Celebrating 50 Years of Serving Texas

By Susan Redford, TAC Executive Director

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We are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Texas Association of Counties (TAC) all year long, but in May, your Association marks an extra-special milestone. It was on May 28, 1969, that Gov. Preston Smith signed TAC’s enabling legislation, Senate Bill 167, into law.

The fascinating backstory behind TAC’s creation (A hint, it involves an unfunded legislative mandate.) and a multi-layered look at TAC’s history of serving Texas counties can be found in each issue of County magazine throughout 2019. In this issue alone, we focus on the history of the TAC Health and Employee Benefits Pool, the TAC Risk Management Pool and the TAC Unemployment Compensation Group Account Fund. We also take a look at the origins of the BuyBoard Purchasing Cooperative.
Check your copies of County or see the issues online to follow the entire series. You’ll find photos, features and timelines marking the Association’s key milestones. I’m learning a few things about TAC’s history, and I’m sure you will also.

This month is also noteworthy in that the 86th legislative session comes to a close. Be sure to join us in Austin Sept. 4-6 at the TAC Legislative Conference for an in-depth analysis of what happened at the Capitol and how it affects county government. Evan Smith, CEO and co-founder of The Texas Tribune, will be our featured keynote speaker. Visit www.county.org/legconference to register and check back often to see the event’s evolving agenda.

As you know, we keep a pretty full calendar around here. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention a few other events that we’re looking forward to and hope that you are, too. The Conference of the County Investment Academy will provide training to all county officials and staff who want to learn more about county investment operations June 3-5 in San Antonio. Upcoming TAC Judicial Education programming includes DWI Summits in Victoria June 6 and Denton June 27, as well as the Texas Counties and the Mentally Ill – Bridging the Gap conference July 18-19 in Georgetown. You can find all our events online at www.county.org/calendar

Before I wrap up this month’s report, I want to highlight our County Best Practices Awards Program. If you’re looking for a solution to a problem currently on your plate, this is a wonderful resource. 

We hope you’ll find inspiration as you read the project summaries about past county winners and their innovative programs at www.county.org/bestpractices. Contact information is provided for each, so you can follow up with the county to get all the important details. One of the 2018 winners, Comal County, is highlighted in the May-June issue of County. It won an award for modernizing its Adopt-A-Road Program, which boosted road and boat ramp adoptions and saved the county $1,000 per mile per year.

TAC has been helping counties serve Texans since 1969. We are honored to support your work through the Best Practices program and through the many other programs and services we offer. As always, thank you for all you do.