Electra City Charter
The people of the City of Electra, Wichita County, Texas, a City of more than five thousand inhabitants, incorporated under the General Municipal Corporation Laws of this State, under powers conferred by the Constitution and Laws of Texas, in order to more fully obtain the benefits of our local government, enlarge the powers of our municipal government, and otherwise promote the common welfare, do adopt the following charter:
ARTICLE 1: CORPORATE NAME
Section 1. The inhabitants of the City of Electra, Texas, residing within the limits and boundaries hereinafter described, or within such boundaries as may be hereafter legally fixed or established, and such territory, are and shall continue to be, and are hereby continued and constitute a body politic and corporate, by and under the name and style of the City of Electra, with all the rights, powers, privileges and immunities hereinafter more fully defined and set forth.
(Adopted August 25, 1917)
ARTICLE 2: BOUNDARIES
Section 1. The limits and boundaries of said City, until legally changed, as herein provided, shall be as follows, to-wit:
Beginning at a stake, the southeast corner of lot No. 9, block No. 169 of the City of Electra, as shown by a plat of record in the deed records of Wichita County, Texas, vol. ______ page ______, thence due north 5325 feet along the east line of blocks Nos. 170, 171, 172, 173, 174, 162, 161, 158, 159, 160, 141, 140, 138, 139, and 113 to stake for northeast corner of said block 113; thence due west 3780 feet along the north lines of blocks 118, 112, 175, 83, 176, 54, 177, 27, 178 and 182 to stake the northwest corner of block 182, thence due south 1185 feet along the west lines of blocks 182, 8, 9, and 24 to a point of the intersection with south line of Michigan Avenue.
Then North 62 degrees west 415 feet along the south line of Michigan Avenue and the north line of the tract of land known as the High School land to a point the Northwest corner of the High School land;
Thence south 28 degrees west 643 feet along the west line of the High School tract to a point the intersection of the west line of the High School tract and the north line of block 10;
Thence due west 825 feet along the north lines of blocks 1 and 6 to a point the northwest corner of block 1 and the northwest corner of the City;
Thence due south 2810 feet along the west lines of blocks 2, 4, and 3 and crossing the railroad continuing south with the west lines of blocks 179, 180, and 15 to a point 78 feet south of block 15;
Thence south 60 degrees east 223 feet along the south line of Summit Street to a point the intersection of the said south line of Summit Street and the east line of the County Road, running south from the southwest corner of block 40 of the original town of Electra;
Thence south 1 degree and 4 minutes west 1522.91 feet along the east line of said County Road;
Thence south 88 degrees and 56 minutes east 675 feet to a point the intersection of said line with the east line of Southland Street;
Thence north 1 degree and 4 minutes east 360 feet along the east line of Southland Street to a point the intersection of the east line of Southland Street and the south line of Highland Avenue;
Thence south 88 degrees, 56 minutes, east 949.27 feet along the south line of Highland Avenue to a point;
Thence north 29 degrees, 16 minutes, east 1089.27 feet to a point;
Thence north 82 degrees, east 479 feet to a point the intersection of the aforesaid line with the south property line of the Fort Worth & Denver City railroad and 200 feet measured in a perpendicular direction from the center line of the main line of said railroad;
Thence 2645 feet parallel with the aforesaid tract center line and 200 feet therefrom to a point 455 feet due south of the point of beginning;
Thence due north 455 feet to the point of beginning.
Section 2. Additional Territory --- The boundaries described in Section 1 of this Article, or the boundaries of the said City as may be hereafter established, may by ordinance be enlarged from time to time by inclusion of adjacent territory upon petition of the owner or a majority of the owners of the territory to be affected, where more than one owner, or upon the petition of a majority of the resident qualified voters of the City. Accompanying such petition praying for admission in the City shall be a full and accurate description of the territory - described by metes and bounds - and a well defined map thereof showing its location with reference to the existing boundaries of the City. Upon application for admission of any such territory into the City, the City Commission, if it shall see proper, may admit such territory by an ordinance duly passed accepting such territory into and as a part of the City.
(Amended December 15, 1921)
In addition to the above methods of annexation, the question of annexation of any given territory adjacent to the City may come before the City Commission for consideration upon the will of the Commission; and the City Commission may, by ordinance introduced and adopted, annex such territory. When any such additional territory has been annexed, the same shall be a part of the City of Electra and the property therein shall bear its pro-rata part of the taxes levied by the City and the inhabitants thereof shall be entitled to the rights and privileges of all the citizens and shall be bound by the ordinances, resolutions, and regulations of the City.
(Amended June 13, 1972)
Section 3. Should any property lying within or adjacent to the city limits as established herein, or which may hereafter be established, be hereafter platted into blocks and lots, the owners of said property shall plat and lay the same off to conform to the streets and alleys adjacent to and abutting on same, insofar as may be, and shall file with the Secretary of the City Commission, and with the County Clerk of Wichita County, a correct map thereof; provided that in no event shall the City of Electra be required to pay for any of said streets or alleys when so platted and opened, but by the act of so platting and filing such map with the City Secretary, the streets and alleys, as indicated thereon, shall become the property of the City of Electra, for use as public highways.
