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Commonwealth's Counties

The 2023 VACo County Officials’ Summit Considered One of the Best Ever

When the VACo County Officials’ Summit ended on August 17, many of the more than 200 local government officials and staff connected in conversation. One word was overheard often in these huddles.


Indeed. When planning the event, the VACo team had an idea that the pairings of the following would not only enlighten our members but also regale them with colorful experiences.

Budget and Economic Outlook for 2024

  • April Kees | Director | Senate Finance and Appropriations Committee
  • Anne E. Oman | Director | House Appropriations Committee

Preparing for the New Political Realities

  • The Honorable Chris Saxman | Executive Director, Virginia FREE | Former Delegate
  • The Honorable David Toscano | Attorney and Author | Former Delegate

2024 General Assembly Policy Goals

  • The Honorable Terry Kilgore | Majority Leader | 1st House District
  • The Honorable Creigh Deeds | 25th Senate District
  • The Honorable Sam Rasoul | 11th House District

The speakers were all very clever and top experts in their fields. They kept the audience enthralled with their thoughts on governance, their encouragement on building relationships with the many new incoming faces in the General Assembly, and their beliefs on civility as we work through our political and fundamental differences. The speakers’ engagement with the audience was next level. In fact – one statewide podcast called the Summit, “Nerdy Fun.”

“I thought this year’s Summit was one of our best,” VACo Executive Director Dean Lynch said. “One way to measure the content of the speakers is by the amount of audience Q&A. We could have been there all day with the amount of interest we had from the audience wanting to ask questions. Thank you to all our speakers and to our members who helped make the event a great success.”

The Staff Directors of the House Appropriations and Senate Finance and Appropriations Committees, Anne Oman and April Kees, discussed the state revenue forecasting process and shared the key economic data points they are monitoring, as well as some of the major factors that will shape the next biennium budget.

Former Delegates Chris Saxman and David Toscano offered advice for local officials in working with the General Assembly, encouraging VACo members to be trusted sources of information for legislators and drawing on their service in elected office to examine how Virginia politics have changed over the past several decades.

Camaraderie among long-serving legislators was on full display as Senator Creigh Deeds, House Majority Leader Terry Kilgore, and Delegate Sam Rasoul gave a preview of their top priorities for the next General Assembly session and shared their reflections on working across the aisle.

VACo looks forward to our 89th Annual Conference on November 12-14 at the Omni Homestead. We hope you can join us for more Nerdy Fun.

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