How can NACA work with NACo to address legislative issues?
A survey on legislative priorities should be sent to the full membership. That information, along with input from the NACo Policy Steering Committee representatives should be used to create a formal letter from NACA to NACo articulating legislative priorities from the CAO perspective.
Social issues: global warming, racial tensions
Several communities are working on policies to address the impacts of the climate crisis.
County A has had greenhouse gas initiatives that have stopped housing programs, an unintentional consequence. They are currently working with environmental coalitions to find compromises on existing legislation.
County B has seen an increase in the amount of freeboard from 1 foot to 2 feet causing roads to flood far more often.
County C has created an energy opportunity plan. The community outreach process had to become more aggressive, aiming to reduce energy costs for residents and businesses, and having the aggressive goal of reducing the county’s carbon footprint by 75% by 2050.
County D has been enduring devastating beetle kill (forest destruction). The forest service won’t let them in to remove dead trees and address additional damage from record rainfall. For example, endangered bird populations won’t allow them into the waters to make improvements to roads and bridges. The energy grid also can’t be improved due to a protected plant species location.
County E is facing major issues due to sea level rise. They hired a sustainability director, created a joint county coalition to address the issue at a regional level. Flooding happens far more often forcing them to raise road elevations.
County F: Satellite information can identify natural disasters (e.g. forest fires) before they are identified by humans, but localities cannot dispatch personnel based on satellite imagery.
County G: Racial tensions are a major concern in the county. They are in the process of creating a poverty reduction plan, in which the topic of racial equity is an inescapable point. They are also working on doing more racial equity training.
County H: The community is majority white and racial tensions in rural communities are increasing. They created an equity access position and community board tasked with advising the county administration and board on internal practices and community issues. They hold semiannual equity summits for employees, hired a recruitment coordinator focused on hiring people from diverse backgrounds, and created internship opportunities for minorities – 5 of those interns became full-time employees.
County I is currently hiring a racial equity officer, working with GARE and modeling programs after King County.
County J was on the cover of Governing as having the most segregated school district. The county now has resources to help address the issue and is mobilizing to do so. They have reached out to GARE.
County K: Politicization can create an obstacle to addressing many social issues from the CAO position.
County A is doing an economic development plan to hopefully address and commit new resources toward the problem. The lingering question is whether to address the supply side or the demand side.
County B is incorporating a multiangle approach to tackling the issue: taxing the private sector to subsidize projects, dealing with coding to allow different building structures. Collaboration is a key element, and while government must be in the room, change should be driven by the private sector.
County C: One cannot build their way out of a housing deficit. COLAs are something that require attention.
County D demands very expensive housing, creating market failure to create middle/low income housing. Builders aren’t incentivized to build such housing, so how can counties reduce the impact of market failure to make it feasible for builders to build what’s needed?
County E: VRBOs are having a huge impact. Service worker housing is turning into VRBOs and smaller communities are being impacted by VRBOs in a real way.
County A: Opioids are a major issue and small communities lack the resources to deal with the problem appropriately. It is uncertain how cannabis helps the current drug problem. The cannabis legalization in the state isn’t working the way it was expected to work.
County B: Recreational/medical cannabis was recently made legal. $100,000 was budgeted for related revenue and $1.2 million was the actual revenue in year one. One problem the county is facing is the drug-free workplace rules. E.g. an employee had medical marijuana, tested positive for THC, was terminated, and the decision was ultimately overturned. They are having to reevaluate internal policies.
County C has not legalized cannabis, though it is optional in the state. They are shutting down 3-4 illegal grow operations per week, which usually come with human trafficking cases. They recently had a fire in a rural area and they had to worry about the security of first responders as illegal growers were armed.
Federal funding: earmarks for public transportation, etc.
County A expects that earmarks are coming back as they tend to help the legislative process.
Recent insight from the Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee: If there is grant that doesn’t fit into the federal grant process, take it to the legislators – if earmarks are restored, they will likely be reinstated for transportation projects.
Increasing the amount of toll roads & dealing with citizen pushback
County A: A recent infrastructure grant included the term “managed lanes” which meant toll lanes. The total cost of the project was $350 million with local matching. The toll aspect caused commissioners concern and they almost didn’t accept the $65m grant due to inhibitions about imposing tolls.
Jails: bonds, ICE detainments, etc.
County A introduced a bail bond reform act – incarcerated individuals get income every day they are detained to offset their bond. The impact on county revenue has been neutral.
County B: There are constitutional issues behind loss of benefits. They have begun utilizing a data matrix to determine risk.
County C: People in their program go through a risk assessment.
