There are only a few offices yet to be noted on our November 2010 ballot. We've already looked at nearly all the federal and state offices and some local offices as well.
The state office yet to be mentioned is the Criminal District Attorney. This office is the lead law enforcement position in the county. The main duties of the office is to represent the state in criminal cases. The criminal district attorney works with law enforcement officers in the investigation and preparation of cases to be heard before the criminal courts. When requested in writing, the county attorney provides legal counsel to county officers.
Our group of local offices begins with the county commissioners. In addition to assuring that county roads are maintained, commissioners vote with the county judge to set the budget for all county departments and adopt a tax rate. Among other responsibilities, the commissioners court: sets the yearly property tax rate and approves the budget and employment level for the county; sets commissioners and justice of the peace precinct boundaries; calls, conducts and certifies elections, including bond elections; sets employment and benefit policy; establishes long-range thoroughfare, open space, land use, financial and law enforcement/jail needs plans; acquires property for rights-of-way or other uses determined to be in the public's best interest; reviews and approve subdivision platting and wastewater treatment for rural areas; provides rural ambulance services and subsidizes rural fire protection; oversees the construction, maintenance and improvement of county roads and bridges; appoints non-elected department heads and standing committees; supervises and controls the county courthouse, county buildings and facilities; adopts a county budget; determines county tax rates; fills vacancies in elective and appointive positions; and has exclusive authority to authorize contracts in the name of the county. Information from Texas Association of Counties website.
In gubernatorial election years the commissioners for precincts 2 and 4 are on the general election ballot.
The next office on the ballot is the District Clerk. The Texas Government Code states the duties and powers of the clerk of the district court: "The clerk of the District Court has custody of and shall carefully maintain and arrange the records relating to or lawfully deposited in the clerk's office."
The district clerk shall: record the acts and proceedings of the district court; enter all judgments of the court under the direction of the judge; record all executions issued and the returns issued on the executions; administer child support payments; administer trust accounts for minors ordered by the courts; keep an index of the parties to all suits filed in the court, and make reference to any judgment made in the case; and keep an account of all funds collected by the office, by way of fines and fees, and the amount due jurors in district court for service. Information from Texas Association of Counties website.
The County Clerk is also on our ballot this year. The main duties of the county clerk are: administering all county and state elections, including early voting and primaries, unless the commissioners court has transferred the function to the tax assessor-collector or an office of county election administrator; serving as clerk of the county court and the commissioners court and keep records of the proceedings; acting as recorder of deeds and other instruments; filing and recording birth and death certificates; recording assumed names, wills and probate; issuing marriage licenses; and accounting for all funds paid to the office by way of fines and fees, and the amount owed to county court jurors for service. Information from Texas Association of Counties website.
The last office but not the least, because he handles the money, is the County Treasurer. The county treasurer, as the chief custodian of county finance, shall: receive all monies belonging to the county from whatever source; keep and account for all monies in a designated depository; and pay and apply or disburse all monies in such a manner as commissioners court may direct, by law. Information from Texas Association of Counties website.
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