Texas Local Governments. Topical Scenario Cities Counties Special Districts Local Government and Change Local Government and Democracy. Topical Scenario. Natural Disasters and local government response Houston response to Hurricane Katrina Immediate Shelter
Level closest to the people
Includes cities, counties, and special districts
Responsible for police and fire departments, school districts, water and sewage systems, roads and bridges, garbage disposal, parks, libraries.
Remains a mystery for the average citizens
Lowest voter turnout of all election types
Municipal incorporation - a charter from the state.
This charter is the city’s constitution.
Must have a population of at least 200.
Charter must be approved by majority of voters.
Texas Municipal League – lobbying arm for Texas cities.
General-law city < 5000 population
80% of cities (900) in this category
operates under State of Texas general laws
must provide basic services
prevents annexation by larger city
Home rule city
operates under local control
state does establish some restrictions
limits property taxes to $2.50 per $100
requires majority vote to change to general-law city