Promoting county interests, advocating good public policy
and providing education to Idaho's county officials

NACo Fall Board Meeting

By: Gordon Cruickshank, Valley County Commissioner

First I want to thank the IAC Membership for allowing me to serve you as one of the NACo Representatives.

Wednesday, December 5th 

I attended a Border Wall tour with Customs and Border Protection officers along with 23 other elected officials. Very interesting to understand the issues they face to keep our borders secure. The San Diego Sector of the Border is the highest used crossing of all the Sectors in the U.S.

Tonight I attended the Opening Reception for the Large Urban County Caucus Symposiumwhich is being held prior to the NACo Board meeting.

Thursday, December 6th

My morning started with attending a workshop on how counties support needs in a county for lower income citizens.

The General Session involved “Connecting the Unconnected” which is the NACo President’s initiative this year. San Diego County started one of the first 211 programs to bring most, if not all, services under one call center.

Next was a session on Disease Outbreaks where we heard from an elected official from Dallas County, Texas who dealt with a disease outbreak in his county which required quarantine of individuals, including a portion of their hospital due to an OBOLO outbreak. His main comment was to be “CALM” “TRANSPARENT” and follow the “Golden Rule.”

Then we heard from the Director of Health and Human Services in San Diego County, California on a Hepatitis outbreak primarily on the Homeless areas. Lessons learned were trying to get people to accept vaccinations, using Volunteer Nurses, Sanitizing Streets and setting up Vaccination Stations by going to the people instead of asking them to come to you. 122,000 vaccinations were administered which they felt saved 500,000 from becoming infected. I asked a question on how social media impacted the issue. The answer was 60% of the homeless have cell phones so it can help spread the word along with them telling each other to find help.

The next session was on Curbing Youth Violence through Connections to Opportunity. This discussion started with what people can do to help our youth stay out of trouble and provide a productive life in society. Even if they have been incarcerated are they offered a program to help them stay out of trouble? One comment made was “Nothing Stops a Bullet Like a Job.”  Most Correctional Officers are now beingtrained to be Correctional Counselors.

Our Luncheon had a session on helping youth out with a fostering program. We watched a Trailer for the documentary film “FOSTER” which will be released by HBO in 2019.

I attended a workshop on Data and Technology where they spoke on the importance of monitoring programs by collection of data to ensure what the intent was with a project met the needs. By collection of data we understand better the successor failure of a project. One example provided explained how a person could be tracked (with their permission) to determine the real need. Did they just lose their job and need a little help or had they been using the services on a regular basis.

I sat in on the LUCC Steering Committee meeting while they did planning for the next year after the mid-term elections.

Late Afternoon I attended a NACo Executive Board meeting.

Tonight was a LUCC/NACo Board reception aboard the USS Midway which a museum anchored permanently in San Diego.

Friday, December 7th 

I attended a Pearl Harbor Remembrance Ceremony aboard the USS Midway.

I attended a luncheon for the LUCC/NACo Board where we listened to Keynote Speaker Basketball Legend Bill Walton. Mr. Walton spoke on his growing up in San Diego County and his playing professional basketball.

I attended the NACo Board of Directors meeting which included an Audit Report, Financial Report, Changes to NACo staffing, and how finances will look in the future. We then had a Legislative update on NACo Priorities which the Board approved. Priorities can be found on the NACo website at www.naco.org. We then heard that the High Performance Leadership Academy is receiving a 98% approval rating which is higher than anyone expected.

Matt Chase, NACo Executive Director provided a chart showing how the staffing would lookafter changes have been made.

Saturday, December 8th

The NACo Board of Directors did a polling survey using cell phones to provide instant results. These results will be compiled with membership surveys held earlier to help determine the direction of NACo. One of the questions was on who sits on NACo Steering Committees. The NACo Central and West Region showed the most with 33% and 32% of those in attendance. We also discussed the need to build good partnerships with State leaders so they better understand the needs of local communities. NACo Future opportunities for the membership include IT assistance, Data collection, saying the right message, providing correct information to the membership and others and ensuring new elected officials understand the value of NACo’s Advocacy for them. We also discussed ways to assist on getting folks to attend NACo Conferences to become better-informed on issues. The cost to join NACo for most counties is less than the cost of a cup of coffee a day.

That concludes my report by what I saw and heard while attending the LUCC Symposium and NACo Fall Board Meeting.