From Commissioner Mary Ann Borgeson
Douglas County, Neb.
Candidate, NACo second vice president
I am thrilled to be running for National Association of Counties second vice president to represent all of you, no matter the size of your county. I would be honored to have your support in obtaining this important role for an organization that works to preserve local decision-making and protect our counties.
My interest in serving as a NACo officer and becoming your next NACo second vice president stems from my passion for county government. I truly believe county government is the best form of government because it is closest to our citizens. As counties, we provide essential services that impact the lives of our citizens on a daily basis.
I grew up with a desire to be a public servant because I watched my father work diligently for the Douglas County Assessor’s Office for 43 years. I also saw my grandfather’s passion for public safety firsthand as he worked as a police officer in Omaha, Nebraska for decades.
Now, with 23 years of local, state and national leadership experience of my own, I can honestly say I still have the same drive to serve others as I did when I was first sworn in as Douglas County Commissioner in 1995.
My goal has always been to help others and be a voice for those in need. I believe being your NACo second vice president will further my opportunities to work with all counties to ensure our issues are heard and strengthen our presence at the national level.
I have already been involved with NACo at both the state and national levels for many years. Once I committed to become an active member with our NACo steering committees, I was hooked. I sought out more leadership positions, and I am so grateful for those experiences. I have to thank the past presidents and our current president for providing me the opportunity to serve in such roles.
I have also served as your chair for the NACo Health Services and Cyber Security committees, as well as the vice chair of LUCC, Healthy Counties and Health Services Committee. I’ve been a member of the International Economic Development, Arts and Culture, Membership, and Programs and Services committees. I have taken each of these roles seriously and have given them my utmost time and attention, just as I will as your NACo second vice president.
The most important contribution to both the National Association of Counties and the Nebraska Association of County Officials is my passion, commitment and giving of my time. I go out of my way to make myself available when called upon to write a letter, make calls, moderate educational sessions, lead Capitol Hill briefings and participate in congressional hearings.
When I served as chair of the Cyber Security Task Force, I worked hard to educate county leaders about the importance of cyber security for county infrastructure and residents.
I’m also very proud to have led a discussion on Medicaid during a Capitol Hill briefing and highlight the impact it has on counties nationwide. I’ve also served as a panelist during the Military Officers of America Association symposium on mental health issues facing our active military members, our veterans and our military families.
My contributions to the Nebraska Association of County Officials have been in the areas of health and human services, and mental health issues affecting our juvenile and adult correction facilities. I am highly engaged when it comes to the legislative bill review, meeting regularly with senators and their staff, as well as testifying during legislative committee hearings on issues that will directly affect Nebraska counties.
I have been a member of the NACo Membership Committee since 2015, and I’ve been impressed with the leadership of the committee, engagement from NACo staff and our member participation.
The NACo Membership Committee and NACo organization have provided us with an array of tools that we must use and encourage others to do the same! I know firsthand that a personal note, phone call or a one-on-one conversation from a current NACo member is effective and priceless.
We must continue to evaluate ourselves and our practices to make sure we are listening to all of our counties. We must stay engaged with our member counties and we must reach out to non-member counties. I commit to all of you my continued involvement, strong support and advocacy for strong NACo membership. I also commit to attend state association meetings as your NACo second vice president to help build and sustain our NACo membership.
Keeping a vibrant and robust organization is keeping your members embraced and engaged!
An important challenge facing NACo is staying on top of the new administration’s executive orders and new policies. We must stay vigilant on how these will affect our nation’s counties. Members of our NACo staff and leadership have been proactive in meeting with key staffers of the new administration and that is a great start. We must now keep the momentum going. We must encourage more of our members to get involved and assist us with educating the new administration and its staff on county issues and priorities.
We must also keep our focus on the important role of agriculture, which is a major part of our nation’s backbone. NACo must continue to work on agricultural policy issues affecting counties.
The health and safety of our county residents and our aging population will also be challenging issues for our counties. These broad areas influence the work of every NACo Steering Committee from agriculture to transportation and everything in between!
We have done a tremendous job of making sure folks know why counties matter and that we are relevant! We must not get complacent. We must explore new ways to stay engaged with our national and state leaders on important and challenging county issues.
Counties across our nation provide an array of services in a variety of ways. As a NACo leader, I will listen to your issues, needs and wants and I will work with you to come up with solutions.
I make it a point to know the heartbeat of the people I serve locally and nationally. Call it the wife, mother or grandmother in me, but I know the heartbeat of NACo. I know and believe in this organization’s goals, objectives and mission. I am compassionate about the citizens and organizations I serve. I am committed, determined and energetic.
I know that my 23 years of rich, practical and meaningful public service experience will help NACo and its members remain vibrant and relevant. The common interests and concerns that NACo and I share favorably positions me to help NACo meet its challenges in a complicated and ever-changing world.
Serving as NACo’s second vice president will give me additional venues to reinforce and amplify the importance of county government. I want to continue NACo’s positive momentum of spreading the message that Counties are Relevant and Counties Matter.
I am committing my time, dedication and hard work to all of you. I am willing, ready and able to commit all of that to each of you. Together we can make sure that counties not only stay strong, but become stronger!
Looking forward to serving as your NACo second vice president!
Mary Ann BorgesonHero 1