Commissioners to attend White House conference

POMEROY — Two of the Meigs County Commissioners will be in Washington D.C. next week to attend a conference on the White House grounds.

Commissioners and other officials from the state of Ohio were invited by the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs to attend a tour of the White House, along with a conference with cabinet members and other administration officials at the Eisenhower Building on the White House grounds.

Commissioners Randy Smith and Tim Ihle will travel to Washington D.C. on Monday to take part in events on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday before returning home on Wednesday evening.

The purpose of the event is to develop a working relationship between the White House, federal agencies and CCAO members.

While the event is not being handled by the National Association of Counties (NACo), the organization is working with the commissioners to help make the most of their time in the nation’s capital.

On Monday evening, the commissioners will take part in a welcome reception at NACo, with a breakfast and legislative briefing on Tuesday morning before the commissioners go to the White House.

After a tour of the White House in the morning, the commissioners will attend the conference in the afternoon at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building.

Ihle explained that the commissioners have specific issues and topics they would like to address with the federal officials, including FEMA regulations, ARC funding which is at $0 in the president’s current budget, and EPA regulations that have impacted coal mines and power plants, as well as jobs in the region.

Smith called it a rare opportunity for county officials to receive an invitation to attend an event at the White House and said that they planned to make the most of the opportunity to speak with the federal officials.

Ohio is at least the third state to have its officials invited to take part in such an event at the White House, with Florida and Pennsylvania officials previously invited.

“I am excited for this opportunity to share our concerns and questions with the cabinet members and other officials,” said Smith of attending the event.

The Sentinel will provide details of the trip and conference following the event next week.

By Sarah Hawley

Sarah Hawley is the managing editor of The Daily Sentinel.