Chapter 3: Multiple Choice Questions

1. The primary policymaking body at the county level is

A. county judges.
B. commissioners court.
C. county court-at-law judges.
D. sheriff and deputy sheriffs.

2. Home rule cities are different from general law cities in that they:

A. write their own city charters.
B. can assess higher taxes.
C. both a and b are correct.
D. are more limited.

3. The three basic types of city government which are common in Texas are:

A. council/manager, mayor/council, and commission.
B. weak mayor/council, strong mayor/council, and mayor council.
C. commission, strong mayor/council, and weak mayor/council.
D. none of the above.

4. The most common form of city government in Texas is:

A. council/manager.
B. commission.
C. council/mayor - strong mayor.
D. council/mayor - weak mayor.

5. In council\manager government, the is responsible for carrying out policy.

A. council
B. mayor
C. manager
D. elected department heads

6. Except in the few counties using a unit system, the construction and maintenance of county roads and bridges is the responsibility of

A.  the county judge.
B.  individual county commissioners.
C.  the assessor-collector of taxes.
D.  the county engineer.
E.  none of the above.

7. Which of the following officials presides over the county commissioners' court?

A.  County judge
B.  County clerk
C.  County attorney
D.  County tax assessor-collector
E.  Sheriff

8. Which of the following county officials is responsible for recording all legal documents?

A.  County judge
B.  County treasurer
C.  County clerk
D.  County tax assessor-collector
E.  sheriff

9. The largest single source of income for the county in Texas is the

A.  sales tax.
B.  individual income tax.
C.  corporate income tax.
D.  property tax.
E.  gasoline tax.

10. Expenditures facing densely populated urban counties include

A.  highways and transportation.
B.  hospitals, health, and welfare.
C.  jails.
D.  all of the above.

11. Texas counties are responsible for passing legislation that

A.  sets speed limits on county roads.
B.  controls industrial pollution.
C.  restricts pornography.
D.  all of the above.
E.  none of the above.

12 Cities in Texas that have not adopted home rule are called

A.  statutory-law cities.
B.  general-law cities.
C.  constitutional-law cities.
D.  common-law cities.
E.  none of the above.

13. Cities in Texas may choose to form their own city charters if they have a population over

A.  1,000.
B.  5,000.
C.  10,000.
D.  20,000.
E.  50,000.

14. In a strong mayor-council form of municipal government, the mayor

A.  is elected by the city council.
B.  is subject to recall by the city's voters.
C.  is unable to influence the city budget.
D.  has the power to appoint and remove other city executives.
E.  has the power to remove council members.

15. Except for Houston and El Paso, Texas' largest cities all operate with which form of city government?

A.  Strong mayor-council
B.  Weak mayor-council
C.  Commission
D.  Commission-manager
E.  Council-manager

16. The largest single source of local revenues for most local governments is the:

A. ad valorem property tax.
B. sales tax.
C. gasoline taxes.
D. none of the above.

17. County government is:

A. closely supervised by state government.
B. subject to very limited supervision of state authorities.
C. highly flexible because of home-rule provisions.
D. totally independent of the state.

18. The chief law enforcement officer for the county is the:

A. constable.
B. police chief.
C. sheriff.
D. county judge.

19. Under Texas' home rule amendment, a city may adopt its own charter as long as:

A. the city has a population of at least 5,000.
B. no charter provision is incompatible with state law.
C. it does not violate the U.S. Constitution.
D. all of the above.

20. The chief records keeper for the county is the:

A. County judge.
B. County auditor.
C. County sheriff.
D. County attorney.
E. none of the above.

21. In Texas, a local school district's only tax source is the:

A. ad valorem on property.
B. general sales tax.
C. franchise tax.
D. income tax.

22. The two classes of city government established in the constitution are:

A. city manager and standard board.
B. standard board and home rule.
C. general law and home rule.
D. general law and city manager.

23. A city with a population of 5,000 or more may be incorporated under a:

A. home rule charter.
B. administrative charter.
C. federal charter.
D. states right charter.

24. Local ordinances may be passed by governments of:

A. neither county nor city.
B. county but not city.
C. county and city.
D. city but not county.

25. County commissioners are elected for terms of how many years?

A. 2
B. 3
C. 4
D. 6

26. The most significant source of county revenue is

A. property taxes.
B. federal funds.
C. bonds.
D. fees for liquor, wine, and beer permits.

27. The majority of candidates for city office in Texas campaign as:

A. progressives.
B. independents.
C. Democrats.
D. Republicans.

28. The presiding officer of the commissioners court is the:

A. county clerk.
B. county judge.
C. commissioner of highest seniority.
D. commissioner elected by the commissioners court.

29. The essential feature of the council-manager form of city government is an administrator who is:

A. professionally trained.
B. popularly elected.
C. appointed for a long term.
D. a senior member of the council.

30. A document authorizing a city to have and maintain a home rule type of government is termed:

A. a commission.
B. a charter.
C. a writ.
D. a contract.

31. The largest expenditure of rural county income is

A. indigent care in county hospitals.
B. county roads and bridges.
C. administrative costs of county government.
D. county welfare programs.

