(a) Cities having more than five thousand (5000) inhabitants may, by a majority vote of the qualified voters of said city, at an election held for that purpose, adopt or amend their charters.
(b) Furthermore, no city charter shall be altered, amended or repealed oftener than every two years.
(a) The governing body of a municipality on its own motion may submit a proposed charter amendment to the municipality’s qualified voters for their approval at an election. The governing body shall submit a proposed charter amendment to the voters for their approval at an election if the submission is supported by a petition signed by a number of qualified voters of the municipality equal to at least five percent of the number of qualified voters of the municipality or 20,000, whichever number is the smaller.
A proposed charter amendment may be submitted to council via a petition “signed by a number of qualified voters of the municipality equal to at least five percent of the number of qualified voters of the municipality or 20,000, whichever number is the smaller.”
- “Qualified voter” means registered voter. [See Texas Election Code, §277.0021]
City Charter, Article IV, Section 3 deals with validation of petitions by the city clerk. It requires the city clerk to follow the statutory requirements found in Texas Election Code, §277.002:
(a) For a petition signature to be valid, a petition must:
(1) contain in addition to the signature:
(A) the signer's printed name;
(B) the signer's:
(i) date of birth; or
(ii) voter registration number and, if the territory from which signatures must be obtained is situated in more than one county, the county of registration;
(C) the signer's residence address; and
(D) the date of signing; and
(2) comply with any other applicable requirements prescribed by law.
(b) The signature is the only information that is required to appear on the petition in the signer's own handwriting.
(c) The use of ditto marks or abbreviations does not invalidate a signature if the required information is reasonably ascertainable.
(d) The omission of the state from the signer's residence address does not invalidate a signature unless the political subdivision from which the signature is obtained is situated in more than one state. The omission of the zip code from the address does not invalidate a signature.
(e) A petition signature is invalid if the signer signed the petition earlier than the 180th day before the date the petition is filed.
Texas Local Government Code, Section 9.004(b) provides that the election on proposed charter amendments be held on the first authorized uniform election date or on the earlier of the date of the next municipal general election or presidential general election. That section also mandates that a proposed amendment not contain more than one subject, and that the ballot must be prepared so that a voter may approve or disapprove any one amendment without having to approve or disapprove all of the amendments.
Texas Constitution, Article XI, Section 5 provides that no city may hold an election to amend its charter sooner than the 731st day after its most recent charter election.