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County Commissioner

Description of Office

The job of the county commissioner calls for hands-on service delivery, as well as policy-making decisions about a variety of important matters.

Four commissioners, each elected from a quarter of the county's population, serve along with the county judge on the commissioners court. Many people know that the commissioners court is responsible for building and maintaining the roads and bridges of the county. In your county, your commissioner may have individual responsibility for the roads in his precinct or  county road maintenance may be centralized under a  unit road system.

The commissioners court also has the responsibility to adopt the budget and tax rate that is sufficient to fund the personnel, equipment and infrastructure necessary to deliver the services provided by the county. Typically, the commissioners court is responsible for conducting business on behalf of the county, and only the commissioners court can enter into contracts on behalf of the county.
 
The commissioners court does much more than maintain roads and adopt a budget and a tax rate. County government’s operations are often tailored to meet the needs and resources of the community, so the programs overseen by the commissioners court may vary from county to county. In a typical county, the commissioners court also establish precinct boundaries for commissioners and justices of the peace, determine the number and type of county employees and their compensation, acquire property for rights of way or other public uses, adopt and enforce subdivision regulations, provides rural ambulance services and subsidizes rural fire protection, and supervises and controls the county courthouse and other county buildings and facilities
 
As with all elected county officials, the commissioner who serves as an ex officio road commissioner has ultimate authority over the operations of the office, including the authority to hire and fire personnel and direct their daily activities. The county commissioner also has authority to determine how to use all other resources allocated to the office during the budget process.

For more complete information about the duties of a county commissioner and other county officials, click here.
 

Education Requirements

Coordinating body
James P. Allison
General Counsel for the County Judges & Commissioners Association of Texas
Allison, Bass & Magee, LLP
402 West 12th Street
Austin, Texas 78701
 
Contact
Andrea Beard
(512) 482-0701
Toll Free: (800) 733-0699
 
James P. Allison's office is the official registrar and permanent contact for county commissioners hours.
 
Programs that qualify
The Commissioners Education Committee of the Judges and Commissioners Association reviews programs to advise membership of appropriate educational opportunities. Programs must be accredited by an institution of higher learning.
 
Filing for credit
A certificate of attendance is furnished by the sponsor of the conference that you attend. Commissioners should maintain a copy for their records. The program sponsor will assist by submitting forms to the Judges and Commissioners Association who will then furnish transcripts to commissioners after the end of the year.
 
Continuing education requirements
Commissioners are required to attain 16 hours every 12-month period and may carry forward up to 8 hours. Some exceptions apply. See Local Government Code Sec. 81.0025, Section (e).
 
Legal source
Commissioners: Local Government Code, Section 81.0025.
 

Open Government Training Information

Elected and appointed public officials are required by a state law to receive training in Texas open government laws. For more information on this training including free video training courses, check out The Office of the Attorney General website.
 

County Official Organizations 

The Texas Association of Counties serves as the umbrella organization for various independent county official organizations in Texas. These organizations serve as an important resource for county officials for information, networking and advocacy.
 
Here you will find a link to the County Judges and Commissioners Association of Texas website which provides information on annual conference dates, list serves and more. In addition, you will find a link to the regional associations' leadership.
 

County Judges and Commissioners Association of Texas

Regional Association Officers

  • North and East Texas County Judges and Commissioners Association
  • South Texas County Judges and Commissioners Association
  • West Texas County Judges and Commissioners Association
  • Far West Texas County Judges and Commissioners Association
  • Panhandle County Judges & Commissioners Association