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2011 Charter Review / Charter Review Minutes - March 8, 2012
« Last post by Jeff on March 08, 2012, 10:43:48 PM »
THE MINUTES OF THE March 8, 2012 MEETING WILL BE PUBLISHED WHEN APPROVED BY THE COMMITTEE AT THE NEXT MEETING



AUDIO FROM MEETING BELOW:
http://www.jeffritter.com/political/Charter/Mar082012.WMA
2
2011 Charter Review / Charter Review Minutes - March 1, 2012
« Last post by Jeff on March 08, 2012, 10:41:44 PM »
Charter Review Committee Minutes
March 1, 2012
Community Board Room

Members Present:

Chairman Bill Agan
Secretary/Vice Chair Jeff Ritter
Member Loyce Greer
Member Doug Knowlton

Members Absent:
Member LaRue Wall

Audience Present:
None

Chairman Agan called the meeting to order at 7:42PM

1. Read and Approve minutes from last meeting (February 23, 2012)

Secretary Ritter motioned to table the approval of the minutes from the February 23, 2012 meeting until the March 8, 2012 meeting.
Member Knowlton seconded.
The motion was approved by unanimous vote.

2. Review City Charter.

Member Greer recommended moving the Section on the “Taxing of a Franchise” to Section 7.17.
The Consensus of the Committee was to move to move the “Taxing of a Franchise” verbiage to Section 7.17.

Member Greer recommended not having an “Exempted Properties” Section due to the fact that Richland Hills has none such property within City boundaries. 
The Consensus of the Committee was to leave out the “Exempted Properties” verbiage.

Section 7.01
Secretary Ritter motioned to accept the Section as written.
Member Greer seconded.
The motion was approved by unanimous vote.

Section 7.02
Secretary Ritter recommended adding “individual” when referring to salaries in #8.
Member Greer recommended adding verbiage regarding making bank statements available to City Council.

Member Greer motioned to add the word “individual” to #8 and to add a #19 with verbiage to indicate all bank statements shall be made available to City Council.
Member Knowlton seconded.
The motion was approved by unanimous vote.

Sections 7.03
Secretary Ritter motioned to accept the Section as written.
Member Greer seconded.
The motion was approved by unanimous vote.

Section 7.04
Secretary Ritter recommended adding the word “proposed” when referring to the proposed budget to be presented to the City Council.

Member Greer motioned to add the word “proposed” to the Section.
Member Knowlton seconded.
The motion was approved by unanimous vote.

Section 7.05
Members Greer and Knowlton recommended adding the first sentence of the current Charter, Section 12.01 to the beginning of this Section. 
Secretary Ritter recommended changing the word “hearing” to “hearings” in the caption.

Member Knowlton motioned to add the first sentence of the current Charter, Section 12.01 to the beginning of this Section and to change the word “hearing” to “hearings” in the caption of the Section.
Secretary Ritter seconded.
The motion was approved by unanimous vote.

Section 7.06
Member Greer motioned to accept the Section as written.
Member Knowlton seconded.
The motion was approved by unanimous vote.

Section 7.07
Member Knowlton motioned to accept the Section as written.
Secretary Ritter seconded.
The motion was approved by unanimous vote.

Section 7.08
Discussion by all regarding the verbiage at the end of the Section regarding “…as provided in the Open Records Act of the State of Texas.”

Secretary Ritter motioned to remove “…as provided in the Open Records Act of the State of Texas” from the Section.
Member Greer seconded.
The motion was approved by unanimous vote.

Section 7.09
Secretary Ritter motioned to accept the Section as written.
Member Greer seconded.
The motion was approved by unanimous vote.

Section 7.10
Secretary Ritter questioned the use and meaning of the words “the City Council shall pass the appropriation ordinance on the first reading using the City Manager’s estimate as a basis.”  Ritter questioned the lack of an opportunity for the City Council to consider and/or disagree with the estimate provided by the City Manager.

Extensive discussion by all regarding the opportunity for the City Council to question the City Manager on estimates, the basis of estimates, and the mandate to pass as presented.

Member Greer stated that the verbiage was to mean the “estimate” is only to be used as the “starting point” of budgetary discussions and that during the budget process, there is ample time for the City Council to question the City Manager and Staff regarding estimates and ordinances.

Members Knowlton and Ritter stated they believed this section and verbiage should be re-examined and/or presented to the City Attorney for approval.

Member Knowlton motioned to accept the Section as written provided the Committee will revisit the Section before final approval of the Charter.
Secretary Ritter seconded.
The motion was approved by unanimous vote.

Section 7.11
Secretary Ritter motioned to accept the Section as written.
Member Greer seconded.
The motion was approved by unanimous vote.

Section 7.12
Secretary Ritter motioned to accept the Section as written.
Member Knowlton seconded.
The motion was approved by unanimous vote.

3. Assignment for Next Meeting

The next meeting is scheduled for March 8, 2012.
Continue reviewing Charter beginning with Article 7.11
 
4. Public Comments
None

5. Adjournment
Member Knowlton motioned to adjourn.
Member Greer seconded.

Chairman Agan adjourned the meeting at 9:10 PM.


Jeff Ritter-Secretary___________________ Bill Agan-Chairman___________________




AUDIO FROM MEETING BELOW:
http://www.jeffritter.com/political/Charter/Mar012012.MP3
3
2011 Charter Review / Charter Review Minutes - February 23, 2012
« Last post by Jeff on March 08, 2012, 10:29:43 PM »
Charter Review Committee Minutes
February 23, 2012
Community Board Room

Members Present:

Chairman Bill Agan
Secretary/Vice Chair Jeff Ritter
Member Loyce Greer
Member Doug Knowlton
Member LaRue Wall

Audience Present:
Janece Hill
Jeremy Hill
Beverly Williams
Michaela Williams
Travis Malone

1. Read and Approve minutes from last meeting (February 16, 2012)

Member Knowlton motioned to accept the minutes from the February 16, 2012 meeting.
Member Greer seconded.
The motion was approved by unanimous vote.

Member Knowlton stated that after the election in May, he may be off of the Committee.
Member Greer pointed out that the members of the Committee are appointed for a year, even if Council Members change.

Member Ritter recommended sending Articles 1-6 to the City Attorney for review.
The consensus of the Committee was to send Articles 1-6 to the City Attorney for review.

2. Review City Charter.

Section 6.10
Member Greer recommended adding a bullet “C” regarding publishing.
Member Knowlton motioned to add bullets A, B and C.
Secretary Ritter seconded.
The motion was approved by unanimous vote.

Section 6.11
Member Knowlton motioned to remove the word “electors”.
Member Wall seconded.
The motion was approved by unanimous vote.

Sections 6.12
Member Knowlton questioned “Any (5)” voters regarding required numbers of voters required to initiate a recall.

Member Wall motioned to change “or” to “and” regarding voter registration number.
Member Knowlton seconded.
The motion was approved by unanimous vote.

Section 6.13
Secretary Ritter recommended changing the required number of signatures from 150 to 250.

Member Knowlton motioned to change required number of signatures from 150 to 250.
Secretary Ritter seconded.
The motion was approved by unanimous vote.

Section 6.14
Secretary Ritter motioned to accept the Section as written
Member Wall seconded.
The motion was approved by unanimous vote.

Section 6.15
Member Knowlton motioned to accept the Section as written.
Member Greer seconded.
The motion was approved by unanimous vote.

Section 6.16
Member Greer motioned to accept the Section as written.
Member Knowlton seconded.
The motion was approved by unanimous vote.

Section 6.17
Discussion by all regarding the length of time before a recall can be initiated.

Member Wall motioned to set the length of time before a recall can be initiated to six months.
Member Knowlton seconded.
The motion was approved by unanimous vote.

Section 6.18
Member Wall motioned to accept the Section as written.
Member Greer seconded.
The motion was approved by unanimous vote.

Member Greer motioned to table Article 7 until next meeting as it is a very complex and important section.
Member Knowlton seconded.

3. Assignment for Next Meeting

The next meeting is scheduled for March 1, 2012.
Continue reviewing Charter beginning with Article 7.
 
4. Public Comments
Beverly Williams – Very appreciative of the hard work the Committee is performing as the Charter is an extremely important document for our City. She also stated she is impressed that the Committee is researching other Cities’ Charters.
Michaela Williams – “You Guys Rock”

5. Adjournment
Member Knowlton motioned to adjourn.
Member Wall seconded.

Chairman Agan adjourned the meeting at 8:53 PM.


Jeff Ritter-Secretary___________________ Bill Agan-Chairman___________________




AUDIO FROM MEETING BELOW:
http://www.jeffritter.com/political/Charter/Feb232012.WMA
4
2011 Charter Review / Charter Review Minutes - February 16, 2012
« Last post by Jeff on March 08, 2012, 10:27:10 PM »
THE MINUTES OF THE FEBRUARY 16, 2012 MEETING WILL BE PUBLISHED WHEN APPROVED BY THE COMMITTEE AT THE NEXT MEETING



AUDIO FROM MEETING BELOW:
http://www.jeffritter.com/political/Charter/Feb162012.WMA
5
2011 Charter Review / Charter Review Minutes - February 9, 2012
« Last post by Jeff on March 08, 2012, 10:10:02 PM »
Charter Review Committee Minutes
February 9, 2012
Community Board Room

Members Present:

Chairman Bill Agan
Secretary/Vice Chair Jeff Ritter
Member Loyce Greer
Member Doug Knowlton
Member LaRue Wall

Audience Present:
Janece Hill

1. Read and Approve minutes from last meeting (February 2, 2012)

Member Wall motioned to accept the minutes from the February 2, 2012 meeting.
Member Knowlton seconded.
The motion was approved by unanimous vote.

Secretary Ritter indicated that the audio recorder was not available this evening, so there would be no audio recording.

Member Knowlton stated that Secretary Ritter made a good presentation to the City Council. 
Member Greer stated that some items and concepts in the current Charter are not addressed in the new proposed Charter such as the regulation of cemeteries.

Member Greer recommended that the Committee spend time comparing the current Charter with the new proposed Charter to be sure everything is addressed that should be.

2. Review City Charter.

The consensus of the group was to compare the current Charter to the proposed Charter.

Extensive comparison article by article by everyone to be certain all aspects and concepts of the current Charter are covered in the proposed new Charter if needed.

Member Greer recommended finishing reviewing Article 5 before adjournment.
The consensus of the Committee was to finish reviewing Article 5.

Section 5.07
Secretary Ritter motioned to approve the section with the addition of “Accordance with the State Constitution”.
Member Wall seconded.
The motion was approved by unanimous vote.


Section 5.01
Member Knowlton motioned to add a #6 to the list requiring that a qualified voter must live within the City for 30 days prior to the election.
Member Ritter seconded.
The motion was approved by unanimous vote.

Sections 5.02 – 5.04
Member Knowlton motioned to approve Sections 5.02 through 5.04 as written.
Member Wall seconded.
The motion was approved by unanimous vote.

Section 5.05 
Secretary Ritter recommended adding the word “Municipal” to the caption to avoid confusion with other elections.

