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POLS 2312-001 Lecture Notes - Chapter Three [Full]

by: M.G

POLS 2312-001 Lecture Notes - Chapter Three [Full] POLS 2312-001

Marketplace > University of Texas at Arlington > POLS 2312-001 > POLS 2312 001 Lecture Notes Chapter Three Full
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These notes contain information crucial to passing Wednesday's exam
State and Local Government
Kimberly Harper
Class Notes
Kimberly Harper, TX Government, State and Local Government, POLS 2312
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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by M.G on Monday February 8, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to POLS 2312-001 at University of Texas at Arlington taught by Kimberly Harper in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 44 views.


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Date Created: 02/08/16
Chapter Three Lecture Notes  Local  ● Local government impacts life in ways most people take for granted  ○ Trash  ■ Some cities pick­up unlimited bags twice a week, while others give the  house one trash bin that must have the lid closed in order to be picked up  once a week.  ○ Water  ■ Flint, MI water crisis  ○ Parks  ○ Restaurants   ■ Safety checks  ● Grassroots  ○ Grassroots activity is a local endeavor   ■ Ted Cruz and visiting all counties in Iowa  ○ Grassroots activity is outside lobbying  Municipal  ● 1200 municipalities in the state  ● Dylan’s Rule   ○ Local power is from the states  ● General­law cities  ○ Small towns  ○ Restricted  ○ “Cookie cutter governments” due to sameness per the state constitution  ○ Example ­ Apartments  ■ Restricted  ■ Same floor plans  ● Home­rule cities  ○ Larger towns [5000+]  ○ More flexibility  ○ Establishes own charter, rules  ○ Example ­ Houses  ■ More flexible  ■ Larger  ■ Diverse  ○ Council­Manager  ● Ordinances  ○ A local law  ■ Texting and driving  ■ “Hands­free”  ■ Noise levels  ■ Dogs  ■ Smoking  ● Zoning  ○ Purpose is to keep certain businesses and residential areas away from each other.  ■ Liquor  ■ Factories  ■ Strip clubs  ○ Revenue vs. Morals  ● Recall  ○ Only in home­rule cities  ○ Happened in Arlington  ● Initiative  ○ Initiation of legislation  ○ Citizen­driven legislation  ● Referendum  ○ Repeals existing ordinance  ● At­Large Elections  ○ Mayor voted in through a citywide, at­large election  ○ 3 at­large council members (6,7,8 in Arlington)  ○ Everyone in city votes for that position  ● Single­member districts  ○ One member per district solely committed to knowing their constituency  ○ More minority representation.  ● Four Government Forms  ○ Strong/weak mayor  ■ More strength/less strength  ○ Council/manager  ■ Home­rule city associated  ■ City manager manages the city the way one would manage a business  ■ Manager appointed by city council  ■ Council/manager started in TX in San Antonio  ○ Commission type  ■ TX hasn’t had this form since the 1900 Galveston Hurricane  ■ Used in rare instances, usually natural disasters.  ● Elections  ○ City elections are nonpartisan  ■ No label with the name (D/R)  ■ Less exciting  ■ People engage in weird selection practices due to this.  ○ Straight ticket voting   ■ Selecting to vote for every single democrat or republican on the ballot  ● Census  ○ Redistricting   ■ TX has ~27 million legal residents  ■ All of W. TX is one district (Except El Paso)  ■ Districts are drawn in really odd shapes due to gerrymandering  ● Gerrymandering ­ drawing lines to include or exclude minorities to  influence voting.  ■ Done every ten years to map out where everyone is in order to have  districts with an equal population.  ● Term Limits  ○ Most cities do not have term limits  ○ TX legislative branch does not have term limits  ○ No term limits at the state level   ● Services  ○ Fire Departments  ○ Police Departments  ○ Sewers  ○ Roads  ○ Parks  ● Low Tax, Low Services  ○ Cities also have low taxes, which mean that services are low and lower quality  ○ Most of a city’s revenue is obtained through property taxes   ■ Property taxes can be looked at (for Tarrant County) on  ○ Fees vs. Taxes  ■ Fees evoke less emotion  ■ Since it’s harder to raise taxes,   ○ Bottom line of all government is ​finances  ● Political Conflict  ○ Scarce resources  ○ Differing opinions  ● Economic Development  ○ Tax­reinvestment zones  ■ Tax breaks are given to companies like General Motors because they bring  in revenue and stimulate the economy.      Counties  ● 254 counties  ● More counties than any other state  ● Each county structured the exact same way  ● Extension of the state that runs official business  ○ Voter registration  ○ Marriage  ○ Vehicle registration  ○ Budget  ○ County road  ○ Tax breaks  ○ Health programs  ○ Welfare programs  ● County Officials  ○ County judges  ○ County sheriff  ○ County clerk  ○ County tax assessor  ○ Appraiser  ○ County treasurer  ● Taxes  ○ Property taxes are main revenue for counties  ● Everything boils down to ​finances.   ● Colonias  ○ Along the American side of the border  ○ Most impoverished area of the country  ○ Cities not willing to annex them in  ○ Around 500k Texans living with no utilities  Special Districts  ● 3000+ special districts  ● Special districts have a specific function for a group in a specific area.  ● Educational  ○ Independent school districts  ■ Funding  ● Federal (10% of funding)  ● State (40% of funding)  ● Local (50% of funding)  ● Most of the funding comes from p​roperty taxes ​ ○ Southlake ISD vs. Keller ISD  ● Robin Hood Plan  ○ Takes money from wealthy ISDs and puts the money in  less wealthy ISDs  ○ Has been around since 1993  ○ Community colleges  ● Non­educational  ○ Fire districts  ○ Water districts  ○ Some areas rely on volunteer fire departments  ○ Mass transit   ■ Dart, etc.  ○ Anything non­educational transcending county/city lines  Metro  ● Approximately 85­90% (88%) of Texans today live in a metropolitan area.  ○ DFW metro  ○ Austin metro  ○ San Antonio metro  ○ Houston metro  ● Cogs  ○ Councils of Government  ○ Voluntary  ○ Texas is split into roughly 24 COG areas for regional planning  ■ Helps ensure that transportation, health services, etc are distributed evenly.  ● Annexation  ○ Cities will not annex the colonias because they do not want to provide services  ○ Annexation is the way cities can incorporate new areas.    


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