TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Elected officials and community leaders from throughout Smith County came together this afternoon for a meet and greet of sorts.
Hosted by county judge Nathaniel Moran, the goal was to strengthen relationships and communication between county and city leaders while providing an update on what’s being done to improve the county as a whole.
“It’s important for you to understand how we’re set up,” Moran told a packed crowd. “Because we do have to act together.”
Moran compares the structure of county government to the Parthenon, saying “every column is trying to support the same roof, but every column is an independently elected official.”
Which is why he felt it necessary to present the first ever County Community Commitment Report, a State of the County type event.
“For years the city has done a state of the city, TISD does the state of TISD,” says County Commissioner JoAnn Hampton. “We just thought it was important for people to start learning about what we do in the county.”
The event highlighted county achievements, such as Smith County having the 12th lowest tax rate in the whole state. It also touched on ongoing projects.
“The fact that we are re-doing the roads in the county is a big thing,” says Smith County Constable Josh Joplin. “I do believe that’s a project that the county is really advanced in.”
However, the bulk of the event focused on introductions.
Each of the 28 Smith County elected officials were recognized for the role they play in the community, something Moran says was necessary due to the structure of county government.
“When you can put a face to a name and a department or an office it helps with transparency and communication,” says Moran. “It allows us to better interact and interface with the community going forward.”
The County Commitment Report was hosted by The Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce.
Judge Moran says he’s looking forward to hosting the program again in the future and focusing on a specific county initiative.