Member Wall motioned to include the word “Municipal” to the caption.
Member Knowlton seconded.
The motion was approved by unanimous vote.

Section 5.06
Member Knowlton motioned to approve the section as written.
Member Greer seconded.
The motion was approved by unanimous vote.

3. Assignment for Next Meeting

The next meeting is scheduled for February 16, 2012.
Continue reviewing Charter beginning with Article 6.

4. Public Comments
None

5. Adjournment
Member Knowlton motioned to adjourn.
Member Wall seconded.

Chairman Agan adjourned the meeting at 9:14 PM.


Jeff Ritter-Secretary___________________ Bill Agan-Chairman___________________

THE AUDIO RECORDER WAS NEEDED BY THE CITY AND THEREFORE NO AUDIO RECORDING IS AVAILABLE FOR THIS MEETING
6
2011 Charter Review / Charter Review Minutes - February 2, 2012
« Last post by Jeff on March 08, 2012, 10:07:25 PM »
THE MINUTES OF THE FEBRUARY 2, 2012 MEETING WILL BE PUBLISHED WHEN APPROVED BY THE COMMITTEE AT THE NEXT MEETING




AUDIO FROM MEETING BELOW:
http://www.jeffritter.com/political/Charter/Feb022012.WMA
7
2011 Charter Review / Charter Review Minutes - January 26, 2012
« Last post by Jeff on March 08, 2012, 10:00:40 PM »
Charter Review Committee Minutes
January 26, 2012
Community Board Room

Members Present:

Chairman Bill Agan
Secretary/Vice Chair Jeff Ritter
Member Loyce Greer
Member LaRue Wall

Members Absent:
Member Doug Knowlton

Audience Present:
Janece Hill

1. Read and Approve minutes from last meeting (January 5, 2012)

Secretary Ritter motioned to accept the minutes from the January 5, 2012 meeting.
Member Wall seconded.
The motion was approved by unanimous vote.

Chairman Agan announced that member Knowlton would not be present at the meeting.

Secretary Ritter stated he has composed a “cover letter” for the status report to the Council on February 7, 2012.  Secretary Ritter read the letter to the Committee.

Secretary Ritter stated he would compare and contrast a section of the current Charter with a section of the proposed Charter to show the difference in clarity and understanding. Secretary Ritter proposed to compare/contrast section current 5.02 with new 3.02 as a quick yet effective example of the type of work the Committee is performing.

Member Greer indicated it would be best if the new indexing system was used in the draft Charter to be presented to Council. 

Secretary Agan stated it was important to keep the presentation simple so that the Council can understand the progress and the method the Committee is using to rewrite the Charter.

Member Greer suggesting including page numbers on all pages of the new Charter

2. Review City Charter.

Discussion by everyone on reviewing the draft Charter to be presented to the Council on February 7, 2012.


Extensive discussion and reading by all of the draft Charter to prepare for status report.

Section 1.01. 
The Committee added (last line) after "rights" the words "privileges, authorities, duties and immunities" as are herein provided.

Section 3.09
Member Greer stressed that the Council should not give orders to department heads or employees, yet should work with the City Manager on employee issues.

Section 3.14.
Second paragraph.  The Committee agreed that following "Municipalities." we would eliminate the wording  that begins with "including and ends with "thereof."  and add as a third paragraph "The report of such Auditor or Auditors for the fiscal year shall be printed and a copy thereof shall be furnished to each member of the Council, the city Manager and to each Citizen who may apply therefore.  A copy of the audit shall be filed with the City Secretary within one hundred twenty (120) days after the last day of the City's fiscal year.  the original report of said Auditor or Auditors shall be kept among the permanent records of the City."

Section 3.15
Committee agreed to add following words -- (Para. 2)"a, so," (Para. 4)"Council members, and"  for clarification purposes, and agreed that the last paragraph would read, "By caption, the City Secretary shall note on  every ordinance the record  thereof, the date of such publication and the fact that every ordinance which is hereby required to be published, as required by this Charter, has been published which shall be prima facie evidence of the legal publication and promulgation of such ordinance; provided that the provisions of this section shall not apply to the correction, amendment, revision and/or codification of the ordinances of the City for publication in book or pamphlet form." 

Section 3.16. 
Committee agreed to add (Para 1) after the words "shall be"  - "numbered consecutively as adopted and" authenticated.........  Also, in Para 2 & 3 the words "made available" were added ...placed in city offices and "made available" to the public, also,  ....and Charter amendments shall be "made available" to the public.  Set off in quotation marks"  "The Richland Hills City Code"

Section 3.18. 
Strike "Neither the City council nor any of its members shall".....and use instead the words "No member of the City Council shall".....

Section 3.20
The consensus of the Committee was to exchange paragraphs 1 and 2.

Member Greer stated that the provision for the “official newspaper” should be included in the “General provisions” section as a new Article 12.

Member Greer will E-mail or deliver an electronic copy of her version of the draft Charter to Secretary Ritter for preparation for the report to Council.


3. Assignment for Next Meeting

The next meeting is scheduled for February 2, 2012.
Review all articles previously reviewed for changes in preparation for the status report to Council.

4. Public Comments
None

5. Adjournment
Member Wall motioned to adjourn.
Secretary Ritter seconded.

Chairman Agan adjourned the meeting at 8:59 PM.


Jeff Ritter-Secretary___________________ Bill Agan-Chairman___________________




AUDIO FROM MEETING BELOW:
http://www.jeffritter.com/political/Charter/Jan262012.WMA
8
2011 Charter Review / Charter Review Minutes - January 5, 2012
« Last post by Jeff on March 08, 2012, 06:25:31 PM »
Charter Review Committee Minutes
January 5, 2012
Community Board Room


Members Present:
Chairman Bill Agan
Secretary/Vice Chair Jeff Ritter
Member Loyce Greer
Member Doug Knowlton
Member LaRue Wall

Audience Present:
Janece Hill
Travis Malone

1. Read and Approve minutes from last meeting (December 15, 2011)

Member Knowlton motioned to accept the minutes from the December 15, 2011 meeting.
Member Wall seconded.
The motion was approved by unanimous vote.

Member Ritter stated the Council wanted to hear a status report on the Charter review process.  The consensus of the committee was for Vice Chair Ritter to present the report to the Council in February.

Chairman Agan stated that a copy of the draft Charter should be presented to Council during the status meeting to show what the new Charter will be like and to show progress. 

Member Greer will develop a complete new index for the Charter to be presented to the Council to outline the new format.  Member Greer also recommended that each section of the Charter should contain an index of the contents of that particular section.

Member Knowlton motioned to add an agenda item to future agendas to discuss the draft Charter as it progresses. 
Member Wall seconded.
The motion was approved by unanimous vote.

2. Review City Charter.

4.01 – City Manager
Secretary Ritter questioned the use of the word “full” when referring to a required Council vote.  Ritter stated that the inclusion of the word “full” would require a vote of the complete Council, not simply the members present at a meeting. 

Discussion by all on necessity of the word “full”.

Secretary Ritter motioned to remove the word “full” in this section and all other sections.
Member Knowlton seconded.
The motion was approved by unanimous vote. 

Sec. 4.02 – City Secretary
Secretary Ritter recommended to change the term “oral taped” to “audio” when referring to recording the audio from meetings.

Secretary Knowlton motioned to accept the section and to remove the word “full” and to change “oral taped” to “audio”.
Member Greer seconded.
The motion was approved by unanimous vote.

Sec. 4.03 – City Attorney
Member Greer recommended removing the word “full” in paragraphs 1 and 6 and making the word “advisor” in paragraph 2 appear in bold.

Member Knowlton motioned to accept the section and remove the word “full” in paragraphs 1 and 6 and make the word “advisor” appear in bold.
Secretary Ritter seconded.
The motion was approved by unanimous vote.

Sec. 4.04 – Municipal Court
Members Greer and Wall recommended to add verbiage as paragraph 3 that the judge of the Municipal Court as well as defense and prosecution attorneys not be from the same law firm as that of the City Attorney.

Member Knowlton motioned to accept the section and to add verbiage as paragraph 3 that the judge of the Municipal Court as well as defense and prosecution attorneys not be from the same law firm as that of the City Attorney.
Member Wall seconded.
The motion was approved by unanimous vote.

Sec. 4.05 – Municipal Judge
Secretary Ritter recommended removing the word “full” in referring to the City Council and that the provision in Section 4.04 requiring a different law firm from that of the City Attorney should be added for clarity in this section.

Member Greer motioned to accept the section and to add verbiage that judge of the Municipal Court not be from the same law firm as that of the City Attorney.
Secretary Ritter seconded.
The motion was approved by unanimous vote.


Sec. 4.06 – Official Bond for City Employees.
Member Wall motioned to accept the section and to insert the words “department  heads” specifically as members of the City staff that shall be bonded and placing “as the City Council or State Law may require” in parenthesis.
Member Knowlton seconded.
The motion was approved by unanimous vote.

Sec. 4.07 – Other Administrative Departments
Extensive discussion by all regarding methods of increasing City Council monitoring and if necessary, intervening in the administration of the City.
The consensus of the Committee was to include verbiage and words “consult and advise” for the City Council working with the City Manager dealing with department heads. 

The consensus of the Committee was to rewrite the section to include verbiage to allow the City Council to “consult and advise” with the City Manager in regards to Department Heads.

3. Assignment for Next Meeting

The next meeting is scheduled for January 12, 2012.
Review new Article IV for changes, modifications, additions or deletions beginning with 4.07.

4. Public Comments
Travis Malone – Department heads are critical to the operation of the City and as elected representatives, the City Council should have some supervisory or monitoring role.

5. Adjournment
Member Wall motioned to adjourn.
Member Knowlton seconded.
Chairman Agan adjourned the meeting at 8:58 PM.


Jeff Ritter-Secretary___________________ Bill Agan-Chairman___________________


AUDIO FROM MEETING BELOW:
http://www.jeffritter.com/political/Charter/Jan052012.WMA
9
2011 Charter Review / Re: Working DRAFT Charter Progress
« Last post by Jeff on March 08, 2012, 06:03:07 PM »
I've just updated the DRAFT working Charter today, March 8, 2012 to reflect the changes made through ARTICLE 6.  The Committee is currently working on ARTICLE 7. 
Jeff
10
2011 Charter Review / Working DRAFT Charter Progress
« Last post by Jeff on January 05, 2012, 05:17:28 PM »
Spacing, text formatting, etc. of the draft below is limited by the functions of this forum.

For the actual MSWORD document, click on the following link:
http://www.jeffritter.com/political/Charter/ProposedCharterInternet.doc

(DRAFT VERSION March 3, 2012)
ARTICLES NOT APPEARING HERE HAVE NOT BEEN REVIEWED BY THE COMMITTEE YET AND WILL BE ADDED WHEN REVIEWED.

THE DOCUMENT BELOW IS A DRAFT DOCUMENT AND ALL PARTS ARE SUBJECT TO ADDITIONAL REVIEW AND MODIFICATION!



