Page 1

Motor Grader Training


Voter ID: Frequently Asked Questions


The Business Magazine Of Texas County Government

West Texas Conference Preview

Official Publication of the County Judges and Commissioners Association of Texas



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Contents issue

Cover Stories

ID: Frequently Asked Questions 14 Voter Texas had its first experience with the new voter identification law last

year with the November 2013 constitutional amendment election. As Texans head to the polls in March for a primary election, we thought it prudent to provide a review of the new requirements in the form of frequently asked questions.



Texas Conference Preview 24 West Members of the West Texas County Judges and Commissioners

Association will convene in San Angelo April 22-25 for their 85th Annual Conference H Registration Form H Agenda H Scholarship Information H Talent Call

Grader Training 36 Motor For many jurisdictions, the motor grader is one of the most commonly used pieces of equipment. Best practices suggest that many operators could benefit from having more knowledge about the fine points of using this very expensive and highly versatile machine.

Features 12 CETRZ Update 22 V.G. Young Conference Agenda 29 Texas Legislature: Interim Charges 32 Real County Centennial Finale 41 CJCAT Sub-regions 48 Galveston County Lovefest


Departments 4 From the President 6 Report from the General Counsel 8 Monuments of Justice • Hopkins County Courthouse


10 Key Concept • Regulating Firearms

36 Roads & Bridges • Motor Grader Training

40 Court to Court 44 Texas County News Reviews 57 County Calendar 58 Obituary



The Hopkins County Courthouse boasts a Romanesque Revival style as designed by J. Riely Gordon. Completed in 1895, this National Register Property is fashioned of granite and sandstone and was restored in 2003. Photo by DANNY FLANAGAN February 2014 | COUNTY PROGRESS


The Association

Association Officers Patti Jones President County Commissioner Lubbock County

Raul Ramirez First Vice President County Judge Brooks County

Grover “Tiger” Worsham Second Vice President County Commissioner Trinity County

Roger Harmon Immediate Past President County Judge Johnson County

Regional Associations

Wes Suiter

NORTH & EAST TEXAS Wes Suiter, President Angelina County Judge Byron Underwood Secretary/Treasurer Cherokee County Commissioner Robert Johnston First Vice President Anderson County Judge Everette “Bo” Alfred Second Vice President Jefferson County Commissioner Charles Shofner, Immediate Past President Jasper County Commissioner

Joe Rathmell

Susan Redford

SOUTH TEXAS Joe Rathmell, President Zapata County Judge Alma Moreno First Vice President San Patricio County Commissioner Roger Galvan Second Vice President Calhoun County Commissioner Neil Fritsch Immediate Past President Calhoun County Commissioner WEST TEXAS Susan Redford President Ector County Judge Lynn Cartrite First Vice President Moore County Commissioner Mark Barr Second Vice President Howard County Judge Tommy Owens Immediate Past President Upton County Commissioner

Directors: Kathy Killingsworth, Brewster County Judge; Kim Halfmann, Glasscock County Judge; Bill McCay, Lubbock County Commissioner


COUNTY PROGRESS | February 2014

From the President

A CETRZ (County Energy Transportation Reinvestment Zone) is a specific contiguous zone, in a county that is determined to be affected because of oil and gas exploration and production activities, around a planned transportation project that is established as a method to facilitate capture of the property tax increment arising from the planned project. Whew, that’s a mouthful! Since all counties in the State of Texas were notified as to their minimum grant award in early December 2013, Commissioners Courts have been in high gear to meet the application deadline period of Feb. 7-Feb. 14.* As outlined in Senate Bill 1747 and TxDOT rules, grant funding to each county was determined according to the following formula: 20 percent to weight tolerance permits, 20 percent to oil and gas production taxes, 50 percent to well completions, and 10 percent to volume of oil and gas waste injected. The methodology and data used to develop the allocations under the formula were determined by the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles, the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, and the Railroad Commission of Texas.** I am sure all of you have had your public hearing on the creation and benefits of the zone,as we have done in Lubbock County. The order or resolution of the Commissioners Court designating an area as a CETRZ must include a list of specific geographic areas/parcels; provide that the zone take effect upon adoption of the order or resolution and determine that the base year be the same as that when the order/resolution was passed or some year in the future; dedicate or pledge all of the increase in the appraised value of real property located in the CETRZ to those projects; and establish an ad valorem tax increment account for the zone. Upon implementation, counties need to make a determination of CETRZ financing and establish mechanisms for funding/ partnerships. At this point in the process each county should establish a monitoring system of the CETRZ to optimize revenue and payment streams.** Even though the process has been swift and full of “what ifs,” the 83rdTexas Legislature heeded our pleas and concerns about damage to county roads, and now it’s up to our counties to put this money to good use. See some of you at the V.G.Young Institute School in College Station!H

Patti Jones Association President

*The Texas Transportation Commission received a legislative request to extend the application deadline to March 7-14, and as of press time was set to consider the request at its Jan. 30 meeting. **Information from Texas Department of Transportation

General Counsel’s Report February 2014 | VOLUME 91 | NUMBER 2



EDITORIAL Julie Anderson 325-280-1158 Fax 325-677-2631

Julie Anderson Advertising Amy Drennan 325-829-7564 Fax 325-677-2631

Amy Drennan CIRCULATION Moana Howard 325-673-4822, ext.121 Fax 325-677-2631

Moana Howard CONFERENCES Leigh Walker 325-673-4822, ext.116 Fax 325-677-2631

Leigh Walker H.C. Zachry Publisher Becky Frost President Christi Stark Art Director Garner Roberts Writer

Becky Frost The County Judges and Commissioners Association of Texas is a non-profit organization for the promotion of business efficiency and the betterment of Texas counties through cooperative efforts and the exchange of ideas. Published on the 5th of each month. Opinions expressed in this magazine are those of the writers and do not necessarily represent the views of the magazine or the Association. County Progress is published monthly by Zachry Publications, LP. All materials copyright 2014 by Zachry Publications, LP. Reproduction of contents in whole or part without expressed written consent of publisher is prohibited. All rights reserved. Monthly County Progress Magazine single copy price is $2. Subscription rate is $22 per year. Address all purchase requests, subscriptions, news items and inquiries to: County Progress, 500 Chestnut St. Ste. 2000, Abilene, TX 79602, 325-673-4822, FAX 325-677-2631. POSTMASTER if undeliverable, please send notice by FORM 3579 to 500 Chestnut St., Ste. 2000, Abilene, Texas 79602. PERIODICAL POSTAGE paid at Abilene, Texas and additional offices. USPS # 135-040 If you need to change your address, please email both your old address and new address to Moana Howard,


COUNTY PROGRESS | February 2014

Going Sideways and Swapping Ends Texans are known for their colorful and succinct language. If someone said, “I saw Bud start down the hill in his old pickup. When he hit the slick spot, he commenced to going sideways and swapping ends all the Jim Allison way down into Mrs. Brown’s flower beds,” we General Counsel would have an accurate description of Bud’s mishap. Unfortunately, the Texas Legislature usually waits until things are “going sideways and swapping ends” before addressing a problem. Most major issues are in a state of crisis or mired in litigation before any legislative solutions are forthcoming, with examples including prison overcrowding, education reform, and mental health funding. However, some credit is due in the area of transportation. While the need is critical in oil and gas counties, the appropriation of $225 million for county road repair and improvement was a significant first step. Likewise, the proposed constitutional amendment on the ballot in November 2014 will allocate needed support for public roadways. While scrambling to meet Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) deadlines for the county road grants, let’s not overlook the opportunity to plan for future needs. With the assistance of the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX), the grant project list can provide a roadmap for future transportation needs beyond the grant funding. With these needs identified, counties can evaluate the future use of County Energy Transportation Reinvestment Zone (CETRZ) funding and seek additional state support for these projects. Let’s not wait until we are “going sideways and swapping ends.” Let’s use the TxDOT infrastructure grant process as the beginning of the development of a comprehensive transportation plan for all counties. For more information, please call me at 1-800-733-0699. H

Proposed Constitutional Amendment S.J.R. 1, approved by the 83rd Legislature at the 3rd Called Session in 2013, proposed a constitutional amendment that will appear on the Nov. 4, 2014, ballot for voter approval. The ballot proposition for the proposed amendment will read as follows: “The constitutional amendment providing for the use and dedication of certain money transferred to the state highway fund to assist in the completion of transportation construction, maintenance, and rehabilitation projects, not to include toll roads.”