Section 4. After the admission of territory as provided in the preceding Section of this Article, the inhabitants of such added territory shall have all the privileges, and be subject to all the duties and liabilities of the inhabitants of the above particularly described territory.
ARTICLE 3: MUNICIPAL POWERS
Section 1. The said City of Electra 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 Electra 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, answered 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 Electra 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.
Section 2. Rights Reserved --- All suits, taxes, penalties, fines, forfeitures 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 Electra, 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.
Section 3. Local Self Government --- The City of Electra 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.
Section 4. For greater certainty the following are hereby especially enumerated and referred to as being among the other powers which are hereby conferred upon and which may be exercised by the City of Electra, to-wit:
(a) All the powers conferred upon cities and towns by Title 22 of the Revised Civil Statutes of the State of Texas, 1911, except as may hereafter be denied, limited or extended are hereby conferred upon the City of Electra 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 inhabitants by Section 4 of Chapter 147, Acts of the 33rd Legislature, General Laws Regular Session, at pages 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 that Purpose, to Adopt and Amend Their Charters,” etc.; and such powers are hereby conferred upon the City of Electra as fully and completely as if each of said mentioned powers were herein separately enumerated; but the 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 self government not inhibited by the Constitution and Laws of the State of Texas, or by special limitations in this charter contained, the purpose of this charter being to enlarge upon the powers extended by the general laws to cities incorporated thereunder, and to secure to the City of Electra all the powers conferred by the Constitution and laws of this state upon cities having more than five thousand inhabitants.
(Adopted August 26, 1917)
ARTICLE 4: MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT
Section 1. The municipal government of the City of Electra shall consist of a City Commission, composed of a Mayor and four Commissioners, which shall be known and designated as the Board of City Commissioners of the City of Electra.
Section 2. Elective Officers --- The Mayor and City Commission shall be elected from the City at large, by a majority or plurality of the qualified voters voting in an election held for that purpose.
(Amended December 15, 1921)
Section 3. Appointive Officers --- There shall be appointed by a majority of the members of the City Commission, on the nomination of the Mayor or any member of the City Commission, a City Secretary and Treasurer, a City Recorder, a City Auditor (when in the discretion of the City Commission, a City Auditor is necessary), an Assessor and Collector of taxes, a Chief of Police, and City Attorney, and such other officers as the City Commission may from time to time direct, any of whom may be removed by a like majority vote of the said City Commission at the pleasure of said City Commissioners; provided that one person may hold the office of City Secretary and Treasurer.
(Amended December 15, 1921)
Section 4. Qualification of Officers --- The Mayor and each of the City Commissioners shall be resident citizens of the City of Electra, having the qualifications of electors therein, shall not be indebted to the City, shall not hold any other public office of emolument, and shall not be interested in the profits or emoluments of any contract, job, work or service for the City, or interested in the sale to the City of any supplies, equipment, material, or articles purchased. Any member of the City Commission who shall, after being elected thereto, cease to possess any of the qualifications herein required, shall forfeit forthwith his office, and any such contract in which such officer is or may become interested shall be void.
(Adopted August 25, 1917)
Section 5. Except for the offices of City Secretary and Chief of Police, no person shall be eligible to any office under the City unless he possesses the qualifications of an elector and shall have resided within the limits of the City for twelve months next preceding his election or appointment. By “office,” as used in this section, is meant a position to which a person is elected or appointed for a fixed and definite period, and does not include policemen and other mere agents and employees of the City.
(Amended December 15, 1921)
Section 6. Terms of Office --- All elective offices under this charter shall serve after the first election, as herein provided, for the term of two years, and until their successors have been elected and qualified.
Section 7. Vacancies --- Vacancies in office under this charter, except the office of Mayor, shall be filled by the City Commission for the term, or unexpired term, as the case might be, unless it should happen that a majority of the City Commission resign or fail to qualify, in which event the vacancies thus created shall be filled by an election, to be ordered by the Mayor. A vacancy in the office of mayor shall be filled by appointment, to be made by the City Commissioners.
Resignation of officers shall be made to the City Commission in writing, subject to the approval and acceptance of the City Commission, but the persons resigning may be required to continue in their offices or employments until their successors have been duly elected or chosen and shall be qualified.
(Adopted August 25, 1917)
Section 8. Salaries --- The Mayor and Commissioners hereafter taking office each shall receive $1.00 per month for their services as such Mayor and Commissioners, to be paid by the issuance of warrant upon the treasury as herein provided. All other officers of the City, elective or appointive, except where provided by law, shall receive such compensation as may be fixed by the City Commission.
(Amended July 20, 1937)
ARTICLE 5: ELECTIONS
Section 1. Except where otherwise provided herein, the general election laws of the State of Texas, insofar as applicable, shall control all elections, general and special held by the City of Electra.
