Richmond County Commissioner Peggy Covington said she was impressed with talks on “Green Government” as presented at the recent National Association of Counties Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C.
“The NACo Green Government Initiative provides comprehensive resources for local governments on all things green, including energy, air quality, transportation, water quality, land use, purchasing and recycling,” she said.
NACo is committed to help educate counties, Covington said, “and to help us educate the public regarding green techniques.”
She said commissioners attending the conference were “encouraged to get involved in Green Government and expand our knowledge about how these techniques may apply in our own communities.”
From 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the conference, Covington said she and Commissioner Pam Dillman were involved in networking with others attending from across the United States. “Representatives were there from all 100 counties in North Carolina,” she said.
Dillman has been involved with NACo for the past three years, and at the conference she was appointed vice president of the Women of NACo Leadership Network. She said she will be involved in long-range planning for the group as a voting member of the executive committee of the Woman of NACo.
“This job will help with a communication network for women in county government and increase their influence within NACo,” she said, “and to help support equal opportunities for women in the political process.”
Dillman said she begins work this month on the next NACo conference to be held in Nashville, Tenn.
In July, she will attend the N.C. Association of County Commissioners for which she serves as vice chairman of the organization’s Airport Transportation Board.
Covington said she was privileged to attend the national meeting in Washington to learn how NACo is the “voice of America’s counties.”
She said, “In short, this organization acts as a lobbyist to the administration and Congress on all issues affecting counties and their residents.”
At one of the luncheon meetings, Covington said U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano addressed them. She also met briefly with Congressman Larry Kissell (D-NC8).
She said NACo is involved with issues related to homeland security as well as education, drug abuse, health care and many other issues.
“Economic development, health, children and families, water and sewer infrastructure, for example, are very high on NACo’s list of priorities,” Covington said.
“North Carolina will be getting several billions of dollars as our share of the stimulus package,” she said, “but just how that will be allocated — and how much Richmond County will receive — was not known at the time of the conference.”
She said one issue which is very crucial — and which several counties are already experiencing — are the effects of the “withholding of the state lottery allotments and the Average Daily Membership (ADM) monies for the counties. And, the Governor of North Carolina is not the only governor going this route.”