PROPOSED DRAFT
HOME RULE CHARTER
OF THE
CITY OF


RICHLAND HILLS
TEXAS

 

City Charter Adopted   August 11, 1986
City Charter Amended   May 3, 1993
         May 9, 1995
         November 6, 2012



Richland Hills Home Rule Charter
Table of Contents

Preamble                                                                                                                                                                                       
   
ARTICLE I  FORM OF GOVERNMENT                                             
Section 1.01      Incorporation
Section 1.02      Form of Government
Section 1.03      Boundaries and Limits


ARTICLE II             POWERS OF THE CITY                                                                                                                                                                          
Section 2.01    General Powers of the City
Section 2.02    Eminent Domain
Section 2.03    General Powers Adopted


Article III           CITY COUNCIL                                                                                                                                                           
Section 3.01 - Number, Selection and Term
Section 3.02 - Qualifications
Section 3.03 - Quorum
Section 3.04 - Mayor is Presiding Officer
Section 3.05 - Election of Mayor Pro-Tempore
Section 3.06 - Council Compensation
Section 3.07 - Vacancies, Forfeiture ,Absenteeism and Filling of Vacancies
Section 3.08 -Powers and Duties of City Council
Section 3.09 - Prohibitions
Section 3.10 - Meetings of the City Council
Section 3.11 - Abstention
Section 3.12 - Code of Ethics
Section 3.13 - Conflict of Interest
Section 3.14 - Independent Audit
Section 3.15 - Procedure to Enact Legislation and Publication of Ordinance
Section 3.16 - Authentication, Recording, Certification, Printing and Distribution
Section 3.17 - Rules of Procedure   - Minutes
Section 3.18 - Influence of Appointments
Section 3.19 - Investigation by the City Council
Section 3.20 - Public Comment


ARTICLE IV            ADMINISTRATION
Section 4.01 - City Manager
Section 4.02 - City Secretary
Section 4.03 - City Attorney
Section 4.04 - Municipal Court
Section 4.05 - Municipal Judge         
Section 4.06 - Authority, Powers and Procedures of Municipal Court
Section 4.07 - Official Bond for City Employees
Section 4.08 - Other Administrative Departments
Section 4.09 - Personnel System


ARTICLE V            NOMINATIONS AND ELECTIONS
Section 5.01 - Elections
Section 5.02 - Regulations of Elections
Section 5.03 - Filing for Office
Section 5.04 - Official Ballots
Section 5.05 - Conducting and Canvassing Election Results
Section 5.06 - Taking of Office
Section 5.07 - Oath of Office


ARTICLE VI             INITIATIVE,  REFERENDUM AND RECALL
Section 6.01 - General Authority for Initiative , Citizen Referendum Recall and Required Signatures
Section 6.02 - Form of Petitions: Committee of Petitioners
Section 6.03 - Filing, Examination and Certification of Petition
Section 6.04 - Amendment of Petitions
Section 6.05 - Effect of Certification of Referendum Petition
Section 6.06 - Consideration by Council
Section 6.07 -Submission to Electors
Section 6.08 - Form of ballot for Initiated and Referred Ordinances
Section 6.09 - Results of Election
Section 6.10 - Repealing Ordinances:  Publication
Section 6.11- Recall:  General
Section 6.12 - Recall Procedure
Section 6.13 - Recall Petitions
Section 6.14 - Recall Elections
Section 6.15 - Ballots in Recall Election
Section 6.16 - Results of Recall Election
Section 6.17 - Limitations on Recalls
Section 6.18 -  Failure of Council to  Fail or Refuse to Order a Recall Election


ARTICLE VII          FINANCIAL PROCEDURES
Section 7.01 - Fiscal Year
Section 7.02 - Preparation and Submission of Budget, Budget Message
Section 7.03 - Anticipated and Proposed Revenues Compared With Past Years in Budget
Section 7.04 - Budget a Public Record
Section 7.05 - Notice Of and Public Hearing on Budget
Section 7.06 - Budget Proceedings After Public Hearing
Section 7.07 - Required Vote and Date of Final  Adoption of Budget
Section 7.08 - Effective Date of Budget, Certification, Copies Made Available
Section 7.09 - Appropriations and Amount of Property Tax to be Established in  Budget   
Section 7.10 - Annual Appropriation Ordinance
Section 7.11 - Transfer and/or Lapse of Appropriations                 
Section 7.12 - Estimated Expenditures Shall Not Exceed Estimated Resources
Section 7.13 - Contingent and Other Necessary Appropriations
Section 7.14 - Administration of Budget  -Execution and monitoring
Section 7.15 - Assessment, Collection and Due Date of Taxes
Section 7.16 - Power to Tax
Section 7.17 - Taxation of Franchise
Section 7.18 - Limitation of Tax Rate
Section 7.19 - Property Subject to Tax:  Method of Assessment  and Alternative Methods of Equalizing or Adjusting Taxes
Section 7.20 - Tax Liens
Section 7.21 - Incurring Debt: Borrowing, interest and Sinking Fund, Revenue Bonds, Execution/Registration, and Bond
Register 
Section 7.22 - Five Year Capital Program
   
 
ARTICLE VIII       BOARDS AND COMMISSIONS
Section 8.01    Authority

ARTICLE IX          PLANNING AND ZONING COMMISSION AND BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT
Section 9.01    General and Special Laws of State of Texas Adopted
Section 9.02    Organization - Planning and Zoning
Section 9.03    Powers and Duties
Section 9,04    Procedures
Section 9.05    Procedure and Legal Effect - The Comprehensive Master Plan
Section 9.06    General Building Regulations
Section 9.07    Zoning Board of Adjustment


ARTICLE X          UTILITY AND PUBLIC SERVICE FRANCHISES AND LICENSES
                            MINERAL, GAS, AND OIL RIGHTS AND REVENUES

Section 10.01     Powers of the city
Section 10.02     Power and Ordinance Granting Franchise
Section 10.03     Transfer of Franchise
Section 10.04     Franchise Value Not to be Allowed
Section 10.05     Rights of Regulation
Section 10.06     Regulation of Rates and Services
Section 10.07     License
Section 10.08     Mineral, Natural Gas and Oil Rights, Revenues


ARTICLE XI            LEGAL PROVISIONS
Section 11.01     Assignment, Execution and Garnishment
Section 11.02     Security and Bond
Section 11.03      Notice of Claim
Section 11.04      Power to Settle Claims
Section 11.05      Service of Process  Against the City
Section 11.06      Judicial Notice
Section 11.07      Pending Matters
Section 11.08      Property Not Exempt From Special Assessments
Section 11.09      Council May Require Bonds
Section 11.10      Disaster Clause


ARTICLE XII             GENERAL PROVISIONS
Section 12.01        City Depository  (??)
Section 12.02        Official Newspaper   
Section 12.03    --OPEN FOR ADDITIONS--
             

ARTICLE XIII             CITY CHARTER
Section 13.01        Rules of Construction
Section 13.02        Procedure  for Adoption of Charter
Section 13.03        Amendment of Charter
Section 13.04        Charter Review Commission
Section 13.05        Administrative Amendment
Section 13.06        Separability  of Portions of Charter




PREAMBLE

In thankful recognition of the leadership of Almighty God, we the citizens of Richland Hills, Texas humbly invoking His blessings, do ordain and establish this Home Rule Charter as the basic law of our City.  We the citizens, in order to establish a Home Rule municipal government, provide for the progress of our City, secure fully the benefits of local self-government, and provide for the common welfare, support municipal cooperation, and encourage all citizens to participate in the process of self-governing, do hereby adopt this Charter as an expression of our City’s purpose and in accordance with the statutes of the State of Texas.  We declare the residents living within the legally established boundaries of the City of Richland Hills, in Tarrant County, in the State of Texas, to be a political subdivision of the State of Texas, incorporated forever under the name and style of the “City of Richland Hills” with such powers, rights, privileges, authorities, duties and immunities, as are herein provided.  This Charter will provide a Home Rule government which will recognize and protect individual freedom, encourage interest and participation by the citizens and serve in behalf of the general welfare.


ARTICLE I - FORM OF GOVERNMENT AND BOUNDARIES   
Section 1.01      Incorporation
Section 1.02      Form of Government
Section 1.03      Boundaries and Limits


Section 1.01 - Incorporation
       All the citizens of the City of Richland Hills, Tarrant County, Texas, as the boundaries and limits of said City are herein established, shall be a body politic, incorporated under and to be known by the name and style of the “City of Richland Hills,” hereafter referred to and known as the “City”, with such powers, rights, privileges, authorities, duties and immunities as are herein provided.

Section 1.02 - Form of Government
       The municipal government provided by this Charter shall be known as the “Council-Manager Government” pursuant to its provisions and subject only to the limitations imposed by the State Constitution, by the statutory laws of Texas, and by this Charter.  All powers of the City shall be vested in an elective City Council, hereafter referred to as the “Council”, which shall enact local legislation, adopt budgets, determine policies and appoint the City Manager, who, in turn, shall be held responsible to the Council for the execution of the laws and the administration of the government of the City.  All powers of the City shall be exercised in the manner prescribed by this Charter, or if not prescribed, then in such a manner as may be prescribed by ordinance, by the State Constitution or by the statutes of the State of Texas. 
State law reference - Form of Government in Home Rule Municipality, V.T.C.A.. Local Government Code # 26.001 et seq.

Section 1.03 - Boundaries and Limits
       The boundaries and limits of the City, until changed in the manner herein provided, shall be the same as heretofore or hereafter established and now exists on the Official City Map on file with the City Secretary. 
State law reference - Boundaries V.T.C.A., Local Government Code # 41.001 et seq]

ARTICLE II - POWERS OF THE CITY 
Section 2.01    General Powers of the City
Section 2.02    Eminent Domain
Section 2.03    General Powers Adopted


Section 2.01 - General Powers of the City
1.  Municipal Powers:  The said City of Richland Hills shall have power to ordain and establish such acts, laws, rules, regulations, resolutions, and ordinances, not inconsistent with the Constitution and laws of Texas and of this Charter, as shall be needful for the government, interests, health, welfare and good order of said City and its inhabitants.   
Under the name of the City of Richland Hills it shall be known in law and have succession and be capable of contracting and being contracted with, suing and being sued, impleading and being impleaded, answering and being answered unto, in all courts and tribunals, and in all amounts whatsoever, subject to the laws of the State of Texas, or which shall hereafter be passed.   
The City of Richland Hills shall have the power to take, hold, lease, grant, purchase and convey such real property or mixed property or estate, situated within, or without, the limits thereof, as the purpose of said corporation may require and shall have and use a corporate seal, and change and renew the same at pleasure.
 
2.  Rights Reserved:  All suits, taxes, penalties, fines, forfeiture, and all other rights, claims and demands, of every kind and character, which have accrued under the laws in favor of said City, heretofore in force governing the same, shall belong to
and vest in said City and shall not abate by reason of the adoption of this Charter, and shall be prosecuted and collected for the use and benefit of said City of Richland Hills and shall not be in any manner affected by the taking effect of this 
Charter; but as to all such rights, the laws under which they shall have accrued shall be deemed to be in full force and effect.

