By Larry Gallardo, Hidalgo County Constable and TAC President
appy New Year! OK, I know we are about three months into 2019, but it is my first President’s Report of the year, and since this is TAC’s 50th year, it deserves a special New Year’s greeting!
First, I’d like to welcome our Executive Director Susan Redford to her new role, helming the TAC ship. In my last letter, I said goodbye to Gene Terry and thanked him for his contributions to the Association, and now I want to take a moment to say how lucky we are to have Redford. Her time as Ector County judge, combined with her years as TAC Judicial Program Manager, make her the right person to take the Association to the next level. I look forward to working with her in this, my final year as President. I hope you all join me in welcoming her and engaging with her. I know first-hand that she wants to hear from you and learn about what members need from TAC. Likewise, I too always want to hear from you and learn what we can do to make your jobs a little easier.
Now, it’s time to talk about the 86th Legislative Session. It’s shaping up to be an interesting one. I encourage you to get involved and make your voices heard. We have several ways to help with that. To start, throughout the session, TAC is hosting the Tuesday Morning Breakfasts, which bring together county officials from across the state, along with other local government stakeholders and key members of the Capitol crowd, for a working breakfast meeting each Tuesday starting at 7:30 a.m. These morning sessions focus on important county-related bills moving through the chambers of the Legislature, updates from county official associations, the inner workings of the legislative process and other timely topics for the week ahead.
And don’t forget County Government Day on April 30 at the Capitol. We want a large turnout to engage with state lawmakers about the critical issues they are voting on that directly affect you and your constituents. This is a great way to start a dialogue, meet other county officials and eat some amazing BBQ. All county officials are urged to ask their legislators to join them for lunch and visit with them on the issues important to counties. See page 20 of this issue to learn more.
Finally, let me get back to TAC’s 50th Anniversary. I cannot stress enough how impressive this milestone is. It is reflective of TAC’s endurance as an organization; its commitment to all Texas counties and their elected officials; and its strength in persevering through both good and challenging times. Just like the counties TAC works for, this organization is all about hard work, good people and local government.
We will have a celebration marking the official bill signing that began TAC on May 28. We hope you join us in wishing TAC — and Texas county governments — many more anniversaries to come.