Almost 400 newly elected county officials from 189 counties attended the Texas Association of Counties’ Preparing to Take Office workshops in December.
TAC had hoped to hold the free, daylong workshops in person at numerous locations around the state. However, with rise of COVID-19 cases in Texas, TAC made the decision to switch the conferences to a virtual format to ensure everyone's safety. Participants were able to choose to attend one of four conferences held in mid-December.
The pandemic may have forced a change in format but not in the usefulness of the content. TAC staff members went over the basics of county government and many of the statutes and rules that newly elected officials must navigate before and after taking office.
"All 254 counties are members of TAC, and we're here to help you every step of the way," TAC Executive Director Susan M. Redford said in welcoming the new officials to the workshops.
Workshop subjects included purchasing, conflicts of interest, hiring practices and personnel policies, open meetings, public records and the building of effective relationships with other county government officials. Attendees also heard about the importance of being involved in the legislative process, and they learned about the resources, networking opportunities and support provided by their particular county office’s organization, as well as TAC.