Monuments of Justice ■

Hopkins County Courthouse County Seat: Sulphur Springs • County Population: 35,161


(2010 U.S. Census)

COUNTY JUDGE Robert Newsom

COUNTY COMMISSIONERS Precinct 1 Beth B. Wisenbaker Precinct 2 Mike Odell Precinct 3 Wade Bartley Precinct 4 Danny Evans


COUNTY PROGRESS | February 2014

Located across from the main square, the Hopkins County Courthouse boasts a Romanesque Revival style as designed by J. Riely Gordon. Completed in 1895, this National Register Property is fashioned of granite and sandstone and was restored in 2003. Hopkins County was carved out of Lamar and Nacogdoches counties in 1846 by the first Texas Legislature. The inaugural county courthouse was built in the original county seat of Tarrant in 1854 using money from the confiscation of 300 cattle owned by a non-resident; the law restricted grazing to livestock owned only by Texans. During his 1959 gubernatorial campaign, Sam Houston gave an address at Hopkins County’s t wo-story,frame capitol. In 1870, Rains and Delta counties were sculpted from Hopkins County, meaning Tarrant was no longer centrally located. Sulphur Springs, originally named Bright Star, was then designated the county seat, and rented quarters served as the temple of justice until a courthouse was built east of the square in 1881. Sulphur Springs’ first courthouse was destroyed by fire in 1894 and replaced with the present-day capitol and jail, which cost the county some $65,000. There’s no doubt as to the pride Hopkins County takes in its former role as the nation’s No. 1 milk-producing county (1970s). By 1950, there were almost 1,000 dairies across the county, more than half of them rated Grade A. Dairies and large milk-processing plants are still pillars of the local economy, giving townsfolk an ongoing reason to celebrate the county’s role as a premiere milk supplier. Every June,Hopkins County kicks off the summer with its annual Dairy Festival, including a parade, coronation of the Dairy Festival Queen, a homemade Ice Cream Freeze Off, carnivals, a street dance, and a variety of dairy-related events. The Southwest Dairy Museum offers year-round exhibits detailing every facet of milk production and processing, from early farm days to modern times. Even the World Championship Hopkins County Stew Contest makes reference to the county’s dairy connection, touting “fixin’s including cheese made from Hopkins County dairy milk.” The stew contest is a highlight of the county’s September Fall Festival, which includes the county fair.H


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Key C ncept:

REGULATION OF FIREARMS KEY QUESTION: Can Commissioners Courts prohibit or regulate the discharge of firearms? REFERENCE POINT: ••Local Government Code Section 235.022 TALKING POINTS:

1. To promote public safety, Commissioners Courts “by order may prohibit or other-

wise regulate the discharge of firearms on lots that are

10 acres or smaller and are

located in the unincorporated area of the county in a subdivision.”

2. This statute does not authorize Commissioners Court

to regulate the transfer, ownership, possession, or transportation of firearms and does not authorize the Commissioners Court to require the registration of firearms.

3. A person commits a criminal offense if he or she “intentionally or knowingly engages in conduct that is

a violation of a regulation adopted under this subchapter by the Commissioners Court.” The offense is a Class C misdemeanor. However, if it is shown on the trial of an offense under this section that the person has previously been convicted of an offense under this section, the offense is a Class B misdemeanor.

4. Additional questions pertaining to firearms regulation are addressed in other statutes such as the Texas Penal Code. ______________________________________________________________________

Key Concept: Every month County Progress explores an issue or concern faced by Commissioners Courts, offering statutory references and a step-by-step summary of pertinent information. Since launching Key Concept in mid-2011, we have answered dozens of questions, some general, others specific, such as: ◆◆Can Commissioners Courts regulate fireworks? ◆◆What are the statutory regulations regarding competitive bidding? ◆◆When residents purchase a vehicle outside of their home county, who receives the associated fees and percentage of sales tax? ◆◆What are the education requirements for County Judges and County Commissioners? ◆◆Can Commissioners Courts set a curfew? ◆◆How does a county create the position of an elections administrator?

Send your question to Julie Anderson at for inclusion in Key Concept. We look forward to hearing from you! H


COUNTY PROGRESS | February 2014


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County Energy Transportation Reinvestment Zones Applications Due Feb. 7-14, Extension Request Filed


The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) adopted the final rules on the County Transportation Infrastructure Fund Grant Program on No v. 21, 2013. TxDOT also announced a narrow window, Feb. 7-14, for counties to submit an app l i c a t i on t o apply for grant funds. The Texas Transportation Commission received a legislative request to extend the application deadline to March 7-14, and as of press time was set to consider the request at its Jan. 30 meeting. Please monitor http://www.txdot. gov/government/funding/countyfund.html for the latest deadline information. The State of Texas earmarked some $225 million to a transportation infrastructure fund via the 83rd Texas Legislature’s Senate Bill 1747. Oil- and gas-affected coun-

COUNTY PROGRESS | February 2014

ties may be eligible for grant money from this fund for projects defined by the statute as “the planning for, construction of, reconstruction of, or maintenance of transportation infrastructure, including roads, bridges, and culverts, intended to alleviate degradation caused by the exploration, development, or production of oil or gas.” The new legislation amends Chapter 256 of the Transportation Code and creates a Tax Infrastructure Fund (TIF) for County Energy Transportation Reinvestment

Zones (CETRZ). The TIF is a dedicated fund in the state treasury outside of the state’s general fund. TxDOT sent a notice of “Request for Application” to every county judge in the state. Applications are required to be submitted online at government/funding/countyfund.html. For additional information including a sample CETRZ order and frequently asked questions, please see pages 22-36 of the January issue of County Progress. H

When Your Constituents Call

Important Election Information When it comes to elections, callers to the courthouse are normally referred to the elections office. However, as you well know, questions don’t always come via phone. Sometimes, our constituents catch us out and about, whether at lunch, attending a civic function, or on another job. Even if they do call, they may want their answers from you, their personal official. In 2011, the Texas Legislature passed Senate Bill 14 creating a new requirement for voters to show photo identification when voting in person. While pending 14

COUNTY PROGRESS | February 2014

review within the judicial system, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its opinion in Shelby County v. Holder, which effectively ended all pending litigation. As a result, voters are now required to present an approved form of photo identification in order to vote in all Texas elections. Texans had their first experience with the new voter identification law last year with the November 2013 constitutional amendment election. As Texans head to the polls in March for a primary election, we thought it prudent to provide a review of

the new requirements. Feel free to share this article with anyone who asks.

Voter ID Frequently Asked Questions: Q: When did the new photo identification law go into effect? A: T h e Te x a s L e g i s l a t u re passed the voter identification law in 2011. However, the law did not take effect that year; the law went into effect in time for the 2013 elections.

Q: What kind of identification March 4, 2014 - Primary Election is required to qualify to vote in Early voting period for the primary elecFebruary 18* thru 28, 2014 person under this photo idention. *First business day after Presitification program? dents’ Day A: A voter is now required to Primary election. March 4, 2014 show one of the following Early voting period for the primary runoff May 19 thru 23, 2014 forms of photo identification election. at the polling location before Primary run-off election. May 27, 2014 the voter will be permitted to cast a vote. photo ID? Are there any exmented disabilities. Voters • Texas driver’s license issued ceptions? with a disability may apply by the Texas Department of A: If a voter does not have a perwith the county voter registrar Public Safety (DPS) manent disability exemption for a permanent exemption. • Texas Election Identification (addressed below) indicated on The application must contain Certificate issued by DPS his or her voter registration cerwritten documentation from • Texas personal identification tificate AND the voter does not either the U.S. Social Secucard issued by DPS have any of the photo identifirity Administration evidencing • Texas concealed handgun cations (indicated at left) at the the applicant’s disability, or license issued by DPS time of voting, the voter may from the U.S. Department of • United States military idencast a provisional ballot at the Veterans Affairs evidencing a tification card containing the polls. However, in order to have disability rating of at least 50 person’s photograph the provisional ballot counted, percent. In addition, the ap• United States citizenship the voter will be required to visit plicant must state that he or certificate containing the the voter registrar’s office withshe has no valid form of photo person’s photograph in six calendar days of the date identification. Those who ob• United States passport of the election to either present tain a disability exemption will one of the approved forms of be allowed to vote by presentQ: My ID is expired. Will it still photo ID OR submit one of ing a voter registration certifiwork? the temporary affidavits adcate reflecting the exemption. A: With the exception of the dressed at right (e.g., religious U.S. citizenship certificate, the objection or natural disaster) in Affidavits are available for identification must be current the presence of the county voter voters who have a consistent or have expired no more than registrar while attesting to the religious objection to being 60 days before being presented fact that he or she does not have photographed and for voters for voter qualification at the any of the required photo IDs. who do not have any photo polling place. identification as a result of cerA permanent exemption is tain natural disasters as declared Q: But what if a voter does not available for voters with docuby the president of the United have any of these forms of



States or the Texas governor within 45 days of the day the ballot was cast. Q: If I have a government-issued ID that contains my photo and it is not on the list above, may I use it? A: If you do not have one of the forms of photo IDs listed above and your voter registration certificate does not have a disability exemption noted, you will only be eligible to cast a provisional ballot.

list of registered voters.

2. The name on the voter’s ID or on list of registered voters is a customary variation of

the voter’s formal name. For example, Bill for William, or Beto for Alberto.

3. The voter’s name contains an initial, middle name, or former

name that is either not on the

official list of registered voters or on the voter’s ID.

4. A first name, middle name, former name or initial of the voter’s name occupies a differ-

ent field on the presented ID Q: My name on my approved document than it does on the photo ID does not exactly list of registered voters. match my name on my voter 5. In considering whether a name registration card. Can I still is substantially similar, elecvote? tion officials will also look at A: Election officials will review whether information on the the ID and if a name is “subpresented ID matches elements stantially similar” to the name of the voter’s information on on their list of registered voters, the official list of registered votyou will still be able to vote, but ers such as the voter’s residence you will also have to submit an address or date of birth. affidavit stating that you are the same person on the list of Q: Does the new photo ID reregistered voters. quirement apply to voting by mail? Q: What does “substantially simi- A: The new requirement does not lar” mean? change the process for voting A: A voter’s name is considered by mail. substantially similar if one or more of the following circum- Q: Does the address on my photo stances applies: identification have to match 1. The name on the ID is slightly my address on the official list different from one or more of of registered voters at the time the name fields on the official 16

COUNTY PROGRESS | February 2014

of voting? A: The new requirement makes no determination on voter address matching criteria; therefore, there is no address matching requirement. Q: When is the DPS Election Identification Certificate going to be available? A: The Election Identification Certificate is now available. Information regarding how to obtain an election identification certificate can be found at You may also contact DPS by telephone at 512-424-2600 for more information. Q: What happens if I refuse to show proof of identity? A: Voters who refuse to show proof of identity will be allowed to vote by provisional ballot. However, please be advised that a refusal to show ID is not a valid ground for casting a provisional ballot, and it is likely that the voter’s ballot will be rejected by the ballot board. Q: I’m not sure if I’m registered; how can I confirm my voter registration status? A: You can confirm your registration status by going to http:// index.shtml, Am I Registered to Vote?, where you will select

