The County Judge is the head Harris County’s governing body, called the County Commissioners Court. Although the position is called “County Judge,” and the governing body is called a “Court,” the Commissioners Court is an administrative body, not a judicial one. The County Judge and Commissioners Court oversee a $4.5 billion budget and are responsible for the country’s third largest county, with over 4.5 million inhabitants.
The structure and responsibilities of the Commissioners Court are set out in the Texas Constitution. The Commissioners Court consists of the County Judge and four County Commissioners, who together administer the government of Harris County. The Commissioners Court adopts a budget, sets tax rates, calls for bond elections, builds and maintains county infrastructure such as roads and bridges, and oversees county courthouses, jails, libraries and parks, along with the Harris County Flood Control District. The County Judge is the county’s director of emergency management.