Jerry Doucette, chair of the Alger County Board of Commissioners, has been appointed a member of the National Association of Counties (NACo) Board. The appointment was made on Dec. 9 at a NACo Board session in Tallahassee, Fla.
Doucette, who also serves on the Michigan Association of Counties’ Board as Immediate Past President, was selected to replace Oceana County Commissioner Evelyn Kolbe, who passed away in November.
“With this board appointment, I will be able to continue my work on the Economic Development and Workforce Committee, the Rural Action Caucus, Veterans Committee and Membership Committee with NACO,” Doucette said. “It is so important for MAC and NACo to partner together to protect counties’ needs for funding and continue to be the voices of county government to state and federal governmental leaders.”
The NACo Board “governs the strategic goals, policies and priorities of the association, as well as oversees the association’s policies, business and property.”
“We are pleased that Jerry Doucette will be able to continue Evelyn’s fine work on behalf of Michigan at the national level,” said Stephan W. Currie, MAC’s executive director. “Jerry’s knowledge of the issues, gained from extensive service with MAC and NACo, will pay off for Michigan’s county governments.”
Tax reform, protecting Medicaid and immigration reform are just three of several 2015 legislative priorities for the National Association of Counties.
As NACo recently reported, “The 2015 legislative priorities are tax reform, protecting the federal-state-local partnership for Medicaid, transportation reauthorization, approval of the Marketplace Fairness Act, funding for Payment In Lieu of Taxes and Secure Rural Schools, rejection of the ‘Waters of the U.S.’ proposal rule and immigration reform that addresses issues impacting county government.”
MAC members may recall coverage of the “Waters of the U.S.” issue in the October 2014 edition of Michigan Counties (see page 6).
In the October edition of Michigan Counties, the “Ask the Expert” feature focused on the definition of “Waters of the United States” and how it is important for counties to give their views during the comment period on the federal Clean Water Act by Oct. 20, 2014.
Good news. As just reported here by the National Association of Counties, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers have agreed to extend the comment period to Nov. 14, 2014.
Six Michigan counties were honored recently in the 2014 Digital Counties Survey sponsored by the National Association of Counties and the Center for Digital Government.
Oakland County was Michigan’s highest finisher after achieving 4th Place in the categories of counties with 500,000 residents or more. Also honored were Allegan, Berrien, Eaton, Jackson and Ottawa counties.
“Counties across the country are using technology to enhance services, maximize efficiency and save money,” said NACo Executive Director Matthew D. Chase in statement announcing the awards. “The Digital Counties Survey recognizes counties’ best practices and effective uses of technology to better serve their communities.”
500,000 or more residents
Oakland County, 4th
250,000 to 499,999
Ottawa County, 7th
150,000 to 249,999
Berrien County, 6th
Jackson County, 8th
Up to 150,000
Eaton County, 8th
Allegan County, 9th
The National Association of Counties (NACo) legislative conference was held this week in Washington D.C.. As part of this annual conference, MAC meets with our congressional delegation to talk about federal issues affecting counties. This year the major topics for discussion included:
- The Farm Bill and PILT Payments
- Tax Exempt Municipal Bonds
- Waters of the U.S. Guidance Proposal – Federal Overreach to Control Michigan Waters
- Medicaid Expansion and Medicaid Coverage for Pre-Trial Detainees
- Federal MAP-21 Transportation Funding and;
- Marketplace Fairness (sales tax on e-commerce)
MAC would especially like to thank Senators Levin and Stabenow for their consistent dedication to meeting with all of our conference attendees each year to discuss issues of importance to counties. This annual tradition affords our commissioners quality time to have questions answered and to relay upcoming issues of concern to Michigan counties. If you would like more information about the issues MAC members discussed with their congressmen, please follow this link to our federal briefing sheet: 2014 MAC Federal Briefing Sheet