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one of three methods for conducting your search. You can base your search on: 1. your Voter Unique Identifier (VUID), which appears on your voter registration certificate; 2. your Texas driver’s license number, if you provided it when you applied for voter registration; or 3. your first and last name. Or, you can call the voter registrar’s office in the county where you reside. To find the number, review the list of County Voter Registration Officials. Q: If I send my registration by the deadline, what happens next? A: Your voter registration becomes effective 30 days after it is submitted (and accepted*) by the county voter registrar. The county office will then

put your name on the voter Q: I don’t remember seeing my registration list, generate your voter registration certificate voter certificate, and mail it to lately. Is that a problem? Don’t you. Once received, be sure to I just stay registered? read the information on the A: New certificates are mailed back of the certificate, sign out every two years to the most by the X on the “front” of the recent address you gave to the card (the yellow area), and voter registrar. If you do not keep your voter card in a safe recall receiving a new orange place. This is what you will and white certificate in 2013, take with you to the polls to it could mean that you have vote. Note that as long as your moved without updating, or name is on the voter list, you there is some other problem may vote without presentwith your registration. If the ing this certificate, but you certificate was mailed to an old must provide another form address, it was returned to the of identification. See discusregistrar, and you were placed sion at right under “Voting on the “suspense list” in that without a Certificate.” *If county. This means you have a your original application is grace period that allows you to missing required information, vote in the same county in your you will receive a notice in the old precinct, but if you do not mail and have a deadline to vote, your name will be removed respond to the notice. from the rolls after two federal elections have passed since you were placed on the suspense list. If you did not receive your certificate because you moved to a new Texas county, you will need to re-register. Q: Can anybody vote early by mail (once referred to as absentee voting)? A. Only specific reasons entitle a registered voter to vote early by mail (no longer called absentee voting). You may request a ballot by mail if you:


COUNTY PROGRESS | February 2014


to allow a voter whose name does on Election Day and during not appear on the list of registered early voting; voters due to an administrative 2. are sick or disabled; error to vote. The voter must 3. are 65 years of age or older on complete an affidavit stating the Election Day; or reasons he or she is qualified to 4. are confined in jail. vote. Provisional voting is only used if the voter cannot qualify Provisional Voting to vote by the methods described Provisional voting is designed earlier.1 Important 18468r1_CountyProgressHalfPgAd_po_TESC.pdf 5/29/13 7:14 AM points are: 1. will be away from your county

(1) the cast provisional ballots are kept separately from the regular ballots; and (2) the voter’s registration record will be reviewed later by the provisional voting ballot board (the early voting ballot board) and is counted only if the voter is determined to be a registered voter and is otherwise qualified to vote. Provisional voters will receive a notice in the mail by the 10th day after the local canvass advising them if their provisional ballots were counted, and if they were not counted, the reason why.

Convicted Felons and Voting









In Texas, a convicted felon regains the right to vote after completing his or her sentence. Therefore, once a convict completes the punishment phase (including any term of incarceration, parole, or supervision, or completed a period of probation ordered by the court), the convict is eligible to register and vote in the state of Texas.

Additional Information For additional information, please email or call 1-800-252VOTE (8683), or go to http:// index.shtml or H – Information courtesy of the Office of the Texas Secretary of State 20

COUNTY PROGRESS | February 2014

REGIONAL POOL WORKSHOPS Understand & Manage Risk San Marcos, March 11 | Wichita Falls, March 18 | Amarillo, March 18 | Waco, March 20 Lubbock, March 20 | Longview, March 25 | Odessa, March 25 | Kerrville, March 27 Frisco, March 27 | Corpus Christi, April 1 | Livingston, April 3


ontrolling your county’s risks is an ongoing challenge. Attend a one-day workshop scheduled near you to get the latest updates on hot topics such as:

• Reducing law enforcement liability, • Reducing unemployment liability, • Public officials and workers’ compensation exposures, and • Health Care Reform.

Who Should Attend: • Elected and appointed officials, • Human resources managers, • Wellness coordinators, • Wellness sponsors; • Jail administrators; • Chief deputies; • Risk managers, and • Loss control coordinators.

CHOOSE TO ATTEND SESSIONS ACROSS THREE TRACKS: Risk Management, Law Enforcement, and Health and Employee Benefits Services.

Stay on top of risks throughout your county’s operations. These events are designed for members of TAC’s Risk Management Pool, Health and Employee Benefits Pool and Unemployment Compensation Group Account Fund, and are just one of the many benefits of pool membership.

Register at

Conference Close-Up V.G. Young Institute School for County Commissioners Courts

Feb. 4-6 – Hilton Hotel and Conference Center, College Station School for County Commissioners Courts, College Station DRAFT AGENDA

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

8:00 AM 10:00 AM  8:00 AM  1:30 PM 

5:00 PM 11:30 AM  12:00 PM  3:30 PM 

Registration Open Commissioners Education Committee Meeting  Exhibitor Show Set-Up  Exhibitor Show Open 

1:00 PM 1:15 PM  2:15 PM  2:40 PM 

1:15 PM 2:15 PM  2:40 PM  3:10 PM 

Opening General Session - Call to Order The Great Divide: The Difference Between Leading & Managing 1.0 CE  TBD 0.5 CE  Refreshment Break  CCAC Phase 2 

3:10 PM

5:00 PM

6:30 PM

2.016 Community Supervisions 1.0 CE 3:10 - 4:00 PM 2.003 County Clerk 1.0 CE 4:10 - 5:00 PM 

3.002 Commissions & Committees 1.0 CE 3:10 - 4:00 PM 4.007 Basic Taxation 1.0 CE 4:10 - 5:00 PM 

10:15 AM

11:05 AM

11:15 AM

12:05 PM

Emergency Management: Crisis Communications 1.0 CE

12:05 PM

1:15 PM

Lunch On Your Own

Registration Open Exhibitor Show Open  4.022 Internet: Securing County Computer Systems 1.0 CE  4.014 Ethics: Conflicts of Interest 1.0 CE  Refreshment Break  Emergency Management Redefining Community Plan Advisory Boards Development 1.0 CE   1.0 CE  

Special Session

2.011 County Constable 1.0 CE 1:15-2:05 PM

Roadside Safety 1.0 CE 1:15-2:05 PM

2.017 County Court at Law Judge 1.0 CE 2:05-2:55 PM

Preparing for Growth: Road Policy 2.0 CE 2:05-4:15 PM

Refreshment Break 2.015 Juvenile Probation Officer 1.0 CE 3:25-4:15 PM 2.005 County Treasurer 1.0 CE 4:15-5:05 PM 

11:30 AM

8:00 AM

9:50 AM

9:50 AM 10:05 AM  10:55 AM 


10:05 AM 10:55 AM  11:55 AM 

2.0 CE 3:10 - 5:00 PM

Registration Open CCAC Phase 2  2.009 District Attorney

Case Study: Financial Transparency 1.0 CE

Data Driven Decision Making 1.0 CE

CCAC Phase 2

8:00 AM

2.0 CE 3:15 - 4:30 PM

Talk Like a Leader

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

12:00 PM 4:00 PM  8:50 AM  9:40 AM  10:15 AM 

5:05 PM

Best Practices for Presiding Over Commissioners Court


Welcome Reception & Dinner

8:00 AM 9:00 AM  8:00 AM  8:50 AM  9:40 AM 

1:15 PM

County Judge

CCAC Phase 3-4

Case Study: County Jails & Community Service 1.0 CE

County Judge Judicial Training Juvenile Legislative Update 1:15-2:15 PM 

Professional Dealing with Difficult People 4.0 CE 1:15-5:05 PM Refreshment Break 2:55-3:25 PM

Fair Defense Act 2:15-3:15 PM

Refreshment Break 2:55-3:25 PM

Docket Management 3:30-4:30 PM

Dirt Road & Ditch Maintenance 1.0 CE 4:15-5:05 PM

Resources for Returning Veterans 4:30-5:30 PM

Thursday, February 6, 2014 CCAC Phase 3-4  3.007 Civil Rights: The Constitution

County Judge Administrative Regional Planning Efforts

1.0 CE 8:00-8:50 AM

& County Employees

1.0 CE 8:00-8:50 AM

2.013 County Health

1.0 CE 8:00-8:50 AM 3.006 Personnel Policies

Beginning Major Projects

Officer 1.0 CE 9:00-9:50 AM

1.0 CE 9:00-9:50 AM

1.0 CE 9:00-9:50 AM

Restroom Break Building Resilient Communities 1.0 CE  Cost Saving EMS Innovations 1.0 CE 

COUNTY PROGRESS | February 2014


Conference Close-Up

85th Annual West Texas Conference April 22-25 H San Angelo - Tom Green County


The West Texas County Judges and Commissioners Association will convene in Tom Green County April 22-25 for its 85th Annual Conference. Reservations The four-day meeting will take place at the McNease Convention Center located at 500 Rio Concho Dr. in San Angelo, with the Clarion, 441 Rio Concho Dr., serving as the host hotel. As of press time, the host hotel was full; please see the accompanying registration form for overflow properties. Registration The preregistration fee for elected and other county officials is $175 and is due by April 7. The on-site registration fee is $200. Education Pending approval, Commissioners may receive up to 12 hours of education credit, while Judges may receive up to four hours of judicial education credit. Awards A highlight of the conference will be the naming of the County Official of the Year and presentation of the Distinguished Service Award. Nominations for either award may be sent to West Texas Association President Susan Redford, Ector County Judge, at 300 COUNTY PROGRESS | February 2014

N. Grant, Rm. 233, Odessa 79761. Scholarship Program The West Texas Association is pleased to continue its annual scholarship program. College scholarships in the amounts of $1,500, $1,000 and $750 will be awarded to three applicants during the conference. The application deadline is April 1. For additional information, please see the accompanying box on page 27. To download a scholarship application form, go to and click on 85th Annual West Texas County Judges and Commissioners Association Educational Conference & Business Meeting, Register as Attendee, Scholarship Program. Door Prizes Please bring a door prize of reasonable value with you to the conference. We will be giving door prizes away throughout the event. Committee Appointments If you are interested in serving on a future West Texas Association committee, please contact Judge Redford at 432-498-4100. Committees include Nominations, Education, Scholarship, Resolutions and Conference City. H

Conference Close-Up




Conference Close-Up 85th Annual West Texas County Judges and Commissioners Association Conference April 22-25 H San Angelo – Tom Green County

Tuesday, April 22 10:00 a.m. 1:00 p.m. 1:00 p.m. 2:00 p.m. 3:30 p.m. 4:30-6:00 p.m. 6:30 p.m.