3.  Local Self-Government:  The City of Richland Hills shall possess and may exercise the full power of local self-government.  It may hold by gift, deed, devise, or otherwise, any character of property, including any charitable or trust fund, and subject to and within the limits of superior law may act in perpetual succession as a body politic.

4.  For greater certainty, the following are hereby especially enumerated and referred to as being among the other powers which are hereby conferred upon which may be exercised by the City of Richland Hills, to-wit:
     A.  All the powers conferred upon cities and towns by Title 22 of the Revised Civil Statutes of Texas, 1911, except as may hereafter be denied, limited or extended, are hereby conferred upon the City of Richland Hills as fully and completely as if such powers were herein separately enumerated.
     B.  All powers, privileges and immunities conferred upon cities of more than five thousand (5,000) inhabitants, by Section 4 of Chapter 147, Acts of the 33rd Texas Legislature, General Laws Regular Session, at Page 310 to 316, entitled, “An Act Authorizing Cities Having More Than Five Thousand Inhabitants, by a Majority Vote of the Qualified Voters of said City, at an Election Held for the Purpose to Adopt and Amend their Charters, etc.;” and such powers are hereby conferred upon the City of Richland Hills as fully and completely as if each of said mentioned powers are herein separately enumerated; but enumeration of special powers herein, or in the Statutes referred to, shall not be held or construed to preclude the City from exercising all powers of local government not inhibited by the Constitution and Laws of the State of Texas, or by special limitations in this Charter being to enlarge upon the power extended by the general laws of cities incorporated thereunder, and to secure to the City of Richland Hills, all the powers conferred by the Constitution and Laws of this State upon cities having more than five thousand inhabitants

Section 2.02 - Eminent Domain
       The City shall have the full power, authority and right to exercise the power of eminent domain when necessary   or desirable to carry out any of the powers authorized, permitted and conferred upon it by this Charter, or by the Constitution and Laws of the State of Texas. The power of eminent domain hereby conferred shall include the right of the city to take the fee and easement in the land(s) so condemn and such power and authority shall include the right for such purposes. The City shall have and possess the power of condemnation within or without the corporate limits for any municipal or public purposes even though not specifically enumerated in this Charter.

State Constitution reference -- Taking, damaging or destroying property for public use.  Article 1 - #17

Section 2.03 - General Powers Adopted
       The enumeration of the particular powers of this Charter shall not be held or deemed to be exclusive, but in addition to the powers enumerated herein, implied hereby, or appropriate to the exercise thereof, the City shall have and may exercise all other powers, which under the Constitution and Laws of the State of Texas, it would be competent for this Charter specifically to enumerate. The city of Richland Hills shall have and exercise all powers which are conferred upon those cities by what is known as the Home Rule Amendment to the Constitution of the State of Texas and the enabling act relative thereto, and all other laws passed by the legislature of the State of Texas, or which may hereafter be passed by said legislature in relation to such matters.



ARTICLE III - CITY COUNCIL
Section 3.01 - Number, Selection and Term
Section 3.02 - Qualifications
Section 3.03 - Quorum
Section 3.04 - Mayor is Presiding Officer
Section 3.05 - Election of Mayor Pro-Tempore
Section 3.06 - Council Compensation
Section 3.07 - Vacancies, Forfeiture ,Absenteeism and Filling of Vacancies
Section 3.08 -Powers and Duties of City Council
Section 3.09 - Prohibitions
Section 3.10 - Meetings of the City Council
Section 3.11 - Abstention
Section 3.12 - Code of Ethics
Section 3.13 - Conflict of Interest
Section 3.14 - Independent Audit
Section 3.15 - Procedure to Enact Legislation and Publication of Ordinance
Section 3.16 - Authentication, Recording, Certification, Printing and Distribution
Section 3.17 - Rules of Procedure   - Minutes
Section 3.18 - Influence of Appointments
Section 3.19 - Investigation by the City Council
Section 3.20 - Public Comment


Section 3.01 - Number, Selection and Term
        The legislative and governing body of the city shall be known as the “City Council of the City of Richland Hills” which shall be composed of a Mayor and five (5) Council Member selected under the Place System, with there being Places 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5.
        The Mayor and each Council Member shall be elected at large with the places on the official ballot designated as “Mayor” and “City Council Member - Place (No)____” with the election of Mayor and each City Council Member to be determined by a majority vote of the qualified voters voting in the election.   Terms of the Council Members shall be staggered so that every year there shall be an election of two (2) members of the City Council.  .
Beginning in the year of 2013, each Council person elected on or after 2013, shall hold office for a period of three (3) years and until his or her successor is elected and duly qualified.  Each Council Member, unless sooner removed under the provisions of this Charter, shall serve for a term of three (3) years or until their successor has been elected and duly qualified.   All elections shall be held in the manner provided in Article III and V of this charter.
The election for Place 1 and Place 5 shall be held beginning in 2013 and again in 2016, and every three (3) years thereafter.  Elections for Place 2 and Place 4 shall be held in 2014 and again in 2017 and every three (3) years thereafter. Elections for Mayor and Place 3 shall be held in 20and again in 2018 and 15 every three (3) years thereafter.
A person who has served as a member of the City Council for three (3) consecutive terms, shall not again be eligible for election to any place on the City Council until at least one (1) year has elapsed.
Any employee of the city shall not be eligible for election to any place on the city council until at least one (1) year has elapsed after their employment, termination, resignation or retirement. 
Each person duly elected to the person of Mayor or Council Member shall perform the duties and discharge the obligations conferred and imposed upon them, respectively, by the law, this Charter, and by the City Ordinances of Richland Hills and shall hold their office for a period of three (3) years and until their successors are elected and qualified.
Note:  Federal approval is required for a change in the terms of elected municipal officers

Section 3.02 - Qualifications
      Each member of the City Council shall:
(1)   be a United States Citizen;
(2)   be 21 years of age or older upon the commencement of the term to be filled at the election;
(3)   have been a resident of Texas for at least 12 months as of the deadline for filing for office;
(4)   have resided in the City for at least 12 months  as of the deadline for filing for office;
(5)   be a registered voter of the City;
(6)   reside within the City while in office;
(7)   not have been convicted of a felony for which he or she has not been pardoned o otherwise released from the resulting disabilities; and
(8)   not have been found mentally incompetent by a final judgment of the court . 
                                                                                                                                                                                                   
Section 3.03 Quorum                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
        Three (3) Council Members shall constitute a quorum for the purpose of transaction of business.  No action of the City Council, except as specifically provided in this Charter, shall be valid or binding unless adopted by the affirmative vote of a majority of the City Council present.

Section 3.04 - Mayor is Presiding Officer                                                                                                                                                   
         The Mayor shall be the presiding officer of the City Council and shall be recognized as the head of the City government for all ceremonial purposes and by the Governor for the purposes of military law, but shall have no regular administrative duties.  The Mayor may participate in the discussion of all matters coming before the council.  He shall vote only in case of a tie on all matters before the council but shall have no power to veto.  The Mayor shall sign all ordinances, resolutions, capital improvement contracts, conveyances made or entered into by the City, all bonds issued under the provisions of this Charter, and such other documents as authorized by the City Council.

Section 3.05 - Election of Mayor Pro-Tem
         The Council shall elect from among the Council Members a Mayor Pro Tem who shall be elected at the first City Council meeting following each regular City Council election.  The Mayor Pro Tem shall act as Mayor during the absence or the disability of the Mayor.

Section 3.06 - Council Compensation   
          Place members of the City Council shall receive for compensation the sum of ten dollars ($10.00) per regular scheduled meeting attended.  The Mayor shall receive fifteen dollars ($15.00) per regular scheduled meeting attended.  In the event that the Mayor Pro Tem serves as Mayor for more than thirty (30) consecutive days, that stipend shall be awarded the Mayor Pro Tem.  In addition, all actual reimbursable expenses incurred by all members of the City Council in the performance of their official duties shall be paid by the City as first authorized by members of the Council except in cases of funds needed for immediate or emergency purposes. 
 
Section 3.07 - Vacancies, Forfeiture, Absenteeism and Filling of Vacancies
   The office of a Council Member or the Mayor shall become vacant upon his or her death, resignation, forfeiture of, or removal from office by any manner authorized by law.
   Any person on the City Council who ceases to possess the required qualifications for office as specified in this Charter (see Sec.3.02) , or who is convicted of a felony, or of a misdemeanor involving moral turpitude, or is convicted of violating any state laws regulating conflicts of interest of municipal officers shall forfeit his or her office,  Every forfeiture shall be declared and enforced by the City Council.
   If any Member of the City Council is absent from three (3) consecutive regular meetings without acceptable explanation to a majority of the remaining Council Members, unless the absence is caused by illness, or by the illness of a family member, or fails to maintain a seventy-five (75) percent attendance record, unless the absence is caused by illness, or by the illness of a family member, for each elected year, including all scheduled budget and special meetings,, his or her office shall be declared vacant at the next regular meeting of the City Council by resolution. 
   If there is a vacancy in the office of Mayor, a new Mayor shall be elected by special election within one hundred twenty (120) days after such a vacancy occurs, in accordance with the Texas Constitution and the Texas Election Code.
   A vacancy in the office of a Council Member shall be filled by special election within one hundred twenty (120) days after such a vacancy occurs in accordance with the Texas Constitution and the Texas Election Code. 
   If the vacated office is that of Mayor Pro-Tem, the City Council shall elect a new Mayor Pro-Tem at the next regular meeting.
   Under Article XI, ~ 11, of the Texas Constitution, any councilmember who announces for another elective office is automatically removed from the Council if more than one year remains in his or her term at the time of such announcement.
   Vacancies filled by special election shall be for the remainder of the term that was vacated. If one or more vacancies shall occur within one hundred twenty (120) days before a regular city election, no special election shall be called, but the remaining members of the Council by a majority vote shall appoint a qualified person or persons to fill such vacancy or vacancies to serve only until the regular city election or when such vacancy or vacancies shall be filled for the remainder of the unexpired term.                                                                                                                                                                     
   If one or more vacancies shall occur one hundred twenty (120) days or more before a regular city election, a special   election shall be called for the next available uniform election date to fill the vacancy or vacancies, when such vacancy or vacancies shall be filled for the remainder of the unexpired term, if any.  Any person appointed shall be qualified for the office as required by this Charter.  Notwithstanding the requirement that a quorum of the City Council consists of three 
(3) Council Members, if at any time the membership of the City Council is reduced to less than three (3), the remaining members may, by majority action, appoint additional Council Members to raise the membership to three (3) .  These appointees shall serve until the positions can be filled at the next regular or special city election.  All vacancies filled by   election shall be for the remainder of the unexpired term of the office so filled.   A vacancy in the Council shall be filled within thirty (30) days of the occurrence of the vacancy by the Mayor with approval of a majority vote of the remaining members of the Council by selection of a person qualified for the position as described in this Charter. This appointee shall serve until the position can be filled at the next regular City election regardless of place.
   If an incumbent files for a different office within the first seven (7) days of the filing period, the vacated office shall be placed on the ballot to be filled at the upcoming regular City election and the effective resignation date shall be deferred until the date of the election. 