(Adopted August 25, 1917)
Section 2. All elections for Mayor and City Commissioners shall be held on the first Tuesday in April of each year, and at the election to be held under this charter on the first Tuesday in April, 1922, that candidate receiving the largest number of votes for Mayor shall be declared elected to said office for the term of two years, and at said election to be held on the first Tuesday in April, 1922, there shall be elected a Mayor and two Commissioners, which Commissioners shall be designated Commissioners Nos. 3 and 4, and shall hold their office for a term of two years, and there shall be elected each two years thereafter two Commissioners as their successors. The Commissioners now serving the City by election shall be designated Commissioners Nos. 1 and 2, and shall hold his office until the first Tuesday in April, 1923, so that on the first Tuesday in April, 1922, there shall be elected a Mayor and two Commissioners, and on the first Tuesday in April, 1923, there shall be elected two Commissioners, and alternately thereafter, each two years there shall be elected a Mayor and two Commissioners respectively. Immediately after the adoption of this amendment the City Commission of the City of Electra shall appoint Commissioners Nos. 3 and 4 who shall hold office until the regular election for City officers on the first Tuesday in April, 1922. In all elections wherein the election of a City Commissioner is involved, the candidate for such office shall designate by number the place or office for which he is a candidate and the ballots containing the names of candidates for City Commissioner shall designate whether said candidate is a candidate for Commissioner No. 1, 2, 3, or 4; provided that all elective officers hold their office until their successors are elected and qualified.
(Amended December 15, 1921)
Section 3. At least thirty days prior to an election, the Board of City Commissioners shall order an election, naming the offices to be filled, the place where the election shall be held, and a presiding judge or judges to hold such election.
Notice of such election shall be given by publication of such order, for not less than twenty days immediately preceding such election, in each issue of some daily or weekly newspaper published in the City of Electra; provided, that the ordering of special elections, giving notice and making returns thereof, shall be governed by the laws of the State of Texas governing special City elections.
Section 4. Polling Places --- The City Hall is hereby designated as the polling place at which all City elections shall be held until otherwise provided by ordinance. The Board of City Commissioners may, from time to time, create and designate such polling places within the City as may be considered proper; provided that, in all elections, general and special, there shall be only one polling place for any one election.
Section 5. Who are Qualified Voters? --- Every person a resident of Electra, who is a qualified elector under the laws of the State of Texas, shall be entitled to vote for any elective officer of said City.
ARTICLE 6: THE BOARD OF CITY COMMISSION
Section 1. The Board of City Commissioners shall meet regularly twice a month, and oftener on the call of the Mayor. The Board of City Commissioners shall see that all ordinances necessary and proper for carrying out the powers and duties herein specified are passed, and that they are enforced. Said Board of City Commissioners shall promote, in any way it sees fit, subject only to limitations imposed by the Constitution and laws of this state or by the provisions of this charter, the welfare of the City and its inhabitants.
(Adopted August 25, 1917)
Section 2. The Board of City Commissioners shall elect one of such Commissioners Mayor pro-tempore, who shall preside at all meetings at which the Mayor is not present; and any three members of the City Commission shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.
(Amended December 15, 1921)
Section 3. The Board of City Commissioners shall appoint a Recorder of the corporation court, an Auditor (when necessary), and such other officers as the City Commission may, within its discretion, think proper, and shall fix and prescribe by ordinance the salaries or fees, or both, that it may consider proper to be paid to the various officers of the City, where not herein otherwise provided.
Section 4. The Board of City Commissioners shall also have the authority to combine the duties of any two or more offices of the City and provide that one person shall perform the duties theretofore devolving upon the officers holding such offices thus combined.
ARTICLE 7: POWERS OF THE CITY COMMISSION
Section 1. The Mayor, when present, shall preside over the City Commission, and in his absence the President pro-tempore shall preside.
Section 2. The City Commission shall be the judge of the election and qualification of its own members, may determine the rules of its proceedings, and shall have power to compel the attendance of absent members and to punish them for disorderly conduct.
Section 3. It shall be the duty of each member of the City Commission to attend each regular meeting thereof, or each special meeting of which he has notice and failure of any member so to do, without good and sufficient excuse, shall constitute misconduct in office.
Section 4. At the first meeting of each new Commission, or as soon thereafter as practicable, the Commission shall elect a Mayor pro-tempore, who shall hold his office for one year, and in case of the failure, inability, or refusal of the Mayor to act in respect to any matter of duty, such Mayor pro-tempore shall act.
Section 5. The City Commission shall have control of the finances of the City, and the control and disposition of its property, subject to the limitations hereof, and shall have power to ordain, alter, amend or repeal all ordinances, resolutions, rules, orders and regulations not repugnant to the Constitution and laws of the United States or of this state, and to enact such ordinances, resolutions, rules, orders, etc., as are necessary or proper for the good government of the City, the preservation of peace and good order and for suppression of vice or immorality within its limits, or for the proper promotion of trade and commerce within the City, and for the security, preservation and protection of lives, well being and health of, and for the proper recreation of, the inhabitants of the City and of persons within its limits, and to accomplish and enforce the duties and powers hereby conferred upon the City or which may hereafter properly be conferred upon it.
