What is a Charter?
A charter is a written document defining the structure, rules, and procedures for operation of a country, state, county, city or other jurisdictions of government. When duly adopted by the consent of the governed, it is the prevailing body of law which stipulates the basic operation of that particular government. Examples of charters are: the U. S. Constitution, which is principle law and by directive protects the rights and privileges of the citizens of the United States of America, and the Tennessee state constitution which controls how state laws are enacted in Tennessee and states privileges for the citizens.

What is Home Rule?
Home Rule is when the citizens have a stronger voice in how our local government operates. In this case it applies to the Lincoln County Government. The writers, or framers, of the Lincoln County Home Rule Charter, were elected one citizen per district elected by the voters, to comprise a commission of eight framers or writers. The Home Rule Charter government will have to be adopted by the voters by referendum. Any changes will have to be adopted by the voters by referendum. The Home Rule Charter government is written to adopt Tenn_Code_Ann_2-5-151 which allows for a method of redress for any actions taken by the government which are against the will of the people. This allows the citizens of Lincoln County Tennessee to have a stronger voice in ruling themselves, or “Home Rule.”

Ballot Question in Voting Machines
“Shall Lincoln County Government be changed from its current form of government which derives its authority from the Tennessee statutes to a Home Rule Charter Government which derives its authority from the county charter proposed herein to be approved by the voters, such charter consisting of an Executive Branch headed by the County Mayor of Lincoln County, a Legislative Branch consisting of the Commission of Lincoln County and a Judicial Branch consisting of the existing courts of Lincoln County, or any other courts established by law?”

FOR A CHARTER FORM OF COUNTY GOVERNMENT            ☐
AGAINST A CHARTER FORM OF COUNTY GOVERNMENT     ☐

Highlights of the Home Rule Charter
All citizens will be allowed to speak at all public meetings of County Commission, County School Board, and all county boards.
Lincoln County Home Rule Charter provides an opportunity for county citizens to have their voice heard by having county referendums pursuant to Tenn_Code_Ann_2-5-151. … read more

Lincoln County Home Rule Charter requires the agenda, the commissioners’ packets, or other handouts to be made available to the citizens prior to county commissioner meeting. … read more

The Charter has term limits for commissioners and county mayor. … read more

Lincoln County Home Rule Charter provides an opportunity for county citizens to have their voice heard by having county referendums pursuant to Tenn Code Ann 2-5-151. This is a very important feature of the Lincoln County Home Rule Charter allowing any registered voter in Lincoln County to start the petition process described below … read more

Lincoln County Home Rule Charter has a well defined dept management requirements (Section 11.09) including a current Outstanding Debt Report reflecting total outstanding indebtedness of Lincoln County to better protect the citizen of Lincoln County. … read more

Under the charter, each department must maintain a contingency fund. A contingency fund of, at minimum, five percent (5%) of the total budget must be maintained. In a time of emergencies, each department, as well as the county general fund, should have ample money to deal with emergency situations when they arise. … read more

Our new Home Rule Charter requires multi-year operating budgets, current year plus next two years out. … read more

And it provides for a multi-year Capital Improvement Plan & Budget, current year plus next four years out. … read more

Lincoln County Home Rule Charter has detail requirements for purchases of real property & new construction that requires a public hearing and gathering of actual cost data before County Commission can consider for a vote. … read more

A new Ethics Committee is made up of five Lincoln County citizens, only one per district. … read more

This Ethics Committee will investigate complaints of impropriety of county officials, boards or county employees. The Lincoln County Home Rule Charter adopts the strict Conflict of Interest rule Tenn_Code_Ann_5-21-121. … read more

The Ethics Committee conducts Investigation of Conflict of Interest and qualifications of all nominees to fill vacancies of elected offices, boards, or committees. Those deemed in conflict will be dropped from consideration. Greater emphasis on prohibiting nepotism in Lincoln County Government. … read more

The charter requires any new taxes or any tax increases will be approved by the voters of Lincoln County. … read more

The Lincoln County Home Rule Charter has one commissioner per district and one county wide commissioner for a total of nine (9) commissioners to comply with the TN State law. … read more

The Home Rule Charter adopts the Property Tax Freeze Act, Tenn_Code_Ann_67-5-705 for qualifying citizens 65 or older. … read more

The Home Rule Charter prohibits any county departments or boards being automatically included in any proposed tax increase. … read more

Lincoln County Home Rule Charter prohibits special elections. … read more

It provides that any changes or amendments to the Home Rule Charter must be approved by the voters of Lincoln County. … read more

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