Section 3.08 - Powers and Duties of City Council                                                                                                                                                                                                             
        All powers of the City and the determination of all matters of policy shall be vested in the city Council.  Except where in conflict with and otherwise expressly provided by this Charter, the City Council shall have all powers authorized to be exercised by the Constitution and laws of the United States and the State of Texas and the acts mandatory thereof and supplementary thereto, now or hereafter enacted.  Without limitation of the foregoing and among the other powers that may be exercised by the City Council, the following are hereby enumerated for greater certainty:
(1)   Appoint and remove the City Manager;
(2)   Appoint and remove the Municipal Judge of the Municipal Court;
(3)   Appoint and remove the City Attorney;
(4)   Appoint and remove the City Secretary;
(5)   Establish, consolidate or abolish administrative departments and distribute the work of divisions;     
(6)   Adopt the budget of the City;
(7)   Collectively inquire into the conduct of any office, department or agency of the City and make municipal investigations as to municipal affairs;
(8)   Provide for a Planning and Zoning Commission and a Board of Adjustment and other boards as deemed necessary, and appoint the members of all such boards and commissions.   Such boards and commissions shall have all powers and duties now or hereafter conferred and created by this Charter, by City ordinance or by law.  The Council may upon affirmative vote of the full membership of the Council remove members of its appointive boards and Commissions without notice.       
(9)   Fix the salaries and compensation for the non-elective City officers and employees.
(10)   Adopt  and modify the official map of the City;     
(11)   Authorize the issuance of bonds by a bond ordinance;   
(12)   Provide for an independent audit.
(13)   Adopt, modify and carry out plans in cooperation with the Planning and Zoning Commission for the replanning, improvement and redevelopment of specific areas of the City;
(14)   Adopt, modify and carry out plans in cooperation with the Planning and Zoning Commission for  the replanning, reconstruction or redevelopment of any area of the City which may have been destroyed in whole or part by disaster;                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
(15)   Regulate, license and fix the charges or fares made by any person owning, operating, or controlling any vehicle of any character used for the carrying of passengers for hire on the public streets of the City;           
(16)   Provide for the establishment and designation of fire limits and prescribe the kind and character of buildings or structures or improvements to be erected therein; provide for the erection of fireproof buildings within certain limits; and provide for the condemnation of dangerous structures of buildings or dilapidated buildings or buildings  calculated to increase the fire hazard, and the manner of their removal or destruction;       
(17)   Fix and regulate rates and charges of all utilities and public services.
(18)   Adopt plats in cooperation with and consideration of recommendations of the Planning and Zoning Commission.         
(19)   Fix the salaries and compensation of the city officers and employees appointed by the City Council.       
(20)   Compromise and settle any and all claims and lawsuits of every kind and character in favor of or against the City.       

Section 3.09 - Prohibitions                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
(1)   Except where authorized by law or by this Charter, no Mayor or Council Member shall hold any other City office or City employment during his or her term as Mayor or Council Member.   
(2)   No former Mayor or Council Member shall hold any compensated appointive office or City employment until one (1) year after the expiration of the term for which they were elected or appointed to the City Council.   
(3)   Members of the City Council shall not in any way dictate the appointment or removal of the City administrative officers or employees whom the City Manager is empowered to appoint, except as provided for in Article IV, Section 4.08.  The City Council, at a meeting called for that purpose, may express its views and fully and freely discuss with the City Manager anything pertaining to appointment and removal of such officers and employees.                 
(4)   Except for the purpose of inquiries and investigations as provided by this charter, the City Council shall deal with City officers and employees through the City Manager. 
(5)   The City Council will not give orders to any such officer or employee either publicly or privately except as otherwise provided in this Charter.
           
Section 3.10 - Meetings of the City Council
(1)   The City Council shall hold at least one (1) regular meeting each month and as many additional meetings as it deems necessary to transact the business of the City.  The City Council shall fix by ordinance the date and time of the regular meeting(s).       
(2)   Special meetings of the City Council shall be held at the call of the Mayor or a majority of the Council Members upon provision of public notice in accordance with state law.
(3)   Except as provided by state law, all City Council meetings shall be open to the public and shall be held and notice given in accordance with the Texas Open Meetings Act, V.T.C.A. Gov‘t Code Sec. 551.001 et seq., and as it may be amended.     
(4)   Agenda - Items may be placed on the agenda by the mayor or by any council member prior to the next agenda to be posted. 
 
Section 3.11 - Abstention       
        Should any person on the City Council choose to abstain from voting on any question before the City Council, where no conflict or interest exists, the person’s vote shall be recorded as a negative vote in the official minutes of the meeting.
 
Section 3.12 - Code of Ethics
        The City Council by ordinance shall establish a Code of Ethics governing the City Council and all city employees which shall include at least the following:
(1)   wrongful influence;
(2)   wrongful interference,
(3)   employees’ political activities;
(4)   penalties;
(5)   conflict of interest; and
(6)   acceptance of bribes or gifts.

Section 3.13 - Conflict of Interest                                                                                                                                                             
        The use of public office for private gain is prohibited.  The City Council shall implement this prohibition by ordinance, the terms of which shall include but not be limited to strictly prohibiting the Mayor or a Council Member from: 
(1)   acting in an official capacity on matters in which the official has a special financial, personal, or political interest of any kind that is clearly separate from that of the general public;
(2)   the acceptance of gifts or items of an annual aggregate value greater than $25 from a single source;
(3)   the use of confidential information for unofficial purposes; and 
(4)   appearance before other political subdivisions on behalf of private interests as a City official. 

Neither the Mayor nor any Council Member may vote on, debate or discuss matters involving a business entity by whom they are employed or in which they have a substantial financial interest.  This ordinance shall include a statement of purpose and shall provide for reasonable public disclosure or related finances by officials with major decision making authority over monetary expenditures and contractual and regulatory matters in compliance with state law

The ordinance shall also provide for fines and other appropriate administrative actions for violations.   Should any person on the City Council have a conflict of interest, pursuant to any state laws and/or City ordinances regulating conflicts of interest of municipal officers, with an agenda item then before the City Council, he or she shall openly declare same before discussion proceeds, and her or she is thereby prohibited from discussing the item or voting on the question, and is not considered as present and voting for the purposes of the tally.

Section 3.14 - Independent Audit                                                                                                                                                       
        The City Council shall cause an independent audit to be made of the books of accounts records, and transactions of all administrative departments of the City at least once yearly, and at such other times as may be considered necessary.   Such audits at the close of the fiscal year shall be made by one or more duly licensed public certified public accountants who, for the three (3) years next preceding have held a certificate issued by the State Board of Public Accountancy of the State of Texas, or by a State maintaining an equal standard of professional requirements, which entitles the holder of such certificate to a Texas certificate.  The Auditor or Auditors to make the said audit shall be selected by the Council, and shall be solely responsible to the Council.  The certified public accountant selected shall have no personal interest, directly or indirectly, in the financial affairs of the City or any of its officers.  The same firm or certified public accountant shall complete no more than five (5) consecutive annual audits. 
         The report of the Auditor or Auditors shall be prepared in accordance with generally accepted standards of financial reports of Municipalities.  The report of such Auditor or Auditors for the fiscal year shall be printed and a copy thereof shall be furnished to each member of the Council, the City Manager and to each Citizen who may apply therefore.
A copy of the audit shall be filed with the City Secretary within one hundred twenty (120) days after the last day of the City’s fiscal year.  The original report of said Auditor or Auditors shall be kept among the permanent records of the City. 
                                                                                                                                                               
Section 3.15 - Procedure to Enact Legislation and Publication of Ordinance
         In addition to actions required by state law to be enacted by ordinance, The City Council shall legislate by ordinance, and the enacting clause of each ordinance shall be: “Be it ordained by the City Council of the City of Richland Hills..” 
         The City Attorney shall review all ordinances adopted by the City Council as to the legality thereof, or shall file with the City Secretary a written legal position and so signed thereto. Evidence of the review of an ordinance by the City Attorney may be by notation on the ordinance itself, or by separate paper or instrument. 
         Every ordinance shall be introduced in written or printed form and upon passage, shall take effect at the time indicated therein; provided that any ordinance imposing a penalty, fine or forfeiture for a violation of its provisions shall become effective from the date of its passage, subject to the provisions of this Charter.  The City Secretary shall give notice of the passage of every ordinance imposing a penalty, fine or forfeiture for the violation of the provisions thereof, by causing the caption or title, including the penalty, of any such ordinance to be published in the official newspaper of the City at least twice within ten (10) days after the passage of said ordinance.                                         
         Every ordinance enacted by the City Council shall be authenticated by the signature of the Mayor, Mayor Pro-tem, or by three Council members.  In the event the Mayor refuses to sign the ordinance, the ordinance may be signed by three (3) Council Members. Every ordinance shall be filed and systematically recorded and indexed in an ordinance book by the City Secretary upon passage in the manner approved by the city Council.  The City Council shall have power to cause the ordinances of the City to be corrected, amended, revised, codified and printed in code form as often as the Council deems necessary or advisable, when adopted by the Council, and shall be in full force and effect without the necessity of publishing the same or any part thereof in a newspaper.  Such printed code shall be admitted in evidence in all courts and places without further proof.
        All routine ordinances shall be read at two (2) open meetings of the Council on two (2) separate days; the second such reading shall occur not less than fifteen days following the first such reading.  The ordinance, unless provided by law or by its terms, shall take effect immediately upon the final passage thereof. 
Emergency ordinances may be enacted without separate readings when dealing with the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, safety or welfare.  These ordinances must be adopted by the favorable vote of not less than three (3) of the entire Council and shall contain a statement in clear and specific terms as to the nature of the emergency and the length of time the ordinance will be in effect, not to exceed 61 days.  This shall not prohibit reenactment of the ordinance in the manner specified if the emergency still exists.  Such emergency ordinances may not levy taxes, grant, renew or extend a franchise, regulate the rate charged by any public utility for its services  or authorize the borrowing of money except as provided elsewhere in this Charter.                   
         Except as otherwise provided by law of this Charter, The City Secretary shall give notice of the enactment of every ordinance imposing any penalty, fine, or forfeiture for any violation of any of its provisions.  The caption of the ordinance shall be published at least once within 10 days after the final passage thereof or as soon thereafter as possible in the official   newspaper, City Newsletter, and on the Official Website of the City.
          By caption, the City Secretary shall note on every ordinance the record thereof, the date of such publication and the fact that every ordinance which is hereby required to be published as required by this Charter has been published, which shall be prima facie evidence of the legal publication and promulgation of such ordinance, provided that the provisions of this section shall not apply to the correction, amendment, revision and/or codification of the ordinances of the City for publication in book or pamphlet form.

