April 01, 2019
By Susan M. Redford, TAC Executive Director
It is hard to believe that it is already April and that we’re beginning the second quarter of 2019. What does this mean for Texas counties? In my mind, this is my favorite month of the year — County Government Month. Each year we like to pause during April to reflect upon the importance of Texas counties and honor each of you for your dedicated service to them. To honor your service, I invite you to join us for a barbeque lunch as we celebrate County Government Day at the Capitol on April 30. You can find more information about County Government Day and register here.
As you celebrate County Government Month in your county, please feel free to use our Texas Counties Deliver public outreach material. It is crucial that we continue to educate the public on the importance of county government in Texas. Can you imagine a day without the county? It is a frightening thought, isn’t it? Maybe that will be our next video. In the meantime, take a look at and share two of our latest Texas Counties Deliver videos. One features the amazing architecture of county courthouses and the other explains the many duties of a county commissioner.
The month of April brings changes within the walls of the Texas Association of Counties. Rex Hall, our longtime Assistant Executive Director, retired on March 31. We are grateful for his dedicated service and endless contributions to TAC and Texas Counties. Best wishes to you in retirement, Rex.
April is a busy month for your TAC staff. The County Management and Risk Conference is scheduled for April 10 – 12 at the Embassy Suites and Conference Center in San Marcos. We hope you can join us for this ever-popular conference, which provides resources and solutions for counties and information about the TAC Health and Employee Benefits Pool and the TAC Risk Management Pool. Many of the presentations showcase the knowledge of the dedicated employees who work on behalf of each pool. For those who are wondering, yes there will be another trial. Check our website for more information about the conference and for a sneak peek at “Fired – An HR Nightmare."
Preparations continue for the fifth annual TAC Probate Academy to be held at the Overton Hotel and Conference Center in Lubbock on May 8 – 10. The Probate Academy brings county judges, county clerks and staff together for two-and-a-half days of intense training on issues in handling probate, guardianship and mental health cases.
The bill filing deadline has passed for the 86th legislative session, and your TAC Legal and Legislative Services Department continues to work diligently monitoring and tracking hundreds of bills that could affect county government. We all seem to be on the radar of the Legislature this session. I promise you that our team is representing you in a relentless but respectful manner. Our job is to provide you and members of the Legislature with accurate information to help with better decision-making. We cannot do this without your help. Please continue to stay engaged by making calls, sending emails and coming to Austin to help provide your representatives and senators with information concerning the impact their decisions make on local government.
When communicating with legislators and members of the public, please be sure to utilize the information in our recently published Cost of County Government: 2018 Unfunded Mandates Survey. This project was a vast undertaking by our Legal and Legislative Services Department and our Communications and Education Department and was a cooperative effort with the County Judges and Commissioners Association of Texas, the Texas Conference of Urban Counties, the Texas Association of County Auditors and the County Treasurers Association of Texas.
Thank you to all of the counties that took the time to respond. The impact of unfunded mandates on county budgets is staggering and the survey results will make a difference if you share them.
It is critical that you stay informed concerning what is happening at the Capitol and with your Association. Take advantage of the many ways we communicate with you, including through our website, bi-monthly County magazine, social media channels, weekly County Issues legislative e-newsletter and "TAC on the Lege" video podcast. Be sure to watch your email inbox every Friday afternoon to stay up to date with what’s happening at the Capitol.
As we look to May, the Texas Association of Counties will celebrate its 50th Anniversary. Our team will continue to provide highlights and features regarding TAC and county government in County magazine. Coincidentally, the March-April issue focuses on how TAC has kept counties in the loop and connected over the years through multiple and ever evolving forms of communication.
Everything your dedicated team at TAC does is with one common purpose, to provide you with accurate and dependable services and to keep you informed. In doing this, we pledge to serve you in a manner that maintains your trust while representing you with integrity and a continued dedication to great service. We value each and every one of you and the county you represent. As we like to say, we represent all Texas Counties, big and small, from Loving to Harris. We're #254Strong.