Brooklyn Center is structured as a Home Rule Charter City. Brooklyn Center has adopted a home rule charter, effective December 8, 1966. State law allows any city to adopt a charter, which in effect is a local constitution that the local voters approve. Cities have a wide range of discretion in adopting charters; the charters may provide for any form of city government, subject only to state laws that apply uniformly to all cities in the state.
How Statutory Cities and Home Rule Charter Cities Differ
The major difference between home rule charter cities and statutory cities in Minnesota is in the kind of enabling legislation under which they have incorporated. Statutory cities derive their powers from Chapter 412 of Minnesota Statutes. Home rule charter cities obtain their powers from a home rule charter, although many state statutes grant or limit the powers of charter cities. The distinction between them is one of organization and powers and does not depend on any classification of population, size, area, geographical location, or other physical feature. One distinction between statutory cities and home rule charter cities is citizen control. All statutory city powers come from state law. In the absence of that authorization, such cities have no powers to undertake anything. Home rule charter cities, on the other hand, can exercise any powers that their locally adopted charters give them as long as those powers do not conflict with state laws. Voters in such cities have much more control over the powers which their city government can exercise. Charters, therefore, become of interest to statutory cities which have encountered special problems they cannot solve under general city laws. If a statutory city finds itself in this situation, it can ask the Legislature to change the City Code or adopt a special act, or it can become a home rule city with a voter-approved charter.