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ETCOG Happenings – June 2023

Five horizontal photos from left to right: Ford Bronco, man in suit, man in suit, man in suit, two gentleman standing

ETCOG Announces New Leadership

for CEO-RTPO Board

ETCOG is pleased to announce new leadership for its Chief Elected Officials – Rural Transportation Planning Organization (CEO–RTPO) Board. At a recent meeting, the CEO–RTPO Board voted Marion County Judge Leward LaFleur as Chair, re-elected Camp County Judge AJ Mason as Vice Chair, and designated Judge Chad Sims to its Executive Committee.

The CEO–RTPO Board consists of the county judges from each of the 14 counties served by ETCOG, the Mayors of Longview and Tyler, and the three Texas Department of Transportation District Engineers that serve the ETCOG region. The Board serves a dual function of shared oversight of the region’s workforce programs with the Workforce Solutions East Texas Board and working directly with TXDOT to ensure that transportation priorities are developed and solutions implemented for the region’s rural communities.

“With deep admiration and respect for my colleagues, I express my sincere appreciation for their confidence in calling me to serve as Chairman of the Chief Elected Officials –Rural Transportation Planning Organization Board. I have such esteem for these county judicial and city leaders, who sacrificially serve the needs and interests of our East Texas. Together, as servants of the public’s trust, we will continue to confront the challenges and seize the opportunities for the future of the 14 counties and cities within our region. With rich natural resources, the beauty of our lands, coupled with the values and strong work ethic of our people, East Texas sits in a strategic position to grow economically while maintaining the quality of life we all enjoy. As a son of Gregg County, God called me back to my East Texas roots after my service to our country through the U.S. Navy. Upon returning home to the piney woods, I had a burden in my heart to invest my life in serving my fellow East Texans. As I do that, I ask for the prayers of my colleagues and the people of East Texas,” said Marion County Judge Leward LaFleur.


Judge LaFleur joined the board in 2018 and has served on its Executive Committee since 2021.

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ETCOG, City of Longview to Host Two-Day

Environmental Enforcement Workshop

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ETCOG and the City of Longview are proud to announce joint efforts to host a free Environmental Enforcement Workshop in Longview, on June 6-7, 2023, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Maude Cobb Convention Center.

The workshop is a two-day training, but participants can attend one or both workshops they believe will benefit. Participants are eligible to earn CEUs during this workshop.

Register HERE

ETCOG Awarded for Excellence in Financial

Reporting for 22 Consecutive Years

The Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) has awarded the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting to ETCOG for its annual comprehensive financial report for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2021. An impartial panel has judged the report to meet the program’s high standards, which include demonstrating a constructive “spirit of full disclosure” to clearly communicate its financial story and motivate potential users and user groups to read the report.

“Twenty-two consecutive years receiving this recognition from an independent source is an outstanding achievement,” said ETCOG Executive Director David Cleveland. “It is also reflective of ETCOG’s commitment to financial accountability. I am so proud of our entire Operations Team for their relentless pursuit of excellence!”

“We are very honored to receive this award,” said Director of Operations Wendi Horst. “It recognizes the standards our leaders expect from ETCOG on a national level and is a great tribute to the dedication and hard work of our team.”

ETCOG’s 2021 Annual Comprehensive Financial Report can be viewed at

Regional Technology Solutions Team Explores Cyber Defense at TAC Technology Conference

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Conference stage from back of room with tables in front
In the dynamic landscape of technology and cybersecurity, county, city, and regional officials and staff face numerous challenges in delivering efficient and secure services to their communities. To bridge the gap between technology, cybersecurity, and county service, the Regional Technology Solutions (RTS) Team embarked on an empowering journey by attending the Texas Association of Counties (TAC) Technology Conference. With a robust and member-shaped agenda, this conference aimed to equip individuals with critical information and strategies regardless of their technical comfort levels.

The RTS Team’s participation in the TAC Technology Conference provided them with knowledge, tools, and strategies to bridge the gap between technology and cybersecurity. By actively engaging in various sessions, they gained insights into crucial topics such as website compliance, data management, cybersecurity incident response, and technology policy development. Equipped with this newfound expertise, the RTS Team is poised to drive innovation, enhance county services, and safeguard critical information, ultimately bridging the gap between technology, cybersecurity, and city and county service for the benefit of the East Texas community.

To learn more about how RTS can help your organization safeguard against cyber attacks and promote safe practices, visit →

ETCOG to Host Texas Association of

Regional Councils June Board Meeting

ETCOG is proud to host the June meeting of the Texas Association of Regional Councils (TARC) Board.

