Initial THC Recommendations for CHCs packet was issued in 2016 and is explained here. The following revised recommendations were shared via the CHC listserv in 2020 to help CHCs resume activity that could be accomplished within social distancing guidelines. This revised set of recommendations highlights basic work that CHC chairs can address or delegate to fellow appointees.
Reach Out to CHC Partners
Fortifying your CHC’s network is essential regardless of the degree to which appointees are active. Here are ways that appointees can act now to improve relations with regional partners, county leadership, and THC staff. Consider the following recommendations.
- Contact your county officials to obtain approval for CHC activity to move forward at whatever pace appears to be appropriate and safe. CHC should clear work with the county commissioners court––the CHC’s governing body—especially during these challenging times.
- Call or email THC staff with preservation-related questions/concerns. THC staff include historians, architects, archeologists, and historic sites managers. These individuals have expertise in fields that can move your preservation projects forward. THC staff listed here; find table that lists contacts by county.
- Check in with appointees and verify contact information: name, address, phone number, and email address. Maintaining accurate information is an important and necessary task that can be handle easily over the phone--no in-person contact required! Appointee roster template is provided here to record updates.
- Determine which appointees are able and willing to participate in CHC activities at this time. Determine which appointees will be able to handle the recommendations your CHC pursues. If time allows, consider using the Skills Inventory Spreadsheet template located at the bottom of the webpage here to identify skills of apointees who are willing to volunteer given social distancing guidelines. This information can help you decide which activities can be pursued by the CHC given the human resources at hand.
- Identify local and regional preservation partners and discover ways to support history-related programming––spread news, share research, etc. Consider using the Sample Partnership Inventory template located at the bottom of the webpage here to list partners and contact information.
Evaluate Foundational Needs
Contribute to the CHC’s organizational identity and stability by taking time to evaluate ongoing needs of the CHC and its appointees. Consider the following recommendations.
- If feasible, conduct CHC meetings. Be sure to adhere to Open Meetings Act and social distancing parameters that have been established by the Texas Attorney General’s Office. COVID-related and remote meetings directives are offered here.
- Ask appointees to view online THC orientation video and review associated web material located here. Even seasoned CHC appointees can learn from this material that covers essential CHC organizational business. Take advantage of this free, online training material!
- Review CHC bylaws. Most CHCs have this type of document in place. However, bylaws are not required nor are they mentioned in CHC statutes. If bylaws exist, ensure document has been ratified by county officials. Address attendance clauses that may need revisions to allow flexibility for pandemic conditions. Be sure to share final document with appointees. THC staff does not review/approve bylaws but does provide general bylaw comments here.
Above images: Tom Green receives 2019 Distinguished Service Award in 2020 during commissioners court meeting; Grimes CHC meets outdoors at historic Anderson Park; Brazos CHC uses Zoom online platform to conduct CHC virtual meeting.
CHC Appointee Orientation Content featured here.
Web series addressing CHC work within social distancing parameters below.
- THC Recommendations for CHC basics are above.
- THC Recommendations for CHCs and Historical Markers are here.
- THC Recommendations for CHCs and Cemeteries are here.
- THC Recommendations for CHC Research and Writing are here.
- THC Recommendations for CHCs and Historic Buildings are here.
- THC Recommendations for CHCs and Archeology are here.