Editor’s Note: As County magazine celebrates TAC’s 50th anniversary, it is featuring a series of articles that will look at the history of TAC through the lens of the services it provides to counties. This installment covers the history of TAC’s technology and communications. Responding to the needs of counties is foundational to TAC’s existence. It’s in the organization’s DNA, and it has been the animating force behind its five decades of service to the institution of county government and the county officials who serve their communities in all 254 Texas counties.
Future issues of County magazine will cover a deep the evolution of TAC’s education offerings (Sept./Oct.) and a look at TAC leadership throughout the years (Nov./Dec.). In January 2020 County magazine will release a commemorative 50th anniversary issue with all the 50th anniversary articles, timelines and photos.
To see the full interactive TAC Timeline, visit www.50yearsofTAC.org. Read about the history of the TAC Risk Management Pool here.
On May 28 — the day after the 86th legislative session ended — the Texas Association of Counties (TAC) officially celebrated its 50th birthday. Nearly 200 people attended the blue-and-gold-themed party, including three former TAC presidents, three former executive directors, three former general counsels, and current and past Board members and staff.
The celebration included speeches from Hidalgo County Constable and TAC President Larry Gallardo, as well as TAC executive Director Susan Redford. They, along with members of the current Board of Directors, then cut into the specially-made cake and blew out the candles.
In addition to birthday party photos, we’ve selected a small sample of other photos over the years. This continues our year-long coverage of TAC’s history in County. You can also visit www.50yearsofTAC.org to view TAC’s half-century timeline of serving Texas counties.
May 28, 1969, Gov. Preston Smith signs Senate Bill 167, the enabling legislation for the creation of the Texas Association of Counties.
TAC risk management and health benefits staff assist members visiting the Association’s booth at an event around 2000. From left to right are Ernesto Galindo, Jack Coffey, Mary Anne Saenz-Thompson and Michelle Froh. Galindo, Coffey and Saenz-Thompson are still with TAC in the Risk Management Services Department.
County leaders serving on just a few of the many TAC Boards of Directors over the years.
Sam Seale, who served as executive director from 1987-2006, testifies before members of the Texas Legislature in an undated photo.
In 2009, then Executive Director Karen Norris and then Travis County Constable (now Tax Assessor-Collector) Bruce Elfant cut TAC’s 40th anniversary cake.
TAC employees outside the Association’s home at 1204 San Antonio in 1997. More than 20 of these staff members still work at TAC today.
TAC has had many homes in Austin. Here are a few.
1969 - TAC’s first home was a trailer.
1972 - TAC rented office space in Building 55 at IH-35 and Town Lake.
1975 - TAC rented office space in the Commodore Perry Hotel Building.
1981 - TAC moved to the United Bank Tower at 15th and Guadalupe.