Wise County Judge Bill McElhaney was elected to the executive board of the North Central Texas Council of Governments June 18.
McElhaney attended his first meeting last week, kicking off his two-year term on the 13-member board.
“It’s not only an honor, but it’s also very helpful to Wise County,” McElhaney said. “Hopefully, I’ll be able to make a difference in how we develop with other, larger entities.”
NCTCOG serves a 16-county region, centered around Dallas and Fort Worth. There are more than 230 member governments including 16 counties, numerous cities, school districts and special districts.
McElhaney said some of the issues important to Wise County that will be addressed by NCTCOG include transportation, emergency management and air quality.
“I think, too, just trying to figure out where we’re going to be – long-range planning – and how do we fit in with the metropolitan area and its expansion?” he said.
McElhaney said that at a recent luncheon Tarrant County Judge B. Glen Whitley, president of the NCTCOG board, used Wise County as an example in his closing remarks.
Whitley said Wise is an example of neighboring counties reaching out and trying to be a part of the solution and expanding the region in a way that all the counties can help each other.
“All the larger counties are recognizing (Wise County) as being progressive and starting to move forward and look ahead,” McElhaney said.
He said he was proud for the county to “have a voice at the table,” and that it would give Wise County officials insight that can be used to plan locally.
“(My nomination) means a lot to the county for the fact that we will have a face with a name,” McElhaney said. “It speaks to the fact that they know we’re here, and I don’t know that they did three or four years ago.”
McElhaney was first elected judge in 2006. His other civic experience includes serving on the Bridgeport City Council in the late 1970s and on the Bridgeport School Board for 21 years. In the late 1980s, he was president of the Bridgeport Economic Development Board.
He is the first Wise County representative on the NCTCOG board since Roy Eaton served on it in the 1980s.