Exhibitors Set Up Exhibits Open Registration Opens Committee Meetings Board Meeting Exhibitor Appreciation Reception Host Court Night

Wednesday, April 23


7:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Registration Continues 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Exhibits Open Opening General Session 8:00 a.m. Call to Order, Welcome, Greetings 8:40 a.m. Keynote Address: Leading Positive C hange 9:30 a.m. Refreshment Break 10:00 a.m. Affordable Care Act Update 3.012 Interlocal Agreements 10:50 a.m. 11:40 a.m. Adjourn Far West Texas County Judges 11:50 a.m. and Commissioners Meeting 12:00 noon Deli Lunch Past Presidents’ Luncheon (by 12:00 noon i nvitation) Judicial Training for County Judges 1:20 p.m. Call to Order and Announcements 1:20 p.m. – 2:40 p.m. Rules of Evidence 2:40 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Motions to Revoke Probations 4:10 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. Alcohol Monitoring Devices Commissioners Court Training 1:20 p.m. Commissioners Road Reports 2:10 p.m. 4.006 Fees & Revenue – Scofflaw 3:00 p.m. Refreshment Break 3:20 p.m. Reinvestment Zones & Tax Abatements 4:10 p.m. 4.021 Strategic Planning – Long-Term Planning Guidance

COUNTY PROGRESS | February 2014

5:00 p.m. 6:30 p.m.

Adjourn BBQ and Dance

Thursday, April 24 6:45 a.m. Inspirational Breakfast 8:00 a.m. Registration Continues Concurrent Workshops 8:30 a.m. 4.008 County Tax Rate 2.008 County Attorney County HR Manager 9:30 a.m. 2.006 Tax Assessor-Collector 3.015 Effective Meetings – Executive Session & Public Comment Forums First Net Program Overview General Session 10:20 a.m. Refreshment Break 10:40 a.m. Business Session 11:45 a.m. Installation Luncheon 1:30 p.m. Tournaments: Golf, Domino and Skeet 6:30 p.m. President’s Reception 8:00 p.m. President’s Reception: Farewell Jam Session

Friday Morning, April 25 8:00 a.m. 8:30 a.m.

Complimentary Coffee Closing General Session 3.018 Environmental Issues: State Water Plan 3.001 Texas Open Meetings Act: 9:20 a.m. U pdate 10:10 a.m. Legislative Panels Adjourn 11:00 a.m. 11:30 a.m. Board Meeting

Those attending all sessions of this conference will receive 12 hours of continuing education credit, six of which may count towards Commissioners Court Advanced Curriculum. County Judges may receive up to four hours of judicial credit. Judicial sessions are coordinated by the Texas Association of Counties; all other sessions are coordinated by the V.G. Young Institute of County Government, a part of the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and The Texas A&M University System. Continuing education credit will be awarded by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. This agenda is a draft and is subject to change.

Conference Close-Up

Farewell Jam Session

We all know County Judges and Commissioners are multitalented, and West Texans are no exception! So grab your guitar, bring your bow, or come ready to sing your favorite song as we close out our conference with a jam fest! ❖❖ Who: Any and all willing to share their talent. ❖❖ What: President’s Reception Farewell Jam Session ❖❖ When: Thursday evening, April 24, 8 p.m. ❖❖ Where: Clarion Ballroom ❖❖ Why: To Celebrate a GREAT Conference! If you would like to perform or have any questions, please contact Upton County Commissioner Tommy Owens at 432-693-2591.

West Texas County Judges and Commissioners Association Scholarship Applications The West Texas County Judges and Commissioners Association is pleased to announce the continuation of its Annual Scholarship Program. College scholarships in the amounts of $1,500, $1,000 and $750 will be awarded to three applicants during the upcoming Annual Conference in San Angelo to be conducted April 22-25. To be eligible for scholarship consideration, applicants must be a child, grandchild, or under the legal guardianship of a current West Texas County Judge or County Commissioner. Each of the applicants must be a current resident of a county within the 118-county West Texas region. Each applicant must also be a graduating senior of the Class of 2014 from a high school within the West Texas region. The application deadline is April 1, 5 p.m. To download a scholarship application form, go to and click on 85th Annual West Texas County Judges and Commissioners Association Educational Conference & Business Meeting, Register as Attendee, Scholarship Program. H



Coming up in our March issue:

County Government and Social Media To post or not to post? Tweet or not to tweet?

According to Business Insider, a U.S. business and technology website, during the second quarter of 2013, Facebook logged some 198 million monthly users on average, with Twitter recording 49 million monthly active users on average, all in the United States ( What does this mean to Texas county government? Are newspapers, television broadcasts and

websites enough? If we pass on posting, are we missing out? In our March issue, County Progress will take a look at social media as it pertains to county government. Specifically, we’ll try and answer this question: How can we take advantage of the benefits (instant notification) while navigating the challenges (misinformation and misuse)?

We’d like for you to help us find the answers. • Does your county or office use social media? • What prompted you to give it a try? • How has it helped?

• What are the pitfalls, and how do you navigate them? • If you’ve opted to avoid social media, tell us why.

Please send your comments to Julie Anderson at H


COUNTY PROGRESS | February 2014

Legislative Interim Studies Lt. Gov. Releases Charges, More to Come Because of the limited time that the Texas Legislature is in session, in-depth studies of important issues often are conducted by committees during interims. Generally, the lieutenant governor specifies interim charges for Senate committees, and the speaker of the house specifies interim charges for House committees. Most interim studies result in a report to the Senate or a report to the House containing the committee’s findings and recommendations. Copies of these reports can be obtained from the respective committee offices. As of press time, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst had released several batches of charges to various committees, with more to come. We

will keep you apprised of charges to both the Senate and House committees.

Partial Listing of Senate Interim Charges: Veterans Affairs and Military Installations • Investigate the impact of federal actions (including the federal government shutdown, sequestration, military force reductions, and potential base closure or realignment) on active-duty service members, the Texas Military Department, veterans, their families, defense-related contractors, small businesses, local governments, and state agencies.

• Monitor and examine efforts to provide employment and workforce opportunities for veterans, service members, and their families. Make recommendations on how best to continue collaborating with and supporting our honored veterans as they re-enter the civilian workforce, including improving employment opportunities for veterans at all state agencies. • Provide an update on the State Strike Force teams’ progress and recommendations on any additional steps necessary to ensure that veterans promptly receive all federal disability benefits to which they are entitled.



Agriculture, Rural Affairs & mendations on how state, local and improve overall outcomes Homeland Security governments, and businesses for children and reduce child • Examine the current regulatory can work together in order fatalities. and insurance requirements to assist with the rebuilding/ for the storage of ammonium recovery of affected jurisdic- Business & Commerce nitrate, including the role of tions in the event of a disaster. • Review the administrative and the state chemist and the Texas financial state of the Texas Department of Insurance. Health & Human Services Windstorm Insurance AssoMake recommendations on • Review the Department of ciation (TWIA). Specifically, the changes to current law Family and Protective Serreview management’s business that are needed to eliminate vices’ efforts to reduce child practices that result in continduplication or inconsistencies, fatalities. Review the process ued administrative oversight by improve transparency, and by which the Department of the Texas Department of Insurprotect Texans’ safety without Family and Protective Serance, and determine alternative creating an undue burden on vices collects and uses data to financial methods to fund a Texas businesses. evaluate agency performance probable maximum loss of a 1 in • Examine the role of state and and improve outcomes for 75 or 1 in 100 year event. Monilocal governments regarding children in the Child Protector litigation developments. recovery operations across the tive Services system. Make Develop and evaluate plans to state in the event of a disaster. recommendations to ensure reduce TWIA’s total insured Study and make recommendathe process effectively uses exposure. Monitor and make tions to identify essential perdata to strategically improve recommendations regarding sonnel and resources needed caseworker performance, and an exposure reduction clearto increase existing response identify and improve upon inghouse under development capabilities. Make recomdeficiencies within the system at TWIA, which aims to assist the transfer of TWIA policies to the free market. Study and make recommendations regarding the qualifications for building inspectors conducting inspections for the TWIA and other building inspectors statewide. Consider expanding the types of professionals qualified to conduct inspections and the appropriate entity to oversee inspectors. • Review the Texas FAIR Plan’s organizational and financial 30

COUNTY PROGRESS | February 2014

structure as the state’s insurer of last resort for residential homeowner’s insurance coverage. In particular, study the structural relationship to TWIA, cause of its current debt, and available coverages and rates compared to the private market. Evaluate proposals to reduce the total insured exposure of the FAIR Plan. Economic Development Committee • Study current legislative and regulatory barriers that could impede capital investment, growth, and expansion of Texas businesses. Make recommendations for reducing barriers to entry for professions regulated by Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, including deregulation, additional reciprocity, and credit for military service. • Project and examine the costs and economic impact to Texas businesses in complying with the federal health care law. Make recommendations on options for state government intervention to reduce the negative impact of the federal health care law on Texas businesses. State Affairs Committee • Examine the negative

nomic impact on Texas business from legal issues involving threatened and actual patent litigation by “patent assertion entities” (PAEs). Consider the effects of PAE actions on innovation and economic development in Texas, paying particular attention to threats and lawsuits involving software and

technology patent claims. Make recommendations on how the State of Texas can address problems related to frivolous legal actions and unsubstantiated patent claims asserted against legitimate business enterprises in light of the relevant federal jurisdiction, laws, regulations, and court rules in patent cases. H

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Real County Centennial Finale


From County Progress Editor Julie Anderson: Some two years ago, on Jan. 26, 2012, to be exact, Real County Judge Garry Merritt emailed County Progress about the Real County Centennial, to take place April 6, 2013. “Well, that’s 14 months away,” I thought.“Surely the judge just made a typo!”I did not want to be impolite, but I had to ask: “Do you mean April 2012, as in three months from now?” “No, we mean April 2013,” the judge responded. “We like to plan ahead in Real County!”