County D identified every type of local/state crime, classified levels of risk, and created a matrix for judges to consider when issuing bonds. The American Bail Coalition is now lobbying against the county.
County E passed legislation that states people should be released without bail, establishing a way to identify risk. The American Bail Coalition has a petition to get it on the ballot and the legislation has now been delayed pending popular vote. They dropped 400 beds out of their jails over the past 2 years due to changes in practices. In 2011, the state was sued in federal court due to overcrowding and a huge number of incarcerated individuals were pushed from state to county facilities, forcing counties to readdress their policies. The state has undone former felonies (reclassified as misdemeanors) which led to reduction in incarcerations
County F: It’s a murky legal area, with contradictions in state and federal policies.
Election reform: election machines
County A was having trouble in receiving federal funding to replace machines, so the county spent $5.6 million on new machines.
Counties B and C have also spent money on new machines due to a lack of federal funding.
County D is finalizing a grant for federal funding.
County E is working on securing funding for electronic machines with paper backup.
NACA News Update
NACo Legislative Conference
March 2-6, 2019 in Washington, D.C.
The National Association of Counties (NACo) Legislative Conference brings together over 1,500 elected and appointed county officials to focus on federal policy issues that impact counties and our residents. Attendees have the opportunity to engage in second-to-none policy and educational sessions, interact with federal officials and participate in congressional briefings and meetings. Learn more about the event, view the full schedule, and reserve your lodgings.
Saturday, March 2
NACA Executive Board Meeting
3:00-5:00 PM ET
Gunston West/East, Terrace Level, Washington Hilton
Sunday, March 3
County Administrators' Idea Exchange
3:00-5:30 PM ET
Gunston West/East, Terrace Level, Washington Hilton
NACA Reception, sponsored by ICMA-RC
5:30-6:30 PM ET
Fairchild West/East, Terrace Level, Washington Hilton
Monday, March 4
New Revenue on the Horizon: Collections via Online Sales Tax and Tax Refund Intercept
with Randell Woodruff, County Manager, Pender County, NC; NACA VP, Southeast Region
County Awarded Grant for Jail Chemical Addiction Program
Montgomery County, Indiana is launching a new Jail Chemical Addiction Program thanks to a $43,000 grant from the state attorney general. During the 90-day voluntary program, inmates struggling with addiction will be placed in a separate jail pod and will participate structured activities including housework, homework, and individual and group therapy, as well as time for recreation and faith. Read more from the Journal Review.
Career Compass No. 68: My 1:1 Meetings Are a Waste of Time
Conducting 1:1 meetings with direct reports should not be perceived as a burden. Rather, they are a great opportunity to engage staff and support them. In this issue of Career Compass, Dr. Frank Benest discusses how you can make the most out of these opportunities. Read the full article here.
Career Compass No. 69: Psychological Safety: The One Key Determinant of Team Effectiveness
To determine what made great teams, Google undertook “Project Aristotle”, and found that the key determinant of team effectiveness is “psychological safety.” In this issue of Career Compass, Dr. Frank Benest discusses how you can promote psychological safety. Read the full article here.
Help ICMA Build a Collection of Resources on Equity & Inclusion
This Equity & Inclusion Toolkit will equip local governments with resources to build equitable and inclusive organizations and communities. Thirty-two communities contributed to this toolkit, and the resources include a focus on community relations, delivery of services, and internal practices. Now ICMA wants your help.
If your community has a resource to share or if you are looking for specific resources on an equity and inclusion topic, email email@example.com.
Professional Development Opportunities
The 2019 ICMA Regional Conferences will send you home with the ideas and know-how you need to reshape and create new innovations in your organization and community.
Join experts from the International City/County Management Association (ICMA), the National League of Cities (NLC) and Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) to hear the latest insights on this new and exciting technology.
What are the most prevalent ethical issues and how can you spot them?
What are examples of when you need to say "no" and how to do so effectively?
How can you strengthen the ethical culture in your organization and what roles can everyone play?
Nominate Rising Stars in your Health Department!
Improving community health requires effective state and local health departments, and a strong and diverse public health workforce. Fresh perspectives, new ideas, creative problem-solving, and innovative solutions benefit communities and improve the field of public health. That’s why the de Beaumont Foundation created the “40 Under 40 in Public Health” list. The foundation is seeking nominations for people who are showing leadership and making communities healthier. Applications will be accepted through Feb. 28, 2019, and the list will be announced in spring 2019. Visit debeaumont.org/40Under40 for more information and application instructions.
