Sugar Land, TX - Sugar Land City Council recently appointed an independent group of residents to review the city’s charter, a document that provides the foundation for governance in Sugar Land.
Members of the Sugar Land Charter Review Commission include Chairman David Gornet, Stewart Jacobson, Tom DeMont, Jack Molho and Carla Dunmore-Mondt.
The commission is expected to schedule meetings from November through April, including one public hearing to solicit input from citizens. These meetings will be open to the public, and a schedule will be posted at www.sugarlandtx.gov/crc. A recommendation to City Council is expected by May with a possible charter election called in the future.
In 1981, Sugar Land citizens voted to adopt the city’s first home-rule charter. By converting from a general-law city to a home-rule city, citizens chose to exercise their right under the Texas Constitution to make local laws to govern their own affairs. The charter is the city’s “constitution” and cannot be amended except by approval of the voters and not more than every two years.
The charter is a document that establishes the form of government for Sugar Land. This includes provisions for a council-manager form of government, legislative authority of City Council, general elections provisions, finance provisions and several other areas outlining the governance of Sugar Land. The charter is available online at www.sugarlandtx.gov/charter.
Previous Charter Review Commissions have taken the view that the charter is the city’s “constitution” and should only include the fundamental matters of local government. For example, the number of councilmembers on City Council and the manner of election (by majority or plurality vote) are fundamental matters and should be addressed by the charter.