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2023 County Gov-101

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All free governments are managed by thecombined wisdom and folly of the people.W W W . H I D A L G O C O U N T Y . U SW W W . H I D A L G O C O U N T Y . U SW W W . H I D A L G O C O U N T Y . U SJames A. GarfieldBienvenidos!Bienvenidos!Bienvenidos!

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www.hidalgocounty.usAt Hidalgo County, we believein transparency with regards tohow county business isconducted and how your taxdollars are used. Transparencypromotes accountability to ourresidents and efficiency andeffectiveness in the work we do.County JudgeRichard F. CortezPrecinct 1CommissionerDavid L. FuentesPrecinct 2CommissionerEduardo "Eddie"CantuPrecinct 3CommissionerEverardo "Ever"VillarrealPrecinct 4CommissionerEllie Torres1

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provide law enforcement and jails,operate the state court system,record deeds and other vital records,construct and maintain roads and bridges,participate in strategic metropolitan conduct elections and voter registration,register motor vehicles, andprovide basic health services for indigent residents.In Texas, county government serves our local residents as the functional arm of stategovernment and delivers many important services including: and regional planning,Unlike cities, which have broad authority to enact local ordinances, counties arelimited to actions that are specifically authorized in the Texas Constitution andstatutes.There are 47 elected officials - including the County Judge, Commissioners, CountyClerk, District Clerk, District Attorney, Sheriff, Tax Assessor-Collector, Treasurer, ProbateJudge, 12 District Court Judges, 10 Courts-at-Law, nine Justices of the Peace, and fiveConstables, and 27 departments with a total of 3,423 employees.Each elected official has exclusive authority over office operations and employees and isgoverned by a variety of laws. While each office functions independently, countygovernment works best when all offices work together. The County is divided into four precincts each headed by a Commissioner. The fourCommissioners and the County Judge comprise the Commissioners Court, which isresponsible for setting the tax rate and budget, has exclusive authority to approvecontracts, and provides and maintains all county buildings and facilities. CommissionersCourt has the authority and the responsibility to provide an adequate budget for eachoffice and is prohibited from using its budgetary authority to prevent an officer fromperforming his or her duties. The primary source of funding is Ad Valorem Taxes, with 65 percent of the $196 millioncollected in 2021 coming from residential and 35 percent from commercial propertytaxes. All in all, 85 percent of County revenues come from property taxes. Revenues,such as fines, fees, business licenses, charges for services, and miscellaneous revenuesaccount for the other 15 percent. 54%2

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The subtropical climate is ideal forecotourism & outdoor activities.Replica of first Courthouse 1886-1908.Gateway to the United States.The County was founded in 1852 in honor of Miguel Hidalgo yCostella, the Catholic priest who raised the call for Mexico'sindependence from Spain.In 1908, the county seat was moved from the City of Hidalgo toChapin, which is now known as the City of Edinburg.Hidalgo County is the seventh most populous of 254 counties inthe State of Texas. Joining with neighbors Cameron and Starrcounties, the Rio Grande Valley is one of the top fivemetropolitan areas in the state, along with Austin, Dallas-FortWorth, Houston, and San Antonio.The County is the largest (non-education sector) governmentemployer in our area. The County is the gateway from the Mexico border to theUnited States.Our area is considered to be among the safest and mostaffordable places in the U.S. to live, work, visit, or retire.Hidalgo County comprises 1,596 square miles of the Rio Grandedelta, with elevations ranging from 40 to 200 feet.The subtropical climate makes our area ideal for ecotourism.There are nine, world-renowned nature preserves within a 40mile radius.Two of the top state universities are located here, Texas A&Mand University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley.Hidalgo County is home to one of the fastest-growing regions inthe nation. We provide health and justice to the approximatelyone million residents of our county, as well as a variety ofservices offered by our four precinct offices to residents wholive outside city limits.We partner with the 22 cities in our county on services, specialprojects, and economic development.The county government structure is spelled out in the TexasConstitution, which makes counties functional agents of thestate.County responsibilities include providing public health andhuman services, public safety, emergency services, and publicinfrastructure such as drainage, roads, and bridges.Learn more about your County government at www.hidalgocounty.us3

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Hidalgo County Courthouse circa 1910Working for you!4

