Highlights From Taylor County
The breadth and depth of the CJCAT State Conference agenda – covering everything from lawmaking to emergency management to environmental issues – was further strengthened by a reminder of the Four C’s of Public Service: Commitment, Curiosity, Courtesy, and Courage.
CJCAT Senior General Counsel Jim Allison alluded to these C’s – a list he developed years ago – throughout the four-day meeting in Taylor County, where some 225 members of Commissioners Court convened for the Association’s 101st Annual Conference.
First and foremost, public service takes Commitment, Allison observed during the opening day of the conference, which featured a panel including State Rep. Stan Lambert and State Rep. Glenn Rogers.
Allison thanked the pair of lawmakers for demonstrating Commitment and Courage throughout the 88th Session of the Texas Legislature, where they “stood strong” on issues of local control and discretion.
“Certainly, in county government and at the legislature, we don’t do anything alone,” Allison noted. “We work as a team. County government is a subdivision of the state,” he continued. “A relationship with the legislature is critical.” Equally important, the relationship should be defined by Courtesy and respect.
Lambert and Rogers, known for extending Courtesy to their local partners, echoed Allison on the value of partnership.
“Communicating and keeping in touch with your representatives is critical,” Lambert emphasized. “Please get to know your lawmakers and their staff.”
When it comes to the ever-present challenge of unfunded mandates, Rogers encouraged Judges and Commissioners to “let our offices know if you see such mandates coming down the pike.”
A clear demonstration of the remaining C of public service – Curiosity – was celebrated later in the conference during the awarding of Commissioners Court Advanced Curriculum (CCAC) completion certificates.
This Curiosity is coupled with an enthusiasm for the office, Allison observed, where public servants are always asking:
- What can I do to help make our government better?
- What is the best way to serve my county?
The CCAC program, an advanced study of county government, helps answer these questions. While all officials are required to complete education hours every year, CCAC goes above and beyond with the following breakdown:
Phase I Orientation – 16-plus hours
Phase II Basics – 16 hours
Phase III Electives – 32 hours
“The program helps us gain a greater understanding of every elected office, including duties and responsibilities, which equips us to provide the needed resources for services that benefit our county residents,” shared Hays County Commissioner Debbie Gonzales Ingalsbe, chairman of the CJCAT Commissioners Education Committee.
Twenty-eight Commissioners Court members completed this prestigious program during 2023. Those who attended this year’s conference in Abilene were recognized at the Installation Banquet.
Congratulations to the following officials on this notable accomplishment:
- Andrews County Commissioner Jim Waldrop
- Burnet County Commissioner Billy Wall
- Calhoun County Commissioner Joel Behrens
- Floyd County Commissioner Clint Bigham
- Floyd County Commissioner David Martinez
- Floyd County Commissioner Tanner Ray Smith
- Gray County Commissioner Jeff Haley
- Hale County Judge David Mull
- Hamilton County Commissioner Lloyd Huggins
- Hockley County Judge Sharla Baldridge
- Hutchinson County Commissioner Dwight Kirksey
- Jasper County Commissioner Seth Martindale
- Lampasas County Commissioner Lewis Bridges
- Lampasas County Commissioner Mark Rainwater
- Lavaca County Commissioner Kenneth Siegel
- Martin County Commissioner Koy Blocker
- Milam County Commissioner Art Neal
- Montague County Commissioner Mark Murphey
- Nacogdoches County Commissioner Sandy McCorvey
- San Augustine County Commissioner Joey Holloway
- San Patricio County Judge David Krebs
- Scurry County Commissioner Shawn McCowen
- Sutton County Commissioner Carl Teaff
- Trinity County Commissioner Tommy Park
- Waller County Judge Carbett “Trey” Duhon
- Webb County Commissioner Rosaura Tijerina
- Wilbarger County Judge Greg Tyra
- Wilson County Commissioner Gary Martin
Following the awarding of the completion certificates, the membership applauded the installation of the 2023-24 State Association Officers: President Jen Crownover, Comal County Commissioner; First Vice President Byron Ryder, Leon County Judge; Second Vice President Kirk Frye, Parmer County Commissioner; and Immediate Past President Harold Keeter, Swisher County Judge.
*** The 102nd Annual State Conference will take place Oct. 21-24, 2024, at the Embassy Suites by Hilton San Marcos Hotel and Conference Center in Hays County. ***