Dr. Theresa Daniel
Tuesday, November 3
MANAGING THE BUDGET
Dallas County has an annual budget of approximately $1 billion. The primary job for the Commissioners Court is to serve as a good steward of these funds, which pay for critical county services including health care, infrastructure, and our justice system. In some ways, it is helpful to think of the Commissioners Court as like a board of directors, or executive team, for a company. There are many parallels.
The Commissioners Court has oversight over many aspects of public health in Dallas County. Parkland Hospital is a cornerstone of these efforts, and the state-of-the-art new building has dramatically expanded the campus. The Court also oversees Health and Human Services, which manages areas such as immunizations for students, flu shots, HIV AIDS services, and controlling diseases such as West Nile. Commissioner Daniel is a co-chair of the Behavioral Health Leadership Team that seeks the best mental health services for Dallas County indigents. This involves leading the partnering effort with service providers and housing entities to address shortfalls in transitional housing.
PUBLIC SAFETY AND THE JUSTICE SYSTEM
The judges of our courts are independently elected officials, but Dallas County funds administration of the justice system and supports many aspects of the process. Public safety includes administration of the county and district courts plus the county jail. Specifically, this includes, for example, improving procedures for procurement, seeking methods for safer and more secure county buildings, and ensuring that county staff have the tools they need to do their jobs.
The Commissioners Court frequently partners with cities on road and bridge projects, maintenance, and connecting the bike and hiking trails throughout the county. Each Commissioner, in fact, has a Road and Bridge Office and budget. Given the dramatic population growth in the North Texas region, infrastructure is one of the most important issues we face.
Commissioners frequently appoint citizens to boards and commissions to facilitate the decision-making process and ensure input from the public. Dallas County is a diverse urban area with many constituent groups. Providing access is important. The hiring of staff, appointments on boards and commissions and the awarding of contracts is consciously done with this in mind.
MORE ABOUT DISTRICT 1
Dallas County Commissioners Court District 1 runs north and south along the eastern side of Dallas County. It is a diverse coalition district, comprised of residents of East Dallas, Oak Lawn, Pleasant Grove, southern Garland, western Mesquite, and the far southern tip of Richardson. White Rock Lake is roughly at the center of the district.
Commissioner Daniel's Adminstrative Office is located in downtown Dallas, at 411 Elm Street, 2nd Floor. The District 1 Road and Bridge Office is located at 715 Rowlett Road, Garland. To contact the Commissioners Administrative Office, call 214-653-6668.
Click here to download a PDF map of District 1.
MORE ABOUT THE COMMISSIONERS COURT
What is a Commissioners Court?
Many people wonder what the Commissioners Court does. It is much like a board of directors of a corporation. It helps to think of the Commissioners Court as being like a "city council" for Dallas County. It oversees a large budget allocated to roads, criminal justice, jails, courts, elections, taxation, healthcare and other basic services.
It's called a court but it's not a court?
That's right, the Dallas County Commissioners Court is not a court per se, even though it is called a "court" and its presiding official is called the County Judge. In smaller Texas counties, the County Judge may take on certain judicial tasks, and that's where the term comes from, but this is not the case in Dallas County. In Dallas County, Commissioners benefit from solid backgrounds in management as they oversee a large budget and must evaluate the cost/benefit ratio of expenditures across multiple departments to make best use of taxpayer dollars.
How are Dallas County citizens represented on the Court?
In Dallas County, the Commissioners Court is made up of a County Judge, who is elected countywide, and four Commissioners, who represent districts within the County. Practically speaking, Commissioners represent both the interests of their districts and the needs of the county as a whole.
How big is the Dallas County budget?
Dallas County Commissioners are responsible for creating and managing an annual budget of nearly $1 billion. By comparison, the City of Dallas budget is about $2 billion annually. The budget managed by the Commissioners Court is allocated to roads, criminal justice, jails, courts, records, elections, taxation, healthcare and other basic services. The county also provides services to unincorporated parts of Dallas County.
How many cities and people does the Court represent?
The Dallas County Commissioners Court works with 26 cities in Dallas County, the largest being the City of Dallas and the smallest being the City of Cockrell Hill. Dallas County frequently enters "inter-local" agreements with cities to achieve progress on common goals and projects.
There are approximately 2.4 million citizens in Dallas County across a 908 square mile area that includes cities such as Garland, Richardson, Mesquite, Carrollton, Irving, Lancaster, DeSoto, Duncanville, Cedar Hill, Grand Prairie and others. Most of the county's population is in the northern part of the county, but the biggest growth trends are in the southern part of the county.