Annual Reporting for County Historical Commissions

CHCs should provide an annual report of activities to their county commissioners court and the Texas Historical Commission (THC). As a service to CHCs, the CHC Outreach Program provides a report template to remind and encourage CHCs to fulfill their statutory reporting responsibilities. Updating the template each year allows CHCs to comment on timely preservation issues, as well as document organizational efforts. CHC Outreach uses Texas’ Statewide Preservation Plan as the framework for the report to assist CHCs in complying with their statutory responsibility to align CHC efforts with the statewide plan.

CHC Outreach sends an email message to CHC Chairs in January with a link to an online report. If a CHC does not have access to the Internet, a paper report is provided. This report is used to document activities for the previous year of service. After evaluating the reports, CHC Outreach recommends THC programs and services that will address the areas of need and also suggests local, regional, and statewide partners that may enhance the overall outcome of CHC efforts.

CHC Chairs can access more information about their responsiblities toward annual reporting here.

Online reporting for CHCs

A screenshot of a surveyOnline reporting enables CHC Outreach to analyze cumulative results, provide more accurate statewide CHC statistics, and identify regional trends for preservationists. We encourage CHCs to become more computer-friendly in order to access this online report, as well as to the variety of preservation tools and resources available online.

By participating in the online reporting method, CHC activity can be documented, compiled, and promoted in more efficient and meaningful ways. Reporting results are used to illustrate the importance of CHC work to public officials and preservation partners. Most importantly, online reporting information allows our staff to better serve the needs of each CHC.

Although online reporting is preferred, the THC is committed to serve individuals regardless of access or familiarity with computers or the Internet. Paper versions of the report are provided to individuals who do not have an email address. Photo at right courtesy of Matagorda CHC.

Reporting Links and Templates

 

How To Improve Your CHC Annual Report

Filling out your CHC report in its entirety will document a broad range of services and convey the degree to which your CHC engages the community in its events. We have selected reports from across Texas and listed aspects of those reports that illustrate how your CHC can improve reporting information so that the public record accurately reflects the efforts of your CHC. The selected CHCs are not the largest in the state, nor do they necessarily have the larger county allocations. What they do have is a positive attitude and a directed program of work that educates their county on the importance of history and preservation. This level of effort is conveyed through their CHC Annual Report.

2011 CHC Reports from Distinguished Service Award Winners

While the whole of each report is evaluated, there are certain questions that when answered demonstrate a CHC's level of participation in preservation-related matters. Of particular interest are the breadth of activity shown in questions 25-27, the partnerships pursued in question 35, the degree of communication with county officials shown in questions 40-41, and the depth of information provided through the project descriptions in questions 54-56.

2011 Atascosa CHC Report (PDF)

  • 100% of their full commission meetings had a quorum––this demonstrates a level of commitment on the part of all of their appointees, as does their high number of volunteer hours. Consider that all of what you will read is accomplished by a group with a very small county allocation relative to other CHCs.
  • Questions 25–27 show the breadth of work in which Atascosa CHC is involved; they do more than historical markers. Markers are a wonderful effort but they, in and of themselves, do not protect historic resources.
  • Questions 40–42 show that Atascosa CHC makes a number of different efforts to inform elected officials about the importance of CHC work.
  • Project descriptions (54–56) provide details that allow readers to see the quality of their efforts and of how the public responds to those efforts.

2011 Carson CHC Report (PDF)

  • Many times, CHCs attribute their lack of achievement on the small population of their county. With a population just over 6,000, Carson CHC shows that much can be accomplished regardless of your population size.
  • Carson CHC is a group that devotes much of its time to museum-related efforts; however, this does not keep them from developing a diversified body of work (see questions 25–27).
  • Questions 31–35 show the depth of Carson CHC’s involvement in regional preservation-related activities.
  • Like Atascosa, Carson CHC maintains a lively relationship with their elected officials and provides project descriptions that demonstrate the breadth of their work and its impact on the county.

2011 Collin CHC Report (PDF)

  • Collin CHC is a wonderful example of an engaged CHC. They report a high number of volunteer hours, have a quorum at each CHC meeting, and all of their appointees have taken Open Meetings training.
  • They have a high county allocation but also bring in a high amount of in-kind services to complement the county’s investment in their work and worth.
  • Collin CHC not only participates in a wide variety of preservation activities, they participate in sophisticated preservation efforts such as reviewing historic site tax exemptions/incentives, using the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties, and participate in federal Section 106 reviews (see questions 25 and 29).
  • Collin CHC develops relationships that enhance their influence and the impact of their preservation projects (see questions 54–57).

2011 Newton CHC Report (PDF)

  • Newton CHC does an excellent job of managing a wide range of weighty efforts (see questions 25–26, 28, 33–34). They are detail-oriented, which is reflected in their accomplishments.
  • This CHC uses their connection to the Newton County History Center & Genealogy Library to increase their level of interaction with the public.
  • Newton CHC “does preservation.” They become involved in their county in order to save historic resources, as demonstrated by their work with the Deweyville Swing Bridge (question 55).
  • Newton CHC creates a number of hands-on preservation opportunities for their CHC appointees and for their county, as demonstrated in question 56.

2011 Pecos CHC Report (PDF)

  • Pecos is another low population county that achieves big things for preservation. They have an appreciation for the many ways that CHCs can become involved in preservation efforts within their county and region.
  • In addition to working within their county, Pecos CHC is involved in regional efforts such as the Texas Heritage Trails regions, annual regional CHC meetings, and trainings offered by partner organizations.
  • Pecos CHC oversee several historic buildings owned by the county; they see to their repair but also make sure that the buildings are in used and included in community celebrations (see question 56).
  • Pecos CHC has a special interest in archeology and provides a variety of ways that CHC appointees and the public can engage in educational opportunities that include county resources (see question 54).