Big decisions made in 2015
Bond proposals approved
Harris County voters approved four bond proposals totaling $848 million on Nov. 3. The bond referendums included $700 million for mobility projects, $60 million for parks and trails, $24 million for a new animal shelter and $64 million for Harris County Flood Control District projects.
Jail management change
The county appointed a new sheriff, Ron Hickman, who agreed to allow the county jail to be managed by a jail administrator—a shift the commissioners sought for several years.
Ed Emmett, Harris County judge[/caption]
Top issues for 2016
Demand for services
Despite the passage of bonds in 2015, demand for countywide systems will continue to grow as Harris County is expected to add 80,000 residents per year. The growth places strain on roads, law enforcement and other services.
City and county relations
The county will continue to work with the city of Houston as progress is made on a joint jail processing center. The election of new Mayor Sylvester Turner could lead to other opportunities for more collaboration with the city.
Commissioners Court is held twice monthly at 10 a.m. except in May and November at the Harris County Courtroom, 1001 Preston Ave., Houston. 713-755-5000. www.harriscountytx.gov
Terms and compensation
Commissioners and the county judge each serve staggered four-year terms with no term limits. The county judge receives $173,800 per year, and commissioners earn $165,900 per year.