Section 6. The City Commission shall have power to remove any officer for gross immorality, habitual drunkenness, incompetence, corruption, misconduct, or malfeasance in office, after due notice and an opportunity to be heard in his defense, and shall have power at any time to remove any officer or employee of the City, elected or appointed by it under its authority, by resolution declaratory of its want of confidence in such officer or employee; provided that such removal can only be made upon a unanimous vote in favor of such resolution.
Section 7. The City Commission shall have power, from time to time, to require other and further duties of all officers whose duties are prescribed herein, and to define, prescribe and change, from time to time, the duties of all officers or employees appointed or elected by it or under its authority to any office or employment under the City, as in the judgment of the City Commission may be best for the public interest, and the Commission shall require good and sufficient bonds to be given by officers or employees handling funds of the City, and may require bonds of other officers or employees if considered proper or necessary.
Section 8. Petitions and remonstrances to the City Commission shall be presented in writing.
Section 9. Ordinances --- Ordinances and resolutions shall be introduced in written or printed form, and shall contain not more than one subject, which shall be clearly stated in the title, except ordinances or resolutions appropriating money, which may contain various subjects and accounts for which moneys are appropriated. Except in matters of temporary character or having reference to the conduct of the ordinary and current affairs of the City, the Commission shall proceed by ordinance only, and a majority vote of the City Commission shall be necessary to the adoption of an ordinance or resolution, or the allowance of any claim against the City. The vote on all ordinances and resolutions shall be entered of record, and on the demand of any members of the City Commission the vote on any claim shall be so entered; provided that, upon all questions, ordinances, resolutions, claims, etc., coming before the City Commission for its action, the Mayor shall be entitled to cast his vote.
Section 10. Style of Ordinances --- The style of all ordinances shall be, “Be It Ordained by the City Commission of the City of Electra,” but this style may be omitted when the laws and ordinances of the City are published in book or pamphlet form.
Section 11. Emergency --- No ordinance, except it be an emergency measure, shall be passed until it has been read at two meetings of the City Commission, one of which shall be a regular meeting, unless this requirement shall be dispensed with by the affirmative vote of all the members of the City Commission.
Section 12. Same --- An emergency measure, within the meaning of the preceding section, is an ordinance or resolution of the immediate preservation of the public peace, property, health and safety, or providing for the usual daily operation of the City. The City Commission shall, within its discretion, declare what measures are emergency measures, and any ordinance or resolution carrying an emergency clause shall be construed to be an emergency measure, which emergency shall be set forth and defined in the preamble or in the closing section of such ordinance or resolution.
Section 13. Any measure making grant of, amendment to, or extension of any franchise or other special privilege, or increasing the rate to be charged for its services by any public utility, shall never be classed as an emergency measure.
Section 14. All ordinances and resolutions adopted by the City Commission shall, before they take effect, be properly enrolled and be placed in the office of the City Secretary, and it shall be the duty of the Mayor, within five days after the same shall be placed in the hands of the Secretary, to see that they are properly enrolled, and approve, or disapprove, the same. If the Mayor shall disapprove any such ordinance or resolution, he shall do so in writing, stating his objections, and such order, ordinance, or resolution shall be returned to the City Commission for its further action at a regular or adjourned regular meeting, or special meeting, as the case may be, to be held not less than five days after such disapproval of the Mayor; and if, after reconsideration, the two City Commissioners shall vote in favor of the passage of such ordinance or resolution, their votes to be entered upon the minutes of the City Commission, then such ordinance or resolution shall become effective, the veto of the Mayor to the contrary notwithstanding.
Section 15. Every ordinance or resolution, after final passage, shall be recorded in a separate book kept for that purpose, and shall be effective from and after the approval of the Mayor, or its passage notwithstanding his veto, except penal ordinance.
Section 16. Ordinances Imposing Penalties --- Every ordinance imposing a penalty, fine, or imprisonment, shall, after its passage and placing of record, be published for at least ten days in a newspaper published in the City of Electra, and shall not take effect until such publications have been completed. The City Secretary shall note on such ordinances as are required to be published the fact that the same have been published as required by this charter, and the dates of such publications, which shall be prima facie evidence of such publications.
Section 17. Should the City publish its ordinances in pamphlet form, or in book form, it shall not be necessary to republish such as have been published, and all ordinances of the City printed or put in book form by authority of the City Commission shall be admitted and received in evidence in all courts without further proof, and a statement in such pamphlet or book that the ordinances and measures therein contained are published by authority of the City Commission shall be prima facie evidence of the fact thus recited.
Section 18. Record --- Every ordinance or resolution, upon its becoming effective, shall be recorded in a book kept for that purpose, and shall be authenticated by the signature of the Mayor, and attested by the City Secretary.
ARTICLE 8: DUTIES AND POWERS OF OFFICERS
Section 1. Every person elected by the voters of the City, or appointed by the City Commission, to any office under the City government shall, before entering upon the duties of his office, take and subscribe the official oath prescribed by the Constitution of this state, and where a bond is required shall execute such bond to the satisfaction of the City Commission.