Sign up for NACA County Connect
NACA County Connect provides a platform for county professionals to receive insights and guidance from fellow county professionals and industry experts. Unlike a typical Q&A board, NACA County Connect will put you in direct contact with a subject matter expert. Whatever your question, challenge, or interest, you can expect a prompt response from someone. Get connected today!
This service is open and free for all NACA members.
by Robert Donnan, assistant program manager, ICMA/NACA
National County Government Month (NCGM), held each April, is an annual celebration of county government. Since 1991, the National Association of Counties (NACo) has encouraged counties to actively promote county services and programs. It is an opportunity to highlight effective county programs and raise public awareness and understanding about the many services they provide.
This year, the theme is “Serving the Underserved.” The theme encourages counties, parishes, and boroughs to feature programs and services that are making a difference in families’ lives and helping to break multigenerational cycles of poverty.
In NACo’s NCGM toolkit, there are a variety of ideas on how to share these efforts, which include establishing a planning committee, creating outreach activities, and getting the local media involved. Suggestions include holding an open house at county departments to showcase the services they provide, offering tours to show how county facilities operate, and holding a job fair to highlight workforce development efforts, just to name a few.
NACA, an ICMA affiliate, encourages professional development for county administrators and provides information and resources to its members to improve the management of county government. You can access notes from the Idea Exchange, where county officials from across the country discuss issues in an informal setting, and The Journal of County Administration.
NACA: Deadline June 30. Visit the website for details.
This year's ICMA Annual Conference is virtual - UNITE: A Digital Event, September 23-26, 2020. Annual Conference Assistance Scholarships will provide recipients with complimentary registration to the digital conference.
We would like as many members as possible to build on the skill sets that they need to better manage their communities; however, many ICMA members are challenged by limited resources. In order to help members experience the difference the ICMA Annual Conference has made for so many others, ICMA offers several Conference Assistance Opportunities.
Top Eight Scholarship recipients in each category receive:
Complimentary conference registration
ICMA’s Conference Assistance is divided into three categories:
Early Career Professional is open to any ICMA member with three years’ or fewer experience as a full-time local government employee. There is no minimum salary requirement, although salary might be considered during the evaluation process. (See note under "How to Apply")
Workplace Diversity is open to any ICMA member who is female, a minority, or identifies as LGBTQ.It is the applicant’s responsibility to demonstrate (through additional information included in a required essay) how his or her background merits receipt of an equity award and how the local government and the community served will benefit from the individual’s conference attendance. There is no minimum salary or tenure cutoff for the Workplace Diversity award, although those factors may be considered during the evaluation process.
Small Community Employee is open to any member serving in a small community with limited financial resources. Applicants can self-select to apply for this award. There is no minimum salary requirement, although salary might be considered during the evaluation process.
Conference Assistance Scholarship Eligibility
To be eligible for any of ICMA’s Conference Assistance Scholarships(Early Career Professional, Workplace Diversity, Small Community Employee), an applicant must:
Be a member of ICMA at time of application.
Must not have attended the 2019 ICMA Annual Conference. (this requirement will not apply next year to those who attend the 2020 Digital Event: UNITE and is also not applicable to persons who attended a past conference as a student member or a fellow).
Be a full-time local government employee (not a part-time intern).
Submit a completed application (see below).
Demonstrate, through a 500-word (or less) essay, an avid interest in a career in local government management.
The top eight recipients of the Early Career Professional, Workplace Diversity or Small Community Employee Conference Assistance Scholarship receive complimentary registration to the ICMA Annual Conference.
Provide a short biography for the ICMA Annual Conference page.
Post a minimum of once a day on social media about your conference experience.
Scholarship winners will not be required to write a blog as indicated on the application
Eligible candidates can submit an application to multiple categories, if they meet the requirements.
Candidates for Conference Assistance Fellowships and Scholarships must be ICMA members at time of application. To apply for membership, contact ICMA’s Membership Services Department at 202/962-3680; firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the website to join.
How to Apply for the Conference Assistance Scholarships
If you have trouble with the button, follow the instructions below:
You must be an ICMA member and logged into the ICMA website in order to submit an application.
Once you are logged into the website, go to “my account.” You will see “awards” on the top blue menu bar. Hover over the “awards” tab and you will see the link to apply for a conference scholarship.
Alternately, if you are logged into the website you can go directly to the nomination form.
Follow the online prompts and be sure to fill out all information. Do not forget to upload the essay. (Essay must be named with NO SPACES in the name of the document- example- SmithEssay.doc. and must have a .doc, .docx or .pdf extension)
Applications are due August 9, 2020.
NOTE: If you are applying for the Early Professional Scholarship select Young Career Professional in the Drop Down. We are working with our contractor to update this category on the application web site.
