The time has come for me to say goodbye as president of the County Judges and Commissioners Association of Texas. It has been a great experience working with great people. Sometimes it got a little rough, but we pushed through and got things done.
Working on the state conference was an experience in itself. We all had a common goal, and that was to have an educational, successful and fun-filled conference.
For two terms I lobbied legislators on behalf of San Patricio County and worked closely with South Texas representatives. After becoming president of the Association, I had to become accustomed to representing all counties in the state on issues that affected their areas and not only mine.
I became acquainted with Jim Allison and other officials and spent many long days in Austin. There were many phone calls and e-mails to accomplish the agenda set by the County Judges and Commissioners Association of Texas. This year was particularly difficult because of the late start of the Legislature and the increased number of bills filed this session. Jim Allison and those on the CJCAT Executive Board worked diligently to weave through proposed legislation and try to oppose or support issues on behalf of county government. There were many late hours spent by not only staff and officers of the Association, but by judges and commissioners throughout the state. My thanks to all of you and our membership at-large for the hard work you do to help accomplish our goals.
I was familiar with our State Association, but since having been president of the County Judges and Commissioners Association, I’m now in awe of the talented staff members who work with Jim Allison to accomplish the goals of the Association. As we all know, Jim spends many hours, morning and night, during the legislative session to protect the interests of county government. His institutional knowledge and strong relationships with those at the Capitol are priceless during negotiations with representatives and senators.
The Texas Association of Counties staff is equally as important along with the Council of Urban Counties staff in the team efforts that are necessary to be everywhere at once during the session.
It’s been my pleasure to have worked with Jim Allison, Stephanie Chisholm, and Mary Manning in conducting County Judges and Commissioners Association of Texas business. Their knowledge of the Association has helped me accomplish our goals. There are many others I must praise and thank for their help. Among them are Julie Anderson and Becky Frost from County Progress Magazine, and Rick Avery and staff at the Texas AgriLife Extension Service and V.G. Young. Thank you for your assistance in holding conferences and educational seminars. In addition, the Association would not be able to do all the work it does without all the businesses that also contribute to our training conferences.
It’s been my honor and privilege to have served those elected to public service.