Best Practices Awards Spotlight: Washington County

Creative Initiative Connects Residents to Local Government

By Roland Gilbert, Communications Specialist

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Washington County’s elected officials and department heads collaborated to create the county’s first-of-its-kind guide to county government. The concise, yet comprehensive booklet celebrates the county’s history and helps county personnel and residents alike better understand the function of local government and its array of services. 

In recognition, the Texas Association of Counties (TAC) has given a 2018 County Best Practices Award to Washington County for its Guide to Your County Government booklet.

County Clerk Beth Rothermel spearheaded the project. Work on the booklet began after County Auditor Sharon Stolz inquired whether they could compile a list of former and current Washington County elected officials. The simple request eventually grew into a complete resource guide to convey the far-reaching efforts of local government.

“A booklet like this has never been put together in Washington County,” said Rothermel. “It was designed to be a go-to resource for county government for both county offices, as well as the public.”

The booklet contains a brief description of each office, elected official contact information, tax rate data, some historical information dating back to 1867 and more. Originally, each elected official and department head received the booklet. Subsequently, it made its way to the local newspaper, radio station and the Nancy Carol Roberts Library in Brenham.

“I’m encouraged by the concerted effort of Washington County’s officials and staff to invest the time and resources necessary to better connect residents to their local government,” said TAC Executive Director Susan Redford. “We hope this award inspires other counties to leverage more best practices and continue discovering new solutions to better serve Texans.”

The biennial program recognizes the efforts of county leaders in implementing innovative, scalable and replicable solutions to challenges facing local government throughout Texas. Areas of focus include financial and general management, public safety and corrections, health and human services, technology, community improvements and other county-related responsibilities.

Comal County was one of eight Texas counties selected to receive a TAC 2018 County Best Practices Award. Look for more spotlights in future issues of County magazine. Learn more about the County Best Practices Awards program at