Supervisors Mark Marshall and Kim Vann were among 2,300 county officials from across the country to take part in the 2013 NACo annual conference: County Solutions and Idea Market Place that took place during the NACo (National Association of Counties) annual conference in Tarrant County, Texas. The conference theme was “Why Counties Matter”.
Marshall and Vann were among the county officials who worked to establish national policies affecting counties and work collaboratively to find and share innovative solutions to challenges facing American communities.
Marshall serves on the Justice and Public Safety Steering Committee for NACo which recently submitted 8 Resolutions to the Federal Government for consideration to change or write legislation that would assist counties to better serve their citizens throughout the United States. The Resolutions ranged from asking for funding to proactively assist with the funding to prevent forest fire and to fund mitigation efforts to Resolutions that addressed jail overcrowding and recidivism.
Vann is a member of the Rural Action Caucus (RAC) and is a nominee for its next vice chair. RAC is a component of NACo’.
“Since nearly two-thirds of the nation’s 3,068 counties are designated as rural, county elected officials from these areas are dedicated to solving many critical issue impacting rural life and development,” said Vann.
“The issues RAC and its county representatives work to solve include infrastructure development, broadband deployment, development of new rural clinics and hospitals, road and bridge construction and maintenance, business development opportunities and many more county responsibilities,” she said.
“These issue affect Colusa County and I see first hand the importance of each item. I appreciate the opportunity to have our voice heard, Vann added.
Marshall commented that NACo gives our County a voice at the federal level with the backing of all of the State’s throughout our nation. “I find it interesting that the issues that we have here in California and in Colusa County are very similar to those of our fellow County Supervisors and Commissioners throughout America and together we are a much stronger voice in Washington D.C.,” he said
According to a NACo’s spokesperson the annual conference is the most important gathering of county officials of the year. Decisions made during the conference allow counties to speak with a strong, clear and unified voice to the Administration, Congress and the American people on issues ranging from transportation and water infrastructure, health care and court and jail systems. In addition, delegates in attendance elected and installed its 2013-14 association officers to lead NACo and heard from prominent national speakers.
Both Marshall and Vann agreed that the conference was productive. They added that Congress and administration officials need to fully understand and appreciate why counties matter in America’s system of federalism.
“Through NACo we are reminding our federal representatives that county government delivers essential services directly to the American people,” said Vann. “Local government needs to be heard in Washington D.C.”
A major issue of discussion at the conference was NACo’s efforts to protect the tax-exempt status of municipal bonds. NACo recently released important new research on the risky impact of changes to the tax-exempt status of municipal bonds on counties and their residents. Municipal bonds enable state and local governments to build essential infrastructure projects, such as schools, hospitals and roads.
For more information about the 2012 NACo Annual Conference, contact Jim Philipps at email@example.com or 202.942.4220.