The judge went on to say that Real County had already formed a committee, and plans were underway: The Real County Centennial Steering Committee went to work in 2011 and would continue on in 2012, preparing for a yearlong celebration in 2013! Such advanced notice gave County Progress the opportunity to chronicle this experience with stories and photos, and share this journey with you. Every issue from April 2012-May 2013 included an update on planning efforts and celebratory events. I was especially thrilled to

be invited to Real County’s 100th Birthday Bash on April 6, 2013, in the county seat of Leakey, where I was privileged to meet the creative, industrious, energetic crew of volunteers who worked so hard to honor and celebrate their county’s rich history. We promised our readers we’d return to Real County one more time and recap the closing months of their yearlong salute. As part of this final chapter, we also invited Willis Springfield, chairman of the Steering Committee, to summarize this unique experience.

From Chairman Willis Springfield: Although Real County’s 100th birthday was in 2013,the Real County Centennial Steering Committee was named in early 2011. Eight enthusiastic individuals representing the Frio and Nueces canyons along with new County Judge Garry Merritt decided immediately to plan a series of events to be scheduled throughout the year that would embrace existing events and add once-in-a-lifetime activities for residents of and visitors to Real County.We agreed that these activities should be varied, educational, and, above all, entertaining.

Our logo, created with the professional assistance of Suze Sarto Design, was our first major triumph. A rigorous fundraising campaign yielded more-than-ample capital to underwrite the expenses we encountered,and,in the end,even allowed us to make contributions for scholarships to our ex-students associations. Publicity was greatly enhanced by our “Where In The World Did You Wear Your Real County Centennial T-Shirt?” series, along with County Progress Magazine’s year-long countdown stories every month and articles in the Texas Hill Country

Magazine, as well as articles in local newspapers and other publications. Several individuals with artistic talent produced items that are destined for our historical museums. Hard-working citizens stepped forward volunteering their expertise and muscle to make every event a tremendous success. Looking back, we believe, and trust you will agree, that we accomplished our goals. The events were varied, different foods were served, and a variety of music was provided. Indeed,we think we set a benchmark for such celebrations. H

COUNTY PROGRESS | February 2014

Top left photo: Unveiling the Lindbergh artwork in Camp Wood’s Lindbergh Park. In March 1924, aviator Charles Lindbergh made an unplanned stop in Camp Wood when attempting to fly to California with a friend, Leon Klink. The pair followed the Uvalde and Northern railroad up the Nueces River, mistaking it for the Southern Pacific along the Rio Grande. When the line ended, Lindbergh realized his error and landed in a pasture. The duo then flew their Canuck into nearby Camp Wood and landed on the town square. When the fliers attempted takeoff from Camp Wood, a wheel dropped into a rut in the street; the plane swung around, struck a pole, and crashed into a hardware store. No one was injured, and the storekeeper refused payment for damages.  Lindbergh and Klink waited a week for their plane to be repaired, all the while gaining the affection of the townsfolk. In 1976, the town of Camp Wood renamed a park and a street after Lindbergh and Klink respectively, and the state placed a historical marker celebrating the event. Photos by Charles Carlson, photographer and graphic designer, Rio Frio



Real County continued their Centennial Celebration throughout 2013 with events including the July 4th parade, Tamale Fest, and the finale event in Camp Wood featuring the dedication of the flag pole and Lindbergh art, along with the burying of the time capsule.


COUNTY PROGRESS | February 2014




LTAP Center Offers By William Lowery, P.E. Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service The Lone Star LTAP Center at the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) is offering new and important training in the ongoing effort to help local agencies improve their roadways. For many jurisdictions, the motor grader is one of the most commonly used pieces of equipment. Best practices suggest that many operators could benefit from having more knowledge about the fine points of using this very expensive and highly versatile machine.


COUNTY PROGRESS | February 2014

Expensive Machines Warrant Well-Qualified Operators

than for most other pieces of heavy equipment, cranes being a notable Does our investment in train- exception. ing operators track with our investment in road work equipment? Things Operators Need to Motor graders can be used to Know In addition to knowing how to accomplish many things, if in the hands of a highly skilled operator. make a motor grader work propHowever, if operator skills are low, erly, an operator must have a good a good deal of the investment in understanding of what is needed the machine may not be tapped. to make a roadway as effective as According to very experienced it can be with available resources. equipment operators, the motor The operator needs knowledge of grader is probably the most dif- best practices in roadway features. ficult machine to learn how to use Some of the more important at its best advantage. Clearly, more of these are noted in the box at skill and experience are required the bottom of the opposite page. to effectively use a motor grader For example, an operator needs


Motor Grader Training to know how much road crown is enough, and how much is too much; how to make a grader cut and mix road materials as he works, not simply push materials down the road; and how to maintain the best speed of operation.

Plan for Motor Grader Schools LTAP will bring the Motor Grader School to your county and will utilize three training components: Classroom Training In a suitable classroom provided by a host agency, important safety and basic motor grader features and characteristics will be presented. Roadway topics as mentioned in the box, and other similar ones, will be discussed in considerable detail. The focus will largely be on how to use a motor grader to the highest and best advantage for such features. Unpaved roads will be the main topic, but use of motor graders on paved roads

Roadway Topics for Motor Grader Operators

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ROADS & BRIDGES will also be discussed. Field Training Following the classroom portion, field exercises will be on roadways pre-selected by the host agency or by neighboring jurisdictions. Using an adequately safe grader furnished by the jurisdiction, the instructor will dem-


COUNTY PROGRESS | February 2014

onstrate many of the techniques discussed in class. Each participant will then have ample opportunity to practice the same techniques under the watchful eye of the instructor. The instructor will coach each participant on how to adjust the techniques to the assigned task. Improvement of a Roadway

One advantage of this instructional model is that at the conclusion of the field training exercises, the jurisdiction will have one or more sections of roadway maintained or improved. This dictates that the jurisdiction take responsibility for providing the necessary work zone traffic control setup, and a water truck if necessary. Each school should take four or more days, but all participants need not be involved all of the days. For best results, a school must include 10 to 12 participants who will fully participate in the first day of classroom instruction. In the following days, groups of three to four participants who attended the classroom instruction will accompany the instructor for field training on a section of roadway. Each day the instructor will work with a different group on a different road (or different sections of the same road). With this arrangement no employee will need to be out of service more than two days. Each dayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s objective is twofold: to improve the skills of the participants with plenty of coached operating time, and to leave behind a section of improved roadway. This offers the benefit of combining training with production, and provides on-the-job training, the best kind for learning equipment operation.

ROADS & BRIDGES Success in Jefferson County As of press time, LTAP had several Motor Grader Schools in the planning stages, with one already completed in Jefferson County, hosted by County Commissioner Brent Weaver. This school included some municipal employees as well as county personnel. The school was led by Tim Thompson, TEEX instructor, and Eldon McCurley, TEEX roadway maintenance specialist. The school was “very informative…for our county staff and the city staff,” Weaver concluded.

• Roads will function better Motor Grader School should conwhen it comes to shedding tact the Lone Star LTAP Center water, and present better rid- at TEEX. ing surfaces for longer periods For More Information: of time. 800-SAFE-811 • Scarce maintenance dollars will (800-723-3811) be further stretched. Fax: 979-458-1426 Any local government diction that would like to host a H

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Hosting a Motor Grader School at Your Location To host, a jurisdiction must arrange for 10 to 12 participants who are committed to attend. In addition the jurisdiction will need to provide a suitable classroom; a safe and fully functional motor grader and the means to move it to two or more locations; two or more on-road work sites suitable for class field operations; suitable work zone traffic control for these roads on field training days; and an accompanying water truck as necessary in order to accomplish good road work.

