By Susan M. Redford, Executive Director
As summer turns to fall, it is nice to catch glimpses of normalcy reentering our lives. In my mind, that means one thing — college football!
Of course, election season is also upon us. Counties continue to provide an invaluable service to your citizens by enabling them to vote while keeping them safe. The challenges our election administrators, county clerks and combination clerks are facing this fall are unprecedented. As I write this, it seems that litigation and appeals are changing the rules for elections every day. Add these complications to a polarized electorate and a pandemic, and your jobs become even more challenging. To our election officials, thank you for what you do, and know that we are here to support you every step of the way.
Speaking of staying safe, TAC’s Risk Management Services Department will be hosting a series of webinars during October. The online seminars will cover topics such as human resources issues, the use of drones in risk management and cyber coverage. I am proud of the work this team is doing to find timely, relevant and innovative ways to keep our counties safe.
October is also National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. Be watching for new email resources and products that TAC’s County Information Resources Agency (CIRA) will be offering to members as we continue our efforts to provide enhanced security features to the email and web services. We also remain dedicated to assisting counties in their efforts to comply with state-mandated cybersecurity training. Registration is now open for TAC’s cybersecurity course, which is certified by the Texas Department of Information Resources (DIR).
The world we live in continues to change, as do the demands on Texas counties and county officials. As your county faces new challenges, what do you need? We want to hear from you. Please take a moment to complete the New Services survey on county.org before Oct. 30. The TAC executive team will begin a new strategic planning initiative in early 2021. Sharing your thoughts, ideas and struggles with us will greatly assist in ensuring that TAC continues to deliver unbelievable customer service over the next 50 years.
While our calendar of live events and training sessions has shrunk drastically this year, our dedication to the success of our members has grown. We continue to work with our affiliate organizations to ensure that county officials have access to online learning opportunities to meet their continuing education requirements for 2020. You can find more information for many virtual educational offerings here.
As we see the number of new COVID-19 cases increasing at a slower pace, and while many of us are suffering from "COVID fatigue," we must remain vigilant and cautious. We continue to update the COVID-19 Information & Resources page on our website and provide weekly COVID-19 updates to keep you current on news and issues. If we can help in any way, please do not hesitate to call. We all remain in this together and continue to be #254Strong.