The Commissioners Court is the governing body of the county which consists of 5 elected representatives; The County Judge as the chairman and Four Commissioners. Each commissioner serves for a quarter (1/4) of the county's population under his/her Precinct. Every four years, the four commissioners are elected by the voters within their precinct. In Jim Wells County, the commissioners have an individual responsibility for the county buildings and maintenance of county roads and bridges in their precinct.
The Court is responsible for all budgetary decisions and setting the tax rate each year that is sufficient to fund the personnel, equipment and infrastructure necessary to deliver the services provided by the county. Each summer the Commissioners set the budget for the coming fiscal year. The County Auditor prepares a recommended budget for the court. A series of workshops are held in August for the County elected officials and department heads to review their recommended budget with The Commissioners Court. The final budget is usually adopted by the end of September each year.
The Commissioner Court is a court of record and all minutes of proceeding are recording as permanent documents by the County Clerk. Commissioners Court minutes are available for public viewing in the County Clerk's office during normal business hours or online at Commissioner's Court Agendas
The State of Texas sets the duties of the Commissioners Court. The general duties of the Commissioners Court are as follows;
- Lay out and establish, change, and discontinue public roads;
- Acquire property necessary to obtain a surface water supply or to transport and deliver surface water;
- Issue bonds for certain purposes (including jails and courthouse, to purchase and construct bridges, to improve and maintain public roads, etc.);
- Appoint certain officials to handle other personnel-related duties;
- Create offices, boards, and commissions to carry out certain purposes;
- Responsible for providing buildings for use as offices and other operating facilities for the county;
- Has responsibilities relating to water supply, irrigation, and drainage, waste disposal, clean air, and agriculture;
- Operate and maintain parks;
- Have the general business responsibility for the county as well as contracting authority
- Contract for insurance, high technology items, landscape maintenance, travel management, and recycling services through competitive proposals;
- Sell surplus or salvage property by competitive bid or auction;
- Responsible for the holding of general and special elections of the county;
- Provide for the public health and welfare. Provision for public welfare may include social services, libraries, and parks and recreation;
- Provide safe suitable jails;
- Cooperate among counties through contracts to furnish and operate jail;
- Many important duties under Chapter 81 of the Local Government Code.
To learn more about responsibilities and duties of Commissioners Court, click here for more information.
Click here to view the map of County Commissioner Precinct