About the Commissioners Court

The Commissioners Court in Texas is really a legislative body although it is referred to as a "Court". It is composed of a county judge and four commissioners. The county clerk is an ex officio member of the court and is tasked with keeping the minutes of the court. A three quorum for this body is three voting members. The county judge is largely the administrative head and has no veto power over the court. The Commissioners Court is the principal institution of the county government so its role is a combination of judicial, legislative and executive functions. Its principal power is the power of the purse.

Establish a courthouse and jail Build roads and bridges
Assure safe-keeping of land & citizen records Issue contracts in name of the County
Provide law enforcement through the County Sheriff Administer the County’s public welfare services
Perform numerous duties in regard to elections Administer the County's public health services
Appoint numerous officials Set the County tax rate
Issue bonds Operate County Parks
Adopt the County budget  

 
Each year the county commissioners adopt a tax rate and set the county budget. This includes setting salaries and budget for independent elected officials and for all expenditures for departments under the control of the commissioners court. Additionally, as administrative head of the county, the court has the authority to enact policies and legislation (as provided by law) that have county-wide effects. Also their administrative powers extend to selecting individuals to fill unexpired terms for positions in the county for which they have oversight such as filling the position for Constable in 2013.

Each of the four commissioners serve a specific geographical region of the county with roughly the same population. Each commissioner may be charged with oversight of county roads and bridges within their precinct and may be responsible for other areas such as county parks, solid waste management, etc. They also may represent the county on various boards which fall under the county's purview.