Chapter 12 - Texas Government

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Information about Chapter 12 - Texas Government
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Published on February 24, 2014

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Government and Politics in the Lone Star State: Theory and Practice L. Tucker Gibson, Jr. and Clay Robison Prepared by Darrial Reynolds Copyright © 2013, 2011, 2008 Pearson Education, Inc.

Chapter 12: Local Government in Texas Copyright © 2013, 2011, 2008 Pearson Education, Inc.

Copyright © 2013, 2011, 2008 Pearson Education, Inc.

Urban Texas  Growth   In 1876, 88 percent of the population lived in cities. In 2010, 88 percent of Texans lived in urban areas.     Rates of Cities Vary Economic expansion Annexation policies Migration, fertility, and mortality rates Low Ratio of Population to Incorporated Areas   Population density affects public services. Zoning, police and fire protection, water, and sanitation services Copyright © 2013, 2011, 2008 Pearson Education, Inc.

Copyright © 2013, 2011, 2008 Pearson Education, Inc.

Copyright © 2013, 2011, 2008 Pearson Education, Inc.

The Cities and the State  General-Law  and Home-Rule Cities 1,214 Municipalities in Texas Use Dillon Rule  857 General-Law Cities     Accounts for most cities Fewer than 5,000 residents Restrictions placed on organizing government, setting taxes, and annexing territory 357 Home-Rule Cities   Over 5,000 residents Voters adopt a city charter, which is like a constitution. Copyright © 2013, 2011, 2008 Pearson Education, Inc.

The Cities and the State  Forms  of City Government Mayor-Council (Used by over 900 Cities) The city council provides the legislative functions.  The mayor serves as the chief executive officer.    Weak Mayor  Shares power with city council  Independent election of other city administrators Strong Mayor  Appointment and removal power  Control over budget preparation  Veto power over city council Copyright © 2013, 2011, 2008 Pearson Education, Inc.

Copyright © 2013, 2011, 2008 Pearson Education, Inc.

Copyright © 2013, 2011, 2008 Pearson Education, Inc.

The Cities and the State  Forms  of City Government City Commission (Used by about Five Cities) Created in Galveston in 1900  Each commissioner has executive, administrative, and legislative powers.  Problems     Reduces potential for leadership Minimal oversight of policies and budget Commissioners often lack administrative experience. Copyright © 2013, 2011, 2008 Pearson Education, Inc.

Copyright © 2013, 2011, 2008 Pearson Education, Inc.

The Cities and the State  Forms  of City Government Council-Manager (Used by 280 Cities)  City Manager      Serves as the city’s administrator Hired by city council Manages city personnel Implements policy Develops the city budget Copyright © 2013, 2011, 2008 Pearson Education, Inc.

Copyright © 2013, 2011, 2008 Pearson Education, Inc.

The Cities and the State  Municipal  Election Systems Nonpartisan City Elections Candidates may not reveal their partisan identities.  Give advantages to higher social and economic groups when combined with at-large elections  Removes voting cues  Voters are forced to find alternative sources of information about candidates.  Copyright © 2013, 2011, 2008 Pearson Education, Inc.

The Cities and the State  Municipal  Election Systems At-Large Elections Used by about 86 percent of cities  All voters participate in the selection of all city council members.  In a pure at-large system, every candidate runs against every other candidate.  In the place system, candidates file for a specific council seat and run citywide for places or positions.  Copyright © 2013, 2011, 2008 Pearson Education, Inc.

The Cities and the State  Municipal  Election Systems Single-Member Districts Elections are based on geographical districts.  Each has one representative.  Candidates must live in their district.  Voters cast ballots only for their representative.  Winners are determined by majority or by plurality.  Copyright © 2013, 2011, 2008 Pearson Education, Inc.

The Cities and the State  Legal Attacks on At-Large Elections Benefit nonminority high-income areas of city  Challenged in court by minority groups    Have had successes in El Paso, Houston, and Dallas The ethnic and racial makeup of city councils has changed dramatically over the last twenty years. Copyright © 2013, 2011, 2008 Pearson Education, Inc.

The Cities and the State  City Revenues and Expenditures Receive no state funding  Dependent on regressive taxes  Property taxes  One-cent sales tax  Fees for permits, franchises, and hotels  Amusement taxes  Court fines  Funds from local utilities  Copyright © 2013, 2011, 2008 Pearson Education, Inc.