Section 3.16 - Authentication, Recording, Codification, Printing and Distribution
         All ordinances and resolutions adopted by the City Council shall be numbered consecutively as adopted and authenticated by seal and signature of the person performing the duties of the City Secretary.  They shall be properly indexed and placed in a book kept open for public inspection. 
         The City Council may maintain the codification of ordinances of the city. 
This codification shall be known and cited as:  “The Richland Hills City Code”  and shall be in full force and effect without the necessity of such code or any part thereof being published in any newspaper.  The caption, descriptive clause, and other formal parts of the ordinances of the City may be omitted without affecting the validity of such ordinances when codified.  Every general ordinance enacted subsequent to such codification shall be enacted as an amendment to the code.  For the purpose of this section, general ordinances shall be deemed to be those ordinances of a permanent or continuing nature which affect the residents of the City at large.  Copies of the code shall be furnished to city officers, placed in city offices and made available to the public at a reasonable price to be fixed by the City Council.
         The City Council shall cause all ordinances and amendments to this Charter to be printed promptly following their adoption.  A copy of each ordinance and amendment shall be placed in appropriate city offices for public reference.  Printed ordinances and Charter amendments shall be made available to the public at a reasonable price to be fixed by the City Council.     A copy of “The Richland Hills City Code,” including this Charter shall be placed in the Richland Hills Public Library for public inspection.

Section 3.17 - Rules of Procedure - Minutes
         The City Council shall have the authority to determine its own rules and order of business to govern its meetings.  The City Secretary shall keep accurate minutes and recordings of the proceedings of all official business conducted at the meetings, regular or special, of the City Council, and shall promptly transcribe such minutes upon the minutes book after the meeting and submit such minutes to the City Council at its next succeeding meeting for approval.  The City Secretary shall
properly and adequately index all actions of the City Council so that the same may be easily found by anyone desiring to inspect the proceedings of the City Council.  The minutes, when approved by the City Council at its next succeeding meeting, shall be the official record of the proceedings of the City Council and shall be open for inspection by the public during regular working hours when the City Hall is open.  For non-action meetings only, posted agendas shall serve as official minutes of the meetings.  The City Secretary shall be wholly responsible for securing and keeping intact all recordings whether on tape or televised of all official business conducted at the meetings, regular or special, of the City Council.

Section 3.18 - Influence of Appointments                                                                                                                                   
No member of the City Council shall direct the appointment of any person to office or initiate personnel change. Nor shall the members (or any member) of the Council, either directly or indirectly, by suggestion or otherwise, coerce or bring any pressure to bear upon the City Manager, either to appoint any particular person or persons or class of persons to any position that is or may be vacant, or to give employment of any kind to any such persons, or to discharge any person holding any position or doing work under the City Manager.
        The prohibition contained in this Charter shall not be construed to mean that any member of the Council, or other person, shall be prohibited from informing the City Manager as to any fact known to such person which might assist the City Manager in appointing or employing competent, fit, and proper persons, or discharging any incompetent or unfit person previously appointed or employed, or to prohibit the giving of any information which might be of benefit to the City Manager in making advantageous decisions for the good of the City.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
Section 3.19 - Investigation by the City Council                                                                                                                              
         The City Council shall have power to inquire into the conduct of any office, department, agency, office, officer or employee of the City and to make investigations as to municipal affairs, and for that purpose shall have the power to subpoena witnesses, administer oaths and compel the production of books, papers, and other evidence material to the inquiry. 
     The City Council shall provide, by ordinance, penalties for contempt for failure or refusal to obey any such subpoena or to produce books, papers or other evidence as ordered by the Council, and shall have the power to punish any such contempt in the manner provided by such ordinance. 

Section 3.20 - Public Comment   
(1)   Any citizen, following rules of protocol, shall have an opportunity to address the Council and speak on any subject following the conclusion of agenda items addressed and prior to the executive session and/or conclusion of the meeting.                 
(2)   The opportunity for citizens of the City to provide public comment on any subject, following proper protocol before the City Council, shall be provided at each regular or special meeting.  This opportunity shall be called “Citizen Input” and shall begin prior to any vote relating to a particular item at a regular or special meeting of the City Council.   The City Council may provide reasonable regulations as to time allowed and subject at hand to implement this provision.
(3)   All comments from the public shall be directed to the City Council, following City Council protocol and/or Robert’s Rules of Order.
 


Section 3.21    Official Newspaper  (move this to ARTICLE  XII)
        The City Council shall designate by resolution a newspaper of general circulation in the City as the official newspaper of the City as provided by State law. (551.001 et seq., Texas Government Code)


ARTICLE IV - ADMINISTRATION
Section 4.01 - City Manager
Section 4.02 - City Secretary
Section 4.03 - City Attorney
Section 4.04 - Municipal Court
Section 4.05 - Municipal Judge         
Section 4.06 - Authority, Powers and Procedures of Municipal Court
Section 4.07 - Official Bond for City Employees
Section 4.08 - Other Administrative Departments
Section 4.09 - Personnel System


Section 4.01 - City Manager
(1)   The Council shall, upon approval of a majority of the City Council, appoint the City Manager who shall be the chief administrative and executive officer of the City, and shall be responsible to the Council for the administration and management of all affairs of the City placed in the Manager‘s charge by or under this Charter. 
(2)   The City Manager shall:
a.   Appoint and suspend or remove all city employees and administrative officers provided for, by, or under this Charter, except as otherwise provided by law, this Charter or personnel rules adopted pursuant to this Charter.  The City Manager may authorize any administrative officer subject to the Manager’s direction and supervision to exercise these powers with respect to subordinates in that officer’s department, office, or agency;
b.   Direct and supervise the administration of all departments, offices, and agencies of the City, except as otherwise provided by this Charter or by law;
c.   The City Manager shall make an annual written and signed review of each Department Director’s performance which may be reviewed by the City Council. 
d.   Attend all Council meetings.  The City Manager shall have the right to take part in discussion;
e.   See that all laws, provisions of this Charter, and acts of the City Council, subject to enforcement by the City Manager or by officers subject to the Manager’s direction and supervision, are faithfully executed;
f.   Prepare and submit the annual budget and capital program to the City Council and implement the final budget approved by the City Council to achieve the goals of the city;
g.   See to it that the City operates within its budget;
h.   Submit to the City Council and make available to the public a complete report on the finances and all administrative activities of the City as of the end of each fiscal year; 
i.   Make such other reports as the City Council may require concerning operations;
j.   Keep the City Council fully advised as to the financial condition and future needs of the city;
k.   Make recommendations to the City Council concerning the affairs of the City and facilitate the work of the City Council in developing policy;
l.   Provide staff support services for the Mayor and Council Members; and
m.   Assist the Council to develop long term goals for the City and strategies to implement these goals;
n.   Encourage and provide staff support for regional and intergovernmental cooperation;
o.   Duly promote partnerships among Council, staff, and citizens in developing public policy and building a sense of trust, cooperation and community ;
p.   Execute deeds, when authorized by ordinance, and to make and execute all contracts on behalf of the City when authorized by ordinance or resolution of the City Council.         
q.   Perform such other duties as are specified in this Charter or may be required by the City Council.                   
(3)   The City Manager shall be chosen by the Council solely on the basis of executive and administrative training, experience, and ability.
(4)   The City Manager shall be appointed for an indefinite term and receive compensation as may be fixed by the Council.
(5)   No member of the Council shall, during the time for which he or she is elected, nor for one (1) year thereafter, be appointed City Manager.
(6)   The Council may by affirmative vote of a majority of the City Council adopt a resolution removing the Manager from office.  The action of the Council in removing the Manager shall be final; it being the intention of this Charter to vest all authority and fix all responsibility for such removal in the City Council.
(7)   The City Manager may, by letter filed with the City Secretary and subject to approval by the City Council, designate a qualified City administrative officer to be Acting City Manager during the temporary absence or disability of the Manager.  If the City Manager fails to make such designation or if the Council chooses to revoke such designation, the Council may appoint an Acting City Manager to serve during such time.  The City Council may remove an Acting City Manager at any time. 

Section 4.02 - City Secretary
        The Office of the City Secretary shall be under administrative control of the City Council; however, due to the uniqueness of the responsibilities of the Office, there shall be open and continuous dialogue and cooperation between the City Manager and the Office of the City Secretary. 
(1)   The City Council shall appoint or remove, without cause, the City Secretary, upon the affirmative vote of a majority of the membership of the City Council.
(2)   The City Council shall fix the compensation of the City Secretary, and the City Secretary’s compensation may be amended from time to time in accordance with the City Secretary’s experience, qualifications and performance.
(3)   The City Secretary shall: 
a.   Give notice of all official public meetings of the City Council in a manner consistent with this Charter and state laws; 
b.   Attend all public meetings and hearings of the City Council; 
c.   Keep the minutes of the proceedings of all public official meetings and hearings of the City Council in a manner consistent with this Charter and state laws;
d.   Act as custodian of all official records of the City Council , including all written, audio, and video recordings of all public meetings and hearings; 
e.   Hold and maintain the seal of the City and affix this seal to all appropriate documents;
f.   Authenticate by signature and seal and record all ordinances, resolutions and proclamations of the City; and
g.   Perform such other duties as may be required by the City Council consistent with this Charter and the laws of the State of Texas.
(4)   The City Secretary shall perform such duties as may be required by the City Manager.

Section 4.03 - City Attorney
(1)   The City Council shall appoint by the affirmative vote of a majority of the membership of the City Council a competent, duly qualified licensed and practicing attorney of the State of Texas who shall serve as the City Attorney.
(2)   The City Attorney shall:
a.   Serve as the legal advisor to the City Council, City Manager, City Staff, City Boards and Commissions, and City Departments in all legal matters pertaining to City business, and report directly to the Council;
b.   Represent the City in all litigation and legal proceedings as directed by the City Council and the City Manager; and
c.   Review and provide opinions as requested by the City Council and City Manager on contracts, legal instruments, ordinances of the City and other City business.
(3)   The City Council shall have the right to retain special council at any time that it may deem necessary and appropriate.
(4)   The City Attorney and Special Council shall receive compensation as may be determined by the City Council.
(5)   The City Attorney, with approval of the City Council, may select additional attorneys to act for him and the City in its representation and/or litigation.
(6)   The City Attorney may be removed, without cause, by the affirmative vote of a majority of the membership of the City Council. 


Section 4.04 - Municipal Court
(1)   The City Council shall establish and cause to be maintained a Municipal Court.  The Court shall have all the powers and duties as are now, or may be, prescribed by the laws of the State of Texas. 
(2)   The City Council may establish additional municipal courts as authorized by law.
(3)   All special expenses, costs, fines and penalties imposed by the Municipal Court(s) shall be paid into the City Treasury for the use and benefit of the City, as may be consistent with present and future laws.

