WASHINGTON, D.C. – Commissioner McCall joined more than 180 county officials from North Carolina and representatives from the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners (NCACC) to attend the National Association of Counties (NACo) Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C. March 2-6, 2019.
Commissioner McCall has a Presidential Appointment to the “International Economic Development Task Force.” Lincoln County, NC was highlighted as having excelled at bringing in International Companies into the county. Chairperson Kathryn Starkey, Pasco County, Florida previously travelled to Lincoln County, NC to visit Blum and Wireway Husky of East Lincoln. Commissioner McCall shared how the county is working hard with Lincoln Economic Development Association to continue to bring in international businesses. Marek Gootman, Fellow and Director Strategic Partnerships & Global Initiatives Metropolitan Policy Program from the Brookings Institution requested Commissioner McCall share information regarding the Apprenticeship Program Lincoln County’s businesses created.
The event is held annually by NACo, a national advocacy and leadership organization representing the common interests of 3,069 county governments throughout the country. It provides a forum for NACo Steering Committees to meet and conduct business. County officials from across the nation also hear from experts on federal policy issues affecting counties and meet with their Congressional members to promote legislative priorities.
As part of the event, NCACC hosted a reception for North Carolina county leaders. Robert Wilkie, Secretary of Veteran Affairs, attended as the guest speaker and remarks were provided by Senators Richard Burr and Thom Tillis and Representative G.K. Butterfield. County representatives also met one-on-one with North Carolina’s Congressional leaders to update them on federal priorities for counties for 2019 and advocate for their top legislative goals, which include expanding high speed broadband internet access and securing additional support for disaster recovery efforts.
Commissioner McCall met with United States Senator Thom Tillis requesting Federal funding for Lincoln County, NC:
- East Lincoln roads, although LC must compete with Cleveland and Gaston Counties with NCDOT for road improvements, Commissioner McCall explained, companion funds increase scoring for potential projects
- Airport Grading for Expansion
- Water/Sewer Countywide
- Opioid/Substance Abuse Crisis in the county
Lastly, Commissioner McCall discussed with Senator Tillis the desire for the county “Tier System” to go to “Census Tracks”, a more fair system allowing for funding for a portion of the county, as opposed to the entire county being labeled as Tier 3. Currently, LC is labeled the highest socioeconomic designation with NC Department of Commerce. She explained Lincoln County is varied from East, Center and West socioeconomically, the current tier system eliminates Center and West Lincoln from the possibility of getting State or Federal Funding. Senator Tillis instructed the Special Assistant for Economic Development and the State Director to provide their information and work with Commissioner McCall for the needs. Senator Tillis’ Special Assistant for Economic Development and State Director will be working with Lincoln County, NC directly to assist applying for these needs.
During North Carolina’s Caucus Meeting, Person County Commissioner Ray Jeffers discussed his campaign to run for NACo 2nd Vice President, which will culminate in an election this summer at NACo’s Annual Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. Tracey Johnson, Chair of the Washington County Board of Commissioners and Tare “T” Davis, Warren County Commissioner announced their intent to run for NCACC 2nd Vice President. Commissioner Johnson and Ray Jeffers, Person County Commissioner declared their candidacy to continue to serve as members of the NACo Board of Directors.
Conference attendees heard from Alexander Acosta, US. Secretary of Labor, Ben Carson, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Sonny Perdue, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, U.S. Senators Joni Ernst (R-IA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Kellyanne Conway, Assistant to the President and Senior Counselor, and entrepreneur and author, Steve Case, Chairman and CEO of Revolution LLC and Co-Founder of America Online.
The conference offered a variety of educational workshops and panel discussions on issues impacting counties. Several speakers from North Carolina were featured including Randell Woodruff, County Manager, Pender County, who discussed new revenue and collections via online sales tax. Tim Trautman, Mecklenburg County, Flood Mitigation Program Manager presented a workshop entitled, Understanding FEMA’s New Policy Guidelines Before Disasters Hit, and Crystal Kelly, Director of Strategic Initiatives, Children’s Council of Watauga County discussed local early childhood outreach efforts. Stephen Kalland, Executive Director, Clean Energy Technology Center at N.C State University discussed renewable energy, and Sean Maxwell, Legislative Director, Office of Representative David Price, North Carolina discussed community, economic and workforce development federal policy and funding issues.
The following are examples of NACo events attended by Commissioner McCall:
- Community Economic and Workforce Development Steering Committee
- Resolutions Meeting
- Subcommittee Meeting
- Women of NACo (WON)
- International Economic Development Task Force Meeting
- North Carolina Caucus
- General Session
The National Association of Counties (NACo) is the only national organization that represents county governments in the United States. Founded in 1935, NACo assists America’s 3,069 counties in pursuing excellence in public service to produce healthy, vibrant, safe and resilient counties. NACo promotes sound public policies, fosters county solutions and innovation, promotes intergovernmental and public-private collaboration and provides value-added services to save counties and taxpayers money. More information at: www.naco.org.
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