Paul McIntosh is the Executive Director of the California State Association of Counties. For more, visit The County Voice.

The 2010 Annual Meeting of the National Association of Counties (NACo) wrapped up on Tuesday.  Outgoing President Valerie Brown, Supervisor, Sonoma County, handed over the reins of the Association to Glen Whitley, County Judge (elected executive) of Tarrant County, Texas (Fort Worth).  Thus, a whirlwind year for Valerie Brown starts to wind down

California counties continue to play an integral and important role in NACo.  President Whitley appointed Brian Dahle (Supervisor, Lassen County) to chair the Environment, Energy, and Land Use Committee and Liz Kniss (Supervisor, Santa Clara County) to chair the Health Committee. 

Supervisor Kniss was also appointed to the NACo Board of Directors, meaning that California has five members sitting on that Board, in addition to Valerie, the Immediate Past President.  Scott HaggertyHub Walsh (Supervisor, Merced County) was appointed to a vice chair position in the Human Services Committee and Marie Pe (Chief Deputy Tax Collector, San Diego County) was appointed to a vice chair position on the Deferred Compensation Committee. (Supervisor, Alameda County) wrapped up chairmanship of the Transportation Committee and was immediately appointed to a vice chair position in the Large Urban County Caucus.

Other California officials are gaining appointments to committee positions with NACo.  A complete list will be available soon and we will publish that list once it is released.

Valerie Brown’s tenure as NACo President was nothing short of stupendous.  She has been at the forefront of a number of federal issues affecting counties throughout the nation.  She was the only local elected official attending early consultations with the Obama Administration on health care reform, was instrumental in many of the stimulus programs benefiting California counties and most recently led the charge for correcting federal regulatory agency rulings affecting the PACE program. 

One of Valerie’s last acts as President was to convene a workshop on the Gulf Oil Spill and the impacts it was having on counties in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida.  Participating in that workshop was Michael Blake, Deputy Director of Intergovernmental Affairs for the White House; Lisa Jackson, Administrator, United States Environmental Protection Agency; and Thomas Oppel, Special Assistant to the Secretary of the Navy.  The workshop developed a deeper understanding of the impacts those counties were facing and a commitment from the Administration to work with them to address those issues.

Clearly Valerie served exceptionally well at the helm of the National Association of Counties and, in the process, brought a great deal of respect and friendship to California counties.  All California county officials should be very proud of the manner in which Valerie represented our state.

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