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Commissioners Court



During the Republic of Texas, the Commissioners Court was known as the County Board. The County Board was composed of the Chief Justice (later called the County Judge) and the Justices of the Peace of the county. The Texas Constitution of 1845 changed the organization of the County Board to include the Chief Justice and four elective Commissioners. The Commissioners Court as we know it today was created by the 1876 Constitution, which stipulated that it be composed of the County Judge as presiding officer and four Commissioners elected from precincts for two-year terms. A constitutional amendment adopted in 1954 changed the term of office of the Commissioners to four years. All counties in Texas are divided into four Commissioners precincts, with one Commissioner elected by the voters of each precinct to a four-year term. Each precinct, or geographical subdivision of the county, is designed to be roughly proportional in population to each of the other precincts. Commissioners are elected on staggered terms with two precincts voting for the office of Commissioner in each general election. Today’s Commissioners Court has none of the functions of a court but is the general governing body of the county. The Commissioners Court functions as both the legislative and executive branch of county government. The major duties of the county Commissioners involve overseeing the budgetary and policy making functions of county government. The Commissioners Court controls county policy through its fiscal powers, which include budgetary control over all county offices, including the offices of other elected officials; supervision of the expenditures of all county money; levying and collecting taxes for county purposes; approval of the county’s annual tax rate and tax roll; and the issuance of bonds, subject to public approval, for the construction of buildings, roads, and the like. The Commissioners Court also has ultimate responsibility for managing county operations. As the administrative head of county government, the Court has the authority enact county-wide policies, and to the extent provided by law, enact legislation in the form of court orders. Additional personnel and operating responsibilities include financial and law enforcement/jail needs planning, establishing Commissioners and Justice of the Peace precinct boundaries, and setting employment and benefit policies for the county. The Commissioners Court may also call, conduct and certify elections, including bond elections; appoint non-elected department heads; fill vacancies in elected and appointed positions in the county; and finally, supervise and control the county courthouse, county buildings and other county facilities. Additionally, Commissioners have the responsibility of providing oversight of the county’s infrastructure. They are responsible for overseeing the construction, maintenance and improvement of county roads and bridges, establishing long-range thoroughfare, open space, and land use plans, and acquiring property for rights-of-way or other uses determined to be in the public's best interest.

Found in 2 Collections and/or Records:

Commissioners Court Records

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: 01-CR71
Scope and Contents

The collection consists of records of the Road Overseers.  Road Overseers were appointed by Commissioners to keep the roads, bridges, and causeways in each precinct clear of obstructions and in good repair.

Dates: 1888-1910, 1972-1986, 1989; Other: Date acquired: 2009-08-28

Mike Renfro Papers

 Collection — other: 64 boxes
Identifier: 02-MS04

The arrangement is based on the original order in which the collection was received. Commissioners Court Agendas are arranged mostly by type, divided into regular, special, and work sessions. Though, some years of the agendas were grouped together by month and maintain this order in the collection. Subject Files maintain the same year-based and alphabetical order used by Renfro's office.

Dates: 1975-1989; 1975-1986

Additional filters:

Commissioners Court 1
County Jail 1