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Responsible for budget and tax rate.Approves all budgeted purchases.Sets all salaries and benefits.Exclusive authority to approve contracts.Provides & maintains all buildings.Fills vacancies in most other offices.Clerk andcustodian ofrecords for Commissioners Court & other county courts.Presiding officer of Commissioners Court.Represents County in administrativefunctions.Head of emergency management.Represents one of four precincts.Has broad policy-making authority as amember of the Commissioners Court.Responsible for building and maintainingroads and bridges and other County facilitiesand services within the precinct.Manages court registry & trust funds.May process passport applications.May collect & disburse child support.Appointed by District Judges.Required for populations over 10,200.Serves as County's chief accountant andwatchdog.Verifies validity and legality of all payments.Recorderandcustodianof many important records like deeds, bonds, birth & death certificates, livestock brands, etc.Clerk andcustodian ofrecords fordistrict courts.Coordinates jurypanel selectionprocess.Arturo Guajardo, Jr.Commissioners Court following a Proclamation.Issues marriage licenses.Executive Officer Valde Guerra presenting atCommissioners Court.Laura Hinojosa5

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Pablo "Paul" VillarrealHears Class Cmisdemeanor cases.Hears civil cases up Hears landlord-tenantdisputes & truancy cases. to $10,000.Section 28Issues warrants for search and arrest.Administers Oaths.Conducts inquests.Nine JPs serve the County.Chief law enforcementofficer.Manages & operatesthe county jail.Provides security forthe courts.Serves warrants & civilpapers.J.E. "Eddie" GuerraReceives & depositsall county revenues.County InvestmentOfficer.Member of theHidalgo CountyBail Bond Board.Disburses funds Prepares payroll. on behalf of the C County.Lita LeoServes warrants & civil papers suchas subpoenas and restraining orders.Five Constable offices serve theCounty.Bailiff for Justice of the PeaceCourts.Licensed peace officer & performsvarious law enforcement functions.Collects property taxes.May contract to collect for otherlocal entities.Registers motor vehicles for thestate.Collects various fees for state andCounty.Calculates the effectivetax rate. Represents victims of violence.Provides legal counsel to CommissionersCourt and other County officials.Represents the state inprosecution offelonies.Investigates felonycases.Presents cases to thegrand jury.Represents the state inchild welfare cases.Toribio "Terry" Palacios6

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AREAS SERVEDAREAS SERVEDEastern Hidalgo County from Mercedes west to the City of Alamo and fromthe City of Hargill on its northern precinct border south to Progresso Lakes.Southern Hidalgo County includes the cities of Hidalgo, McAllen, Pharr, andSan Juan, and the unincorporated area south of Alamo.Western Hidalgo County from the City of Cuervitas at its western border andthen north to Cipres and approximately 20 miles east of FM1017, and part ofthe City of Hidalgo to the south.Northern Hidalgo County, including ranchland north of San Manuel to wherethe county borders Brooks County, south to parts of McAllen, and as far eastas the border of the City of Hargill and points north.PRECINCT 1PRECINCT 2PRECINCT 3PRECINCT 4COUNTYWe provide law and justice to the nearly 1 million residents in our county andpartner with the 22 cities located within our county on county services,special projects and economic development.byby7

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The primary source of funding for Hidalgo County isAd Valorem Taxes, with 65 percent of the $196 millioncollected in 2021 coming from residential, and 35percent from commercial property taxes. All in all, 85percent of County revenues come from propertytaxes. Revenues, such as fines, fees, business licenses,charges for services, and miscellaneous revenuesaccount for the other 15 percent. 8

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www.hidalgocounty.usCountyCountyGovernmentGovernmentW O R K I N G F O R Y O U !For more information on how your county government works for you and theservices we provide, visit our website at WWW.HIDALGOCOUNTY.US or click onthe QR Code below.County Government 101 was produced by the Hidalgo County ExecutiveOffice, 505 S. McColl Rd., Edinburg, TX 78539. Phone: (956) 292-7655.County Executive Officer Valde Guerra Court Administrator Monica SalinasEditor Julia Benitez SullivanStaff Cindy de la Cruz, Margie Mungia, Tanya Reyes Ramirez, Brandy Salinas, RoyQuintanilha, and Edgardo Garcia.