Wood County judge returns from leadership training in DC



WOOD COUNTY, Texas (KLTV) – A group of judges and county commissioners traveled to Washington DC to improve their ability to advocate on county issues at all levels of government.

An East Texas county judge was on the trip and shared how she will implement what she learned in her county.

“You can’t just expect people to come into office and do a great job,” Wood County Judge Lucy Hebron said. “You really have to prepare them with certain tools, including leadership skills, communication skills, so it’s a wonderful way for us to learn about leadership and communication and really be the best advocates or the best representatives of our voters.”

Judge Hebron, along with eighteen other Texas County Judges and Commissioners, recently completed a study in Washington, D.C. with the VG Young Institute of County Government.

The group met with state government officials and congressional leaders to learn more about county issues at the federal level.

“The challenges that our leaders are facing on a national level – they aren’t really real to us until we see how they affect our congressmen and senators in the heavy decisions they have to make,” said Judge Hebron.

While in DC, Judge Hebron visited the National Counties Association, which she said has been a huge resource for small, rural counties, advising on how to spend American Rescue Plan Act funds.

Wood County is receiving $8.8 million and has already received $4.4 million. This money is being used to stimulate the economy and provide direct relief to Americans as the country recovers from the effects of COVID-19.

“That would be a huge influence on what I report to Wood County and the Court of Commissioners and advise them on how we can properly and perhaps better spend what I call the ‘manna from heaven’ that we draw “, Judge Hebron said.

She says what matters to her is that ultimately every county official takes what they’ve learned to be better leaders.

“Texas has 254 counties and each county does things a little differently and that’s fine,” Judge Hebron said. “You have to do what’s best for your county.”

Judge Hebron encourages all members of county government, especially judges and county commissioners, to consider expanding their skills by seeking similar leadership training opportunities.

She thinks it helps county officials better advocate for taxpayers, voters and the county.

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