President's Report

Anticipating a return to normal after a year of COVID-19

By Renee Couch, Comal County Treasurer and TAC Board President

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As this issue of County magazine arrives in your offices, the Texas Association of Counties is hard at work tracking the legislative session that ends May 31. Like most sessions of the Texas Legislature, this one has been marked by concern about how various bills will affect county government. Such concerns are heightened as the session nears its end. 

Executive Director Susan Redford writes more about the session's closing weeks in her report in this issue. She also looks ahead to some of the events the Association has planned after the session ends, such as TAC's 2021 Legislative Conference in September. I just want to take a moment to thank TAC's Legislative Services and Communications teams for the hard work they've done keeping everybody informed about what's going on at the Capitol so county officials can more effectively reach out to lawmakers to make sure they hear the county perspective. TAC’s weekly Tuesday Morning Breakfasts and County Issues newsletter have been invaluable resources to all counties and all offices. 

The Texas Constitution marks each session's finish date on the calendar. The coronavirus pandemic has no definite end date, but for the past few months, there have been hopeful signs that we're getting closer to some kind of normal — to a return to life as it more or less was in 2019. 

National County Government Month, which is observed each April, just concluded. It's a time to celebrate county government and public service. This year, I thought about how we in county government have come such a long way since last spring, when we had to learn how to adapt quickly to the pandemic to continue delivering the important services our constituents depend on. We worked together and learned from one another to meet the unprecedented demands that we faced. 

The post-pandemic world will come with its own challenges, but Texas counties will meet them just as we met the pandemic's arrival. Part of successfully overcoming the problems we encounter will require we maintain a delicate balance, one that respects individual choices while reminding everyone to focus on making good choices that not only are right for them and their families but are also right for their communities. Every individual may be as different as every Texas county, but we all face the same issues. 

Good choices give us the best chance to build upon the promise of putting the pandemic firmly behind us. They will give us the best chance of making this summer, which will be here by the time the next issue of County arrives, as much like any other summer as possible. I hope yours is filled with great memories of time spent with family and friends, and of the hope of better days ahead.

Stay #254Strong!