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Introduction

The City of Hurst in Texas has incorporated Type A general-law municipality and has not acted to change to any other type of municipality (Maxwell, Crain and Santos, 2011). There are no townships in Texas and the areas within a given county are either incorporated or unincorporated. The city of Hurst only governs the incorporated areas which fall under its jurisdiction. The county usually has the authority on road maintenance and also at the same time ensures law enforcement.   Cities within Texas are grouped as under home rule or general law rule. By default the cities are under general law unless its population exceeds 5000 and voters concur to have home rule. Cities under general law cannot seize adjacent unincorporated regions without the consent of the property owners. However, the rule can seize the adjacent unincorporated regions without the consent of the property owner. Under these circumstances, they must provide sufficient essential services within a given period of time. However, when the property owner is discontented with the services offered or with this kind of arrangement, he may file a suit so that his property be disannexed and compensated.

In Texas, a city may continue with the status of home rule once it has acquired it even when the population falls below the 5,000 limit (Krane, D., Rigos, P. N., and Hill, 2001). Larger cities in Texas however have exceptional authority known as limited annexation. Under this arrangement, a neighboring region may be annexed for the intention of striking city regulations which are related to building codes and general safety of the inhabitants. The residents are free to vote for council races and the mayor but are not allowed to vote in bond elections. In this arrangement, the city cannot collect sales tax directly from businesses or obtain property tax from the proprietors. The municipal elections in Texas are unprejudiced. This implies that candidates do not contest the elections on party lines are not allowed to run as party tickets. In most cases though, the party affiliation of a given candidate may be known but this however does not affect the race towards the election.

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The county structure of the city of Hurst consists of voters who are at the top of the hierarchy. This is then followed by the District judge and then the auditor. Directly below the voters are the county judges, four commissioners, the district clerk, Tax Assessor Collector, Sheriff, Surveyor, Treasurer, Attorney, Justices of the Peace and then the constables. Below the county judge, there is the Health Officer, Extension Office and other county departments. Road Crews fall under the four commissioners (Kraemer and Charldean, 1993).

The general elections are held every two years (Even numbered years). They are usually held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November. During this time, voters elect a number of officials to occupy the offices left vacant by expiry of the previous terms. On the local level, special elections are usually called to select the council members of the city. The party inclinations of the candidates vying for different seats at local level are not indicated against their names.

There are a number of special districts in Hurst which perform different functions. The special districts are further subdivided into sub-districts and the most common under this section is the school district. The school district is one of the most significant special district in Hurst and  has an independent board of trustees and its boundaries are not associated with the county or city boundaries. The board members of the district are also elected on a nonpartisan party basis. The special districts perform specific services to specific geographical areas. They adopt district budgets, set tax rates and handle emergency services for the districts. The districts are governed by boards and are usually financed through user fee, property taxes, state contribution and some funds from the federal government.

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