Glossary: Local Government in Texas

at-large election: an election in which officials are selected by voters of the entire geographical area, rather than from smaller districts within that area

county clerks: public official who is the main record-keeper of the county

county commissioner: government official (four per county) on the county commissioners' court whose main duty is the construction and maintenance of roads and bridges

county commissioners' court: the main governing body of each county; has the authority to set the county tax rate and budget.

county tax assessor-collector: public official who maintains the county tax records and collects taxes owed to the county

district attorney: public official who prosecutes the more serious criminal cases in the district court

home-rule charters: the rules under which a city operates; local governments have considerable independent governing power under these charters

municipal utility district (MUD): a special district that offers services such as electricity water, sewage, and sanitation outside the city limits

school district: a specific type of special district that provides public education in a designated area

special district: a unit of local government that performs a single service, such as education or sanitation, within a limited geographic area

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