With the start of a new year, it is important to review and reflect on the accomplishments of the past year as we set goals for 2020.
We started 2019 with a new initiative to create a culture of Communication, Coordination, Engagement and Economic Development and I am happy to report that we have achieved many of the goals we set out to accomplish.
This year, we increased communication on social media and in newspapers through more than 100 speaking engagements and much more. We coordinated with fellow governmental entities on legislative issues, with nonprofits on tackling serious issues such as homelessness and began a term as chair of the Regional Transportation Council, which guides transportation for the entire region. We increased engagement with our employees, worked with our 19 chambers of commerce across the county and learned about each of our communities during regular Commissioners Court meetings.
This year, economic development saw the hiring of our new Economic Development Director Michael Talley, who hit the ground running as we welcomed five new businesses to the county including Ericsson and Stanley Black & Decker as well as an expansion of the Charles Schwab headquarters. We joined the North Texas Commission for the first time ever and worked closely with government entities to get $1.3 billion in funds for major Denton County thoroughfares.
The Denton County Commissioners Court also provided tax relief to our residents by lowering the county tax rate to the lowest it has been in decades while also providing an over 65 tax limit.
As we look forward, new goals are already underway. We intend to continue increasing communication with residents through social media, newsletters, a State of the County event and regular updates from our area school districts during Commissioners Court meetings.
We have launched a new Census 2020 website - https://dentoncounty.gov/Pages/Census-2020 - and met with community, nonprofit and other leaders to coordinate efforts to ensure everybody across Denton County is counted. We will continue to reach out to our area non-profits to collectively tackle countywide issues. And we will be coordinating with county departments throughout the year as we move into the new Denton County Courthouse on Loop 288 which will serve as our new administration building.
Though many administrative offices will be leaving the Denton County Courthouse-on-the-Square near the year’s end, by no means will it not be used. Plans are already in the works for major public events this year and the Office of History & Culture is steadily working on expanding its historic offerings in the downtown Denton facility.
This year, we will unveil a new program to work with our service organizations and others to ensure our young adults aging out of the Texas Child Protective Services program are supported in their efforts to become self-sufficient adults giving back to their communities.
With the continued growth in Denton County will come many opportunities for expansion – from a new solar farm to creating plans for open space conservation across our county. We will continue to meet with our chambers of commerce, address transportation needs and work to attract quality, high-paying jobs for our residents to live, work and play in this county we all call home.
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