Carteret County, NC — County Commissioners from throughout North Carolina gathered in Carteret County for the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners (NCACC) Board of Directors meeting April 1 and 2. The board heard updates on NCACC President Frank Williams’ 100 Counties Prepared Initiative and discussed and approved a retooled process to establish legislative goals. Moore County Commissioner Nick Picerno, who was recently elected as District 10 Director, was sworn in during the meeting. District 10 includes Anson, Montgomery, Moore and Richmond Counties.
President Williams, a Brunswick County Commissioner, provided an update on the progress of his 100 Counties Preparedpresidential initiative. The initiative, which is focused on equipping county commissioners with the tools they need to lead effectively during emergency situations, is working to develop a program that provides elected county leaders with a full day of training on emergency preparedness.
“As elected officials, we owe it to the citizens to be prepared when an emergency comes our way,” said President Williams. “While serving as Chair of the Brunswick County Board of Commissioners during Hurricane Florence, I observed that there was very little emergency preparedness-related training for county commissioners. This initiative was created to fill that gap, and our 100 Counties Prepared Task Force is working diligently to develop a training program that provides every county commissioner with the opportunity to be better prepared when an emergency — whether it’s a hurricane, tornado, wildfire, mudslide, or something else we haven’t even anticipated — affects the people they serve.”
To further discuss emergency preparedness, the Board welcomed James Gore, Chair of the Sonoma County, CA Board of Supervisors along with California State Association of Counties Executive Director Graham Knaus. They emphasized the need for county officials to be proactive in their emergency preparedness and their messaging during crisis situations. Chair Gore highlighted the role that communication plays during such emergencies, pointing to lessons learned during wildfire disasters in his home county and stating that “people need situational awareness during these events, and it’s up to us to provide it.”
The Board was also briefed on NCACC’s Strategic Member Services (SMS), a new division of the Association directed by long-time staff member Jason King. SMS is dedicated to providing guidance and technical assistance to help counties navigate the complex web of increased administrative requirements associated with American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and opioid settlement fund projects and investments. On the work of the department, King noted that “it’s our goal to build out a framework for facilitation of these funds in our counties and open doors in our communities through this department.”
“Through our new Strategic Member Services division, we have created a mechanism to provide direct assistance to counties with deliberate, strategic thinking,” said NCACC Executive Director Kevin Leonard. “This is a transformational moment in the history of the Association to further strengthen how we help our member counties better serve the people of North Carolina and I want to thank the Board for their part in this visionary thinking on behalf of counties.”
For more information on the 100 Counties Prepared initiative, visit www.100countiesprepared.com. For more information on NCACC Strategic Member Services, email [email protected]. The NCACC Board of Directors will hold their next meeting from June 24-25 in Watauga County.
Editors: Print quality photos may be downloaded for use at: https://ncacc.smugmug.com/NCACC-Board-of-Directors—April/. Photo should be credited as follows: Photo courtesy Chris Baucom/NCACC.
The North Carolina Association of County Commissioners (NCACC) is a non-partisan organization, which represents the official voice of all 100 counties on issues considered by the General Assembly, Congress, and federal and state agencies. The Association provides expertise to counties in the areas of advocacy, research, risk management and education and leadership training.