City of Sweeny, Texas




Sec. 10.01. Interim Government.

Upon the adoption of this Charter, the incumbent members of the present governing body of the City shall become the initial City Council provided for in this Charter. Each member of the City Council thus constituted shall continue in the place to which he or she was elected and shall hold such office for the same term for which he or she was elected as a member of the present City Council and until his or her successor is elected and qualified. The City Council as thus constituted shall have all the powers provided in this Charter.

Sec. 10.02. Continuation of Government.

Any ordinance in effect at the time this Charter is adopted, and not otherwise in conflict with this Charter, which refers to some office or employment of the City which ceases to exist under this Charter, shall continue in force and the powers and duties therein prescribed shall be the powers and duties of the office or employment which, under this Charter, succeeds to the sane general powers and duties of such office or employment.

Sec. 10.03. Effect of Charter on Existing Law.

All ordinances, resolutions, rules, and, regulations in force in the City as of the effective date of this Charter, and not in conflict with this Charter, shall remain in force until amended or repealed by the City Council. All taxes, assessments, liens, encumbrances, and demands of or against the City, fixed or established before such date, or for the fixing or establishing of which proceedings have begun before such date, shall be valid when properly fixed or established either under the ordinances, resolutions, rules and regulations in force at the time of the beginning of such proceedings or in force after the adoption of this Charter.

Sec. 10.04. Official Oath.

Before entering upon the duties of their respective offices, all officers of the City shall take and subscribe the official oath prescribed in the Constitution of the State of Texas.

Sec. 10.05. Public Records.

All public records of every office, department, or agency of the City shall be open to inspection by any citizen at all reasonable times in accordance with applicable open records laws.

Sec. 10.06. Official Newspaper.

The City Council shall have power to contract annually with, and by ordinance or resolution designate, a public newspaper of general circulation in the City as the official newspaper thereof and to continue as such until another is designated, and shall cause to be published therein all ordinances, notices, and other matters required to be published by this Charter, by the ordinances of the City, or by the Constitution or Laws of the State of Texas.

Sec. 10.07. Tort Liability.

Before the City shall be liable for damages for the death or personal injuries of any person or for damages to or destruction of property of any kind, which does not constitute a taking or damaging of property under Article 1, Section 17, Constitution of the State of Texas, the person injured, if living, or the person's representatives, if deceased, or the parent or guardian of a minor child, or the owner, or the owner's agent or attorney, of the property damaged or destroyed, shall give the City Manager notice in writing of such death, injury, damage, or destruction, duly verified by affidavit, within sixty (60) days after same has been sustained, stating specifically in such written notice when, where, and how the death, injury, damage, or destruction occurred, and the apparent extent of any such injury, the amount of damages sustained, the actual residence of the claimant by street and number on the date the claim is presented, the actual residence of such claimant for six (6) months immediately preceding the occurrence of such death, injury, damage, or destruction, and the names and addresses of all witnesses upon whom it is relied to establish the claim for damages. The failure to so notify the City Manager within the time and manner specified herein shall exonerate, excuse, and exempt the City from any liability whatsoever. No act of any officer or employee of the City shall waive compliance, or preclude the City from requiring compliance, with the provisions of this Section as to notice.

Sec. 10.08. Assignment, Execution and Garnishment.

The property, real and personal, belonging to the City shall not be liable for sale or appropriation under any writ of execution. The funds belonging to the City, in the hands of any person, firm or corporation, shall not be liable to garnishment on account of any debt it may owe or funds or property it may have on hand or owing to any person. Neither the City nor any of its officers or agents shall be required to answer any such writ of garnishment on any account whatever. The City shall not be obligated to recognize any assignment of wages or funds by its employees, agents, or contractors.

Sec. 10.09. Security or Bond Not Required.

It shall not be necessary in any action, suit, or proceeding, in which the City shall be a party, for any bond, undertaking or security to be executed in behalf of the City; but all actions, suits and proceedings shall be conducted in the same manner as if such bond, undertaking or security had been given. The City shall have all remedies by appeal, as provided by law, to all courts of this State without bond or security of any kind. For the purposes of such actions, suits, proceedings and appeals, the City shall be liable in the same manner, and to the same extent, as if the bond, undertaking or security in ordinary cases had been given and executed.

