San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

June 16th, 2010
South Texas counties to meet in San Marcos

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Left to right, Hays County Precinct 1 Commissioner Debbie Ingalsbe, Precinct 2 Commissioner Jeff Barton, Precinct 3 Commissioner Will Conley and Hays County Engineer Jerry Borcherding at this week’s meeting of the Hays County Commissioners Court. Photo by Sean Batura.

By SEAN BATURA
News Reporter

Around 500 officials from South Texas counties are expected in San Marcos next week as Hays County hosts the 76th annual South Texas County Judges and Commissioners Association Conference.

Approximately 270 county judges and commissioners, along with associated spouses and guests, will arrive to network, tour vendor exhibits, and earn up to 12 hours of continuing education credit. The State of Texas requires county judges and commissioners to earn 16 continuing education credits per year.

The conference will run from June 21-24 at the Embassy Suites and City of San Marcos Conference Center, beginning with a Host Court night on Tuesday. Consequently, there will be no commissioners court meeting on Tuesday.

“I was able to gather more than $20,000 for this event from various sponsors, and so we’ll have a buffet and we’ll have a Casino Night for everyone,” said Hays County Precinct 1 Commissioner Debbie Ingalsbe (D-San Marcos). “So, it should be a good time when we can all come together and network and just get to know other officials from different counties.”

The commissioners court budgeted $20,000 for the event in October. However, Ingalsbe said most of the county’s cost for the event will be covered by the money she raised from private sources.

“I may be short about $2,000, but for the most part, the county will have very minimal costs to this — maybe about $2,000, if the $20,500 that I gathered doesn’t cover it,” Ingalsbe said.

Ingalsbe said participating vendors include individuals and firms that customarily do business with counties, such as delinquent tax collectors, engineers and jail architects.

Ingalsbe said this year will mark the first time Hays County has hosted the conference, as the county didn’t have sufficient accommodations in previous years.

“One of the delinquent tax collection firms is taking several buses of their clients out to the Salt Lick,” Ingalsbe said. “And so, we’ll even have business down in the Dripping Springs or in the Driftwood area. So, I think (the conference) should hopefully be well-attended and an economic boost to our county.”

The V.G. Young Institute of County Government, the Texas AgriLife Extension Service and the Texas A&M University System will coordinate the continuing education classes, and credit will be awarded by the Agriculture Leadership, Education and Communications Department at Texas A&M University. Sessions for county judges will be coordinated by the Texas Association of Counties.

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