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Court to Court

Officially Speaking

Judge Promotes Association Involvement

Meetings Serve as Information Hub, Networking Forum

By Trinity County Judge Doug Page, Vice President, Deep East Texas County Commissioners and Judges Association The job of County Judge had been a dream of mine f or approximately eight years prior to obtaining it. As a state trooper in Trinity County, I was regularly involved in the judicial side of the job and enjoyed that very much. After winning my election in 2011, I learned there was much more to it â&#x20AC;&#x201C; budgeting, Commissioners Court, and emergency management, to name a few. What I like best is visiting with constituents in the local cafe or in the grocery store. This is where you find out what the real issues are within the county. In addition, I cannot count the number of new friendships my wife and I have made from the early days of campaigning in 2010 until now. Shortly after being elected County Judge, I became active with DETCOG (Deep East Texas Council of Governments). With that came the affiliation with the Deep East Texas County Commissioners and Judges Association. This Association is a sub-region of the North & East Texas County Judges and Commissioners Association and is made up of a 15-county area in Far East Texas. In September 2011, I was elected vice president of the Association, the position which I currently hold. 40

COUNTY PROGRESS | February 2014

This has given me the opportunity to work with some of the best elected officials and administrators in the State of Texas. The Association has been a great asset, in particular with the East Texas logging industry. We have been a hub for talks between the Texas Forestry Association, the Texas Logging Council, and the Texas Legislature, as well as the good folks who live in rural East Texas. Being a member of these sub-regional Associations as well as the major Associations has been of great value to me and the other members of our Commissioners Court. The Association meetings and training have taught us how to be more effective in our job as well as, above all, staying within the law. You hear it said all the time that the best training and information is acquired when networking with other Judges and Commissioners on break in the hallway. I believe it is a combination of the networking and formal training in class that musters the best results. I thoroughly enjoy working for the people of Trinity County as their County Judge, in addition to serving a broader group in East Texas by being involved with the Deep East Texas County Commissioners and Judges Association. As long as I feel that I am benefiting the people of the area, I hope to continue to serve in this capacity. H

Court to Court

CJCAT Sub-Regions Offer Leadership, Training Opportunities Every Texas County Judge and County Commissioner is a member of the County Judges and Commissioners Association of Texas (CJCAT).The CJCAT is divided into three regional associations, with several sub-regions within two of these regions. ◆◆The West Texas County Judges and Commissioners Association serves 118 counties. ❖❖ The Far West Texas County Judges and Commissioners Association represents the westernmost counties, with a total membership of 36. The Far West Association will meet for its annual conference Sept. 17-19 in Terlingua (see County Calendar on page 57 for details). ❖❖ Also a part of the West Texas group, the Panhandle County Judges and Commissioners Association includes 34 member counties.The membership is invited to two one-day conferences, March 6 and Sept. 4, in Amarillo (see County Calendar). $$The North & East Texas County Judges and Commissioners Association is comprised of 73 counties. ❖❖ The Deep East Texas County Commissioners and Judges Association is a sub-region of North & East Texas, made up of 15 counties from Far East Texas. Traditionally, this Association meets every other year, coinciding with the Texas Legislature. Deep East Texas County Commissioners and Judges Association Officers President Tommy Overstreet Polk County Commissioner 936-327-6866 Vice President Doug Page Trinity County Judge 936-642-1046

Deep East Association Member Counties • Angelina • Hardin • Houston • Jasper • Liberty • Nacogdoches • Newton • Panola

Secretary/Treasurer Charles Shofner Jasper County Commissioner 409-384-4744

• Polk

Immediate Past President Jacques Blanchette Tyler County Judge 409-331-0028

• Shelby

• Sabine • San Augustine • San Jacinto • Trinity • Tyler



Court to Court Far West Texas County Judges and Commissioners Association Officers President Charlie Bradley Schleicher County Judge 325-853-2766   Secretary/Treasurer Jerry Bearden Mason County Judge 325-347-5556

Vice President Tommy Holt Reagan County Commissioner 325-650-5496 Past President Joe Shuster Pecos County Judge 432-336-2792 

Far West Association Member Counties • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Andrews Borden Brewster Crane Crockett Culberson Ector El Paso Gaines Glasscock Howard Hudspeth Irion Jeff Davis Loving Martin Mason McCulloch

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Menard Midland Mitchell Nolan Pecos Presidio Reagan Reeves Runnels Schleicher Sterling Sutton Terrell Tom Green Upton Ward Winkler Yoakum

Panhandle County Judges and Commissioners Association Officers President Quincy Taylor Oldham County Commissioner 806-344-6892   Secretary/Treasurer Rowdy Rhoades Moore County Judge 806-935-5588

Vice President Joe Bob Thompson Swisher County Commissioner 806-995-3504 joebob.thompson@swisher-tx. net   Immediate Past President Lewis Powers Carson County Judge 806-537-3622

Panhandle Association Member Counties • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Armstrong Bailey Briscoe Carson Castro Childress Collingsworth Cottle Crosby Dallam Deaf Smith Donley Floyd Gray Hale Hall Hansford

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Hartley Hemphill Hockley Hutchinson Lamb Lipscomb Moore Motley Ochiltree Oldham Parmer Potter Randall Roberts Sherman Swisher Wheeler H

Success Snapshot

Polk County Commissioner Ronnie Vincent Named Onalaska Citizen of the Year

The Onalaska Volunteer Fire Department (OVFD) named Polk County Commissioner Ronnie Vincent the Onalaska Citizen of the Year at the department’s annual Christmas Dinner and Awards Ceremony. The OVFD honored Vincent for his 30 years of community service including his dedication to the FAA, Trinity Neches Livestock Show, Go-Texan Committee, and the Onalaska Youth Sports Association. The OVFD also thanked Vincent for stepping up to serve upon the passing of County Commissioner Bobby Smith; Vincent has since been elected to two more terms. Congratulations, Commissioner Vincent! 42

COUNTY PROGRESS | February 2014

Photo by Lew Vail, Polk County Enterprise

All in Good Fun

Judges Make Friendly Football Wager Parker County Judge Mark Riley entered into a friendly wager with Ellis County Judge Carol Bush over who would win the state high school semifinal playoff game between Aledo and Ennis high schools. The losing County Judge would have to wear the winning team’s shirt at the next Commissioners Court meeting. On Dec. 23, 2013, Judge Riley delivered an Aledo Bearcat shirt to Judge Bush at her Commissioners Court meeting. Judge Bush was a great sport and wore the shirt through the entirety of the court meeting, to the delight of Judge Riley. By the way, Aledo went on the following week to win the state championship. The friendly bet was a little surprising to some, considering Riley is a 1969 graduate of Ennis High School; (continued on page 56)


Name That County Official

New Mystery Official >> This County Judge was born in Scurry County. >> His first paying job was hoeing cotton. >> This judge has been in office for three years – just starting year four. >> He chose to run for office because “I wanted to serve and give back to the county that has been a major part of my life.” >> His hobbies include traveling with his wife in their RV and riding their motorcycle. >> Favorite quote: “I tried and failed. I tried again and again and succeeded.” Gail Borden >>

February Mystery Official Edwards County Commissioner Souli Asa Shanklin

>> Judge Shanklin was born in Camp Pendleton, Calif., on a U.S. Marine Corps base. >> His first paying job was mucking stalls. >> Judge Shanklin has been in office since Jan. 1, 2011. >> He ran for office because “our county needed to be ‘mucked out.’ ” >> Favorite quotes: “The best kind of pride is that which compels a man to do his dead-level best when nobody is watching.” Also, “One of God’s most precious gifts is an honest man.”


43 43

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Gregg County Commis-

sioners Court approved grants

Supplies • Educational • Custodial • Office • Medical • Furniture

of $4,000 for the Child Development Center, $11,750 to

United Way, $8,000 for the


Women’s Center of East Texas,

• Temporary Help • Printing • Art Consulting

and $6,000 for Longview Teen

The Right Resources. Right Now.



H Join Today!

Hopkins County Com-

missioners Court approved 44

COUNTY PROGRESS | February 2014

Texas News Reviews the sale of $8 million in rev-

Kaufman County received

contract for up to $856,660

enue bonds for the construc- $10,055 in cash incentives with J.E. Kingham Construction of a new county jail to be from Oncor for upgrading tion of Nacogdoches for a completed in 2015. H Jasper County Commis-

sioners Cour t awarded a

its lighting systems in several

construction of a new elevator




Leon County received

inside the courthouse.

Rusk County Commis-

contract to J.E. Kingham

$100,000 from the L eon

sioners Court approved a

doches for a new county annex

sociation for development of

welfare board to help pay for



Construction Co. of Nacog- County Youth Livestock Asand shelter.

Johnson County received

the county expo center.

Limestone County Com-

grant of $9,500 to the child

increases in the number of children in foster care.

the Leadership Circle silver

missioners Court voted to

South Texas

c ate for f inan-

pany, Detention Services, to

sioners Court approved the

member certificial transparency

hire a locally owned com-

Bexar County Commis-

manage the detention center design of a $175 million de-

from the Texas comptroller. on an interim basis after the velopment project on the west Commissioners Court also contract with Management

side of downtown San Anto-

the emergency operations Dec. 17.

paths, parks, landscaping, and

approved an agreement for Training Corp. of Utah ended center to serve as host for a collaborative adaptive sens-

H Navarro County received

ing of atmosphere (CASA) $5,000 from the Corsicana

weather radar unit; approved Navarro County 100 Club for

nio that will include walking the widening of historic San Pedro Creek.

H Caldwell County Com-

a contract with Integrated equipment for the SWAT team. missioners Court passed a Forensic L abor ator ies to

perform tests on substances

H Newton County Judge

landfill siting ordinance that prohibits solid waste disposal

conf iscated during arrests; Truman Dougharty told the in the county with the excepand approved tax abatements Newton County News he will

tion of an 18-acre site east of

company of Chicken Express, rent term Dec. 31, 2014, after

landfill in central Caldwell

for Chicken E Realty, parent retire at the end of his curfor new corporate headquar-

ters and a distribution center in Burleson.


16 years.

H Polk County Commis-

sioners Court approved a

Seawillow Road. A 250-acre County had been proposed

by Green Group Holdings of Georgia.



Texas News Reviews Fort Bend County Com- gram, which assists veterans

missioners Court approved on probation for nonviolent

new industry or commercial enterprises. Commissioners

a tax increment reinvestment offenses by providing them Court also contracted with zone of 700 acres in Sugar with court-supervised counLand. Texas Instruments and seling and rehabilitation. Fluor Enterprises were named

in the agreement, according to the Fort Bend Herald. H

H Medina County Com-

missioners Court approved a tax increment reinvestment

American Municipal Services

of Carrollton as collection agent for county courts and departments.

