In April 2010, Nixa citizens voted to make Nixa a Home Rule Charter city, meaning the City’s governance shifted from the state legislature to the community.
What does this charter do?
- Establishes a more flexible, efficient and responsible government.
- Permits citizens to have a greater voice (initiatives and referendums) in local government.
- Still complies with the state and federal constitutions.
Definition of Terms
Charter – A legal document, the local “constitution” which defines the structure and organization of our municipal government.
Home Rule – Refers to the legal process of governing. It means local, rather than state control.
What is a “Home Rule” City?
Home Rule is local governance. Of all the states in the union, Missouri, in 1875, became the first state to adopt Home Rule provisions in an effort to prevail over the traditional “delegation of powers” theory. As amended in 1971, Home Rule now allows cities to come up with their own solutions to local problems, without interference from the State. It brings local government as close to the citizens as possible because citizens prepare and adopt a charter “constitution” that reflects and dictates their desired local conditions.
The powers of a constitutional charter city are defined as “all powers which the general assembly of the State of Missouri has authority to confer upon any city, provided such powers are consistent with the Constitution of the State and are not limited or denied either by charter as adopted, or by statute.”
Benefits of Home Rule:
- Establishes a more flexible, efficient, and responsible government.
- Citizens have more control over local government decisions.
- Citizens will not need to rely on the State Legislature to grant the powers of authority in areas such as:
- Business licenses.
- Initiatives. (Gives voters the ability to place local issues directly on the ballot.)
- Referendums. (Gives voters the ability to repeal or reject local ordinances passed by City Council.)
- Recall. (Gives voters provision to remove any elected official from office.)
- Powers in the event of natural disasters.
- Still complies with the State and Federal constitutions.
What is a Home Rule Charter Review Commission?
Section 13.8 of the Nixa Home Rule Charter requires Council to select members for a Charter Review Commission for a mandatory review within ten (10) years of the approval of the Charter. In 2019, this minimum mandatory commission was convened, however, the city council is also able to seat commissioners for additional reviews following the initial mandatory review. The charter states that the Charter Review Commission shall, within twelve months of its first meeting, report to the voters as many amendments to the Charter as it shall deem advisable.