By Larry Gallardo, Hidalgo County Constable and TAC President
Two years flew by in the blink of an eye. And the last two years serving as your president has been no different. It feels like just yesterday when I took office, and I will certainly miss my time working closely with Executive Director Susan M. Redford, the TAC staff, Board of Directors and other county officials.
During my tenure as TAC president, we celebrated TAC’s 50th anniversary, and I learned what an integral part the Association is to every county official across the state. In addition to its presence at the Capitol during the 86th Legislative Session, TAC provides so many invaluable services to all counties and all offices, including affordable risk and health coverage, education and training, legal services, organizing and managing conferences for affiliate associations, and so much more. Over the past two years, I was lucky to witness the many ways TAC impacts Texas counties.
This past year has brought many challenges to Texas counties — mostly during the legislative session and its aftermath. We still face a great many hurdles to jump over due to Senate Bill 2, but with the continued diligent support of TAC’s Legislative Services Department, as well as the leadership of TAC staff and Board, I believe we will right the ship.
I had the rare opportunity as TAC President to work closely with two different Executive Directors. After former Executive Director Gene Terry’s retirement at the end of 2018, the Board selected former Ector County Judge Susan M. Redford as TAC’s new Executive Director. Though very different in certain ways, both Terry and Redford exemplify the characteristics of top-notch leadership. It was a wonderful experience to work with each of them.
Something that has always been dear to me is the employees. TAC is only as good as its employees, and I have always considered how to provide the best to TAC employees. I believe when you have good leaders, others follow. It shows when TAC provides great service to counties all across the state. This is what makes us strong.
It was an honor and privilege to serve as President of the Texas Association of Counties, and I plan to continue to pursue and develop ways to provide services and support to counties. While no longer president, I will still be actively involved with TAC as I continue my “day job” as Hidalgo County Constable. I will also continue to engage with and learn from all the other amazing elected officials who make up TAC’s membership. Together we are stronger. We are always 254 strong!