H S a n Pa t r i c i o C o u n t y

Gillespie County Com- zone and public improvement Commissioners Court ap-

missioners Court approved district for Pogrants of $16,900 to the

tranco Ranch,

each for the Tierra Linda

of homes in the

$2,750 to each of the three for


Harper VFD and $10,790

a subdivision

and Doss VFDs, along with Hill Country. EMS operations. H


County Com-

Guadalupe County Com- m i s s i o n e r s

missioners Court approved


a contract with M&S Engi- p r o v e d



neering to design and man- incentives for age construction of a lube Celanese f or center of 5,000 square feet for


ment. Commissioners Court

ties f or sub-

the road and bridge depart-

of new facili-

also contracted with Aztec sidiary Ticona Environmental Services of

Polymers at its

ment in the county agriculture

pus Christi.

Fort Worth for asbestos abatebuilding.


Hidalgo County Com-

missioners Court approved a resolution in support of a

veterans treatment court pro46

plant in Cor-

COUNTY PROGRESS | February 2014

Orange County Com-

missioners Court voted to

establish a reinvestment zone

proved a reinvestment zone

of 13,000 acres for Apex

Midway Wind, a $250 million wind farm between Taft and

in South V idor along the Gregory. Neches River to help attract


Texas News Reviews Waller



Glenn Beckendorff said he will retire from public office

H Wilbarger County Com-

f ice annex in Denver City. Level 5 Design Group is lead

missioners Court approved contractor for the $750,000

at the end of his current term. an agreement to assist the

re m o d e l i n g p ro j e c t o n a

vember 2010 after previously ditional water rights.

housed a TG&Y store. H

He was elected Judge in No- city of Vernon to obtain adserving as Commissioner.

building that previously

H Yoakum County is con-

West Texas Carson Count y Com-

â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Compiled by Garner

GHS-puzzle-ad-4.5x7_orange-2 copy.pdf 9/9/2013 9:34:48 PM structing a new county of- Roberts

missioners Court approved a reinvestment zone and tax abatements for EC&R De-

velopment for Grandview Wind Farm II and III. H Lamb County Judge

James M. DeL oac h, who

taught EMS classes for more than 20 years, received the C

2013 EMS Educator Award M

at the recent Texas EMS Y

Conference in Fort Worth.





Mitchell County ComCMY

missioners Court approved K

ta x a ba te m e n t s f o r F G E

Texas for Phase I of a power


H Ochiltree County Com-

missioners Court reached agreement for tax abatements with Palo Duro Wind Energy

for a wind farm in Ochiltree and Hansford counties.



Galveston County Feels the Love

The Galveston County Daily On Jan. 5, they published the fol- have chosen to make Galveston

News asked readers to share what

they love most about their county.


County home. It’s always worth

People from around the world reminding ourselves why. Here

is the annual list of 101 reasons

people love Galveston County. Thanks to everyone who contrib-

uted, and there were many of you: 1. It’s home to roughly 270,000 of us.

YourTexas HandyHitchDealer

2. The smell of October on the coast.

3. Waves crashing on stone.

4. Galveston Island Historic

Pleasure Pier at dusk and dawn, neon glowing in the electric mist.

5. Going to the movies and see-

ing so many people you know

ProFIlE Packer/roller

grAvEl-bAllAsT Packer/roller

by name.

6. George Mitchell, who passed away in July 2013 at 94. No one

did more to promote and build

Galveston Island. Even today, his family keeps on giving.

off set Mower Hitch

7. The old downtown of Texas City, sparkling, clean and

landscaped. Check it out. It’s Amarillo Machinery Company • 6100 E. I-40 • Amarillo, TX 79118 Phone: 806-372-7800 • Toll Free: 888-309-7800 • Fax: 806-372-7811


COUNTY PROGRESS | February 2014


8. Watching the July 4 fireworks shows of all the Clear Lake cit-

Left: Photo by Jennifer Reynolds, The Galveston Daily News; Right: Photo by Kevin Cox, The Galveston Daily News

ies from South Shore Harbour.

9. The Galveston-Bolivar Ferry, one of the best entertainment

bargains anywhere (hard to argue with, free).

10. All the Galveston County

residents who provide talent, vision and leadership at NASA.

11. The Jamaica Beach Volunteer Fire Department.

12. Bay Street Park in Texas City, the county’s best outdoor adventure and a way to get back to

nature without leaving the city.

13. Goodwill: If diligent, you can

purchase an entire summer wardrobe for a song.

14. The Grand 1894 Opera House, and its never-say-die

director, Maureen Patton. It’s hard to overestimate The Grand’s impact on Galveston’s culture and economy.

15. Room to grow – 398 square miles to be exact.

16. Galveston’s seawall – the

world’s longest, skinniest park. On Sept. 13, 2008, it proved its

value one more time.

and sunsets anywhere.

17. Texas City Museum, a gem of

22. Gina Spagnola and the

18. Neighbors who know when

merce – the only island busi-

Galveston County.

you need a hand and give it before you ask.

19. Running at dawn in Galves-

ton through streets shrouded in mystery and history.

20. The oldest newspaper in Texas

Galveston Chamber of Comness organization that consistently speaks out for the city’s business community.

23. You can get nearly anywhere in Galveston County in 30


but one that manages to change

24. BOIs who never left (I mar-

21. The most beautiful sunrises

BOIs who come home, and

with the times.

ried one) and the world-weary

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who keep coming home.

25. Rosenberg Library of Galves-

ton, an invaluable source for

studying Texas’ past. Check out the new Children’s Library there.

26. Salsas on Friday nights. So many friends, so many baskets

Seawall Restaurant – best in the world.

30. Anything at Gaido’s.

31. The grilled snapper or just about anything else cooked by

Chef Urs at Shearn’s (check

out the gorgeous view from the bar).

of chips!

32. Sushi at Yamato’s on 61st

night on Christmas Eve in my

33. Sashime at Sky Bar on Post

it is.

34. Bikinis and the smell of sun-

27. Candles raised high at midchurch, and in yours, wherever 28. Fillets at The San Luis Steakhouse.

29. Marinara sauce at Mario’s

Street in Galveston.

Office Street in Galveston.

some of Texas’ most historic churches.

36. People who write letters to the editor, and those who partici-

pate in our forums and blogs

on the Internet, especially those who disagree.

37. UTMB’s Field House, where

brain surgeons meet coasties and everyone gets fit.

38. Jimmy Hayley of the Texas

City-La Marque Chamber of Commerce.

tan oil on a summer day. Some

39. The philosophers and poets

35. The rich voices of organs in

Coffee House on Post Office

things never change.

who hang out at the Mod


40. Brown pelicans gliding in formation on a summer updraft.

41. The county’s emergency med-

ical technicians, saving lives every day.

42. The Doyle family of Texas City, doing more than just

about anyone to shape the county’s future.

43. Offatts Bayou, mast lights

twinkling in the west, a water-

borne village made for holidays.

44. The Alcoholics Anonymous meeting house at 33rd Street

and Avenue P in Galveston,

serving so many so quietly.

45. Family legends. Ask the

Schapers how their attic be-

came an ark in the 1900 Storm.

46. The sound of the doves in the 50

COUNTY PROGRESS | February 2014

live oaks outside my bedroom.

47. Friends at Starbucks, who

know my name and my drink.

48. The Salvation Army, which

is now housed in a wonderful

new building in Galveston, and which continues to serve

people on the mainland despite

two fires in 2013.

49. Galveston County’s loving, wise and sometimes exasperating senior citizens.

50. The Elissa, which just underwent a second restoration, and

the Texas Seaport Museum.

51. Paco’s Vera Cruz sauce – and

old-fashioned, personal service

– at Rudy and Paco in Galves-

ton. “Hey, babeee! Welcome



52. Landry’s at 53rd Street in

53. The clear, crisp way the air

Vela welcomes everyone like

54. The elevation of one’s soul as

Galveston, where Nolberto

feels after a norther.



you drive across the causeway

to home.They call it the Causeway Cure.

55. Old wooden houses where

the Sealy Gazebo in Galves-

ton, led by the incomparable Frank Incaprera.

wooden shutters sing of mem-

59. College of the Mainland and

56. About one dozen county parks

ucation with a populist price.

ories in the wind.

again, at least part-time.

63. Grace Episcopal on 36th Street, a masterpiece by Nicho-

las Clayton, Galveston’s premier 19th century architect.

Galveston College – elite ed-

64. Flounder running in the fall.

from League City to the Gulf.

60. Island golf courses at Moody

and Rodeo, where real Galves-

book, “How the Parks of Galves-

Galveston Country Club. Yes,

Check out Tom Linton’s 2012 ton County Got their Names.”

Gardens near the airport and our golfers are blessed.

57. T he transplant center at

61. The historic lighthouse on

“ The personnel go above

Ike could not bring it down.

UTMB. This from a reader:

Bolivar Peninsula. Hurricane

65. The Galveston County Fair

ton County folks come out to play.

66. The Spot on Seawall Boule-

vard in Galveston – a home-

owned restaurant for hometown folks.

and beyond to serve. I know

62. T he American National

67. The county’s hurricane levee

the list waiting for a heart

its top floors shrouded in low

Carla. It held Ike’s storm surge

firsthand because I am on transplant.”


58. Summer Band Concerts at

COUNTY PROGRESS | February 2014

Insurance Co. building with

clouds. Its green halo shines

system built after Hurricane

back and protected Texas City

and La Marque.

68. Galveston County’s Jesse Tree

– a social service organization that has both a heart and a brain.

69. Helen’s Garden in League City. There’s a bride having her

picture made there every week-

end in the spring and summer.

70. Football – from sweltering August to the chill of December, our county plays to win.

71. Leon’s In and Out on Broadway in Galveston – great

barbecue (try the extra lean brisket).

72. The ancient, windblown live

oaks on the island’s West End.