(Adopted August 25, 1917)
Section 2. The Mayor of the City, in addition to duties elsewhere in this charter prescribed, shall see that the laws and ordinances thereof are duly executed; shall supervise and inspect the conduct of all subordinate officers of the City, and shall cause all negligence, carelessness and violations of duty by them to be prosecuted and punished; he shall from time to time communicate to the City Commission such information, and recommend such measures as may in his judgment, tend to the improvement of the finances, police, health, comfort and good government of the City. He shall represent the City in all its relations to other municipalities, and with the state, and he shall perform such other duties and exercise such other powers, not above enumerated, as are prescribed by the general municipal incorporation laws of this state for mayors of cities of more than five thousand inhabitants incorporated under such laws, and not inconsistent with the provisions and limitations of this charter.
(Adopted August 25, 1917 and amended June 17, 1975)
Section 3. The Chief of Police shall, in person or by a policeman designated by him, attend upon the corporation court when in session, and shall promptly and faithfully execute all process issued from the court. He shall have like powers with the sheriff of the county to execute search warrants, and shall be active in quelling riots, disorder and disturbances of the peace within the City. He shall take into custody all persons offending in his presence against the peace of the City, or violating its penal ordinances and all persons for whom he may hold a warrant or warrants of arrest, and shall have authority to take suitable and sufficient bail for the appearance of such persons before the corporation court. He shall arrest all persons who obstruct or interfere with him in the execution of the duties of his office, and when necessary to prevent a breach of the peace, or preserve quiet and good order, he shall have authority to close, temporarily, any place or building, or public resort, and to prevent and suppress violations of penal ordinances of the City; and he shall have, and may exercise, like powers and authority as the sheriff of the county in respect to the violation of any penal laws of the City or of the State.
Section 4. Policemen and other police officials may be appointed by the City Commission, and such officials shall hold their offices at the pleasure of the City Commission, not to exceed a period of two years under any one appointment, and said officials shall perform such duties and receive such compensation as the City Commission may direct.
(Amended December 15, 1921)
Section 5. The City Secretary shall attend the meetings of the City Commission and shall keep accurate minutes of its proceedings, in books to be provided for that purpose. He shall correctly enroll all ordinances and resolutions of the City Commission, and properly record the same. He shall take charge of, preserve, and keep in good order all books, records, papers, documents and files belonging to the City, the custody of which is not confided to some other official. He shall countersign all commissions issued to City officers and licenses issued by the City, or under its authority, and keep a register thereof. He shall make out all notices required under any order or ordinance of the City and serve the same when directed so to do by the Mayor or other competent authority. He shall draw and countersign all warrants on the Treasurer, which shall show definitely the fund upon which they are drawn and the purposes for which they are issued, and keep an accurate account thereof in a book to be provided for that purpose. He shall be the general accountant of the City and shall keep in books regular accounts of the receipts and disbursements of the City, showing under proper heads each clause of receipt or disbursements, and shall also keep an account with each person or officer handling funds of the City, crediting amount allowed by proper authority and specifying the particular transaction to which such entries apply. He shall keep a register of bonds and other evidences of indebtedness issued by the City, and of all evidences of debt due and payable to the City, noting the particulars thereof. He shall, before each meeting of the City Commission, examine all claims and accounts filed against the City, and note his approval of such as are found correct and his disapproval of others. He shall require all officers of the City connected with its finances, or handling its funds, to make at least monthly reports to the City Commission, which he shall examine and approve, or disapprove, and refer to the City Commission for appropriate action. He shall audit the books of other departments and officials, and funds of the City shall be paid to the Treasurer through him, on deposit warrants to be issued by him in triplicate, one to be given the depositor, one to the City Treasurer, and the other to be retained by him. He shall be clerk of the corporation court and perform all duties incident to that office.
Section 6. The City Treasurer shall, upon deposit warrants issued by the City Secretary, receive and, until a depository may be selected, shall securely keep all moneys belonging to the City, and upon presentation to him of any warrant drawn by proper authority, and showing on its face the purpose for which it was issued and the fund from which it is payable, shall pay such warrant, provided there is sufficient money in the treasury belonging to the fund upon which said warrant is drawn to pay the same. He shall render full and correct statements of his receipts and payments to the City Commission at its first regular meeting in each month, and at any other time he may be required so to do, and shall make such other reports as may be required of him by any law of the state. Upon selection of a City depository, the duties of the Treasurer and other officers will conform to the requirement of the City Depository statutes insofar as applicable.
Section 7. The Assessor and Collector shall make up the assessments of property taxed by the City and make duplicate rolls thereof, one of which, when completed, shall be delivered to the City Secretary. He shall collect all taxes due the City, whether the same be general, special assessment, occupation license, or otherwise, and shall pay the same over at least weekly, upon warrants issued by the City Secretary, to the City Treasurer, and shall report to the City Commission, at its first meeting in every month, all moneys so collected and paid.
Section 8. The City Attorney shall represent the City in the corporation court, give advice to other City officers, and attend the meetings of the City Commission for this purpose, and do and perform such other duties as are usually incident to the office of City Attorney, or that may be required of him by the City Commission.
