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Local Governments in Texas


... relationship between state and local governments in Texas. local governments are creations of the state ... Can adopt any form of government residents choose ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Local Governments in Texas

Local Governments in Texas
(No Transcript)
Dillon Rule
  • ? prevailing relationship between state and local
    governments in Texas
  • ? local governments are creations of the state
  • ? powers, functions, and responsibilities that
    they exercise have been delegated or granted them
    by the state government
  • ? no local government has sovereign powers
  • ? local governments have no guarantees of
    existence under the U.S. Constitution

Number of Local Governments, 1942-1997
General Law and Home Rule Cities
  • Home Rule Cities
  • Cities with a population of more than 5,000
  • Can adopt any form of government residents choose
  • Provided it does not conflict with the state
    constitution or statutes
  • General Law Cities
  • Cities with a population of fewer than 5,000
  • Allowed to exercise only those powers
    specifically granted to it by the legislature

Forms of City Government in Texas
  • Mayor-Council (San Antonio)
  • Legislative function is vested in the city
    council and the executive function in the Mayor.
  • Weak Mayor (Dallas)
  • Mayor shares authority with the city council and
    other elected officials but has little
    independent control over city policy or
  • Strong Mayor (Houston)
  • Mayor has considerable power including budgetary
    control and appointment and removal authority
    over city department heads.

Why Different Forms of City Government?
  • Most major Texas cities have functioned under
    more than one form of government
  • Changes in city charters follow intense political
    conflict demographic, social, economic, or
    political changes after a long-lasting inertia
    and/or an inability to respond to long-term
  • Proposed changes in governmental structures often
    threaten groups and interests that have a stake
    in the way things currently are
  • Charter revisions have a tendency to polarize a

City Commission
  • I. Similar to the Council-Manager form of
    government, the City Commission reflects
  • Reform efforts through the use of
    administrative efficiency
  • Diminish partisan conflict
  • Trying to adapt a business approach to running
    a city
  • II. Origin of City Commission
  • Usually traced to Galveston, Texas and the city
    governments inability to deal with aftermath of
    the flood
  • More rare than the other forms of city

City Commission
Potential Remedies to Local Government Problems
  • ? Privatization of (provision and/or delivery of
    government) functions
  • ? Annexation and extraterritorial jurisdiction
  • ? Reform and modernization of county governments
  • Economic development plans/policies
  • Inter-local contracting
  • Metropolitan government and consolidation,
    although there is no guaranty these are an
    improvement to government structure, and the
    public tends to not support them
  • Public improvement districts
  • Regional arrangements to deal with problems that
    cross political jurisdictions

The Future of Texas Local Government
  • Dealing with New and Old Demographic and
    Socioeconomic Challenges
  • Modernization Efforts of Local Governments
  • Maximizing Revenues and Allocating Taxing
  • Continued, Innovative Local Government Economic
  • Ongoing, Shifting Minority Political Interests
    and Coalitions
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