Local officials headed to Austin

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A number of county, city and school officials plan to venture south to Austin for Denton County Days, set for Monday and Tuesday as part of the 83rd session of the Texas Legislature.

Local officials are looking forward to the two-day event, which provides an opportunity to advocate for their own legislative agendas and learn more about other issues that affect them and their constituents.

All members of the Denton County Commissioners Court plan to attend, along with all Denton school board members and Superintendent Jamie Wilson. Also attending will be all Denton City Council members, Denton City Manager George Campbell, Denton Assistant City Manager John Cabrales and Denton Assistant City Manager Lindsey Baker, as well as about 180 chamber of commerce members from across the county.

“This is something we look forward to every two years,” Precinct 4 County Commissioner Andy Eads said. “I know our delegation is especially eager to meet with our newly elected state reps, and share our points of view on issues important to us.”

During recent meetings, county commissioners have passed resolutions in favor and against legislation proposed for the current session. Cities and school districts have been doing the same.

“This is [also] a time to have  a face-to-face opportunity with the officials, get an update on how the session is going and insight on the likelihood of success for our agendas and learn about any problems we may face during this session,” Eads said.

Commissioner Hugh Coleman said he has a small list of things he’d like to bring up over the two-day trip.

“I will be talking to my representatives about current legislation regarding special districts and how we need additional county land-use provisions,” he said.

Other important goals, Coleman said, include trying to stop gas taxes from being diverted to non-transportation-related projects and to get another seat on the North Central Texas Council of Governments.

“We currently share one with Collin County. I think it’s something we can fix at the Legislature,” Coleman said. “And it’s a good time to remind everyone in Austin they shouldn’t be pushing the costs of state mandates to local governmental entities.”

Officials have a full agenda for their visit to Austin, but Coleman said he is looking forward to it.

“It’s a time to network with other local officials and a good idea for our delegation to see our faces,” he said.

Staff writers Peggy Heinkel-Wolfe and Britney Tabor contributed to this report.

BJ LEWIS can be reached at 940-566-6875. His e-mail address is blewis@dentonrc.com.


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