The Princeton Home Rule Charter Commission hosted a civics lesson session with City Attorney David Overcash who outlined each section of a home rule charter to members.
The commission was due to discuss the first three sections of a draft charter at its meeting on Wednesday, February 16, but postponed discussions until the next meeting due to Overcash’s detailed presentation. Commissioners also received the 2010 copy of a Texas Municipal League handbook to provide them with useful data throughout the process.
Overcash said his role is primarily advisory to the commission and he will advise them and answer any questions along the way, but he does not have the final say on what happens in the draft charter that will be presented to voters. He added that the city charter will always be subject to any state or federal law in the event of a conflict between them and a provision of the charter.
Any provision to the contrary would also be inapplicable, leaving the charter without bite on certain articles. Charters also provide a very general structure for city government, but generally become cumbersome if there are too many powers listed, Overcash said.
“Most charters, almost all of them, are written very broadly, giving as much discretion as they can to councils so that they can exercise the most local self-government powers,” Overcash said. “It’s rather than wielding as much power as the Texas Legislature allows, which is the general approach to law we’re taking right now.”
For the full story, see the February 24 issue of the Princeton Herald.