Sec. 10.10. Personal Interest in City Contracts.

No member of the City Council, the City Manager, or other officer or employee of the City shall have a pecuniary interest in any contract, the expense, price, or consideration of which is paid from the City Treasury, or have a pecuniary interest in any matter or item requiring the approval or consent of the City, unless in compliance with applicable Laws of the State of Texas governing conflicts of interest.

Sec. 10.11. Nepotism.

No member of the City Council, the City Manager, or other officer of the City shall appoint, or approve, vote for, or confirm the appointment of, any person to any paid office, position, employment, duty, or other service of the City if such person is related within the second degree by affinity or within the third degree by consanguinity to the person making such appointment or to any member of the City Council or the City Manager. No person to whom this prohibition applies shall be permitted to embark upon any duties or commence any employment with the City or receive any salary, fee, or other emolument from the City. Provided, however, nothing contained in this Charter or in any ordinance of the City shall prevent the appointment, approval, voting for, or confirmation, of any person who shall have been continuously employed in any office, position, employment, duty, or other service of the City for a period of at least two (2) years prior to the election or appointment of the member or officer appointing, approving, voting for, or confirming the appointment, or to the election or appointment of the member or officer related to such person in the prohibited degree.

Sec. 10.12. Health, Life, and Accident Insurance for City Employees.

The City Council shall have the power, exercisable in its discretion, and subject to such limitations and regulations as it shall deem proper, to create, operate, amend, and contract for an insurance plan covering health, life, and accident insurance, or any of them, for any or all City employees and their dependents, and to pay the premiums or a portion thereof, therefor.

Sec. 10.13. Boards, Agencies, and Commissions.

The City Council shall have the authority to establish by ordinance such boards, agencies, and commissions as it may deem necessary or desirable for the conduct of the City's business and the management of its affairs. The authority, duties, functions, and responsibilities of such boards, agencies, and commissions shall be such as are specified by ordinance. The authority, duties, functions, and responsibilities thus granted to and conferred on such boards, agencies, and commissions shall not be incompatible with the provisions of this Charter and shall in no manner conflict with, usurp or transfer any privilege, authority, duty, function, or responsibility specifically granted herein or by the Laws of the State of Texas to another officer, board, agency, or commission of the City.

Sec. 10.14. Rearrangement and Renumbering.

The City Council shall have the power, by ordinance, to renumber and rearrange all Articles, Sections, and paragraphs of this Charter or any amendments thereto, as it shall deem appropriate, and upon the passage of any such ordinance a copy thereof, certified by the City Secretary, shall be forwarded to the Secretary of State for filing.

Sec. 10.15. Judicial Notice.

This Charter shall be deemed a public act, shall have the force and effect of a general law, may be read in evidence without pleading or proof, and judicial notice shall be taken thereof in all courts and places without further proof.

Sec. 10.16. Construction of Charter.

This Charter shall not be construed as a mere grant of enumerated powers, but shall be construed as a general grant of power and as a limitation of power on the government of the City in the same manner as the Constitution of Texas is construed as a limitation on the powers of the Legislature. Except where expressly prohibited by this Charter, each and every power under Article XI, Section 5, of the Constitution of Texas which it would be competent for the people of the City of Sweeny to grant expressly to the City, shall be construed to be granted to the City by this Charter.

Sec. 10.17. Severability Clause.

If any section or part of a Section of this Charter is held to be invalid or unconstitutional by a court of competent jurisdiction, such invalidity shall not invalidate or impair the validity, force, or effect of any other Section or part of a Section of this Charter.

Sec. 10.18. Submission of Charter to Voters.

The Charter Commission in preparing this Charter finds and declares that it is impracticable to segregate each subject so that the voter may vote "Yes" or "No" on the same, for the reason that the Charter is so constructed that in order to enable it to work and function it is necessary that it should be adopted in its entirety. For these reasons the Charter Commission directs that said Charter be voted upon as a whole and that it be submitted to the qualified voters of the City at an election to be held for that purpose on the 6th day of May, 2000. Such election shall be held in accordance with applicable law. After said Charter is approved by a majority of the qualified voters voting at said election, it shall become the Charter of the City of Sweeny upon the entering upon the records of said City of the governing body of the City an official order declaring the adoption of said Charter.