Copyright © 2013, 2011, 2008 Pearson Education, Inc.

The Cities and the State  City  Revenues and Expenditures State restrictions on local taxes Limits property tax rate  Citizens can petition for a rollback election.  Balanced budgets are required.  Funding for city projects is provided through general-obligation bonds and revenue bonds.   Bonds require voter approval. Copyright © 2013, 2011, 2008 Pearson Education, Inc.

The Cities and the State  Urban  Problems Graying of Texas Cities In 2010, only 10 percent of Texans were over sixtyfive years of age, but it translates into some 2.5 million people.  Individuals older than sixty-five get a homestead property tax exemption, and this lowers tax revenues.  Younger taxpayers will be called upon to shoulder the burden through higher tax rates.  Copyright © 2013, 2011, 2008 Pearson Education, Inc.

The Cities and the State  Urban  Problems “White Flight” “White flight” refers to the increasing move of Anglos to the suburbs.  Low-income minorities in central cities increase the need for public services.  A declining proportion of affluent property owners weakens the tax structures that pay for the services.  Copyright © 2013, 2011, 2008 Pearson Education, Inc.

The Cities and the State  Urban  Problems Declining Infrastructure Public facilities must be constantly maintained or expanded to support a growing population.  Cities are having trouble keeping up with the increased demand for roads, utilities, water and wastewater systems, and other services.  Copyright © 2013, 2011, 2008 Pearson Education, Inc.

The Cities and the State  Urban  Problems Crime and Urban Violence Much of the crime problem facing Texas is related to drug abuse, gang violence, and juvenile crime.  Many city budgets cannot absorb the costs associated with the expansion of law enforcement.  Copyright © 2013, 2011, 2008 Pearson Education, Inc.

The Cities and the State  Urban  Problems State- and Federal-Mandated Programs A higher level of government requires a lower level of government to carry out a specific program.  Federal mandates have required transportation, education for the disabled, water and air quality standards, and voter registration.  States have shifted much of the cost of public education to local governments.  Copyright © 2013, 2011, 2008 Pearson Education, Inc.

The Cities and the State  Urban  Problems Environmental Issues Texas is one of the most polluted states in the nation.  Cities are frequently on “ozone alert” days.  How Some Cities Address These Issues    “Smart Growth” Programs “Sustainability” and “Green City” Programs Copyright © 2013, 2011, 2008 Pearson Education, Inc.

The Cities and the State  Urban  Problems Public Employment Retiring public employees are hard to replace and have expensive pensions and health care benefits.  As the baby boom generation retires, governmental agencies will face serious personnel issues.  Many cities will have trouble paying pensions because they have not allocated sufficient funds.  Copyright © 2013, 2011, 2008 Pearson Education, Inc.

County Government in Texas  The  Diversity of Counties 254 Counties in Texas More than any other state  Vary in population, local characteristics, and public needs  Can be created, altered, or abolished by the state   Serve as administrative subunits of the state Collect taxes and implement state policies  Cannot enact ordinances  Share same basic structure  Offices filled through partisan elections  Copyright © 2013, 2011, 2008 Pearson Education, Inc.

Copyright © 2013, 2011, 2008 Pearson Education, Inc.

County Government in Texas  The  Structure of County Government Commissioners Court and County Judge  Commissioners elected by precinct    Avery v. Midland County (1968) ruled that districts must have equal populations. Serve four-year terms County judge elected at-large     Not required to be a lawyer Presides over commissioners court Fills vacancies on the court Judicial responsibilities in small counties Copyright © 2013, 2011, 2008 Pearson Education, Inc.

Copyright © 2013, 2011, 2008 Pearson Education, Inc.

Copyright © 2013, 2011, 2008 Pearson Education, Inc.

County Government in Texas  The  Structure of County Government County Clerk Serves as clerk of the commissioners court  Maintains records and vital statistics  May serve as chief elections officer   District Clerk   Maintains district court records County and District Attorneys Serve as prosecutors  Provide legal advice to public officials  Copyright © 2013, 2011, 2008 Pearson Education, Inc.

County Government in Texas  The  Structure of County Government Tax Assessor-Collector Collects property taxes and other state taxes/fees  An appraisal district determines property values.   County Law Enforcement  Sheriffs    Primary jurisdiction over unincorporated areas Administrator over county jails and county/district courts Constables  Administrative officers of the justice of the peace courts Copyright © 2013, 2011, 2008 Pearson Education, Inc.

