CNCounty News

Candidate platform: Bill Truex

Truex

Bill Truex

Commissioner

Charlotte County, Fla.

Like many of you, my journey into public office began with the aspiration to make a positive impact in my hometown. I was born into a small farming community yet serve in the fastest growing state in the nation.  Charlotte County, Florida is in southwest Florida, just south of Sarasota. Over the last 20 years, farmlands in Charlotte County have decreased by half, while our population has continued to explode.   I understand, like many of you, what it means to be pulled between urban expansion and rural preservation, economic growth and resiliency.  But having worked with so many of you, I know that by pooling our expertise, embracing best practices, and fostering innovation we can improve our communities. 

While I have indeed been fortunate to serve my community, the rewards I’ve reaped from this experience have far exceeded my expectations. The relationships forged during my service on the commission, involvement with the state association, and here at NACo have proven to be invaluable, undoubtedly shaping me into a more adept and effective leader.

I am deeply committed to the principles of public service and the betterment of communities across the nation. Serving as NACo 2nd Vice President will provide a unique opportunity to contribute on a broader scale, working collaboratively with dedicated individuals who share a passion for addressing the diverse needs of counties, parishes, and boroughs. 

If elected to serve as NACo 2nd Vice President and eventually president, I hope to make NACo an even better organization – an organization that hears from everyone, increases its influence in Washington and continues to provide critical resources and information to help every local elected official improve their community.

To that end I’d like to see NACo continue to improve in the following areas:

 

Fiscal Sustainability and Resource Allocation:

Counties often face financial constraints in delivering essential services. Economic fluctuations, unfunded mandates, and evolving demographics can strain county budgets. NACo must continue to assist counties in maintaining critical services, infrastructure, and public safety through federal advocacy, education and partnerships.

Technology and Innovation Integration:

Embracing and integrating new technologies is essential for efficient and effective county governance all around the nation. NACo needs to enhance its resources and expand its guidance to counties for adopting innovative solutions that enhance service delivery, cybersecurity, and data management.

Intergovernmental Relations and Policy Advocacy:

Counties play a pivotal role in the federal system that includes critical roles for the federal, state, and local governments.  Advocating for the counties’ interests at the federal level is vital to ensuring strong partnerships for serving Americans. Effective advocacy ensures that county voices are heard in the development of policies that directly impact their communities.

Since becoming involved in NACo eight years ago, I have had the opportunity to serve on several committees, task forces, and the Board of Directors.  I have served as Vice Chair for the Programs & Services Standing Committee, the Public Safety Committee, and the Veterans & Military Services Committee.

At the Florida Association of Counties, I have looked for opportunities to support my fellow counties through mentorship and leadership.  As President of FAC, I prioritized diversity in representation on FAC Committees and Board Appointments to ensure that each county, in all their diversity, is represented and heard.

NACo provides value by promoting best practices, building leadership networks and effective advocacy. If elected to serve as NACo 2nd Vice President, I hope to build on these values.

Promoting Best Practices and Innovation:

There is no reason to reinvent the wheel.  Counties should share best practices and innovative solutions that benefit counties nationwide. Take opportunities to showcase local projects that provide each other with ideas, big and small, to take back to their communities. 

Leadership Development and Collaboration:

NACo is critical in playing a role in fostering collaboration among county leaders, building strong networks, and contributing to leadership development programs.   We are never too old to learn something new. Our environment – business, financial, technological, natural – is changing by the second.  It’s our job as leaders to keep up with advancements and use them to better our communities.  And I believe that NACo can continue to provide us with the resources and tools for our personal growth.

I proudly chaired NACo’s Immigration Reform Task Force for three years, navigating a complex and heated issue focusing on the task at hand by steering clear of political rhetoric. Additionally, I’ve led my own county commission for a decade, chosen for my commitment to timely and inclusive meetings. When serving as chairman, I prioritize efficiency while also giving everyone a voice, I ensure decisions reflect thoughtful consideration of all perspectives. Grateful for the trust placed in me, I hope to continue my service as NACo 2nd Vice President.

Effective Advocacy:

As president of the Florida Association of Counties, I have been able to bring, not only my commission experiences, but my experience as a general contractor and small business owner to help shape policy in such a way that it provides flexibility in decision making to Florida’s counties while reducing regulation and fees on small business owners. The issue of affordable housing affects us all.  I am uniquely positioned to advocate for affordable housing as a county commissioner and a home builder; and I would continue this pursuit as NACo 2nd Vice President.

The challenges and opportunities presented at NACo align with my vision for positive change and effective governance. I am eager to leverage my experience, skills, and dedication to foster collaboration, advocate for impactful policies, and strengthen the bonds that unite counties across the country. By taking on the role of NACo 2nd Vice President, I aim to play a key part in shaping the future of local governance and advancing the collective well-being of our communities.

Thank you for your commitment to public service, and I humbly ask for your vote on July 15th for NACo 2nd Vice President.

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