The Honorable James M. “Jim” Holland joined 1,800 fellow county officials from across the country July 13-17 to adopt policies and share ideas to help lead the nation toward economic recovery during the National Association of Counties’ (NACo) 2012 Annual Conference and Exposition in Allegheny County/Pittsburgh.
NACo’s Annual Conference is the most important gathering of county officials of the year. Decisions made each summer 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 infrastructure, access to health care, and court and jail systems.
Holland said the conference was productive and informative.
“We are not alone in the challenges we are facing here at home to deliver services and programs during these tough economic times,”
Holland said. “Only by talking with our fellow county officials sharing best practices and practical solutions will we be able to kick-start our economy. NACo’s educational workshops are a terrific vehicle for that interaction and engagement.
“The bottom line is that while recovery begins here at the county level, the federal government must be on the same page as us,” Holland said.
“That’s why our involvement in NACo is so important. It’s our voice in Washington.”
Supervisor Holland, of Chesterfield County’s Dale District, said the nation’s counties are deeply concerned about funding for a variety of federal programs, which directly affect counties and communities and new federal regulations under consideration.
Counties in most states are responsible for providing essential services to communities, including maintaining roads and bridges, operating airports and other transit systems, delivering critical health care services, providing law enforcement, courtroom and jail services, funding schools, and numerous human services for seniors, children and families. Counties are the first line of defense for natural disaster emergencies and pandemic preparedness and response.
During the Annual Conference in Pittsburgh, county officials through NACo’s 11 policy steering committees set the county agenda and legislative priorities for 2012-13 so counties can speak with one voice before the Administration and Congress. Issues addressed included budget and revenue; rural and urban development, green government; transportation; public safety; emergency preparedness and response; housing and more. Policy resolutions adopted at the conference will be posted soon at www.naco.org .
In addition, conference attendees heard from experts and prominent national speakers throughout the five-day conference including Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack; political journalists Mark Halperin and John Heilemann; retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor; and author Jay Wilkinson. See below or visit www.naco.org  for summary of remarks.
For more information about the 2012 NACo Annual Conference, contact Jim Philipps at firstname.lastname@example.org  or (202) 942-4220.