VACo County Pulse Podcast
Guests share the legislative pulse of Virginia Counties with Host Dean Lynch. Our latest episodes are below. Thank you for listening to the County Pulse Podcast.
Season 3 | 2020
General Assembly Legislative Briefs 1 | January 10 | Episode 1
VACo’s VACo Executive Director Dean Lynch and Lancaster County Supervisor Jason Bellows discuss the start of the 2020 General Assembly Session and issues of interest to Counties.
Season 2 | 2019
A First Look at the Introduced Budget | December 30 | Episode 19
VACo’s Katie Boyle talks with economist Jim Regimbal about key elements of the Governor’s proposed budget, which was presented on December 17. VACo’s preliminary analysis of the budget is available at https://www.vaco.org/governor-presents-biennium-budget-proposals/.
Funding the Chesapeake Bay Cleanup and an Update on Utility-Scale Solar | December 12 | Episode 18
VACo staff Chris McDonald and Joe Lerch discuss recent announcements and developments in the arena of water quality and renewable energy.
Connecting the Commonwealth – Expanding Broadband Access in Virginia | December 11 | Episode 17
Evan Feinman, Chief Broadband Advisor for Governor Ralph Northam and Executive Director of the Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission, and Courtney Dozier, Chief Deputy at Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development and Deputy Broadband Advisor, join VACo’s Jeremy Bennett to discuss broadband access and expansion through the Virginia Telecommunications Initiative (VATI) and other means of support.
The Future of Work | October 15 | Episode 16
VACo’s Angela Inglett speaks with Callan Dudley of Southern Landscape Group about the rising generation of workers. Callan shared how Southern Landscape Group is working with its local school system to inspire students with the employment possibilities within their communities.
K-12 Public Education | Small and Rural Schools | September 25 | Episode 15
Welcome to the County Pulse! In this episode, Superintendent Keith Perrigan of Bristol City Public Schools and President of the Small and Rural Schools Coalition and Jason Bellows, District 3 Supervisor for Lancaster County, member of the VACo Board of Directors and VACo Region 2 Director join VACo’s Jeremy Bennett to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing K-12 education in small and rural communities.
Virginia’s Veterans – Innovative Partnerships to Serve Those Who Served Us | August 22 | Episode 14
Welcome to the County Pulse! Carlos Hopkins, Secretary of Veterans and Defense Affairs and a member of the Governor’s Cabinet, and Ruby Brabo, at-large Supervisor for King George County, join VACo’s Jeremy Bennett to discuss partnerships, challenges, and opportunities between county and state government addressing the needs of Virginia’s veteran population, collaboration with U.S Military installations in the Commonwealth, and the role of counties in this effort.
Another Option | July 23 | Episode 13
Frank Bossio (Former Culpeper County Administrator) and Sue Hansohn (Member of the Culpeper County Board of Supervisors) jump on the podcast to chat with Angela Inglett about workforce development and to explain why we should encourage young people to explore options apart from the college track. We talk about new methods of delivering career training and the importance of recognizing the dignity of work in all its forms.
A Breath of Fresh Air: Life in Rural Virginia | June 25 | Episode 12
In this episode, we meet the recently appointed Chair of the VACo Rural Caucus: Grayson County Administrator Bill Shepley. Bill talks to host Angela Inglett about his love for Rural Virginia, his vision for the Caucus, and his excitement about the opportunities facing rural communities.
A Conversation about Economic Trends with Jim Regimbal | June 19 | Episode 11
Katie Boyle talks with Jim Regimbal of Fiscal Analytics, Ltd., about key components of the budget adopted in 2019 and major economic factors shaping the next biennium budget.
Commonwealth Conversations – Senator Emmett Hanger | June 4 | Episode 10
VACo Executive Director Dean Lynch talks with Senate Finance Co-Chairman Emmett Hanger about key policy issues of interest to local governments, including transportation, broadband, and strengthening the state-local partnership.
Communication and Community – A View from Stafford County on Best Budgeting Practices for K-12 Education | May 30 | Episode 9
Meg Bohmke of the Stafford County Board of Supervisors and VACo Executive Committee and Superintendent of Stafford County Public Schools Dr. Scott Kizner join VACo’s Jeremy Bennett to discuss the K-12 education budget process and collaboration between school divisions and boards of supervisors. This episode is sponsored by VACORP – the premier group self-insurance pool providing comprehensive coverage and risk management services to Virginia public entities.
An Ounce of Prevention – Making a Case for Proactive Land Use Planning | May 13 | Episode 8
Attorney Sharon Pandak of Greehan Taves & Pandak and CEO Darren Coffey of the Berkley Group join VACo’s Joe Lerch to discuss the benefit of having a proactive land use plan. Counties routinely budget dollars for legal expenses but rarely for long-range planning expenses.