Section 4.05 - Municipal Judge   
   Municipal Court Judge
The City Council shall appoint a Judge of the Municipal Court, who shall be a competent, duly qualified, licensed attorney in the State of Texas.  The Judge of the Municipal Court shall be appointed to a term of two (2) years, and may be appointed to additional and consecutive terms upon completion of the term in office.  The appointment of the Judge may be terminated by an affirmative vote of a majority of the membership of the City Council.  The Judge shall receive compensation as may be determined by the City Council.  The compensation shall be fixed and commensurate with the duties performed by the Judge.
   Clerk of the Court
The City Manager shall appoint a clerk, and may appoint deputies of the Municipal Court.  The clerk and deputies shall be bonded at city expense, in an amount deemed adequate by the City Council, and shall receive compensation as may be determined by the City Manager.  The clerk and deputies, as employees of the city, may be removed by the City Manager.  The clerk and deputies shall have the power to administer oaths and affidavits, make certificates, affix the seal of said court thereto, and generally do and perform any and all acts usual and necessary to be performed by the clerks of courts in issuing process of said courts and conducting the business thereof.
   Alternate Judge
The City Council shall appoint an alternate Judge who shall have the same qualifications of municipal judge who shall receive such salary as may be fixed by the City Council.  In case of the disability or absence of the Judge of the Municipal Court, the alternate judge shall have the authority to act as Judge of said court. 

Section 4.06 - Authority, Powers and Procedures of Municipal Court
         The authority, powers, and procedures specified in Chapter 30, Subchapter A of Government Code, as amended or as may be hereafter amended, are hereby incorporated herein and made a part of this Charter for all purposes.  If a provision(s) of Chapter 30, Subchapter A, as amended, of Government Code conflicts with a specific provision in Chapter 
30, Subchapter N, as amended, or Article IV of this Charter then the specific provision(s) controls. 

Section 4.07 - Official Bond for City Employees 
         As the City Council or state law may require, the City Manager, City Secretary, all Department Heads and employees , shall, before entering upon the duties of their offices, enter into a good and sufficient fidelity bond in the sum to be determined by the City Council , payable to the City of Richland Hills and conditioned upon the faithful discharge of the duties of such persons and upon the faithful accounting for all monies, credits, and things of value coming into the hands of such persons, and such bonds shall be signed as surety by some company authorized to do business under the laws of the State of Texas, and the premium on such bonds shall be paid by the City of Richland Hills, and such bonds must be acceptable to the City Council.   

Section 4.08 - Other Administrative Departments   
(1)   The head of each department, except those specifically mentioned in this Charter, is to be controlled and administered by the City Manager. 
(2)   There are hereby created and placed under control of the City Manager, departments as enumerated and defined in each year’s budget. 
(3)   The City Council, in cooperation with the City Manager, shall fix salaries for department heads, officers, and other employees. 
(4)   The City Council shall have power by ordinance to establish other departments and offices.  The City Council may discontinue any department or office established by ordinance and may prescribe, combine, distribute, or abolish the functions and duties of departments and offices, but no function or duty assigned by this Charter to a particular department or office shall be abolished or assigned to any other department or office; provided that the City Council may, if it deems advisable, consolidate into one (1) department not more than three (3) of the departments hereby established.  No administrative department or office created by ordinance shall be established or discontinued and no consolidation as hereinbefore provided shall be made until the non- binding recommendation of the City Manager thereon shall have first been heard by the City Council.
(5)   Should there arise any conflict in the assignment of the duties of the various department heads or subordinate offices or divisions, such conflict shall be resolved by the City Council enacting an ordinance upon the non-binding recommendation of the City Manager as to where and by whom such particular duty or duties should be performed.
(6)   A director for each of the above departments shall be appointed by the City Manager and shall serve until removed by the City Manager, or until his or her successor is appointed and has qualified for that position, unless otherwise ordered by the City Council.   
(7)   Each Department Director shall be appointed and may be removed with the advice and consent of the City Council. 
(8)   The Council shall have authority to prescribe, by ordinance, rules and regulations governing the operation of each of said departments, and each director shall have power to prescribe rules and regulations not inconsistent with this Charter or the ordinances of the City for the conduct of his or her department and the preservation of the records and property under his or her control.  Subject to the control and supervision of the City Manager in all matters, the director of a department shall manage his or her department. 
(9)   The directors of departments appointed by the City Manager shall be immediately responsible to the City Manager for the overall administration of their departments, and their advice in writing may be required by him or her on all matters affecting their departments.  They shall prepare departmental estimates, which shall be open to public inspection after such estimates have been filed with the City Manager, and they shall make all their reports and recommendations concerning their departments at stated intervals, or when requested by the City Manager.

Section 4.09 - Personnel System   
(1)   Personnel rules shall be prepared by the City Manager and presented to the City Council, who may adopt them by ordinance, with or without amendment. 
(2)   The adopted rules shall establish the City as an Equal Opportunity Employer and shall govern the equitable administration of the Personnel System of the City.
(3)   The adopted rules shall provide for the following requirements:
a.   A pay and benefit plan for all City employment positions;
b.   A plan for working hours, attendance policy and regulation and provision for sick and vacation leave;
c.   A Procedure for the hearing and adjudication of grievances;
d.   Additional practices and procedures necessary to the beneficial and equitable administration of the City’s personnel system; and
e.   A plan for annual oral and written evaluation based on a job description for all City employees by their immediate supervisor, including evaluation of the City Manager, City Secretary, Municipal Judge, and City Attorney by the City Council.


ARTICLE V - NOMINATIONS AND ELECTIONS
Section 5.01 - Elections
Section 5.02 - Regulations of Elections
Section 5.03 - Filing for Office
Section 5.04 - Official Ballots
Section 5.05 - Conducting and Canvassing Election Results
Section 5.06 - Taking of Office
Section 5.07 - Oath of Office


Section 5.01 - Elections 
(1)   The Texas Elections Codes states the general or special City elections shall be held  on one of the following dates:
a.   the second Saturday in May; or
b.   the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November; or
c.   as otherwise specifically authorized by statute.                     
(2)   The City election shall be held in accordance with the Texas Election Code and the laws of the State of Texas regulating the holding of municipal elections and in accordance with this Charter and ordinances or resolutions adopted by the City Council for the conduct of elections.  Officers will be elected to fill those offices which become vacant that year. 
(3)   The City Council shall fix the date, hours and place for holding such election. 
(4)   The City Council may, by resolution or ordinance, order a special election, fix the date, time and place for holding same and provide all means for holding such special election, in accordance with state law. 
(5)   All municipal elections shall be publicized in accordance with the Texas Election Code.

Section 5.02 - Regulations of Elections               
        The City Council shall make all regulations which it considers needful or desirable, not inconsistent with this Charter or the laws of the State of Texas, for the conduct of municipal elections, for the prevention of fraud in such elections and for the recount of ballots in case of doubt or fraud.  Municipal elections shall be conducted by the appointed authorities, who shall have the power to make regulations not inconsistent with this Charter, with any regulations made by the City Council or the laws of the State of Texas.
 
Section 5.03 - Filing For Office               
(1)   Candidates for elective city offices shall file for office in accordance with the Texas Election Code.   
(2)   In addition to requirements listed in Section 3.02, candidates for elective city offices shall meet the following requirements:
A.   Shall be at least twenty one (21) years of age at the time of the election for which they are filing ;
B.   Shall be a qualified voter;
C.   Shall have resided within the corporate limits of the City for at least twelve (12) months prior to the filing date;
D.   Shall not at the time of filing or while in office, be in arrears in payment of taxes or other liabilities due the City after notice of any delinquency; 
E.   No candidate may file for more than one (1) office or position in a single election as provided for in this Charter;
F.   No employee of the City shall be eligible to file for an elective office except as provided for in this Charter;
G.   The office of an incumbent elected City official shall become vacant when the person holding such office files an application to have his or her name placed on an official ballot as a candidate for any elective public office other than the one such person holds, unless otherwise prohibited by law, and,
H.   Shall comply with all other City ordinances or resolutions that may be applicable.
(3)   Any member of the City Council who ceases to reside within the City during the term for which he or she is elected shall immediately forfeit that office.

(4)   If the Mayor or any Council Member fails to maintain the foregoing qualifications or:
a.   is convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude;
b.   holds any other public office other than notary public, is a member of the military or except as may be authorized by law or ordinance; or
c.   violates this Charter,
the Council shall at the next regular council meeting declare a vacancy to exist and shall fill said vacancy as set forth in this Charter.

Section 5.04 - Official Ballots                                                                        
        The official ballot shall provide, at any City election, for the election of Mayor or Council Members as may be required to fill vacancies on the Council.   The official ballot shall also provide an opportunity for the voters to decide any issue for which a local referendum may be required, at any election which may be now or hereafter permitted by law. 
        The official ballot and all related documents shall be printed in both English and Spanish as determined by state law.  In addition to the official ballots, all registration or voting notices, forms, instructions, assistance or other materials or information relating to the electoral process shall be printed in both English and Spanish.
        Any qualified elector (voter) of the City, who is otherwise qualified, may have his or her name printed on the official ballot for a particular office at any election, by filing his or her sworn application with the City Secretary at least thirty (30) days prior to the election date.
             
Section 5.05 - Conducting and Canvassing Election Results 
(1)   The City Council shall be the final judge of all elections and of qualifications of its members.
(2)   The election judges and other necessary election officials for conducting all such elections shall be appointed by the City Council. 
(3)   The election judges shall conduct the elections, determine, record and report the results as provided by the general election laws of Texas.
(4)   The candidate for elective office receiving a majority of the votes cast shall be declared the winner. 
(5)   The returns of every municipal election shall be handled in accordance with the Texas Election Code. 
(6)   These returns shall be delivered from the election judge to the City Secretary and the Mayor at City Hall as soon as possible after the closing of the polls. 
(7)   Election returns, general and special, shall be presented to the City Council at the next meeting following the election, at which time the City Council shall canvass and declare the results of the election, which shall be recorded in the official minutes of the meeting.

Section 5.06 - Taking of Office
        Each newly elected member to the City Council shall be inducted into office at the first regular City Council meeting following the election, and their term of office shall begin as of that date. 
They shall serve until their respective successors shall have been elected and shall have qualified, except as otherwise provided for herein. 
 
Section 5.07 - Oath of Office
        Every officer of the City, whether elected or appointed, before entering upon the duties of office, shall take and subscribe to an oath or affirmation in accordance with state law. This oath is to be filed and kept in the office of the City Secretary.


