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Pre Primary Primer on Governmental Relationships

I'm hearing to many things that have me questioning peoples' understanding. So I'm taking the time to write down some of the "fundamentals" this primary election season as to with whom responsibilities lay. This is in reference to elected officials for School Boards, County Commissioners and City Mayors & Council Members.


State School Board (SBOE) – Local School Board; County (Commissioners); Cities

=======School Boards===========

Responsibilities of SBOE

- Setting curriculum standards

- Reviewing and adopting instructional materials

- Establishing graduation requirements

- Overseeing the Texas Permanent School Fund

- Appointing board members to military reservation and special school districts

- Providing final review of rules proposed by the State Board for Educator Certification

- Reviewing the commissioner's proposed award of new charter schools, with authority to veto a recommended applicant


Responsibilities of Local school board

- Adopt goals and priorities and monitor success

- Adopt policies and review for effectiveness

- Hire and evaluate the superintendent

- Adopt a budget and set a tax rate

- Communicate with the community

** Important Points

Application for new charter schools

Needs planning/growth SCUISD has a DEMOGRAPHER so they have a very solid understanding of future needs

Schools like roads get built as the needs develops; it's not Field of Dreams, build it & they will come


====County (Commissioners Court)======

Responsibilities of County Govt

- Providing public safety and justice

- Holding elections at every level of government

- Maintaining Texans’ most important records

- Building and maintaining roads, bridges and in some cases, county airports

- Providing emergency management services

- Providing health and safety services

- Collecting property taxes for the county and sometimes for other taxing entities

- Issuing vehicle registration and transfers

- Registering voters.


Responsibilities of County Commissioners

The court (4 Commissioners +County Judge):

- Adopts the county’s budget and tax rate

- Approves all budgeted purchases of the county

- Fills vacancies in elective and appointive offices

- Sets all salaries and benefits

- Has exclusive authority to authorize contracts

- Provides and maintains all county buildings and facilities


** Important Points

Counties DO NOT have jurisdiction over developments in cities

Texas has a mix with Dillon’s Rule for counties and home rule for cities. Dillion's rule in short, counties may exercise no power unless specifically granted to do so. Home rule city in short can pass regulations or laws unless the State prohibits it.


==== Cities =======

Cities (2) major categories of Governance: General Law or Home Rule

- General Law can ONLY do what the legislature thru law allows them to do

- Home Rule can pass regulations or laws as necessary unless State law PROHIBITS, City Charter is effectively the Constitution for the City


City Government Structure

Mayor-Council (aka Strong Mayor)

Mayor Responsibilities

- Presiding officer of City Council; may call meetings and set agendas depending on city structure

-Head of emergency management

- Some appointive powers, signatory duties, and ceremonial duties

- Leads policy priority process

- May appoint task forces


Council-Manager

City Council Responsibilities

- Broad policy-making authority, including passing ordinance and resolutions

- Oversees the direction of the city and the City Manager

- Approves city budgeted purchases

- Fills vacancies in appointive offices

- Sets salaries and benefits for city employees

- Sets the city’s budget (including department budgets) and tax rate

- Signs and authorizes contracts

- May appoint task forces


** Important Points

Cities need to ACT within their jurisdiction STOP ASKING THE STATE to do YOUR JOB

Generally speaking, cities have more authority in their ETJs than Counties


IMHO, there's no need for term limits at the State level and below if voters do THEIR Due Diligence and inform themselves

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