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The overlooked truths of county government

Column by Commissioner Cook

  • 17 noviembre 2022
  • Author: Doris Sanchez
  • Number of views: 308


Photo shows voters at a polling site with a sign that reads: Vote (Aqui) Here --Among the state-mandated responsibilities is to process and maintain voter registration and conduct elections. Jay Janner/American Statesman

In Texas, county government is “an arm of the state.” We have 254 counties, and each is charged with carrying out state-decreed administrative and judicial responsibilities, some of which include actual funding.  

Go back 200 years. What did every county have? A sheriff, a traveling judge and someone to record legal documents such as marriages, divorces, land sales and lawsuits. Well, it’s bigger, better and much more expensive now. 

Let’s look at state-mandated responsibilities of counties. Nearly all are poorly funded by the state: 

  •  Process and maintain voter registration and conduct elections. All entities on a ballot contribute to the cost of running that election, such as cities, school districts, water control and improvement districts and community colleges. These entities contract with county elections departments to conduct their elections but don’t have to; they can run their own elections. It’s cheaper for each entity to join others, with the county conducting the elections. 

Election Day: Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022 - Joint, General & Special Elections

Information is from the Wilco Elections Office and the League of Women Voters.

  • 12 septiembre 2022
  • Author: Doris Sanchez
  • Number of views: 588

Voter Registration Deadline: Tuesday, October 11Eclectic/artistic  red, white & blue images with three stars and the word VOTE in large print. Pixaby.com

Early Voting Period: Monday, October 24 to Friday, November 4

Last Day to Apply for Ballot by Mail: Friday, October 28 (Received, not postmarked)

Wilco Elections Office: Elections (wilco.org)  --  512-943-1630


Dates and Times for Full-Time  and Limited Ballot Voting

Monday, Oct. 24 - Saturday, Oct. 29:  7 am to 7 pm
Sunday, Oct. 3012 pm to 6 pm
Monday, Oct. 31 - Friday, Nov. 4: 7 am to 7 pm

Election information: VOTE411

Annual vacations are time well spent

Column by Commissioner Cook

  • 18 agosto 2022
  • Author: Doris Sanchez
  • Number of views: 674

Williamson Co. Commissioner Terry Cook: Annual vacations are time well spent (statesman.com)

The view of people enjoying Carolina Beach in North Carolina as Commissioner Cook and her sister relaxed and read good books.

Fresh back from my annual one-week vacation to a North Carolina beach just in time to be consumed by our annual budget planning and voting. 

Roll back the clock. I lounged with feet in the water. The melodic, recurrent, gentle pounding of the surf drowning out all other sounds just clears your head and soothes the spirit. I got a week clear of Atlantic storms with mild breezes, lower temperatures (91° rather than 104°) and no public information requests. 

I grew up near the coast and miss the ocean and its mysteries terribly. The rhythm of the wave action as each rushes the shore to deposit its slim edge of foam lulls one into such relaxation unknown to those who vacation elsewhere – especially not staycations where all you seem to do is repeat the home-routines in your life and just look at all the work needed done around your home.

What happens when the unexpected does?

Column by Commissioner Cook

  • 21 julio 2022
  • Author: Doris Sanchez
  • Number of views: 1142

Commissioner Cook, right, hands out water bottle cases along with two other volunteers shown at the Kelly-Reeves  Athletic Field to residents during a boil water notice issued on Feb. 5 by Austin Water.

In an episode of “I Love Lucy”, how did Lucy respond in the chocolate factory when the chocolates came faster than she could box them? She gained 20 pounds.

Seldom does life follow our plans, hence contingency planning.

How we react shows our character and perhaps its flaws. Those who weather those changes tend to show creativity and resilience, not resignation and despair.

In my second year as commissioner in 2018, I participated in a “table-top disaster exercise.” This is a scripted disaster with all the normal players participating as though in their official roles. In this case, the scenario was a major 5K race planned in Twin

Commissioner Cook Announces Texas Housing Assistance Line

Information from the Texas Health and Human Services Commission

  • 13 julio 2022
  • Author: Doris Sanchez
  • Number of views: 870

On July 7, The Health and Human Services Commission announced the launch of the Texas Housing Assistance Line at 1-855-802-0014.Adobe Stock Free Vectors Icon of house with blue roof, orange door and white structure ttps://www.bing.com/images/

This resource is available statewide 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to help people facing housing instability or homelessness, with a focus on people dealing with mental health or substance use issues.

Trained consultants will refer callers to local housing resources; crisis services; local mental and behavioral health authorities; Outreach, Screening, Assessment, and Referral programs; and 2-1-1 as appropriate.

For additional housing information, log onto DFPS - Housing Program (state.tx.us)


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