In the 126-year history of the County and District Clerks’ Association of Texas (CDCAT), we have never seen a year quite like 2020. This has become the year of firsts for not only the Association, but many of our clerks as well.
Two major sources of our clerks’ continuing education had to be canceled because of a global pandemic. As clerks, we know the importance of staying current on issues that affect our offices and staying connected with each other. With the help of the Texas Association of Counties, we were able to provide education online that allowed us to earn up to 10 of our 20 required continuing education hours.
We also needed a way to elect a new secretary for our executive board. We asked each of the candidates who applied for the position to record a short video about why they wanted to serve our organization. The videos were posted to our website to allow the clerks to view each one and then vote for the candidate of their choice. Congratulations to Julie Smith, Potter County Clerk, who will fulfill the 2020-2021 term.
Another first for us was a tie in deciding the Clerk of the Year, which resulted in three clerks being elected as Clerk of the Year: Brewster County Clerk Berta Rios-Martinez as County Clerk of the Year, Bandera County District Clerk Tammy Kneuper as District Clerk of the Year, and Crane County and District Clerk Judy Crawford as Combination Clerk of the Year. Each of these amazing women have contributed years of service to the CDCAT and are well deserving of this honor.
For the first time in CDCAT history, our annual business meeting was conducted using virtual technology. Panelists presented annual reports that were displayed for all attendees, and required voting for items such as bylaws was conducted by online polling.
The Supreme Court of Texas and the Court of Criminal Appeals, working with the Office of Court Administration, committed to ensuring justice continues to be served to all Texans. In response to COVID-19, the Supreme Court issued emergency orders, some of which are still are in effect.
Finally, in another “first,” it is my privilege to be the first clerk in the history of Collin County to serve as president of the CDCAT.
As we carry on through the rest of this incredible year of firsts, may we all continue to embrace and focus on the positive and beneficial that have come from the challenges we face.
By Stacey Kemp
Collin County Clerk