As an esteemed organization, TARC plays a vital role in supporting cities and counties to implement cost-effective, results-oriented strategies that address statewide and local needs on a regional scale.

This meeting is open to members of the TARC Board, which includes elected officials representing the 24 regional councils, also known as Councils of Governments (COGs), comprising city, county, and special district members.

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Recognizing World Elder Abuse Awareness Day 2023

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Every year on June 15th, people worldwide come together to observe World Elder Abuse Day. This important occasion serves as a reminder of the need to address the alarming issue of elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation. As our population ages, it is crucial to spotlight this often hidden problem and take action to protect our senior citizens.

The East Texas Area Agency on Aging (AAA) is eagerly preparing to attend the upcoming “Safeguarding Our Seniors Conference” as part of their commitment to promoting Elder Abuse Awareness Month. This important event will gather professionals, caregivers, and community members to collaborate and address the urgent issue of elder abuse. AAA aims to actively contribute by raising awareness about the various types of abuse, delivering educational sessions on recognizing warning signs, and advocating for the importance of reporting any suspected instances of elder abuse. By participating in conferences like this, AAA strives to empower individuals and communities to safeguard the well-being of our seniors in the future.

  • Tuesday, June 13
  • 8:30 AM – 4:00 PM
  • Wisenbaker Conference Center (800 E. Dawson St. Tyler, TX 75701)
  • Register at →

Supporting Tri-County Meals on Wheels

Ford Bronco and seven individuals standing to the right smiling

We are proud to continue supporting the mission of Tri-County Meals on Wheels, an incredible organization that plays a vital role in delivering nutritious meals to seniors in our community. Meals on Wheels is dedicated to ensuring that our elderly neighbors have access to healthy food and companionship, promoting their well-being and independence.

This month, ETCOG and the Area Agency on Aging of East Texas partnered by donating a vehicle—a brand-new Ford Bronco. This vehicle will serve as a valuable asset in the transportation of meals, enabling them to reach even more seniors who may face challenges in accessing proper nutrition.

We encourage everyone to learn more about Tri-County Meals on Wheels and the incredible work they do. By visiting their website at, you can explore their initiatives, volunteer opportunities, and ways to contribute to their mission. Together, let us rally behind this worthy cause and ensure that no senior in our community goes hungry or feels alone.

GoBus Receives Good Maintenance

Score from TxDOT Audit

ETCOG is proud to announce that a recent maintenance audit completed by TxDOT resulted in the designation of 100% compliance for our GoBus vehicles. Our region’s TxDOT Public Transportation Coordinator, Nancy Hoehn, conducts the maintenance audit. TxDOT identifies three or more vehicles and requests all documentation, such as preventative maintenance records and repair logs. They also inspect the buses at the beginning and end of the day to ensure everything is in good condition, such as the lights, fluids, tires, AC/Heat, lift, safety equipment, etc. This audit ensures that the vehicles are being cared for properly and operated in the safest condition possible.

“During the last biennial maintenance audit, we discovered we were not as organized as we had liked to be, so we quickly went to work developing and implementing processes for improvement. These proactive changes have had a significant impact, resulting in a flawless review in terms of vehicle safety and preventative maintenance this year,” said Preston Garcia, ETCOG’s Transportation Development & Compliance Manager.

Veteran Focused Job Fair to be Held in Tyler

Back of woman's head sitting at table facing woman during interview
Workforce Solutions East Texas will host a veteran-focused job fair on Wednesday, June 21, 2023, from 10 am – 2 pm. The event will be held at the Tyler Workforce Solutions office located at 4100 Troup Highway and is open to the public.
Full List of Employers

WSET to Host Summer Earn & Learn Program, Connecting Students with Disabilities to Work Opportunities

Woman showing man something on a cell phone while he smiles

The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) announces the kickoff of this year’s Summer Earn and Learn (SEAL) program for students with disabilities aged 14-22. Through work-based learning, students earn a paycheck while acquiring new skills and gaining professional experience. Employers participating in SEAL benefit from the addition of engaged and enthusiastic team members.

Through the program, students learn about the employer’s industry and develop specialized knowledge and talents. Upon completion of the work experience, some students have had the opportunity to become employed full-time.


Call: 512-936-6400


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East Texas Council of Governments

(903) 218-6400

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East Texas Council of Governments | 3800 Stone RoadKilgore, TX 75662

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