Late applications will not be accepted. Questions regarding ICMA’s Annual Conference Fellowships and Scholarship Program should be directed to email@example.com or 202/962-3551.
*Members in Transition: MITs are granted complimentary registration to the ICMA Annual Conference. There are a limited amount of funds available to provide travel stipends to MIT members. Interested parties should contact Rosalyn Ceasar at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202/962-3544.
Stene Academic Scholarship Program | Closed June 21, 2020
Each year, ICMA selects a graduate school student as the recipient of its Edwin O. Stene Academic Scholarship, named in memory of Kansas University Professor Edwin O. Stene. ICMA provides the Stene Scholarship recipient with complimentary registration to its annual conference as well as $1500 to be applied towards assisting the student with school related financial requirements.
Stene Scholarship Eligibility
Students enrolled by September of the year preceding the annual conference as full-time graduate students specializing in local government at a college or university recognized by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration are eligible to apply for the Stene Scholarship. Applicants must have had little or no full-time experience in local government, internships excluded.
Applicants to the Stene Scholarship Program must submit the following:
A personal essay of 500 words or less that demonstrates the student’s interest in local government and includes relevant professional and personal examples.
A letter of sponsorship from the department head, dean, or director of a related program in which the applicant is enrolled.
A letter of recommendation from a local government manager, previous employer, or an additional academician.
Copies of graduate transcript (unofficial transcripts are acceptable).
You cannot apply for this award online. Submit scanned copies of all materials to email@example.com. By submitting letters of recommendation and transcripts, the applicant certifies these documents are accurate and have not been altered.
Other Scholarship Opportunities
ICMA Members in Transition
*MITs are granted complimentary registration to the ICMA Annual Conference. There are a limited amount of funds available to provide travel stipends to MIT members. Interested parties should contact Rosalyn Ceasar at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202/962-3544.
Cal-ICMA will offer scholarship opportunities to the ICMA Annual Conference, however, due to COVID-19 impacts, they are still determining the details. The link to apply will be posted here as soon as we have updated information.
Due to COVID-19 budget impacts, LGHN will not provide a Conference Assistance Scholarship this year.
Again this year, NACA, the National Association of County Administrators, will offer the J. Thomas Lundy Scholarship to the ICMA Annual Conference. Applicants must be NACA members and also must be first-time conference attendees. We are in the process of updating the J. Thomas Lundy Scholarship application page. Upon completion that link will be hosted here.
Read what past scholarship recipients have said about receiving this opportunity to attend the ICMA Annual Conference and the value it added to their lives and careers!
"The ICMA scholarship allowed me to attend the conference in San Antonio. The experience I had and the knowledge I gained has been instrumental in helping me to be a better city manager. I hope to attend every year." -Michael Ceci, city manager, Farrell, Pennsylvania, recipient of the Small Community Scholarship for the 103rd ICMA Annual Conference in San Antonio, Texas.
"My conference experience was outstanding! One of the most impactful moments was the general session, sitting there among professional managers from all over the U.S. I've been telling many of my colleagues in Michigan that they absolutely need to consider making it to an ICMA conference soon."-Vester Davis, assistant to the city manager, Grand Haven, Michigan, recipient of the Young Professional Scholarship for the 103rd ICMA Annual Conference in San Antonio, Texas.
"Attending ICMA’s annual conference in Kansas City was a tremendous opportunity. Over the course of the conference, I received speed coaching from current city managers, attended numerous insightful and engaging sessions, and I was able to connect with countless individuals that are passionate about local government and serving their communities. Perhaps most importantly, it reaffirmed my interest in the field of city management and my desire to pursue a career in local government." - Will Provost, MPA candidate and city/county management fellow at the University of Southern California, recipient of the Stene Scholarship for the 102nd ICMA Annual Conference in Kansas City, Missouri.
"I am so empowered with the information I received at the conference and so thankful for the opportunity to attend. I have been so out of the loop due to the lack of funds for educational training opportunities. This conference has armed me with the knowledge and resources that I need to explore to advance my career."-Allecia Chatman, council administrative aide, Tulsa, Oklahoma, recipient of the Workplace Diversity Scholarship at the 101st ICMA Annual Conference in Seattle/King County, Washington.
"Being a new manager from a small community in Maine, I was very fortunate to receive a scholarship to attend the Seattle conference last year. What an experience! The educational sessions were very rewarding and the networking with others from around the country and world was priceless! Thank you ICMA for allowing me to participate with the best of the best in our profession!" - Christine M. Landes, town manager, Bethel, Maine, recipient of the Small Community Scholarship at the 101st ICMA Annual Conference in Seattle/King County, Washington.