Let me begin my final column by thanking everyone who was involved at our annual conference in Waco. I have got to start with all the judges and commissioners who attended. Next, the staff from TAC, County Progress and V.G. Young and our administrative assistants did such an outstanding job. The speakers were outstanding in their presentations. I thank all who attended our social functions, tournaments, and closing luncheon. A really big thank you to our sponsors and vendors; without these folks our conferences would be very expensive for our members.
Through this column this past year I have talked about things in the past, things in the future, and our dealings in today’s world. I want you to think about and apply principles that can help county government; apply either old principles or try new ideas…but always think about what is best for your county.
Being in county government has been one of the most enjoyable experiences I have had in my life. I have met people I would have never met otherwise. For example, I have visited with three presidents and served as county commissioner to George W. Bush. I have been to Washington a couple of times to meet with senators, congressmen and lobbyists, and I have had the pleasure of spending time with county officials from all over the State of Texas. I have many memories of the 24 years that I will cherish and relive.
I would like to give special thanks to Jim Allison and his staff for keeping us going in the right direction. I am always amazed at his knowledge of county issues and related legislation. I think we ought to call him Dr. Allison, for he surely has a Ph.D. in county government.
It has been an extreme pleasure being president of this Association. I have crossed paths with many people, and some have taken me under their wing. I’d like to thank those mentors from the bottom of my heart. Like I said at our closing luncheon at the state conference, many of you have impacted my life, and I hope you continue to impact the lives of others.
In closing, I give thanks to all who have been involved in my life in county government, and this includes our spouses; they often don’t get the credit they deserve. After all, they have to listen to us when we get home at night, or when we are at restaurants, church, schools, or out in public and someone approaches us with a complaint. I do give thanks to my wife for putting up with me; I certainly did marry over my head!
As I close out my service as president, I can’t help but think of those judges and commissioners who have died. We thank them for their service to their counties, and we honor them in our annual memorial resolution.
I wish the best to newly installed President Don Allred. He is an outstanding individual along with his sweet wife, Melanie. I know you’ll give all of our officers, including First Vice President Debbie Gonzales Ingalsbe and Second Vice President Roger Harmon, the same respect you gave me.
I’ll always have a light on in my heart for each of you. Happy trails!