March 2019

NACE Update from President Rich Sanders

February flew on by. No change in the weather patterns. Cold, snow, wind....ugh. We Left a day early for the Ontario Good Roads Conference in Toronto Ontario Canada as Sunday’s weather prediction was a blizzard, so Ruth and I left Thursday evening and got into Toronto late, but safe.
Kevan, on the other hand got stuck trying to fly on Sunday (2 cancelled flights with 2 separate 2 separate airports!) in the wind and was delayed till Monday morning.

Had a great time with the members of OGRA, especially NACE Board Member and President of OGRA Chris Traini and his wife Caterina. Ruth and Caterina had a fun time shopping and visiting. Chris and I spent the time visiting about how both NACE and OGRA can help each other benefit our members, discussing possible collaboration between our groups.  We enjoyed meeting with OGRA's Executive Director and their awesome staff. President-Elect  Tim Hens and his wife Eve came up to Toronto on Monday night and Ruth and I attended the Toronto Maple Leaf vs Buffalo Sabres Hockey Game. What a great experience. Thanks Chris, Caterina, Tim and Eve for making our trip to Toronto memorable.

Wednesday came and it was time to fly to DC for the NACo Legislative Conference. Kevan, refusing to succumb to another weather delay,  was able to get out of Toronto at 6 am on standby. Ruth and I weren’t as lucky. We had a 9:45 flight that was delayed 2 hours due to snow, de-ice, fuel spillage by another plane, de-ice then take off. We didn’t make our connection at LaGuardia but was able to make another connection. Arrived in DC,  but with No Luggage!!! Ugh. Our luggage was somewhere in LaGuardia. Bright side was we didn’t have to drag our luggage on the Metro to the hotel. They got delivered for us.

The Executive Committee met in DC to do our normal business, attend the NACo Legislative Conference and be part of the NACo Transportation Steering Committee. This year we also spent all day Thursday doing a federal government Fly-in, where we met with the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee (Majority), USDOT, and the House Transportation a& Infrastructure Committee (Majority and Minority). The meetings were very productive, and we did a great job advocating three of NACE’s Legislative Priorities: 1.) New Dedicated Federal Funding with Direct Funding Opportunities, 2.) Ensure Long Term Solvency of the Highway Users Trust Fund, and 3.) Streamlining of the Federal Process. NACE’s one pager left with staff can be found here. On Friday, Past-Presidents Richie Beyer and Brian Stacy attended an EPA/NACo Meeting to discuss the proposed Waters of the US (WOTUS) rule . They did a great job advocating for NACE and the issues with the rule that our NACE Legislative Committee and others came up with. If there are other priorities that NACE is not aware of that deserve increased attention, please let Kevan know, so he can investigate it and get it to our Legislative Committee to review and formulate an advocacy plan. Click here to read the NACE Federal Priorities document.

The Executive Committee met on Friday and discussed the issues of NACE. We are in good financial shape. Kevan and his staff are working towards the goals of our strategic plan in an effective manner. Staci, Kansas and our Committees are putting the finishing touches on our Annual Conference in Wichita, KS. There are technical sessions for everyone. I think there are more this year than any other year. Thank you to all for helping put this schedule together.

On Saturday the EC and other NACE Members attended the NACo Transportation Steering Committee Meeting which Randy Maluchnik of Carver Co. MN Chairs. NACE is an important part of this committee. With Richie Beyer (Elmore Co. AL) being a Vice Chair, and the members of NACE making up about 30% of the Committee, we can steer NACo in the direction that benefits NACE and local governments. Past President Mark Servi (Barron Co. WI) presented a resolution dealing with drivers license for those with disabilities that make it difficult to communicate with law enforcement. I gave a NACE update and also was part of a Toward Zero Death presentation where I talked about our County Road Safety Plan and how and why it was developed in Minnesota. USDOT came and presented to the committee on the administrations next steps and timelines. They mentioned NACE three times in their presentation, which gave credence to our fly-in performance on Thursday.

Flew home on Monday, but that wasn’t easy either. After having to deal with a bomb threat in the Detroit Airport, and our plane getting into Minneapolis a half our late, we just made our connecting flight and was able to get home safely.

Looking forward to spending some time in Deadwood, SD the end of March with our South Dakota members and then seeing everyone in Wichita the middle of April. If you and your spouse haven’t signed up for our Annual Conference, it isn’t too late. The conference and its revenues are one leg on the stool that helps keep the NACE doors open.



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