter, a petition requesting the removal of an elected official on the grounds of incompetency, misconduct, or malfeasance in office, signed by at least 10% of those registered to vote at the City’s last general election, would initiate the recall process.   If the officer whose removal is sought does not resign, then the City Council shall order an election and set the date for holding such recall election.
  • Second, the proposed charter includes the power of citizens’ initiative. Under the process in the charter, registered voters of the City may initiate legislation by submitting a petition addressed to the City Council that requests the submission of a proposed ordinance to a vote of the registered voters of the City.  Said petition must be signed by twenty (20%) of the voters registered to vote in the previous City’s General Election.  After the receipt thereof, City Council may then either take favorable action on the issue or submit the matter to a vote of the citizens at large.
  • Third, the proposed charter includes the power of referendum. Under the terms of the charter, registered voters of the City may require that any ordinance passed by the City Council and subject to the initiative process under this charter be submitted to the voters of the City for approval or disapproval, by submitting a petition for the purpose within sixty (60) days after final passage of said ordinance.  The petition must be signed by at least 20% of those registered to vote at the City’s last general election.

Will the proposed charter include significant changes to elected positions in the City?

  • Under Texas Law, the City Council and Mayor of a General Law City serve two-year terms. This has been the law governing Wolfforth’s elected positions.  Under the terms of the proposed charter, the City Council and Mayor positions will remain two-year terms. 

Who can vote on the proposed charter?

  • All Registered Voters of Wolfforth can vote on the proposed charter in the November 7, 2023 Special Election.

If adopted, could the charter later be amended?

  • Upon receipt of a petition signed by at least five percent of the qualified voters or upon City Council’s own motion, proposed amendment(s) may be submitted to the voters in the manner prescribed by state law. The charter may not to be amended more often than every two years.