They’re diminished since Hur-

that has won numerous awards

73. The whispering pines in Dick-

75. Hot Cain’s coffee, hot cin-

74. Haak Winery and Vineyards

Home Cut Donuts in Galves-

ricane Ike, but they survived. inson.

in Santa Fe, a local vineyard

for quality wines.

namon rolls and hot gossip at

ton (thanks to departed friend



Max Rizley for this one).

plied Technology Center

Galveston’s East End.

the island.

76. Summer block parties on

building on Interstate 45 on

81. The Galveston Symphony, under the direction of Trond Saeverud. How many towns

77. People who have read our

79. The drone of locusts in Au-

and whose parents and grand-

80. The fact that so many are

82. Foster parents who provide

78. Galveston College’s new

feeling the need to search for

need shelter, discipline and

paper for more than 75 years parents read it before them.

Charlie Thomas Family Ap-


born here and stay here, never something better.

of 50,000 have a symphony? Answer: Not many!

safe haven for children who (most urgently) love.

83. Watching your kids play in

the fountains at Kemah on a hot afternoon.

84. Clear Creek Independent School District, the county’s

largest. Year after year, it’s one of the top performing school districts in Texas.

85. Pier 21, where Galvestonians and tourists can eat, relax and

watch a working port in action.

86. Galveston’s Ronald McDonald House, which will celebrate 25 years of service on May 3.

87. Shriners Burns Hospital for

Children, and the determined people who refused to let it close after Hurricane Ike.

88. The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UTMB, keeping minds fresh and informed.

89. Texas A&M University at

Galveston and the Texas Maritime Academy. TAMUG

boasts $100 million in new construction, truly a rising star in Texas higher education.

90. Fajitas at The Original Mexi54

COUNTY PROGRESS | February 2014

can Restaurant in Galveston.


91. Sidewalks. Sounds strange

99. Rabbi Jimmy Kessler, who

is as pedestrian-friendly as

coming year. Jimmy is a good

to say it, but not every city Galveston.

92. Every single surviving live oak

in Galveston, especially those on Broadway. Thanks again

to the Galveston Island Tree Conservancy.

trainer, my golf partner and my


friends tell me will retire in the

101. Endless hope for brighter

man. It’s hard to offer higher

powerful word in any language

tomorrows. Is there a more

praise than that.

than hope?

100. Health, and the people

who preserve it (my cardi- Reprinted with permission from the ologist, my GP, my wife, my Galveston County Daily News. H

93. The new Family Aquatic Center in Texas City, which

replaced the traditional lap pool with a waterpark style venue for the whole family to enjoy.

94. The Tree of Life Mosaic com-

pleted by Hurricane Ike survivors at Mod Coffeehouse in

Galveston, a reminder that not all the trees had to go.

95. The Blue Santa programs

in Galveston, Texas City, Dickinson and League City

– and the Galveston County

Sheriff ’s Deputy Claus program. They continue bring-

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96. Mardi Gras. The dates this

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97. ArtWalk. Month after month, this Galveston event recognizes the island’s art community and those who support it.

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All in Good Fun (continued from page 43)

even so he made no secret where his allegiance stood. In fact, it was Riley who contacted Bush to name the stakes. “I am catching some heat about it from high school friends, and I have even received some emails calling me a traitor, but I support Aledo and all Parker County teams, no matter what,” Riley reported before the game was played. “We respect Ennis and Ellis County, both teams are 14-0, but I feel very confident in our Aledo Bearcats.” However, Bush had something different in mind. “When Judge Riley called eager to lose a wager to me, I was happy to accommodate,” Bush quipped back in December. “I think the Ennis Lions are going to tame those Aledo

Bear kittens, and Judge Riley will be wearing the color that he should have been wearing all along.” Riley said the wager made things a little more interesting, but he keeps it all in perspective. “We are having fun with this playoff match-up between two of the state’s high school football powerhouses,but the most important thing is that we,as local leaders,be supportive of our communities’ children and their schools,” Riley declared. In fact this is the second wager between Riley and Ellis County. “We have done this before, back when Aledo and Ennis first battled each other in 2004,” Riley recalled. “I won that bet and enjoyed some great BBQ from former Ellis County Judge Chad Adams. This year I am looking forward to Judge Bush wearing Aledo Bearcat orange.” H



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COUNTY CALENDAR Dates to Remember


Feb. 4-6 V.G. Young Institute School for County Commissioners Courts in College Station Headquarters: Hilton College Station & Conference Center, 801 University Drive East, 979-693-7500. New This Year: The V.G. Young Institute will manage the host hotel rooming list. After receiving your School registration, the Institute will contact you to provide a Host Hotel Reservation Request Form and instructions to submit your request. For more information, please call the Institute at 979-845-4572.

March 6 Panhandle County Judges and Commissioners Association Spring Conference in Amarillo

Headquarters: Texas A&M Agricultural Research & Extension Center, 6500 Amarillo Blvd. West, 806-677-5600. For more information, contact Oldham County Commissioner Quincy Taylor at 806-344-6892.

April 22-25 85th Annual West Texas County Judges and Commissioners Association Conference in San Angelo

Headquarters: McNease Convention Center, 500 Rio Concho Drive. For more information, contact West Texas Association President and Ector County Judge Susan Redford at 432-498-4100,

May 12-15 North & East Texas County Judges & Commissioners Association 2014 Annual Education Conference and Business Meeting in Galveston

Headquarters: Moody Gardens Hotel, 7 Hope Blvd., 888-388-8484 or 409-741-8484. For more information, contact North & East Association President and Angelina County Judge Wes Suiter at 936-634-5413 (you may also ask for Sallie Alexander); or Ashley Royer or Michele Ewerz with the Texas Association of Counties at 800-456-5974.

June 9-12 80th Annual South Texas County Judges and Commissioners Association Conference on South Padre Island Headquarters: Schlitterbahn South Padre Island Beach Resort, 100 Padre Blvd., 956-772-7873. For more information, contact South Texas Association President and Zapata County Judge Joseph Rathmell at 956-765-9920.

Aug. 27-29 Texas Association of Counties Legislative Conference in Austin Headquarters: Renaissance Austin Hotel, 9721 Arboretum Blvd., 512-343-2626. For more information, contact the Texas Association of Counties Legislative Department at 800-456-5974.

Sept. 4 Panhandle County Judges and Commissioners Association Fall Conference in Amarillo Headquarters: Texas A&M Agricultural Research & Extension Center, 6500 Amarillo Blvd. West, 806-677-5600. For more information, contact Oldham County Commissioner Quincy Taylor at 806-344-6892.

Sept.17-19 Far West Texas County Judges and Commissioners Association Conference in Terlingua Headquarters: Big Bend Motor Inn, Route 118 at FM 170, 800-848-2363. For more information, contact Association President Charlie Bradley, Schleicher County Judge, at 325-853-2766, or Joyce Francis with the Texas Association of Counties Judicial Education Program at 800-456-5974.

Sept. 29-Oct. 2 92nd Annual County Judges and Commissioners Association of Texas Conference in Lubbock Conference Headquarters: Lubbock Memorial Civic Center, 105 Mac Davis Lane. Lodging: Overton Hotel and Conference Center, 2322 Mac Davis Lane, 806-776-7000; Holiday Inn Hotel and Towers, 801 Ave. Q, 806-763-1200. For more information, contact State Association President and Lubbock County Commissioner Patti Jones at 806775-1335,, or Michele Ewerz or Ericka Bundy with the Texas Association of Counties at 800-456-5974.

For conference exhibitor information, please contact Moana Howard at or Leigh Walker at



OBITUARY Pat Tinley Kerr County Judge Pat Tinley died Jan. 7, 2014, at the age of 72. Tinley graduated from Denver City High School and went on to attend West Texas State University, now West Texas A&M. He then graduated from the University of Texas Law School, passed the Texas State Bar exam, and was licensed to practice law by the Supreme Court of Texas. Tinley moved to Kerrville and started his law practice, which was active for over 40 years. He was a retired veteran, having served 25 years in the U.S. Armed Forces from 1965 to 1992 as both an enlisted and commissioned officer. Tinley was a member of the 49th Lone Star Armored Division of the Texas National Guard. In 2002, Tinley was elected Kerr County Judge. He was reelected in 2006, becoming the first Kerr County Judge re-elected in a quarter century, and was re-elected unopposed in 2010. Among his many accomplishments was the completion of the Hill Country Youth Exhibit Center. Tinley was preceded in death by his wife, Betsy Tinley. Survivors include his sons, Scott Tinley, Patrick Tinley, and Tory Virdell; daughters Bobette Laza, Tara Bock and Tana Watson; and 12 grandchildren. H

Continuing Education Requirements Purpose

The overall purpose of continuing education is to give Judges and Commissioners the knowledge they need to perform their jobs as public officials, according to Bell County Commissioner Richard Cortese, chair of the Education Committee for the County Judges and Commissioners Association of Texas. The sponsors of the educational programs include institutes of higher education, giving added credibility to the educational classes.

Judges Government Code Section 74.025 Court of Criminal Appeals

( rules2006.doc)

• 30 credit hours during the first year of office • 16 credit hours for each 12-month reporting period following the first year in office

Commissioners Local Government Code Section 81.0025 • 16 hours for each 12-month period in office • 8 surplus hours may be carried from one 12-month period to the next

Commissioners Court Advanced Curriculum

This optional educational program is sponsored by the County Judges and Commissioners Association of Texas. Commissioners Court Advanced Curriculum courses are offered by the V.G. Young Institute of County Government at Texas A&M, The University of Texas LBJ School of Public Affairs, and at the state and regional County Judges and Commissioners annual conferences. For questions regarding continuing education, contact Cortese at 254-933-5101. 58

COUNTY PROGRESS | February 2014


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