By Renee Couch, Comal County Treasurer and TAC Board President
My term as president of the Texas Association of Counties began in one world and two years later is ending in another. COVID-19 presented us with a challenge that no one could have anticipated when I was sworn in as TAC president in January 2020, but I couldn't be more proud of how TAC and you, my county colleagues, responded.
While the pandemic altered the path I thought we would be taking together, it didn't change my primary goal as president. If anything, the pandemic reinforced it. As TAC President, I wanted to focus on unity, on encouraging 254 counties to work together toward a common purpose.
"Stronger Together" was the theme of TAC's Legislative Conference in September. Nothing defines our efforts better than those two words.
There is more to county government than the individual offices we hold or work in. Each of us is part of a county team. I think the most important thing TAC has given me, and which I have tried to give back, is a better understanding of the role collaboration plays in getting the outcomes we need. Collaboration not only is the core of good government, but it's also the core of our families and community involvement.
One of my favorite sayings — "Where you stand depends on where you sit" — helps remind me that our personal relationship to an issue or problem shapes our view of it. Once we acknowledge that we're all seeing the same thing from slightly different angles, we open a path toward finding a solution together — and providing better government to the Texans we serve.
I've always tried to be not just engaged, but intentionally engaged, whether with TAC, other county offices or my constituents. I joined TAC eager to represent county treasurers, yes, but also eager to learn more about the Association and the whole of county government. I end my time as TAC President a fervent teller of the broader county story.
It's been an incredible honor and privilege to serve as TAC President. I want to thank TAC Executive Director Susan M. Redford, my fellow board members, TAC's wonderful employees and my county colleagues for helping make my time as president two of the most rewarding years of my life.
I'm grateful for the opportunity to see up close the many ways TAC benefits Texas counties. I'm forever grateful to have witnessed TAC and Texas counties embody grace under pressure as the pandemic dealt one surprise after another.
To be great in good times is one thing, but to remain great in bad times is everything. Thank you for all you've done and do.