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COLLEGE STATION – More than 400 county commissioners and judges have registered for the 61st annual V.G. Young School for County Government, which runs Feb. 19-21 at the College Station Hilton.
The conference is hosted by the V.G. Young Institute, part of the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. The institute was formed in 1969 and named after Vernon Young, who first began offering short courses for Texas county elected officials in 1956.
“In 1954, the Texas state constitution changed from two-year terms to four-year terms for county judges and commissioners,” said Dr. Peter McGuill, V.G. Young Institute director in College Station. “In 1969, they started the institute and named it after Mr. Young, so this is a special year for the institute, celebrating 50 years of serving Texas county government.”
McGuill said the conference agenda is formed from the feedback received from elected officials across Texas.
“We send out surveys to commissioners court members to determine their educational needs,” he said. “The most requested topic was county budgeting. We have scheduled a four-hour early bird session just to focus on that topic.”
McGuill said with each election cycle, about one-third of the county judges or commissioners either decide not to run for re-election or do not get re-elected.
“Consequently, you have this turnover of newly elected officials who need basic information,” he said. “We provide that, plus we focus on information for those who have been in office for a number of years.”
Bill Sarpalius, former U.S. Congressman and Texas senator representing the Panhandle, will provide the keynote, “Make a Difference.” Suzannah Jones, Texas Division of Emergency Management assistant chief in Austin, will provide an update on Rebuild Texas efforts following the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.
For more information and a complete conference agenda, visit https://bit.ly/2tnfPWu.