Last week I had the honor of hosting my colleagues from around the United States, the National Council of County Association Executives (NCCAE), an affiliate of the National Association of Counties (NACo) in itheir annual meeting.  State association directors from 33 states, as well as a number of corporate representatives and NACo staff were in attendance.  In all, around 75 people attended the conference, which lasted three days.

Our venue was Santa Rosa, CA and was selected because it was in the home county of NACo President, and Sonoma County Supervisor, Valerie Brown.  The conference gave Valerie the opportunity to showcase her beautiful county to people from around the nation.  We encouraged them to visit local wineries, local stores and local restaurants and to liberally spread their money around Northern California.  Many came early and/or stayed late and made it a vacation.

This was not play, though.  The annual meeting of the NCCAE is a chance to get together and discuss issues of importance to all state associations and to learn what other counties around the nation are looking at.  With the national recession starting to ebb, it was interesting to learn how other states are coping with revenue losses.  Issues such as tribal lands, health care reform, ARRA, and community development block grants cut across state boundaries.  In addition, many states have been facing critical ballot measures challenging governance structures and seeking to limit government oversight.  All were discussed as well as issues such as social networking (tech tools) and leadership development.

The state executives thoroughly enjoyed their visit to Northern California and I am sure they will have positive comments about California to share with their members as they return home.

Legislature Continues to Grapple with Water

Here in Sacramento, the Legislature held hearings today on proposed water legislation.  CSAC will publish a detailed report in the Legislative Bulletin due out Friday.

Paul McIntosh
Executive Director
California State Association of Counties