ARTICLE 9: CORPORATION COURT
Section 1. The corporation court, as provided for in Chapter 5, Title 22 of the Revised Civil Statutes of Texas, Articles 903 to 922, inclusive, is hereby created, recognized, and adopted as the municipal court of the City, with the powers and jurisdiction conferred by such state statutes, and the proper officers of the City shall do and perform all duties required of them, or permitted by the statutes creating a corporation court, defining its jurisdiction, and regulating its procedure.
Section 2. Procedure in said court shall be in accordance with the laws creating same, and such ordinances as may, from time to time, inconsistent with such laws be passed by the City Commission.
ARTICLE 10: PUBLIC FREE SCHOOLS
Section 1. The power of control and management of the public free schools of the City shall be and remain vested in the Board of Trustees of the present incorporated Electra Independent School District, embracing territory within and without the limits of the City of its officers.
ARTICLE 11: REVENUE AND TAXATION
Section 1. The City Commission shall have power to levy taxes to the extent and for all the purposes authorized by the laws of the State of Texas and by this charter, not to exceed, however, the limitations thereon fixed by the Constitution of the State, and provide for the mode and manner of levying, assessing and collecting the same, and to apportion such taxes as in the discretion of the City Commission shall be to the best interest of the City.
Section 2. It shall be the duty of the City Commission, annually, to levy, assess and collect such taxes as may be necessary for general purposes and current expenses of the City, which taxes shall not exceed seventy-five cents on the one hundred dollars of the assessed valuation of all taxable property within the City.
Section 3. The City Commission shall have the power to annually levy, assess and collect such taxes as may be necessary to pay the interest on, and create a sinking fund or funds for the bonded or other indebtedness of the City now existing, or hereafter to be created.
Section 4. In addition to the taxes hereinabove provided for, the City Commission shall provide for the opening, maintenance and improvement of the streets, alleys, bridges, culverts, etc., and may provide for the maintenance and support of a public free library for the maintenance and beautifying of the City cemeteries, and other improvements herein authorized.
Section 5. The City Commission shall have the power, and it is hereby authorized, to levy, assess and collect occupation taxes upon all trades, professions, occupations, callings and businesses of every kind and character carried on in the City, on which a license or occupation tax is levied by the state at the time this charter shall go into effect, and all such trades, professions, occupations, callings, and all other businesses of every kind or character, which may hereafter be subject to a license or occupation tax as provided by the general law of the state; but at no time shall the occupation tax or license levied by said City for any year on persons or corporations pursuing any trade, profession, occupation, calling or business, of any kind or character subject to a license or tax under the laws of the state, exceed one-half of said license or tax levied by the state for the same period on such trade, profession, occupation, calling or business. All licenses or occupation taxes shall be received and collected by the Assessor and Collector of taxes, and shall be paid to that officer by each and every person and corporation chargeable therewith, before engaging in any trade, professions, occupations, calling or business upon which said tax or license is charged, and the City Commission shall have the power and authority, and is hereby vested with all the powers delegated to and prescribed for the collection of occupation taxes and licenses under the general laws of the state, either civil or criminal, except as they may be in conflict herewith; and in addition thereto the City may collect such taxes, by suit in any court having jurisdiction of the amount. Any person pursuing more than one trade, profession, occupation, calling or business subject to the payment of occupation taxes or license, shall pay an occupation tax or license on each, and no tax or license shall extend to more than one profession, trade, occupation, calling or business.
Section 6. The City Commission shall authorize the proper officer of the City to grant and issue occupation taxes and licenses, and shall direct the manner of issuing and registering the same, and fix the fees and charges therefor. No tax or license shall issue for a longer period than one year, and shall not be assignable except by permission of the City Commission; nor shall same be issued except for the City’s fiscal year or the unexpired portion thereof.
Section 7. The property of all persons owing any taxes to the City of Electra is hereby made liable for all such taxes, whether the same be due upon personal or real property, or both, and a lien is hereby expressly fixed upon all such property to secure the payment of said taxes; and the ad valorem taxes due on any one piece of property shall not be received by the collector from the owner, or other person interested therein, separately, without paying the ad valorem taxes owing by him on other property.
Section 8. The City Commission shall have full power to provide by ordinance for the prompt collection of taxes levied, assessed and imposed under this charter and the ordinances of said City, and it is here authorized, and to that end shall have full power and authority, to sell, or cause to be sold, all kinds of property, real and personal, and shall make such rules and regulations, ordain and pass such ordinances, as it may consider necessary to the levying, imposing, assessing and collecting of any and all taxes provided for in this charter; and unless otherwise provided by ordinance, all property in said City liable and subject to taxation shall be assessed, and said taxes shall be levied and collected, in accordance with the provisions of the general laws of the State of Texas.
Section 9. Collections for Bonded and Other Indebtedness --- All moneys arising from the collection of taxes levied for the payment of interest on, and providing a sinking fund for, bonded or other indebtedness of the City, shall be maintained in a separate fund, to be designated “Interest and Sinking Fund,” and a separate account shall be kept of the funds applicable to each series of indebtedness.
