Changing Forms of Government

The form of government applicable to a particular city, town, or village is usually found in that city’s, town’s or village’s charter, which is an act of the General Assembly specific to that city, town, or village.  (In some instances, one or another characteristic of a community’s form of government may result from the application of the state’s general law rather than the municipal charter.  In some cities, for example, the mayor votes only to break ties because that is the default provision in the general law; there is no provision one way or the other in the municipal charter.)  Because the characteristics of municipal forms of government are the result of legislative acts, normally it would take another act of the legislature to change any one or more of them.  The General Assembly, however, has enacted a statute – the “charter change” statute – that permits a city, town, or village, or its voters to amend or add a provision to the municipality’s charter, changing any of the characteristics of that municipality’s form of government as listed on the main page of this website.

The purpose of this Part of the website is to inform municipal officials and municipal voters about the opportunities available to them under the charter change statute and to provide tools they can employ to make use of the statute.  The Part has the following material:

  1. A link to the charter change statute, G.S. 160A-101 through 160A-111.
  2. summary of the statute, along with associated questions and answers.
  3. A set of forms that municipal officials or voters may use to implement the statute.
  4. A group of materials describing possible effects of making one or another choice for several of the listed form of government characteristics.