Home Rule Charter



A Government Study Commission was approved by voters in November 2006 and formed in early 2007 to review Malvern Borough’s governmental operations and to make recommendations for improvements. Over a fifteen month period, the Commission held a series of public meetings and a Public Hearing. One significant improvement recommended by the Commission was to convert to a “Home Rule” form of governance. The Home Rule Charter was approved by the voters on April 22, 2008. Minutes for the Government Study Commission meetings held in 2007 and 2008 may be opened and viewed in the Document Archive web pages.

What is ‘home rule’?

A home rule charter is essentially a “local constitution” that tailors the governmental structure and powers to suit a Borough’s specific needs. When a Borough develops and adopts a home rule charter, the basic authority to act in municipal affairs is transferred from state law to the local charter, as adopted and amended by the resident–voters. This customized approach to government allows the Borough to add or modify local laws to improve the local government’s effectiveness and responsiveness. These changes can range from foundational issues (such as citizen participation) to operational issues (such as annual budget preparation). Sixty–seven townships, boroughs, and cities in Pennsylvania have adopted a home rule charter.