Copyright © 2013, 2011, 2008 Pearson Education, Inc.

County Government in Texas  The  Structure of County Government County Auditor Required in counties with 10,000 residents  Appointed by district judges to two-year terms  Reviews bills and expenditures  Budget officer in counties with 225,000 residents   County Treasurer Receives and disburses county funds  Many duties being transferred to county auditors  Copyright © 2013, 2011, 2008 Pearson Education, Inc.

County Government in Texas  Criticisms of County Government Lack home-rule status  Little state supervision  Disparities in performance  Property tax restrictions limit provision of services  Limited use of civil service systems  Copyright © 2013, 2011, 2008 Pearson Education, Inc.

Special Districts in Texas  Functions and Structures of Special Districts  Close to 3,375 special districts in Texas Most perform a single function, but municipal utilities districts (MUDs) provide multiple services.  Governed by elected or appointed nonpartisan board  Provide services that the other local governments are unwilling or unable to provide to their areas  Copyright © 2013, 2011, 2008 Pearson Education, Inc.

Special Districts in Texas  Consequences of Single-Purpose Districts Delay creation of multipurpose governments  Poor management and record keeping  Higher costs of providing services  Low salaries; difficult to recruit qualified staff  Jurisdictional rivalries develop.  Duplication of costs  Little public and media attention  Copyright © 2013, 2011, 2008 Pearson Education, Inc.

Independent School Districts  Inequities  in the Public Education System Reform Efforts Rural area accessibility, compulsory attendance, funding, and teacher recruitment and training  Structure and governance of districts, consolidation of districts, and extension of ISDs throughout state   New Problems Almost 5 million students, bilingual education, special education, and graduation rates  Student performance and mandated testing  Copyright © 2013, 2011, 2008 Pearson Education, Inc.

Independent School Districts  Differences  among School Districts 1,050 Local School Districts (7,972 Schools) Number of students  Financial resources  Facilities  Graduation rates  Other performance measures  Copyright © 2013, 2011, 2008 Pearson Education, Inc.

Independent School Districts  Local  School Governance School boards Three to nine members selected in nonpartisan elections  Hire school superintendent—most important job  Similar to council-manager form of government     Board = Council Superintendent = Manager Boards too involved in day-to-day management can be reprimanded by Texas Education Agency. Copyright © 2013, 2011, 2008 Pearson Education, Inc.

Solutions to the Problems of Local Government  Privatization of Functions Contracting out services  Leasing property from private owners  Examples of City Contracts  Garbage pickup and waste disposal  Towing, food services, and security  Copyright © 2013, 2011, 2008 Pearson Education, Inc.

Solutions to the Problems of Local Government  Annexation and Extraterritorial Jurisdiction  Extraterritorial Jurisdiction    Areas one-half mile to five miles beyond the city limits Areas subject to land use restrictions and building codes of the city Annexation    Extend city boundaries up to 10% of city’s territory Does not require the approval of annexed residents Cities must provide services within two and a half years. Copyright © 2013, 2011, 2008 Pearson Education, Inc.

Solutions to the Problems of Local Government  Modernization of County Government Establish home rule  Grant power to make ordinances  Modernize information and communications systems  Create an office of county administrator  Extend civil service systems  Copyright © 2013, 2011, 2008 Pearson Education, Inc.

Discussion Question  Modernizing County Government What are some of the various proposals for modernizing county government?  What are the political problems faced by those who support such changes?  Copyright © 2013, 2011, 2008 Pearson Education, Inc.

Solutions to the Problems of Local Government  Economic  Development Cities Tax increment financing for districts  One-half-cent tax for economic development  Offer tax abatements to attract businesses   Counties Form enterprise zones  Relax state regulatory policies  Offer tax abatements to attract new businesses  Copyright © 2013, 2011, 2008 Pearson Education, Inc.

Solutions to the Problems of Local Government  Interlocal  Smaller cities contract with larger cities to provide services.  Metro  Government and Consolidation Reduce fragmentation, duplication, and overlap of government services  Public  Contracting Improvement Districts May improve landscaping, lighting, streets, sidewalks, libraries, parking, water, and drainage . Copyright © 2013, 2011, 2008 Pearson Education, Inc

Copyright © 2013, 2011, 2008 Pearson Education, Inc.

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