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Dear TCCA Member,

I hope this email finds you in good health. Governor Abbott’s declaration of a State of Disaster due to COVID-19 has us all concerned about what the future holds for Courts across the State. This crisis has changed the way we do business and we know we will face additional challenges in the future.

The pandemic’s financial impact on our cities has been and will continue to be significant over the next several months. Most of us are beginning our 2020/2021 budget processes while our cities are reporting drastic decreases in sales tax revenue and court revenue.

As a result of COVID-19 and the State of Disaster Order, the TCCA Board of Directors has unanimously voted to cancel the 2020 Conference scheduled for October at the San Marcos Embassy Suites. Once the pandemic restrictions are lifted, court employees are going to be extremely busy trying to move cases through the process. In addition, the burden of budget shortfalls, travel restrictions, and not knowing what social distancing will look like in the near future compelled us to be proactive rather than reactive.

What does this Conference cancellation mean for TCCA?

    • General Operations - The business of TCCA will still continue to operate as usual and move forward while adhering to new guidelines/protocols (i.e. video conferencing when applicable) as we comply with Federal, State and Local pandemic mandates.
    • Conference Hotel - There will be no significant financial impact to TCCA. We were able to negotiate a deal with the hotel to avoid a cancellation fee of any kind. As part of the negotiation, we agreed to hold our 2021 and 2022 TCCA Annual Conferences in San Marcos at the Embassy Suites. For the purpose of transparency, if we would have been held to our current contract with the Embassy Suites, we would have had to pay them approximately $86,000 for cancelling the contract. However, the hotel and TCCA negotiated a fair agreement that would benefit both organizations. And for that, we are very thankful!
    • Speakers - We signed contracts for two speakers and already paid them in full per our contract with them. Instead of requesting a refund, we will sign a new contract with each of them for the 2021 Conference. Both speakers have been deeply affected by this pandemic, so they were pleased with our request.
    • Scholarships - State scholarship recipients have already been chosen. TCCA Scholarships will be carried over to the 2021 Conference for eligible recipients. TCCA Chapter Scholarships were not affected as the application process was halted before the applications were released/published.
    • Certification Testing - The Education Committee will be working with Chapter Presidents to schedule testing sites as requested.
    • Voting - Elections will not be affected. TCCA will handle all upcoming Officer Nominations / Elections and proposed Bylaws changes electronically.
    • Annual Business Meeting - We are planning to do a virtual meeting for our Annual Business Meeting in the Fall. Details will follow later in the summer.

I ask that you keep all of our TCCA members and associates in your thoughts and prayers. Many of our fellow Court Clerks have been personally affected by this virus, some have lost friends and family members and others have tested positive for COVID-19. I would also like to remind you to keep the City of San Marcos in your prayers, they lost one Officer and two others were injured this past Saturday in a shooting incident.

This was an extremely difficult decision for all of us. I believe this is the absolute best decision we could have made for our members. Special thanks to the TCCA Board of Directors, they are an amazing group of people that put a lot of heart and soul into making this Association successful.

We are TCCA strong! Stay safe everyone!

Landra Solansky

TCCA President

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