Several California officials have been invited by Vice President Joe Biden to participate in a White House Recovery and Reinvestment Act Conference to learn more about implementation of the Act and to offer advice from a local perspective on how the Act can achieve maximum effectiveness.
Invited to appear are Sonoma County Supervisor Valerie Brown (also President-elect of NACo), Sacramento County Supervisor Roger Dickinson, Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe, Alameda County Supervisor Scott Haggerty, CSAC Executive Director Paul McIntosh, San Diego County Chief Administrative Officer Walt Ekard, Los Angeles County Chief Executive William Fujioka, Los Angeles Federal Government Affairs Liaison Reginald Todd, and Tom Joseph from Waterman and Associates, CSAC’s Washington advocacy firm.
The conference will take place on Wednesday, March 18, 2009 in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, DC.
The level of participation of California officials far exceeds the number from any other state involved in this conference and recognizes the emphasis California has placed on participation in national issues through the National Association of Counties (NACo).
The focus of the conference will be how to expedite the flow of funds from the stimulus package to recipients to maximize the use of funds to create jobs and economic stimulus as quickly as possible. The Obama Administration has also emphasized transparency and accountability in the use of these funds. They have set up a Website called Recovery.gov so that people can find out where and how the money was spent. The LA Times reported on discussions between cities in that region to “trade” recovery dollars with other cities in the region to provide general fund dollars, only to find this was not allowed. This is definitely NOT the kind of story we would want to see about California’s counties.
CSAC has added a section to our Website to provide links into the federal stimulus package. You may access that portion of the site by clicking here. In addition, the Obama Administration is very interested in capturing anecdotal information about the expenditure of funds to provide media opportunities for the Administration. You may recall that President Obama visited the Dayton, Ohio Police Academy – that was entirely arranged because stimulus dollars were going to save 54 recruits from being laid off.
To facilitate getting this information to the Obama Administration, NACo has developed an on-line entry form where you can enter data on individual projects.
Let’s be clear, there are billions of dollars yet to be allocated from the stimulus package and opportunities like the White House Conference give California a leg up on accessing those funds. I encourage you to explore our Website and become thoroughly familiar with the opportunities. As further information is obtained, CSAC will update that site.
California State Association of Counties