32. The authors of the text offer several areas for reform in county government. Which of the following is not a recommended reform?

A. Centralization of executive authority
B. Establishment of ordinance-making power
C. Coordination of the county road system
D. Cutback on the number of county jobs

33. Councils of governments have

A. taken over some of the responsibilities of local governments.
B. led to the creation of metro governments in Texas.
C. performed regional planning activities.
D. exercised taxing and spending authority.

34. Which type of electoral system is most likely to produce a racially ballanced city council?

A. At-large
B. Nonpartisan
C. Single-member district
D. Place System
E. Both C and D

35. When municipalities sell municipal bonds, they are participating in a form of

A. franchise fee contracting.
B. deficit financing.
C. proprietary spending.
D. pass-through spending.

36. You are the city manager, and the amount of money received by your municipality is inadequate to support your proposed budget. You are going to recommend that the city council authorize the issuance of revenue bond. Which of the following activities may revenue bonds not be issued for?

A. Travel expenses for a city council workshop in Las Vegas, Nevada
B. Airport expansion
C. Construction of a civic center
D. Construction of recreational facilities


37. As creations of the state, counties are responsible for

A.  enforcing state law.
B.  keeping many state records such as titles and deeds.
C.  collecting many state taxes.
D.  conducting state elections.
E.  all of the above.

38. Every county in Texas, regardless of its size, is divided into

A.  four precincts.
B.  five precincts.
C.  eight precincts.
D.  five wards.
E.  six districts.

39. County commissioners in Texas are

A.  appointed by the governor.
B.  appointed by the county judge.
C.  chosen in an at-large election.
D.  elected by precinct.
E.  none of the above.

40. The function of the commissioners court is

A.  exclusively judicial.
B.  administrative and legislative.
C.  exclusively executive.
D.  at the bottom of the judicial ladder.

 41. The strong mayor variant of council/mayor government is most common in:

A. small towns.
B. large cities such as Houston and El Paso.
C. Texas.
D. northern townships.

42. In the strong mayor variant of mayor/council government, the is responsible for carrying out policy:

A. council
B. manager
C. mayor
D. elected department heads

43. The county auditor is

A. elected countywide.
B. appointed by commissioners court.
C. appointed by the county judge.
D. appointed by the district Judges.

44. The commission form of city government originated in which of the following:

A. Amarillo
B. Galveston
C. Houston
D. San Antonio

45. An example of a special district is a:

A. school district|
B. water district.
C. hospital district.
D. all of the above.

46. A COG is:

A. a new form of city government for rural areas.
B. a special district.
C. a voluntary grouping of governments which have not given up their sovereignty.
D. both A and B are correct.

47. The major source of revenues for state government in Texas is the:

A. ad valorem property tax.
B. income tax.
C. sales tax.
D. both A and B are correct.

48. At-large elections tend to:

A. allow a candidate to run in any district.
B. discriminate against minorities.
C. insure that interests of all areas of a city are represented on the council.
D. none of the above.

49. Council-manager government is sometimes viewed as undemocratic because:

A. the chief executive is not directly responsible to the people.
B. there is a tendency for the city manager to become the policy-maker as well as the executive.
C. the mayor is often erroneously held accountable by the voters for policy execution.
D. all of the above.

50. Fragmentation of power among many local governments makes it difficult:

A. to avoid duplication of effort and service.
B. to plan effectively.
C. to centralize taxing authorities.
D. all of the above apply.

51. Cities in Texas derive their revenues from

A.  the sales tax.
B.  the property tax.
C.  user fees.
D.  intergovernmental transfers.
E.  all of the above.

52. Which of the following is not a major item of expenditure for cities in Texas?

A.  education.
B.  police and fire protection.
C.  streets.
D.  solid-waste disposal.
E.  parks and recreation.

53. The type of municipal election in which voters choose all of the members of the city council and vote for as many candidates as there are positions on the council is a system called a(n)

A.  at-large.
B.  place.
C.  district.
D.  precinct.
E.  none of the above.

54. The type of local government that is increasing in number most rapidly is the

A.  municipality.
B.  county.
C.  school district.
D.  special district.
E.  council of government.

55. Special districts have the advantage of

A.  being easy to establish and operate.
B.  offering great flexibility to governmental organizations.
C.  being able to remove technical problems from the political arena.
D.  bypassing the legal and organizational limitations of existing governments.
E.  all of the above.

56. Councils of Government (COGs) function as

A.  planning and coordinating bodies for local governments.
B.  state "watchdogs" to monitor local governments.
C.  federal "watchdogs" to monitor local governments.
D.  policy-making boards for special districts.
E.  none of the above.


Key to the questions:

1. B
2. C
3. A
4. A
5. C
6. B
7. A
8. C
9. D
10. D
11. E
12. B
13. B
14. D
15. E
16. A
17. B
18. C
19. D
20. E
21. A
22. C
23. A
24. D
25. C
26. A
27. B
28. B
29. A
30. B
31. B
32. D
33. C
34. E
35. B
36. A

37. E
38. A
39. D
40. B
41. B
42. C
43. D
44. B
45. D
46. C
47. C
48. B
49. D
50. D
51. E
52. A
53. A
54. D
55. E
56. A