Loudoun County Preps for the 2020 Census | April 10 | Episode 7
Host Joe Lerch speaks with Gwen Kennedy, Loudoun County’s Legislative Liaison, about what the Northern Virginia locality is doing to prepare for the 2020 Census approaches. This episode is sponsored by Enterprise Fleet Management – the No. 1 leasing solution for County fleets.
Link to ROAM Tool
Localities can use this tool to see where hard-to-survey areas have been in the past.
Preparing for the 2020 Census | March 29 | Episode 6
Host Katie Boyle talks with Margaret Nimmo Holland, Executive Director of Voices for Virginia’s Children, about the upcoming 2020 Census and efforts to ensure a successful count in Virginia. This episode is sponsored by Avaya — a leading provider of next-generation communications solutions for businesses and government entities worldwide.
Margaret Nimmo Holland’s Column in the Richmond Times-Dispatch | Counting everyone is crucial: Why the 2020 Census matters to Virginia | March 30, 2019
2019 General Assembly Edition 5 | February 22 | Episode 5
In this episode, VACo Lobbyists Joe Lerch and Katie Boyle talk about the final days of the 2019 General Assembly Session – the conference process, what’s next for the state budget, and some bills of interest to counties. This episode is sponsored by Aetna – a leading health care company that is helping public and labor employees on their path to better health.
2019 General Assembly Edition 4 | February 19 | Episode 4
Host Chris McDonald talks with VACo General Counsel Phyllis Errico and VACo Lobbyist Jeremy Bennett about a variety of issues, including agritourism, school modernization, school safety, FOIA, COIA, and much more.
2019 General Assembly Edition 3 | February 19 | Episode 3
VACo Lobbyists Joe Lerch and Chris McDonald talk about a variety of issues, including alcohol reform, I-81 improvements, industrial hemp, casinos, proffers and much more.
2019 General Assembly Edition 2 | February 8 | Episode 2
VACo Lobbyists Katie Boyle and Jeremy Bennett join Joe Lerch to talk about the state budget and give updates on the 2019 General Assembly Session. This special legislative episode of the VACo County Pulse is sponsored by The Berkley Group – a full-service local government consulting firm employing public sector experts. Located throughout Virginia, The Berkley Group provides personal attention and superior service to local governments across the Commonwealth – and beyond! Visit them at www.bgllc.net.
2019 General Assembly Edition 1 | January 17 | Episode 1
VACo Lobbyists Joe Lerch and Chris McDonald join Executive Director Dean Lynch to talk about the start of the 2019 General Assembly Session. The trio discusses issues such as solar, proffers, procurement, I-81, water quality, agriculture, and much more. This special legislative episode is sponsored by Enterprise Fleet Management – the No. 1 leasing solution for County fleets.
Season 1 | 2018
Transition to “Next Generation” NG9-1-1 with VITA’s Steve Marzolf | November 20 | Episode 7
Steve Marzolf, VITA’s Integrated Services Program Director, explains the Commonwealth’s plan to assist local governments with the migration of Next Generation NG9-1-1 technology. This podcast includes important information about the timetable and state funding available for each of the 123 Public Safety Answering Points operated at the local level.
Top Issues in Behavioral Health with Dr. Hughes Melton | October 23 | Episode 6
Dr. Hughes Melton, Commissioner of the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, sat down with VACo’s Dean Lynch to discuss major issues in behavioral health, including efforts to address the addiction crisis and the effects of Medicaid expansion.
Utility-Scale Solar Energy | September 18 | Episode 5
Utility-scale solar energy (USSE) projects are growing in size and number across the Commonwealth. Unlike a traditional electric generating facility, they are land intensive. One Megawatt (MW) of generation capacity typically requires the siting of solar panels on 8 to 12 acres of land. The result is larger projects – in the 150MW to 500 MW range – now measure in the thousands of acres and even square miles. This episode explores both the land use impacts and local revenue implications of this emerging energy production market on Virginia’s counties.
Medicaid Expansion and What it Means for County Governments | September 4 | Episode 4
VACo Executive Director Dean Lynch interviews Dr. Jennifer Lee, Director of the Department of Medical Assistance Services, about Medicaid expansion and how her agency is working with local departments of social services, Community Services Boards, and jails on its implementation. Details about new coverage are available at www.coverva.org.
Combating the Opioid Crisis in Virginia’s Counties | June 20 | Episode 3
County Pulse Host Dean Lynch welcomes VACo’s Angela Inglett to talk about this important issue. Inglett is author of the 1207 to the 95 Blog that provides resources, research and information for county officials on a variety of issues.
Connecting Rural Virginia to the Internet | June 11 | Episode 2
County Pulse Host Dean Lynch speaks with VACo’s Joe Lerch and Khaki LaRiviere about broadband connectivity in rural Virginia.
The Virginia State Budget Impasse | May 24 | Episode 1
Host Dean Lynch interviews Katie Boyle on the state budget situation.