ARTICLE VI - INITIATIVE, REFERENDUM, AND RECALL
Section 6.01 - General Authority for Initiative , Citizen Referendum Recall and Required Signatures
Section 6.02 - Form of Petitions: Committee of Petitioners
Section 6.03 - Filing, Examination and Certification of Petition
Section 6.04 - Amendment of Petitions
Section 6.05 - Effect of Certification of Referendum Petition
Section 6.06 - Consideration by Council
Section 6.07 -Submission to Electors
Section 6.08 - Form of ballot for Initiated and Referred Ordinances
Section 6.09 - Results of Election
Section 6.10 - Repealing Ordinances:  Publication
Section 6.11- Recall:  General
Section 6.12 - Recall Procedure
Section 6.13 - Recall Petitions
Section 6.14 - Recall Elections
Section 6.15 - Ballots in Recall Election
Section 6.16 - Results of Recall Election
Section 6.17 - Limitations on Recalls
Section 6.18 -  Failure of Council to  Fail or Refuse to Order a Recall Election


Section 6.01 - General Authority for Initiative, Citizen Referendum, Recall and Required Signatures
   Initiative 
The registered voters of the City shall have the power to propose any ordinance to the City Council and, if the Council fails to adopt an ordinance so proposed without any change in substance, to adopt or reject it at a City election, such power being known as the initiative, but such power shall not extend to the budget or capital program or any ordinance relating to appropriation of money, or levy of taxes.  Any initiative ordinance may be submitted to the City Council by a petition signed by qualified voters of the City equal in number to at least ˝ of a (.5) percent of all registered voters or two (2) percent of the number of votes cast in the last regular municipal election, whichever is greater. 
   Citizen Referendum   
The registered voters of the City shall have power to require reconsideration by the Council of any adopted ordinance and, if the Council fails to repeal an ordinance so reconsidered, to approve or reject at a City election, but such power shall not extend to the budget or capital program or any emergency ordinance or ordinance relating to appropriation of money or levy of taxes.  Ordinances submitted to the City Council by initiative petition and passed by the City Council without change shall be subject to the referendum in the same manner as other ordinances.  Within twenty one (21) days after the enactment by the City Council of any ordinance which is subject to referendum, a petition signed by qualified voters of the City equal in number to at least ˝ of a (.5) percent or two (2) percent of the number of votes cast in the last regular municipal election , whichever is greater, shall be filed with the City Secretary requesting that any such ordinance be either repealed or submitted to a vote of the electors.
    Recall
The registered voters of the City shall have power to recall elected officials of the City, but no recall petition shall be filed against any official within six (6) months after the official takes office, nor, in case of a member subjected to a recall election and not removed, until at least six months after the election.  Recall petitions will not be honored if an official in question (will) is to come up for election within six (6) months.
Recall petitions must be signed by qualified voters of the City equal in number to at least twenty-five (25%) of the number of votes cast at the last regular municipal election of the City, but in no event, less that 250 such petitioners.   
 
Section 6.02 - Form of Petitions:  Committee of Petitioners
       Initiative petition papers shall contain the full text of the proposed ordinance.  The signatures to initiative or referendum petitions need not all be appended to one paper, but to each separate petition there shall be attached a statement of the circulator thereof as provided by this section.  Each signer of any petition paper shall sign his/her name in ink or indelible pencil and shall indicate after their name their place of residence by street and number, or other description sufficient to identify the place.  There shall appear on each petition the names and addresses of five (5) electors, who, as a committee of the petitioners, shall be regarded as responsible for the circulation and filing of the petition.  Attached to each separate petition paper there shall be an affidavit of the circulator thereof that he/she personally circulated the foregoing paper, that it bears a stated number of signatures, that all signatures appended thereto were made in his presence, and that he believes them to be the genuine signatures of the persons whose names they purport to be.   

Section 6.03 - Filing, Examination and Certification of Petitions
        All petition papers comprising an initiative or referendum petitions shall be assembled and filed with the City Secretary as one instrument.  Within twenty (20) days after a petition is filed, the City Secretary shall determine whether each paper of the petition has a proper statement of one of the circulators named therein and whether the petition is signed by a sufficient number of qualified voters/electors.  The City Secretary shall declare any petition paper entirely invalid which does not have attached thereto an affidavit signed by the circulator thereof.  If a petition paper is found to be signed by more persons than the number of signatures certified by the circulator, the last signatures in excess of the number certified shall be disregarded.  If a petition paper is found to be signed by fewer persons than the number certified, the signatures shall be accepted unless void on other grounds.   After completing his/her examination of the petition, the City Secretary shall certify the result thereof to the City Council at its next regular meeting.  If he/she shall certify that the petition is insufficient, he/she shall set forth in his/her certificate the particulars in which it is defective and shall at once notify the committee of the petitioners of his/her findings.
       
Section 6.04 - Amendment of Petition
       An initiative or referendum petition may be amended at any time within ten (10) days after the notification of the insufficiency has been delivered by the City Secretary, by filing a supplemental petition upon additional papers signed and filed as provided in the case of the original petition.  The City Secretary shall, within five (5) days after such an amendment is filed, make examination of the petition and if the petition be (is) still sufficient, he/she shall file his/her certificate to that effect in his/her office and notify the committee of he petitioners of his/her findings and no further action shall be had on such insufficient petition.  The finding of the insufficiency of a petition shall not prejudice the filing of a new petition for the same purpose. 

Section 6.05 - Effect of Certification of Referendum Petition
       When a referendum petition or amended petition as defined by this Charter has been certified as sufficient by the City Secretary, an ordinance specified in the petition shall not go into effect, or if it shall have gone into effect, further action thereunder shall be suspended until and unless approved by the voters/electors as hereinafter provided. 

Section 6.06 - Consideration by Council
       Whenever Council receives a certified initiative or referendum petition from the City Secretary, it shall proceed at once to consider such petition.  A proposed initiative ordinance shall be read and provision shall be made for a public hearing upon the proposed ordinance.  The City Council shall take final action on the ordinance not later than thirty (30) days.

Section 6.07 - Submission to Voters/Electors
         If the City Council shall fail to pass an ordinance proposed by initiative petition, or shall pass it in a form different from that set forth in the petition therefore, or if the City Council fails to repeal a referred ordinance, the proposed or referred ordinance shall be submitted to the voters/electors not less than thirty (30) days nor more than sixty (60) days from the date the City Council takes a final vote thereon.
        The City Council shall, if no regular election is to be held within such period, provide for a special election for such purpose.

Section 6.08 - Form of Ballot for Initiated and Referred Ordinances
        Ordinances submitted to vote of the voters in accordance with the initiative and referendum provisions of this Charter shall be submitted by ballot title, which shall be prepared in all cases by the City Attorney,  The ballot title may be different from the legal title of any such initiated or referred ordinance, and shall be a clear, concise statement, without argument or prejudice, descriptive of the substance of such ordinance.  If a paper ballot is used, it shall have below the ballot line the following proposition, one above the other, in the order indicated: “For the Ordinance” and “Against the Ordinance.”
Any number of ordinances may be voted on at the same election, and may be submitted on the same ballot, but any paper ballot used for voting thereon shall be for that purpose only.  If voting machines are used, the ballot title of any ordinance shall have below it the same two propositions, one above the other or one preceding the other in the order indicated, and the voter shall be given an opportunity to vote for either of the two propositions and thereby vote for or against the ordinance.

Section 6.09 - Results of Election
       If a majority of the voters voting on a proposed initiative ordinance shall vote in favor thereof, it shall thereupon be an ordinance of the City.  A referred ordinance which is not approved by a majority of the voters voting thereon shall thereupon be deemed repealed.  If conflicting ordinances are approved by the voters at the same election, the one receiving the greater number of affirmative votes shall prevail to the extent of such conflict.

Section 6.10 - Repealing Ordinances:  Publication
        Initiative and referendum ordinances adopted or approved by the voters shall be published and may be amended or repealed by any Council duly elected subsequent to such adoption or approval, as in the case of other ordinances.  No such adopted or approved ordinance shall be amended or repealed by a City Council either in office or elected, at the time of such adoption or approval. 

Section 6.11 - Recall - General
   The Mayor or any member of the City Council may be removed from office by recall. 
   The qualified voters of the City shall have the power to recall any elected official on grounds of incompetency, noncompliance with this Charter, misconduct or malfeasance in office.
 
Section 6.12 - Recall:  Procedure
       Any five (5) voters of the City of Richland Hills may make and file with the City Secretary an affidavit containing the name or names of the officers whose removal is sought and a statement of the grounds for removal.  The City Secretary shall thereupon deliver to the five (5) voters making such affidavit copies of petition blanks demanding such removal.  The City Secretary shall keep a sufficient number of such printed petition blanks on hand for distribution.  Such blanks, when issued by the City Secretary, shall bear the signature of that officer and be addressed to the City Council, and shall be numbered, dated and indicate the names of the voters to whom issued.  The petition blanks when issued shall also indicate the number of such blanks issued and the name of the officer whose removal is sought.  The City Secretary shall enter in a record to be kept in his/her office the name of the voter to whom the petition blanks were issued and the number issued to said voters.
       To be certified, each signature shall have been personally signed by such voter in ink, shall be followed by date signed, the address of the person signing and include either the voter’s date of birth and the voter’s registration number as prescribed by the Texas Election Code.
       
Section 6.13 - Recall Petitions
       The recall petition to be effective must be returned and filed with the City Secretary within thirty (30) days after the filing of the affidavit required in Section 6.02, and it must be signed in ink by qualified voters of the City equal in number to at least twenty-five (25) percent of the number of votes cast in the last general municipal election; provided, however, that the petition shall contain the signatures of at least two hundred and fifty (250) of the qualified voters of the City and shall conform to the provisions of Section 6.02 herein.  No petition papers shall be accepted as part of a petition unless it bears the signature of the City Secretary as required in Section 6.02 herein.

Section 6.14 - Recall Elections
      The City Secretary shall at once examine the recall petition, and, if he/she finds it sufficient and in compliance with the provisions of this article of the Charter, he/she shall within five (5) days submit it to the City Council with his/her certificate to that effect and notify the officer sought to be recalled of such action.
       If the officer whose removal is sought does not resign within five (5) days after such notice, the City Council shall thereupon order and fix a date for holding a recall election.  Any such election shall be held not less than  thirty (30) days nor more than sixty (60) days after the petition has been presented to the City Council at the same time as any municipal election held within such period, but if no such municipal election be held within such period, the City Council shall call a special election to be held within the time aforesaid. 

Section 6.15 - Ballots in Recall Election
       Ballots used in recall elections shall, with respect to each person whose removal is sought, submit the following question:
“Shall (name of person) be removed from the office of (name of office) by recall?”   
Immediately below each such question there shall be printed the following two statements, one above the other, in the order indicated:
“For the removal of _______________________ by recall.”
“Against the removal of ____________________ by recall.”


Section 6.16 - Results of Recall Election
       If a majority of the votes cast in a recall election shall be against the recall of the officer named on the ballot, he/she shall continue in office for the remainder of his/her unexpired term, subject to recall as before.
        If a majority of the votes cast at such an election be (is) for the recall of the officer named on the ballot, he/she shall, regardless of any technical defects in the recall petition, be deemed removed from office and the vacancy shall be filled by the City Council as in other vacancies outlined in this Charter.  (Article III  -Section  3.07)

Section 6.17 - Limitations on Recalls
       No recall petition shall be filed against the Mayor or a Council Member within six (6) months after he/she has taken office nor in respect to an officer subjected to a recall election and not removed thereby, until at least six (6) months after such election.

Section 6.18 - Failure of Council to Fail or Refuse to Order a Recall Election
       Should the City Council fail or refuse to order any of the elections as provided for in this Article, when all the requirements for such election have been complied with and the petitioning voters in conformity with this Article of the Charter, then any citizen may file with the appropriate court for a writ of mandamus to force the city to call the election.
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