Hays County Commissioners Court Proclaims December 21 as Joyce Cowan Day to Honor Retiring Elections Administrator
Hays County Courthouse, San Marcos, TX – The Hays County Commissioners Court has proclaimed December 21, 2016, as Joyce Cowan Day in San Marcos, honoring the long-time Elections Administrator for her 31-plus years of service. The Courtroom crowd on Tuesday gave her a standing ovation as she took the dais to accept the honor.
“I thank all the citizens of Hays County,” she said. “I’ve been more than privileged to be able to serve you all.” She thanked her staff, elections workers and Commissioners Court, saying “I couldn’t do my job without those individuals.”
County Judge Bert Cobb, M.D., presented her with a watch, calling it “a small token of our love, respect and thanks for all these years you have done so much for this county.” Citing her ability to remain impartial in politics, he noted that no one to this day knows whether she is a conservative or a liberal or a Democrat or a Republican. “She is the fairest person I have ever dealt with.”
The proclamation notes that when Ms. Cowan began her career at Hays County in 1985, punch ballots were the norm, and she oversaw the transition to electronic voting. Also during that time, the county’s population surged from 50,000 to more than 200,000 and from 28,000 registered voters to more than 123,000. She is a Certified Elections/Registration Administrator and is well-known and respected for her knowledge of elections law and processes.
Other members of the Commissioners Court, as well as several members of the audience, took a turn thanking her for her dedication, integrity and fairness.
Hays County Precinct 1 Commissioner Debbie Gonzales Ingalsbe praised Joyce for her
guidance, advice and friendship. “Your integrity, loyalty and knowledge has been a tremendous asset to our voters,” Ingalsbe said. “I thank you from the bottom of my heart for all you have done for me and for the citizens of Hays County.”
Precinct 2 Commissioner Mark Jones recalled the first time he walked into the Elections Office and how welcoming Joyce was when he first ran for office. “I remember how at ease you made me feel and how professional you were,” he said. Noting that the Elections Administrator is selected by an Elections Committee and not the Commissioner Court, he said he hoped that if the Court had been in charge of the selection that it would have selected Joyce. “You’ve done an outstanding job,” he said. “Hays County has been lucky to have you and you will be missed by Hays County.”
Precinct 3 Commissioner Will Conley said, “Joyce is a true, true public servant who is passionate about her community, she is fair, she is honest. When I think of Joyce I think first and foremost of integrity and that is first and foremost in having an elections officer. She’s loved and respected and she will be missed, but not forgotten. We love you very much.”
Precinct 4 Commissioner Ray Whisenant said, “You can always expect to find fairness, integrity and good advice when you walk into her office. I think that in my mind she will always be one of the small treasures of Hays County.”
The Elections Office staff honored Ms. Cowan with a reception Wednesday afternoon at the Hays County Government Center. For more information about the elections and voting process in Hays County, visit www.co.hays.tx.us and choose Elections from the Offices dropdown.
Judge Cobb also recognized and thanked HEB for providing cakes and paper goods for the retirement ceremony at the Courthouse Tuesday as well as the cake for Wednesday’s reception.
Below, Precinct 2 Commissioner Mark Jones, Precinct 1 Commissioner Debbie Gonzales Ingalsbe, County Judge Bert Cobb, M.D., retiring Elections Administrator Joyce Cowan, who has served in the position since 1985, Precinct 3 Commissioner Will Conley and Precinct 4 Commissioner Ray Whisenant with the proclamation calling for December 21, 2016, to be recognized as Joyce Cowan Day in Hays County.