Councilman Weiner's Report to NCC Council: NACo Annual Conference, Richmond, VA July 13-17, 2007
From July 13 to 17, 2007, I attended the National Association of Counties (NACo) Annual Conference in Richmond, VA.
There are two conferences each year. The Legislative Conference is in March in Washington, D.C. The Annual Conference is in July in different cities.
There are eleven policy steering committees covering all policy ideas of importance to counties. Since 1996, I have served on the NACo Energy, Environment and Land Use Steering Committee. Through my participation, I have learned about grant programs, legislative ideas and have made contacts with federal agencies that have provided both monetary benefit and new ideas to help New Castle County. The Energy, Environment and Land Use Steering Committee (EELU) has five subcommittees; each of which meets separately in advance of the Steering Committee meeting. Since 2000, I have been reappointed each year as the Chair of the EELU Land Use and Growth Management Subcommittee. Since 2002, I have been reappointed each year as Chairman of the Sustainability Leadership Team (SLT). SLT is not a policy making committee but, rather a NACo "think tank" that directly interacts with the National Association of Home Builders, the International Conference of Shopping Centers (ICSC) , the National Association of Realtors, Housing and Urban Development, the Department of Defense, Department of Transportation, FEMA, the US Corps of Engineers and other private and public organizations and agencies.
On Friday, July 13, 2007 I attended the subcommittee meetings:
- 7:30 am - 8:30 am - Working group on coastal wetlands issues.
- 8:45 am - 9:45 am - Air quality subcommittee meeting
- 10:00 am - 11:00 am - Solid and hazardous waste subcommittee meeting
- 11:15 am - 12:15 pm - Energy subcommittee meeting
- 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm - Combined water quality subcommittee and watershed management advisory committee meeting
- 3:15 pm - 4:15 pm - Land Use and Growth Management subcommittee meeting
- 4:15 pm - 5:15 pm - Sustainability Leadership Team meeting
During the various committee meetings, we discussed policies on a national level that have a direct impact on us at the County level. NACo is a powerful national lobbying group and our collective strength representing all of the counties in the country makes for an effective, single voice to make sure that our interest as counties are protected.
I would be pleased to provide you with a list of the various resolutions and subjects that we discussed in greater detail, but in the interest of brevity, I did not include this information in the report. Additionally, the information is available at www.naco.org.
On Saturday, July 14, 2007, from 900 am to 12: 30 pm the full Environment, Energy and Land Use Steering Committee was convened. We considered Resolutions which will guide NACo as a national lobbying organization for the next 12 months. During the balance of the conference, I attended workshops of relevance to New Castle County. Here is a brief list of some of the workshops I attended:
(1) Counties and Military Bases: Compatible Land Uses,
(2) County Leadership for Regional Collaboration,
(3) From Vacant To Usable: Applying Technology to Prioritize Redevelopment of Vacant Sites,
(4) ICSC Business Development Forum,
(5) Combating Youth Obesity: Innovative Solutions,
(6) Aging, Communities and Growth Issues,
(7) Large Urban County Caucus,
(8) Is Your County Up for Grabs: Current Annexation and Incorporation Activities,
(9) Local Wetland Regulation amidst Federal Uncertainty.
I appreciate New Castle County Council allowing me to continue my education and feel confident that what I have learned at this conference helps me to better serve the citizens of our great County. I will continue to endeavor to share information and invite speakers in order to share the information with my fellow members of County Council.
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