From the President
I hope everyone is in good health. The election is over unless we have a runoff or have a general election opponent in the fall. I look forward to hearing the results from across the state. I know I am getting anxious. I think I am going to start a bill that every Texan has to run for some office just to know what we all have to go through!
Spring is in the air, and it’s time to tackle those projects you have been thinking about or have in the hopper. McLennan County is currently working on the Scofflaw Program to help collect unpaid fines and fees. Currently there are only a handful of counties who are collecting these. This project will be handled through our tax assessor-collector in the automobile division. We are in the process of contacting all of the cities in our county. With an interlocal agreement and a fee, they can participate in this project, and their outstanding fines can be collected for them. You may want to investigate the law and see if it could be beneficial to your county and set up a collection pool for all of your cities. I will let you know how it is working here in McLennan County.
I recently attended a meeting with the Texas Association of Counties, Texas Municipal League, Conference of Urban Counties, and the Texas Association of Regional Councils. We as a group discussed various topics that affect us in general, and we set our top priorities for the upcoming session. The following topped our priority list: revenue and appraisal caps, unfunded mandates, rollback of mineral appraisals, transportation funding with the counties receiving 3 cents to 5 cents per gallon for county roads and bridges, and overturning Advisory Opinion 484 issued by the Texas Ethics Commission. These were the main topics of our discussion groups, and I am wondering how you may feel or fit within these topics.
We recently had a discussion on the word “transparency” and how it is used or overused. I looked it up in the dictionary and found it means clearness, lucidity, simplicity and precision. Look it up on Wikipedia, and the definition is about the size of a novel. I am still wondering if a screen door is transparent. The big catch phrase use to be, “No problem!” I can hear a waiter now if I ask for extra onions…he just may say, “It’s not transparent!”
I hope you continue to read County Progress and its timely articles and that you continue to do business with our fine vendors who help support our Association. Also, our County Issues pamphlet has good articles and a list of interim charges facing the Legislature. I hope you will read the publications through our various associations along with state literature to keep up with what is occurring in other counties and statewide.
Get ready for the census count, and encourage your county folks to return their forms; our work on redistricting will begin a few months later.
We are steadily working on our upcoming 2010 State Association Conference in Waco, and we will be contacting all of you as we get closer for help and ideas.
Again, thank you for your service to your county and the State Association. I always look forward to seeing all of you, and I enjoy your friendship.