Power Tool

 Brochure Educates Public About Government, Available Through TAC Website


​Heading out the door to speak to a community group, attend a student career fair or visit with constituents? TAC encourages you to bring along copies of “Texas County Government: How county Government Serves You and Your Community.”

The tri-fold brochure describes, in a nutshell, the essential services counties provide Texans and highlights each county official’s primary duties. It also encourages readers to contact their county for specific information about their local government.

“I think everybody ought to have a stack of these handy,” said Wise County Judge J.D. Clark. “It’s good to have in the office for walk-ins and really great to take when going to different groups to speak. I’ve even had some constituents say, ‘Can I take a few to put in my office?’”

TAC mailed an initial supply of 50 to each county official in November as part of a campaign toolkit. Clark and other county officials have ordered extra copies of the brochure from the Texas Counties Deliver public education campaign website, www.county.org/texascountiesdeliver.

TAC Executive Director Gene Terry urges Association members to use the resource. “Help us spread the message of how Texas county government serves Texans to your friends, neighbors and voters,” Terry said. “It's a good story. It’s your story. And they need to hear it.”

Officials who have shared the brochure with the public are doing so with good results. County inquired about the details:

How do you use the brochure?   

“We got permission to have a stack at the local library. I’ve gone to city hall and talked to the mayor and left a stack there. I make it a point to visit (business owners) and take these handouts to them and let them know what’s going on. It’s a good way to keep communications open and if they have a question, it gives me an opportunity to answer. It’s a way for me to help people know what the judge and other county official jobs are.” — Walker County Commissioner Jimmy Henry

“At first I was really taken aback at how well they were received. It gives me a guide in an orderly fashion to talk about county government, what it can do and does do for people every day. When you go to speak to someone you need a clear outline of what you are going to cover; stick to it topic by topic. It gives them a clear perception of the organization. Then when you hand out the brochure, it adds to that professional image. If every county judge used them they’d realize what I did.” — Gregg County Judge Bill Stoudt

“We’ve always got them sitting out here in the office and in the foyer area of the courthouse.  We get a lot of visitors and we have them stacked right by the guest book. I talk to different community and civic groups, and I paper clip my business card to it. People don’t have a great grasp of their county government, and they don’t understand that different elected officials do. It’s just a really good take-home for them.” — Wise County Judge J.D. Clark

“We’ve carried them out to a job fair to allow the students to have copies and we’ve gotten positive feedback from using them.” — Rusk County Judge Joel Hale

Why is public education important?

“I’ve been 14 years in office and I’m still amazed that people might have been in the courthouse to get a death or birth certificate but they really don’t understand what county government does. I’ve probably talked to 50 to 100 groups, maybe more. It’s amazing the questions that are asked about how county government works, the system itself. County government is no secret. It needs to be transparent. Transparency is the beginning of building a trust between you and the citizens.” — Stoudt

“The county judge’s office is probably the most misunderstood office in county government. We tend to be a directory office and have people coming in and not sure where to go. That’s a handy brochure to point them in the right direction. Sometimes there’s misconceptions about what the role of county government is. It makes our jobs easier when people understand what our responsibilities are and what they are not. The brochure provides them with a great, quick look at what we do.” — Clark

“A lot of people do not realize what county officials’ jobs are – from the county judge to the tax assessor. A lot of people think the commissioner’s job is mainly roads. Roads are really important but they don’t know that’s one of the main things, but it’s also the county budget and the commissioners court is in control of the tax rate.” — Henry

“One reason (public education is important) is our lieutenant governor is saying we need revenue caps. We need to let people know what they’re going to be giving up if we have to do that. We live in a society now where it seems a lot of people think these things just happen — what road and bridge crews do, what county clerks’ offices do, what county judges do. They think it comes from up above but it costs them money to do those things.” — Hale

Tools Available Online www.county.org/texascountiesdeliver

County Government Brochure
Order “Texas County Government: How County Government Serves You and Your Community” in packets of 25. Pay only shipping and handling costs.

Customizable Presentation
Download “Texas Counties Deliver: Effective, Efficient, Local Solutions,” a customizable PowerPoint presentation and script.
“If someone is not sure where to start talking about county government, the TAC PowerPoint is fantastic,” Clark said. “I’m really impressed with the resource and glad to have it.”
Download the presentation and find other tools for communicating with constituents at www.county.org/texascountiesdeliver.


The Texas Counties Deliver public information campaign aims to improve the public’s understanding of county government and the essential services it provides Texans. This is one in a series of articles highlighting how Texas counties are sharing the county story with the public. Need ideas for how you can share the good news about your county?

See www.county.org/texascountiesdeliver for ideas and resources. Let TAC know how what you’re doing. Email us at .

Texas Counties Deliver. It’s time to spread the word!



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