The year 2005 is almost one-fourth gone, and it has passed very swiftly. We have already witnessed a miracle in that 8 million people of Iraq flocked to the polls to resist tyranny and begin a long process to obtain a democratic government for their country. This is such a heart-warming moment for all who believe in freedom. We in America should be very proud that we have had a part in this transformation for the Iraqi people and encouragement for all other victimized peoples of the world.
On the home front, let’s not forget that County Government Week is coming up next month, April 10-16. Now is the time to start plans for County Government Week and to take advantage of this opportunity to bring to the public’s attention the accomplishments, projects, and many programs that your county has undertaken the past year. Most citizens have no or little idea what the commissioners court is responsible for in the daily working of a county.
Now is a good time to invite the high school government class to the courthouse. This will give the class a chance to meet officials and employees in each office and see how they go through the daily routine of providing services for county citizens. The commissioners court meeting is always an enlightening, learning event for government classes. There are many other things that can be done such as publishing articles in the local newspaper about county government or sponsoring an open house at your courthouse. Please do something to make your citizens feel that they are an integral part of their county government.
This month, the West Texas County Judges and Commissioners Association will hold its annual conference in Odessa March 22-25. This will be the beginning of the regional association conferences. The North & East Texas County Judges and Commissioners Association will hold its conference in Nacogdoches June 5-8. The South Texas County Judges and Commissioners Association Conference will follow in Austin June 27-30. Please make plans now to attend your regional association conference or your neighboring regional association conference. Through these conferences, we expand our education and keep updated on the latest legislation from Austin.
Thanks to Rick Avery and his staff for a job well done at the V.G. Young Institute of County Government conference conducted in Austin last month. The conference was well attended, and the move of this conference to Austin in legislative years has been very productive. Your Association and the Texas Association of Counties hosted a reception for legislators and their staff. This reception gave legislators and staff, county judges, and county commissioners the opportunity to meet and better understand each other. This knowledge will hopefully help both legislators and county officials work toward a common goal, the betterment of the state of Texas.
Keep abreast of proposed legislation, evaluate the effect on your county and other counties of the state of Texas, and communicate your thoughts and suggestions to our legislators.
Van L. York, Association President