Section 10. Irregularities in Levy and Assessment --- No irregularities in the time and manner of making and returning of the assessment rolls, or the approval of such rolls, shall invalidate any assessment; nor shall any irregularity in the time and manner of making a levy or the form thereof invalidate any tax levy made hereunder.
Section 11. Levying Taxes --- The City Commission, at its first meeting in July of each year, or as soon thereafter as practicable, shall levy the annual taxes for such year, but special taxes or assessments provided for by this charter may be levied, assessed and collected at such time or times as the City Commission may provide; provided that, should the City Commission fail or neglect to levy the annual tax for any one year, the annual tax levy for the preceding year last made by the Commission shall be considered in force and effective as the tax levy for the year for which no levy was made.
Section 12. Forced Collection of Taxes --- The City Commission may provide by ordinance for the prompt collection, by suit, sale, or otherwise, of all taxes due the City, of every kind. The Commission may also provide penalties for the failure to pay taxes by a given date, provided the penalty shall never exceed that imposed by the State law. The City may proceed in the matter of the enforced collection of taxes in all things as provided by law for the collection of state and county taxes in this state, insofar as same is applicable, and the City Attorney shall receive for his services in tax suits the same fees allowed by law for county attorneys for like services.
ARTICLE 12: PUBLIC UTILITIES
Section 1. The City of Electra shall have the power to construct, own, purchase, or lease, within or without the city limits, and to maintain and operate a system or systems of waterworks, sewers, sewage disposal plants, gas and electric light plants, parks, hospitals, telephone systems, street railways, garbage disposal plants, and all other public utilities, and to receive compensation for services furnished for private purposes or otherwise, and to exercise the right of eminent domain, as by this charter provided, for the appropriation of lands and rights-of-way that may be proper and necessary to efficiently carry out such objects; to adopt by ordinance such rules and regulations as it may consider necessary and advisable for the acquiring and operation of any such public utilities; to manufacture its own electricity, gas, and ice, and to purchase and make contracts with any person or corporation for the purpose of purchasing gas, electricity, and ice, and to sell the same to the public on such terms as the Commission may provide.
Section 2. Municipal Service ---The rates charged for service furnished by any of the said public utility plants shall be just and equitable, and there shall not be allowed any person, firm, or corporation, or to any officer or employee of said City, any service free of charge, except that free service may be provided for buildings and institutions owned and operated by the City. In determining the rates to be charged and collected for such service, the cost of operation, maintenance, depreciations, replacements, betterments, interest charges, and the creation of a sinking fund to pay the principal and the interest of any bonds issued for the construction or acquirement or improvement of any such public utilities, shall be taken into consideration; provided that the City may charge a greater rate for such service to persons, firms, or corporations without the city limits than for the same service to those within the city limits.
ARTICLE 13: BONDING POWER INDEBTEDNESS
Section 1. The Commission shall have the power and authority to appropriate so much of the revenues of said City for the purpose of the purchase or construction, improvement and extension, of a waterworks and sewer system, or systems; for the improvement and maintenance of the streets of the City; for the purchase or acquisition of grounds for cemeteries, parks, garbage disposal plants, public buildings and other public purposes mentioned in Section 1 of Article 12 hereof, and all other permanent public improvement purposes, as it may from time to time deem expedient, and in furtherance of said objects it shall have power to borrow money upon the credit of the City and to issue bonds therefor in such sums as the City Commission may deem expedient, payable at such times and places as shall be directed by the City Commission; provided, however, that said Commission shall not issue any bonds of said City without first having submitted the same to a vote of the people, as provided for in this Charter.
Section 2. No bonds for any purpose shall be issued and sold until they shall have first been authorized by a majority vote of the duly qualified resident property tax paying voters of the City, voting at an election duly ordered and held to determine the question of their issuance, and until after they have been duly approved by the Attorney General of the State and registered by the Comptroller, as required by law.
Section 3. All bonds issued by the City shall be signed by the Mayor, be countersigned by the City Secretary, and have the seal of the City impressed upon them; they shall specify the purpose for which they are issued, shall bear interest at a rate to be fixed by the City Commission, not to exceed six percent per annum, payable annually or semi-annually, as the City Commission may direct.
Section 4. No debt shall be created, and no bonds of the City shall be issued, until after the City Commission shall have provided for the levy and collection annually of a tax on the taxable values of the City which will furnish revenue sufficient to pay the current annual interest on such bonds and create a sinking fund sufficient to redeem them at maturity. Funds raised to discharge bonded indebtedness of the City, or to pay the interest thereon, shall be and continue to be special funds for, or diverted to, any other purpose. Sinking funds now on hand, or which may hereafter accrue or accumulate, shall be promptly used for the retirement of the bonds to which they apply, if practicable, and if not, then such funds shall be promptly invested in such securities as are prescribed by law for the investment of sinking funds, and the City Treasurer shall honor no drafts upon any of the funds mentioned in this section, except to pay interest on, or to redeem, the bonds to which they apply, or for the investment in other securities, as in this section provided.
