LAREDO - The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in District 12 hosted its annual Continuing Education Conference for County Judges and Commissioners on Thursday, Dec. 7 at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Laredo.

Attending from Duval County was County Judge Ricardo O. Carrillo, and Commissioners David O. Garza and Gilberto Uribe Jr. A wide range of topics of special interest to South Texas officials was the main focus of the program.

Warren “Country” Weidler, Search and Rescue Coordinator with the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service, provided an update on local government experiences with Hurricanes Ike and Harvey in seeking and securing state and federal assistance in emergency response, and recovery efforts along with a status on the Commission to Rebuild Texas.

The Honorable Eddie Lucio Jr., State Senator, District 27, provided attending members with an overview of the recent session and his views on state laws affecting county government as the Chair of the Senate Intergovernmental Relations Committee.

Jim Allison, Allison, Bass, & Magee, L.L.P. and Legal

Counsel for the County Judges & Commissioners Association of Texas provided valuable information on issues and priorities to be discussed during the upcoming legislative session.

Mary Ann Saenz‐Thompson, HR Specialist with the Texas Association of Counties provided an update on Department of Labor changes and strategies to ensure employee productivity and reduce risk and liability to counties including recent issues related to discrimination and harassment.

The conference offered 5.5 continuing education units approved and provided by the County Judges and Commissioners Association of Texas, but a big draw was the information and networking the event provides to those attending this annual event in South District 12.

County elected officials are so busy tending to the day to day duties of the job, but this conference is often the only opportunity they get to meet their counterparts, relationships that one day may be of huge benefit if they ever have to call on each other for assistance or collaboration and even advice.

The conference is organized by the South District 12 office of the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service located in Weslaco. Extension agents in District 12 also serve as committee members to plan and assist with the event. The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service is an educational state agency supported in part by county government. The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service is part of the Texas A&M University System, and is home to the V.G. Young Institute for County Government. The time spent at this conference by the Duval County elected officials should prove to be time well spent and beneficial as they continue to serve the people of Duval County.