NACo will hold a remote Annual Business Meeting July 20 in lieu of the Annual Conference in Orange County (Orlando), Fla. The Board of Directors canceled the Annual Conference May 14 in its first-ever remote meeting, following the cancellation of the Western Interstate Region Conference in Mariposa County, Calif.
A variety of concerns driven by the continuing novel coronavirus pandemic motivated the cancellation. There is yet no telling when concerns might be alleviated regarding holding mass gatherings in Orange County.
Annual Business meeting schedule
- July 13, 4 p.m. ET: Membership Town Hall
- July 18: Nominating Committee Meeting
- July 19: Credentials Committee Meeting
- July 20, 2 p.m. ET: Annual Business Meeting
- July 21: Northeast and Central Regional Representative Elections
“They want us to come, but they have been very, very supportive and understanding in terms of all this discussion,” said President Mary Ann Borgeson, adding that NACo was exploring options regarding returning to Orange County at some point. The Florida Association of Counties had already canceled its June Annual Conference, which was also scheduled to take place in Orange County.
All Annual Conference registration fees and hotel reservations made through NACo’s housing process will be returned to registrants, with no action needed on their part.
Business meeting attendees will vote for NACo’s second vice president candidates, currently Grant County, Okla. Commissioner Cindy Bobbitt and Will County, Ill. Board Speaker Denise Winfrey. NACo’s Nominating Committee will meet July 18, the Credentials Committee will meet July 19 and the elections for expiring Regional Representatives seats for the Northeast and Central regions will be held July 21.
The business meeting, set for July 20 at 2 p.m. ET, will be open to all NACo members, who must complete a free registration process and complete their credentialing process. A week before the business meeting, July 13 at 4 p.m. ET, NACo will hold a virtual membership town hall, which will include a forum for second vice president candidates, an overview of proposed bylaws amendments, a review of policy resolutions and a status report on voting delegate credentials totals.
Two weeks ahead of the business meeting, the NACo website will display all member counties, credential status and proxy status. Proxies have been updated to allow electronic authorization. Credential forms will be mailed to the chief elected officer of each member county and the clerk of the policy Board, a minor clarification to action the Board took in 2013.
The NACo Bylaws Committee and Board are proposing several changes to clarify and streamline the election credentials and voting processes.
In December 2019, NACo members voted on bylaws changes that allowed the organization to move long-term reserves that had been reserved for building expenses to allow for investments that support, enhance and protect long-term
stability, capacity services and operations of the association, allowing NACo more financial flexibility to deal with crises.
“These important changes to the bylaws allowed NACo to provide for the organization in the event of a sudden financial need,” said Past President Greg Cox, chairman of the Bylaws Committee. “Did we have a lot of foresight or what? We could not have known then what we know now: That this fund would be implemented just four months later with the coronavirus.”
Meanwhile, additional policy resolutions beyond the 125 approved by the Board at the 2019 Annual Conference and the 36 interim resolutions passed at the 2020 Legislative Conference will be considered on an emergency-only basis after being vetted by policy steering committee chairs and NACo’s executive committee.
With challenges related to travel and large gatherings across the country, NACo is expanding access to its High Performance Leadership Academy, the 12-week online professional development program designed primarily for frontline county employees.
“We expected that perhaps a lot of counties wouldn’t have the time, but the opposite has been happening,” said NACo Chief Financial Officer Anna Amselle. “We’re looking at some of the other ways we can get some of the 1,700 other counties that haven’t taken advantage of the scholarship, into the program.”