Leinbach helps set national policies affecting American communities

Berks County Commissioner Christian Leinbach. (Archive Photo by Steve Snyder/Lebanon Daily News)

Berks County Commissioner Christian Leinbach recently joined 2,300 fellow county officials from across the country during the 2013 National Association of Counties Annual Conference.

The conference County Solutions and Idea Marketplaceestablished national policies affecting counties. County officials worked collaboratively to find and share innovative solutions to challenges facing American communities. Held in Tarrant County/Fort Worth, Texas, the theme of this year’s annual conference was Why Counties Matter.

NACo’s Annual Conference is the most important gathering of county officials of the year. Decisions made during the conference allow counties to speak with a strong, clear and unified voice to the Administration, Congress and the American people on issues ranging from transportation and water infrastructure, health care and court and jail systems. In addition, delegates in attendance elected and installed its 2013-14 association officers to lead NACo and heard from prominent national speakers.

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Leinbach said the conference was productive and informative.

“Congress and administration officials need to fully understand and appreciate why counties matter in America’s system of federalism,” Leinbach said. “Through NACo we are reminding our federal representatives that county government delivers essential services directly to the American people. Local government needs to be heard in Washington, D.C.”

Leinbach is a member of the NACo Board and also serves as the Second Vice President of the Northeast Caucus of Counties for NACo.

A major issue of discussion at the conference was NACo’s efforts to protect the tax-exempt status of municipal bonds. NACo recently released important new research on the risky impact of changes to the tax-exempt status of municipal bonds on counties and their residents. Municipal bonds enable state and local governments to build essential infrastructure projects, such as schools, hospitals and roads.

NACo President Chris Rodgers, Commissioner, Douglas County, Neb., thanked all the NACo members who participated in the annual conference in helping to shape the policies and federal funding priorities that will guide NACo over the next 12 months. Policy resolutions adopted at the conference will be posted soon at www.naco.org.

NACo membership elected and installed its 2013-14 officers: President: Linda Langston, Supervisor, Linn County, Iowa; First Vice President: G. Riki Hokama, Council Member, Maui County, Hawaii; Second Vice President: Sallie Clark, Commissioner, El Paso County, Colo, and Immediate Past President: Chris Rodgers, Commissioner, Douglas County, Neb.

Provided by the National Association of Counties.