Greetings! I hope all of you are surviving this season of allergies – pollen, cedar, mold, etc. Spring is most definitely here and in full bloom. I know all of you are working in your yards and planting your gardens, or at least those of you who have had moisture the past few months.
This time of the year is when we begin thinking about budgets, appraisals from the district, sales tax revenue, fees and fines, employees, benefits and jails; we also begin pondering what the 2015 legislative session will bring to us in county government. If legislative controls are placed on counties, there could be little latitude for county government to fund anything but the obligations mandated by the state. The public could lose discretionary services because of the cost of providing required services, such as jails. Interim studies are in full swing, and some of our members have already been testifying before committees (see page 53). Thanks to each of you for taking the time to educate our legislators about county government.
While the interim studies are underway, the Texas Association of Counties’ legislative team has been traveling around the state presenting their 2014 Legislative Regional Exchange: Preparing for the 84th Legislative Session. I hope you have attended or intend to participate in the regional meetings closest to you. These regional meetings have been providing an opportunity for all elected officials and staff to come together to discuss legislative issues important to us. Visit the TAC website for more information.
I just returned from my first CJCAT regional conference, hosted by the West Texas County Judges and Commissioners Association in San Angelo. The officers provided an outstanding educational and entertaining meeting. Be sure and read the full conference report in the June issue of County Progress. I encourage you to attend your upcoming regional conferences and get to know your neighbors. If you are a veteran of county government, be sure to welcome those newly elected judges and commissioners.
I plan to attend the North & East, South, and Far West conferences to bring back ideas to make our State Association Conference in Lubbock
Sept. 29-Oct. 2 a conference representative of everyone across Texas.
I look forward to seeing all of you in the coming months.