September 01, 2019
By Susan M. Redford, TAC Executive Director
September brings about my favorite time of the year — fall and football. This year, September is even more special! We begin the month with a Sept. 3 groundbreaking in downtown Austin on two new investment properties under development by the TAC Risk Management Pool. This will be a special and long-awaited occasion for the members of the Risk Management Pool Board. After four years of planning, dirt is finally moving. No, TAC will not be relocating — we love the building we are in. These two properties will be office buildings that will generate rental income for the Pool to guarantee stability and assist us in being able to provide more of the services our members desire and deserve.
Welcome to all who are joining us Sept. 4 for the kickoff of our annual two-day Legislative Conference The theme of this year's conference is “Focused on the Future.” Over the course of the conference, we will be emphasizing the importance of educating others on the value county governments bring to the citizens of Texas and the range of vital services counties provide.
Along the same lines, our TAC strategic task force dedicated to educating the public and other stakeholders about the value of county government is making great progress. This group has generated a number of ideas about how to better educate citizens and our legislators on the essential role Texas counties play — not only as an extension of the state, but also as a provider of necessary services on the local level. I look forward to rolling out these ideas to you in the near future.
Members of the Health and Employee Benefits and Risk Management Services teams will be conducting Regional Pool Workshops this fall. These one-day sessions will cover recent trends in risk management, human resources and wellness. In response to ongoing cybersecurity concerns, one session will focus on ways to mitigate your county's exposure to cyberattacks and what coverage and services TAC's Risk Management Pool offers to members in the event of a privacy and data security breach. The Regional Pool Workshops are free to Pool members. I urge you to make attending one a priority.
The Regional Pool Workshops are just one example of the many outstanding educational programs TAC offers. Check out the September/October issue of County magazine to read more about the development of TAC's education programs over the past 50 years. Our goal has been to respond to the evolving needs of county officials by providing assistance to our affiliate organizations and the creation of programs like the County Investment Academy, the Texas Judicial Academy and our newest program, Leadership 254.
On a personal note, Garry Merritt, our general counsel for the past 18 months, departed TAC at the end of August. Garry was offered an opportunity to run a nonprofit working on issues surrounding water and land-use rights in Texas. If you know Garry, you know about his passion for these issues. While I am sorry to see Garry leave TAC, I wish him the best. Thank you, Garry, for your service to Texas counties.
Our dedicated staff at TAC is here for you. We are working to find ways to be more proactive in the services we provide for you. I welcome your feedback and any ideas you may have. Of course, whenever you are in Austin, please do not hesitate to stop by and say hello. Thank you for all you do for Texas counties.