How It Works: The City of Knoxville

How It Works: The City of Knoxville

The Compass primer on city government

by jesse fox mayshark • september 4, 2018

This story is a part of a Special Report. Read the rest here.

The City of Knoxville is a “home rule” city, which means it has a charter adopted by local voters, and any changes to the charter also must be approved by referendum. That’s why you sometimes see trivial or obscure charter changes on the ballot, because deleting so much as a paragraph from an outdated section of the charter requires public consent. There are only 14 home rule cities and towns in Tennessee; the others include Chattanooga and Memphis. (Nashville, as a unified city-county government, is in its own metro category.) Cities that aren’t home rule essentially have their charters issued by the state, and charters can be changed by private act of the L...

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