An aspect of regional planning: The development and role of special districts in the Galveston Bay area of Texas.




Kolbohm, T.E., Jr.

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Texas A&M University


This study is a compilation of research on the development and roles of special districts in Texas, particularly in the Galveston Bay area. Research data collected for the dissertation included four areas: (1) a survey of state laws concerning local districts vis a vis special districts; (2) a review of local ordinances covering the same aspect; (3) a synthesis of data collected from personal interviews with officials of local and state governments and special districts; and (4) an analysis of the collected data. During the nine month study period data was collected on special districts concerning their national, state, and local governmental significance as active participants in framing the governmental structure and the development of the Galveston Bay area. Specific emphasis has been placed on the role of special districts in Galveston and portions of Harris County, Texas. Governmental officials of various cities in Galveston and in the City of Houston were visited to ascertain their view on the visibility of special districts and their opinions concerning the rapid proliferation of fragmented governments adjacent to these areas. State agencies interviewed expressed their concern over the inability to adequately supervise the creation and subsequent state funding to maintain supervisory personnel. Perhaps the most significant lesson that emerges from this study is that when there is a lack of coordination-planning between the local and the state government, not to mention the legislators who sponsor these special district bills, no effective land use management is possible in this highly pollutable environment adjacent to Galveston Bay. A greater concerted use of regional cooperation between governments, such as the Regional Councils of Governments and the Texas Water Rights Commission as instruments in regulating district creation for speculative reasons or other non-conforming use of such vital resource as land.


183 p., Dissertation


government policy, regional planning, land use, resource management