Chapter 4 Notes 2306.docx - CHAPTER 4 Local Government I Urban Texas(4.1 A Cities in the States Formative Period State used to be rural and agrarian In

Chapter 4 Notes 2306.docx - CHAPTER 4 Local Government I...

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CHAPTER 4: Local Government I. Urban Texas (4.1) A. Cities in the State’s Formative Period State used to be rural and agrarian In 1876, less than 10% of the population lived in cities, but now more than 89% of Texans lived in cities or urban areas. Most TX cities now urban and Houston is the largest city in TX B. General Features of Contemporary Texas Cities Houston, San Antonio, Dallas: among the 10 largest cities in the US Growth rates have varied widely from city to city. TX cities tend to expand outward as opposed to upward Racial and ethnic composition of Texas cities is a major factor in urban diversity. Population density (number of persons residing within a square mile), affects policy and budgetary issues II. The Legal and Constitutional Framework for Texas Cities (4.2) A. General Law and Home Rule Cities o Dillon Rule : states that local govts are created by state govt, and the state defines their powers and responsibilities. o The Texas Constitution provides for 2 general categories of cities: General law city : a Texas city with fewer than 5000 residents and can only exercise pwrs specifically granted to them by the legislature; most cities in TX (approx. 850) Home Rule city : a Texas city with more than 5000 residents and can adopt any form of govt residents choose provided it does not conflict with the state const or statutes; formalized through voters’ adoption of a city charter; granted in 1912 City Charter : document, defined or authorized by state laws, under which a city operates. (home rule cities formalize their choice of govt through their adoption of a city charter) B. Forms of City Government 1. Mayor-Council (Used by over 900 cities) Most common form Legislative function of city is vested in the city council and the executive function is vested in the mayor Based on the separation of powers principle Two types of mayor: (which is determined by the city charter) Weak mayor : mayor power is constrained and has little power over policy initiatives or implementation; mayor “is the chief executive in name only;” most TX cities will have this form Strong mayor : mayor has real authority, including appointive and removal powers over city agency heads, with approval; found in many larger American cities, but used in one major TX city-Houston 2. City Commission Traced to Galveston, but after a Hurricane in 1900, they quit this (commonly known now as the Galveston plan) Elected commissioners collectively serves as a city’s policymaking body and individually serve as administrative heads of different city depts. Partisan elections were eliminated and executive, legislative, and administrative functions were combined. Several issues arose o No single person identified as in charge o Oversight and review of policies and budgets is minimal Portland, Oregon is the last remaining large city to use this form of govt; none in TX 3. Council-Manager: policy is set by an elected city council (primarily develops public policy), which hires a

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