Resources & Research


What is a Charter? A charter is similar to a local Constitution—it prescribes procedures to be followed in operating local government, establishes the powers and duties of elected officials, creates safeguards to protect against misuse of authority, and provides opportunities for citizen involvement. Michigan is a home rule state, and home rule gives the citizenry the right and responsibility to form its own government. A charter provides the mechanism for accomplishing the myriad tasks assigned to elected officials to govern their communities. Citizens write the charter and determine what the governmental structure will be to exercise those powers.

State of Michigan statutory authority

MI Constitution (Article VII Section 22)
Home Rule City Act (Act 279 of 1909)
Home Rule Village Act (Act 278 of 1909)


This one of a kind database includes information from all 276 home rule city charters on key concepts such as number on council, how the mayor is selected, terms of office of council, how vacancies are filled, fiscal year, etc.  Search by geographic location, population, form of government, and areas of duties/responsibilities.

Please send charter database questions to [email protected].

League Publications

Municipal Report: City Charter Revision (pdf). This report discusses city charter revision—what it is and what is entailed when revising a home rule city charter, and includes statutory requirements and sample resolutions.

Charter Revision Handbook – Electronic Book—this book was put together by the Michigan Association of Municipal Attorneys for citizens on Charter Revision Commissions undertaking the monumental job of rewriting or creating home rule charters.

Charter Amendment – HRC Legislative Body Resolution – One-Pager Plus Fact Sheet

Charter Amendment – HRC Initiatory Petition – One-Pager Plus Fact Sheet
Charter Amendment – HRV Initiatory Petition – One-Pager Plus Fact Sheet
Charter Amendment – HRV Legislative Body Resolution – One-Pager Plus Fact Sheet

Other Resources

Model City Charter – National Civic League “Model City Charter, 8th Edition Defining Good Government in a New Millennium

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