From the President
I bring you greetings from Waco and hope everyone is doing well in your county and has survived the holidays and the mad rush of Christmas. I can’t believe some of the toys kids have these days and the cost. All I ever got was a ball, a cap pistol, and a spanking for hitting my brother.
As we usher in the New Year and what may come down the pike for county government, I think of the changes that have come to the courthouse since I have been in office. The first is our computer systems and all the technology that we have and depend on and can’t get along without. We have security cameras that monitor everything from our courthouse security to parking lots for safety. It seems like we have management systems for every elected official. We are adding a video visitation center for our jails at remote sites. I wonder what may come next in the next 20 years. I think we got rid of our old cigar boxes, lead pencils, and big chief tablets last month, but what will we do if our computers break down?
This is the time of year I start looking at equipment needs, roads to be re-topped, brush cutting, general maintenance on equipment, and getting ready for spring. I like to take an overall look at all county employees’ time sheets to see if they have comp time coming, in addition to how much sick leave and vacation time has been accrued. I look really hard at my employees and their attendance records; it makes me feel good to see mine have better records than the average employee. I am thankful for all of our dedicated employees.
I know many of the county judges and/or budget officers are beginning to think about their upcoming budgets and how the economy will affect county government. It might be a good time to finance some equipment if needed. I got on my knees and begged for a 4 percent CD…I can remember 16 percent. It just hit me: We made better rates when we used cigar boxes and not computers. I know interest rates have affected our earnings at the county level.
We live in a wonderful state. Each region has its own personality and its own unique problems to deal with. I just had a call from a vendor out in West Texas who said it is supposed to snow tomorrow; I could call South Texas, and they may be sunbathing, and in East and Central Texas they may be dealing with flooding. My point is we all have to be prepared for our particular problems and act in an expeditious manner. I know our road and bridge guys are called out in the wee hours to take care of downed trees and floods. A year ago we went out to assist in a plane crash that killed three people. I know we can rely on each other for help, if nothing else but a phone call for information to a court member to help settle your nerves.
The State Association looks forward to working with each commissioners court across the state, and we look forward to hearing from you. I hope you are making plans to join us in Waco for our CJCAT Annual Meeting in October; we will discuss that event in later issues.
Again, Happy New Year to you and your family. I give thanks for each and every one of you, and you remain in my daily prayers.