Texas Local Government Code, Chapter 318, directs the Texas Historical Commission (THC) to make orientation material and training available to County Historical Commissions (CHCs). To assist chairs in ensuring appointee education needs are met, Outreach Program staff have provided the following orientation and training resources. Additional training specific to your CHC’s efforts may be developed and included in orientation as needed.
CHC chairs are responsible for ensuring all appointees complete CHC orientation either as a group or individually.
Step 1: Review State Statutes
Texas Local Government Code, Chapter 318, enables a county commissioners court to establish a CHC and provides directives to which CHCs must adhere. Appointees should review the statute. CHC chairs should print a copy of the statute, keep it on hand for reference during commission meetings, and provide a copy to their commissioners court.
Step 2: Watch the CHC Orientation Webinar
While directed toward CHC appointees, county officials and preservation partners may find the content useful. This one-hour webinar covers the statutory basics for appointees, including:
- Responsibilities of a CHC appointee.
- Resources available on the THC website.
- The statutory relationship between CHCs, the THC, and the public.
- Recommended preservation work from THC staff.
A copy of presentation slides to use for notetaking is provided here.
A follow-up worksheet to test your knowledge of the CHC Orientation webinar is provided here.
Step 3: Complete Open Meetings Act Training
CHCs are appointed public officials who are required by statute to meet at least four times per year. As a body of county government, CHC meetings must adhere to Open Meetings Act regulations and appointees must complete Open Meetings Act Training.
Step 4: Read THC Staff Recommendations to CHCs
THC staff identified programs and services most frequently used by CHCs and developed recommendations that enable CHCs to make the most of these preservation opportunities. Read preservation guidance and recommendations from THC staff here.
Step 5: Understand Your Role in Federal and State Review
CHCs should be aware of threats to historic properties and archeological sites in their county. Sharing this information with THC staff helps planners prioritize them when adversely affected. Learn about review and compliance for local preservationists here.