Home rule charters are, in effect, local constitutions. State laws give cities a wide range of discretion in the contents of a charter when one is adopted. The charter may provide for any form of municipal government, as long as it is consistent with state laws that apply uniformly to all cities in Minnesota.
The Hastings Charter addresses election issues, Mayor and Council powers and procedures, taxation and finance procedures, and other miscellaneous provisions relating to official newspapers, acquisition and sale of property, and other general provisions.
The weak mayor-council plan is the most predominant and is what is used in the City of Hastings. This form is used by 73 of the 107 home rule charter cities in Minnesota. Under this plan, administrative as well as legislative authority is the council’s ultimate responsibility. The powers of the mayor are generally no greater than those of any other member of the council (each elected official gets one vote and no one elected official gets authoritative veto power over a vote). No individual councilmember holds any specific administrative powers.