FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — The National Association of Counties (NACo) held its 2022 Annual Conference in Adams County, Colorado at the end of July. The Board of Supervisors advanced policy resolutions, accepted two national awards, moderated and participated in panels with colleagues from around the country, and received NACo presidential appointments to key leadership positions on the NACo Board of Directors and key policy committees.
Members of the Board of Supervisors successfully advanced policy resolutions that were adopted as part of NACo’s American County Platform and Resolutions, a compilation of policy priorities advanced by NACo on behalf of counties before Congress and the Biden Administration. Chair of the Board Patrice Horstman, District 1, shepherded four policy resolutions through the Public Lands Steering Committee related to forest use, land use, and environmental stewardship in Northern Arizona. The resolutions adopted include supporting the robust remediation of abandoned uranium mines, support for the use of FEMA funding to engage in forest thinning and restoration on public and private lands, and funding for additional law enforcement on public lands. Supervisor Lena Fowler, District 5, also successfully advocated for the adoption of a resolution encouraging the federal government to address and revitalize abandoned federal buildings, especially on tribal lands.
At the conference, NACo announced the appointment of Supervisor Lena Fowler as an at-large member of the NACo Board of Directors as well as Vice Chair of the Community, Economic, and Workforce Development Steering Committee. In these roles, she will have a direct impact on shaping policy matters before the NACo Board of Directors and matters pertaining to affordable housing, community and economic development, public works, and workforce development. This is in addition to her service as Vice Chair of the Rural Action Caucus, a committee of NACo that advocates for rural counties and their interests, a leadership position she will continue at NACo.
Coconino County was recognized with a 2022 NACo Achievement Award for our COVID-19 Employee Emergency Leave and Support Program, which demonstrated our commitment to creating innovative policies designed to benefit the health and safety of our employees. The county also garnered recognition with a Second Place finish in the 2022 Digital Counties Survey for counties with a population of less than 150,000. The survey highlighted the county’s internal infrastructure improvements and the proposed fiber optic project to bring high-speed broadband internet to underserved communities on the Navajo Nation.
Supervisors also moderated several panels at the conference discussing important policy matters. Supervisor Lena Fowler presented on the Colorado River Basin drought at the Western Interstate Region (WIR) Board of Directors meeting, informing WIR Board members of the ongoing drought and the growing water crisis in the Colorado River Basin. Supervisor Matt Ryan, District 3, also moderated the panel, “Connecting Counties & Military Installations: Supporting National Defense & Strengthening Local Communities,” while Billy Francis, the Executive Director of Coconino County’s Workforce Development Program, participated in a panel, “America Works: Investing Federal Funding in Community Workforce Development.” All Supervisors attended panels and breakout sessions focusing on a wide range of topics, including emergency preparedness and response, education, transportation, workforce development, and veterans’ affairs.
Founded in 1935, NACo serves America’s 3,066 counties, 40,000 county elected officials, and 3.6 million county employees. NACo unites county officials to advocate county priorities in federal policymaking, optimize county and taxpayer resources and cost savings, promote exemplary county policies and practices, and enrich the public’s understanding of county government.