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3/6/2008
Councilman Weiner's Report to NCC Council: March 2008 NACo Legislative Conference

March 1-4, 2008, I attended the National Association of Counties (NACo) Legislative Conference
There are two NACo conferences each year.  The Legislative Conference is always in March in Washington, D.C.  The Annual Conference is always in July in a different city each year.

There are eleven policy steering committees covering all issues of importance to counties.  Since 1997, 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) is a policy making arm of NACo and has 5 subcommittees; each of which meets separately in advance of the final EELU Steering Committee meeting.  Since 2000, I have served as Chairman of the EELU Land Use and Growth Management Subcommittee.  Since 2002, I have also served 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.

Here is the schedule of meetings and workshops in which I participated:

Saturday March 1, 2008
7:00 AM – 9:00 AM Waters of the U.S. Task Force
9:15 AM – 11 AM EELU meeting to discuss pending NACo Resolutions regarding pending Congressional legislation and NACo Platform changes
11:15 AM – 12:15 PM Water Quality Subcommittee meeting
2 PM – 3 PM Air Quality Subcommittee meeting
3:15 PM – 4:15 PM Land Use & Growth Management Subcommittee meeting- I am the Chairman
4:15 PM – 5:30 PM Sustainability Leadership Team meeting- I am the Chairman
5:30 PM – 7 PM Sustainable Communities & County Leadership in Conservation Awards Ceremony- I was one of the Judges.

Sunday March 2, 2008
6:30 AM – 7:45 AM EELU Leadership Breakfast
8:00 AM – 9:00 AM Coastal Issues Working Group
9:15 AM – 10:15 AM Energy Subcommittee meeting
10:30 AM – 11:30 AM Solid & Hazardous Waste Subcommittee meeting
1 PM – 4:30 PM Energy, Environment & Land Use Steering Committee meeting

Monday March 3, 2008
9 AM- 10:15 AM Pending climate change federal legislation and its local impact – a workshop
10:45 AM – 12 noon pending federal energy legislation and its local impact – a workshop
1:30 PM – 3:30 PM General Session
3:30 PM – 5 PM Coalition of Counties lobbying for local input in pending federal climate control legislation

Tuesday March 4, 2008
8:30 AM – 10:30 AM General Session
11 AM – 12:15 PM Pending federal clean air act legislation and its local impact – a workshop
12:30 PM – 2:30 PM General Session
2:45 PM – 4 PM Using technologies to clean America’s waters – a workshop

During the various committee meetings, we discussed federal policies, grant programs and proposed legislation that directly impacts us, positively or negatively, at the County level.  NACo is a powerful national lobbying group and our collective strength single voice ensures that our interests as counties are protected.

I would be pleased to provide you with a list of the various resolutions and subjects that we discussed, but in the interest of keeping this report brief, I have not included this information in the report.  I can provide speakers on any of the subjects in this report. I took extensive notes at all of the workshops and sessions. I also brought home literature and publications which I will make available to all Council members.

The conference continued through Wednesday March 5, 2008, but I did not stay for the final day.  The final Wednesday of the conference from 900am to noon is always set aside for each County delegation to meet with and to lobby its Congressional delegation.

I appreciate County Council allowing me to further my education. What I have learned at this conference helps me to be a more informed and effective public servant.  I look forward to sharing information and ideas with you when subjects of relevance are on our agendas.

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  Councilman announces details of redevelopment at former AstraZeneca site
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