Executive Director's Report

By Susan M. Redford, Executive Director

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As we bring this difficult year to a close, I was tempted to make this report a tribute to the late great Mac Davis: Happiness is 2020 in my rearview mirror. But after some thought, I realized that 2020 also has been a year of learning for Texas counties and TAC. We have mastered the art of conducting business virtually -- holding meetings online, running elections with social distancing and writing budgets during a severe economic downturn.

Despite the challenges and learning opportunities, the show, as they say, must go on. Every two years TAC hosts a series of Preparing to Take Office Workshops for newly elected county officials around the state. This year they begin on Dec. 7 in Tyler and Lubbock. See www.county.org for more information. And please share this information with any incoming or new county officials.

These workshops educate new officials on basic issues and help them avoid making mistakes that may result in embarrassment or legal problems. Your TAC Education and Event Services team has worked diligently to make sure social distancing protocols are implemented and every consideration is made to keep attendees safe.

Unfortunately, our Fall Judicial Education Session for county judges will not be held in person. The Court of Criminal Appeals has asked that all judicial education sessions stay virtual through the remainder of the year. However, we remain committed to providing our county judges an opportunity to learn and connect with judges from across the state, even in a virtual format. Please join us Nov. 17-20 for this training opportunity and meet our new Judicial Education Project Manager, Ashley Royer, and our new Judicial Education Coordinator, Regan Fruge.

With the coming of the new year, the 87th Legislative Session quickly approaches. TAC will host our Legislative Symposium on Dec. 3. Every two years we bring the presidents and legislative chairpersons of our affiliate associations together to discuss their issues and agendas for the upcoming session. This is a great opportunity for us to come together, discuss county issues and begin our coordinated effort to share information as we enter another critical legislative session.

We do not know what this legislative session will look like or what physical access we will have to the Capitol, but our TAC Legislative Services team will be on top of it. Many discussions are being held on how to best provide you the information you need to communicate with your legislators on critical county issues. We will keep you updated on the status of our Tuesday morning legislative breakfasts as well as Counties at the Capitol Day. Rest assured, no matter what, we will use multiple means to keep you updated on the status of county-related legislation. Please follow us on social media and check county.org regularly.

We are looking forward to a new year and the many opportunities it will bring to unite counties to achieve better solutions. The TAC family wishes you and yours a safe and happy holiday season. We remain #254Strong.