New Hanover County advocates for federal policy in Washington, DC

Posted February 23, 2016 at 12:27 pm     Category: County CommissionersNews Release

Washington, DC – New Hanover County’s delegation to the 2016 National Association of Counties (NACo) Legislative Conference is talking directly to policymakers in Washington this week about the impact federal policy has on our local community.

The Conference includes meetings with Congressional leaders, members of the President’s cabinet, governors, national media, and county officials from around the country. Topics covered at the conference include: tax policy, environmental issues, mental health and criminal justice reform, professional and leadership development, and protecting local government from unfunded federal mandates.

NACo, which was founded in 1935, aims to unite America’s 3,069 county governments to advocate with a collective voice on national policy, exchange ideas and build new leadership skills, pursue transformational and cost-effective solutions, enrich the public’s understanding of county government and exercise exemplary leadership in public service. By promoting its “Counties Matter” campaign (, NACo hopes to assert its role as a leader in advising policymakers at the national level.

The North Carolina Association of County Commissioners (NCACC) has one of the largest delegations in attendance at the national conference. All 100 counties in North Carolina belong to NACo.  NCACC hosted a breakfast with Members of Congress from North Carolina on Tuesday.

Participants from New Hanover County include Vice Chairman Jonathan Barfield, Jr., Commissioner Rob Zapple, County Manager Chris Coudriet, and Chief Communications Officer Ruth Smith. Also attending the NACo information technology and innovations sessions over the weekend was New Hanover County Chief Information Officer Leslie Chaney.

“Taking our message directly to Washington helps New Hanover County educate our Congressional delegation and their staff on the impact of federal policies on our County,” said Barfield.

One issue of particular interest to New Hanover County is protecting our beaches, and the infrastructure investments made by our beach communities and the County. “We wanted to personally thank Senators Burr and Tillis, and Congressmen Rouzer and Jones for communicating our interests to their colleagues as they start the process to authorize Army Corps of Engineers projects in our area,” said Zapple. “The federal government has been a strong partner in our Coastal Storm Damage Reduction efforts and it is critically important that the Congressional delegation continues to communicate our views on this key component of our economy and our quality of life.”

A link to the Conference schedule is available here:


Release Contact:

Jessica Loeper
New Hanover County
Communications & Outreach Coordinator

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Communications and Outreach: 230 Government Center Drive, Suite 195 • Wilmington, NC 28403 • Phone 910-798-7461 • Fax 910-798-7277
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