Section 5. Refunding Indebtedness --- The City Commission shall have the authority to pass all necessary ordinances to provide for the funding or refunding of the whole or any part of the existing debts, by canceling the evidences thereof and issuing to the holders or creditors bonds or treasury warrants, with or without coupons, bearing interest at an annual rate not to exceed six percent per annum.
(Adopted August 25, 1917)
Section 6. Treasury Interest-Bearing Warrants --- The City Commission shall have the power and authority, whenever it deems the same expedient and necessary, at any regular meeting, to adopt an ordinance authorizing the issuance of interest-bearing time warrants, which said warrants shall bear interest not to exceed six percent per annum, payable annually or semi-annually, and in an amount so that the total debt owed by the City on time warrants does not exceed $50,000.00. Said ordinance shall also provide that a sufficient portion of the City ad valorem taxes, or general revenue from any source, be set aside to retire said warrants. Said warrants shall be signed by the Mayor, countersigned by the City Secretary, shall bear the seal of the City, and shall state the amount for which it is issued, the interest rate, and when interest is payable, and the maturity date of said warrant.
(Amended June 13, 1972)
ARTICLE 14: CITY DEPOSITORY
The provisions of the general law of this state governing the selection and designation of a city depository is hereby adopted as the law governing the selection and designation of a depository for the City of Electra.
ARTICLE 15: MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS
Section 1. Contracts --- All valid and existing contracts to which the City of Electra is a party, heretofore validly made and not heretofore terminated by agreement, novation, breach or otherwise, shall be unaffected by the adoption of this charter and shall be executed in accordance with the provisions of this charter and laws applicable thereto, and for such purposes only, all laws and parts of laws applicable to any such contracts, if not in conflict herewith, are continued in full force and effect.
Section 2. Tax-Debt Arrearages --- No money shall be paid by the City upon any claim, debt demand, or account whatsoever, to any person, firm, or corporation who is in arrears to the City of Electra for taxes or otherwise, and the City shall be entitled to a counterclaim and offset against any such debt, claim, demand or account, in the amount of taxes or other debt in arrears, and no assignment or transfer of such debts, claims, demands or accounts, after the said taxes or other debts are due, shall affect the right of the City to offset the said taxes or other debts against the same.
Section 3. Board of City Development --- This City Commission shall have the authority to appoint what shall be known and designated as a “Board of City Development,” which shall be composed of not exceeding fifteen members, who shall serve without compensation, and the Commission may prescribe the qualifications and duties of such board, and their term of office, and may appropriate not exceeding three cents on the one hundred dollars valuation of property in the City of Electra, from the general fund of said City, to support the work of the board.
Section 4. All ordinances and resolutions in force at the time this charter shall become effective, not inconsistent with its provisions, shall continue in force until amended or repealed.
Section 5. No property owned or held by the City and held or used for public purposes or intended for public use and reasonably adapted to such use, shall be subject to any execution of any kind or nature.
Section 6. No fund of the City shall be subject to garnishment, and the City shall never be required to answer in any garnishment proceedings.
Section 7. The City shall not be liable on account of any claim for damages to any person or property unless the person asserting such claim, or someone for such person, shall give the City written notice of such claim within ninety days from the time it is claimed that such damages were inflicted, with a statement of facts reasonably sufficient to form a basis of an intelligent investigation, and no suit shall be instituted or maintained on any such claim until the expiration of ninety days from the time such notice shall have been given.
Section 8. This Charter, if adopted, shall become effective from and after the votes cast at the election at which it is submitted to the voters shall have been counted and the result of said election declared, and an order or ordinance shall have been entered upon the records of the City Commission declaring it adopted.
Section 9. This Charter, if adopted, may be altered, amended, or repealed, not oftener than every two years and every two years the City Commission may, of its own motions, submit to a vote of the qualified electors of the City proposed amendments hereto, and upon petition of at least ten percent of the qualified voters of the City, shall submit to a vote any proposed amendment or amendments hereto.
Section 10. This Charter, if adopted, shall be recorded in full in the minutes of the City Commission, and as a part of the proceedings of the meeting at which it is declared adopted, and the City Secretary shall carefully preserve the original in his office. As soon as practicable after it is adopted, it shall be the duty of the Mayor to certify to the Secretary of State, as required by statute, a duly authenticated copy hereof, under the seal of the City, for record in the office of said Secretary of State.
Section 11. The Charter herewith submitted is and shall be cumulative of all other laws of the state governing cities of more than five thousand inhabitants not in conflict herewith, and the enumeration of the powers made in this charter shall never be construed to preclude, by implication or otherwise, the City from doing any and all things not inhibited by the Constitution and laws of Texas.
Section 12. This Charter shall have the force and effect of a general law, and it shall not be necessary to plead or prove the same, or any part thereof, in any suit or legal proceeding, and all courts shall take judicial notice.
(Adopted August 25, 1917)
* Editor’s Note: The City’s Home Rule Charter was adopted by the voters at an election held on August 25, 1917, and is included herein for the benefit of the user of this Code. The original arrangement, including article numbers, catchlines, and article headings, have been retained. Amendments to the Charter have been added at the proper places and are indicated by notes following the amended sections.