The Texas county commissioner is an elected official from the county in which they live. Each county is split into four different regions and a commissioner is elected from each region to represent that part of the county. The commissioners serve alongside the county judge to make county policies.
The county commissioners in Texas decide and vote on each county department's budget as well as the budget for county services. Along with the budget, the commissioners determine the number of employees the county requires. A department requesting more employees submits that request to the commissioners court, composed of four commissioners and a judge, and the commissioners vote on the increase or decrease of employees for the following year's budget.
Texas county commissioners determine the property tax rate charged to each homeowner in the county. Commercial building property tax is also decided by the commissioners court. Any increase or decrease in the amount of property tax a person or company pays is determined by the county commissioners in a hearing.
Commissioners approve and monitor the construction and maintenance of Texas county roads. All new road construction, right-of-way determinations, road repairs or improvements are reviewed by the county commissioners. The review determines which roads need attention, which roads need to be built and if there are any bridge repairs or replacement necessary. A plan is reached and a vote taken on the plan for the following year.
The commissioners court determines the employee pay, benefits and employment policies for each county employee. Any promotions, pay increases or health-care benefits are reviewed each year in order to determine if any changes must be made to meet budget requirements.
All county elections are monitored and approved by the county commissioners. Any bond election, special election or regular election is conducted under the authority of the county commissioners. Once the election results are determined, the county commissioners certify that the results are correct and file the results with the State of Texas election board.
A county commissioner and the commissioners court are the only parties authorized to approve contracts in the name of the county. Contracts for road construction, county buildings or other legal contracts are reviewed and approved by the Texas county commissioners.
The Texas county commissioners determine the number of law enforcement personnel required and hire a county police chief. Every county jail is monitored and controlled by decisions made by the commissioners court.
All voting or precinct boundaries are reviewed by the commissioners court and realigned if necessary. The State of Texas has set boundaries for commissioners and justices of the peace. For example, a county commissioner can only represent 25 percent of the county population. Land area does not determine the size of the region each commissioner represents; the number of people determine the boundaries.
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