When county officials hailing from all corners of the Commonwealth converge in one place to engage with state legislators, discuss current electoral concerns, dialogue with their colleagues, and deliberate VACo policy positions, it can only mean one thing: It’s VACo Summit Day! On August 15, VACo hosted its annual County Officials’ Summit in Richmond, continuing on a long tradition of political engagement by the Association.
The Summit is known for bringing VACo members together with Virginia’s state and federally elected officials, fostering dynamic conversations about the challenges facing the Commonwealth and its communities. We are happy to say that this year’s iteration of the event exceeded expectations, as VACo members heard from a variety of bipartisan voices emanating from the General Assembly.
With both chambers of the General Assembly closely divided, and all seats on the ballot in November, VACo invited senior members of the General Assembly to discuss their priorities for the 2020 Session, and to offer thoughts on the policy goals of each caucus. We started off the day with Delegate Vivian Watts, who expressed her desire to provide counties with equal taxing authority and additional revenue raising tools. Next, Senator Emmett Hanger shared his thoughts about upcoming legislative battles between the parties. Delegate Robert Orrock then took the stage to discuss possible changes in the make-up of the General Assembly, and the differences between urban and rural representation.
In additional to legislators, several VACo members took this opportunity to share their expertise with their colleagues. Supervisor Meg Bohmke (Stafford County) and County Administrator Christian Goodwin (Louisa County) together spoke about the importance of advocacy and relationship building between local and state representatives. Lastly, Supervisors Billy Kyger (Rockingham) and Jeff McKay (Fairfax) discussed perceptions of the Urban/Rural Divide and provided strategies for collaboration between these communities.
The 2019 County Officials’ Summit was a spectacular success, and we offer our deepest thanks to our guest speakers and to all of those who made time to join us for this event.
VACo Contact: Angela Inglett