County commissioners attend D.C. Leadership Conference

Paul Garrod -

    PAW PAW - Van Buren County Commission Chairman Richard Godfrey, along with Commission Vice Chairman Kurt Doroh and Commissioner Mike Chappell traveled to Washington, D.C. this week as part of the Regional State  Leadership Conference event, Thursday, Oct. 3, with local elected officials from Michigan, Ohio, and Kentucky.
    The leadership day events included  briefings and discussions with senior administrative officials on federal, state and local priorities pertinent to  Michigan and it communities.
    The commissioners met with members of the Intergovernmental  Affairs (IGA) team, both at the White House and other  federal agencies. Doroh said IGA is the direct point of contact in the administration for  state and local officials. Commissioners also  joined other regional commissioners  to  discuss issues that  affect everyone.
    Chappell said before he left  for  the nation’s capitol, “I hope to take away  from the conference information about our local struggles with PFAS  in our drinking water and the Opioid epidemic. I am also hoping to get valuable  information from the  Small Business Administration Briefing. I think all of  these things are  very important to our local communities.”
     In August 2017, Godfrey was in Washington, D.C., for the Michigan County Commissioner Convention, a  convention that featured 14 different presentations, among those were the Department of Veterans Affairs, Small Business Administration, Department of Transportation, and The Department of Education, with Secretary Betsy DeVos.
    Godfrey said his last trip to the White House as chair of the Van Buren County Board of Commissioners was very interesting and beneficial.
    “We had discussions with Department secretaries, like Betsy DeVos, as well as others.  We received direct contact information with 20 different departments like Veterans’ Af-fairs.
    “Those who attend continue to be invited to participate in White House discussions by telephone and receive e-mail updates on various projects.  I am excited to once again visit the White House and to continue the local relationship with the Federal Government through White House connections.

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