February 2023 | Chris champion, p.e.
As I write this update, we are truly a divided country! And I’m not talking politics. The Upper Midwest and Great Plains are preparing for another blast of cold weather and blizzards. Even Southern California is preparing for their largest measurable snowfall since the 1980’s. Meanwhile, states southeast of a line from Texas to Washington DC are experiencing an Indian Summer of sorts. Temperatures will be in the 70’s and 80’s for the next 10 days which is very unusual, especially for February. But don’t plant your flowers just yet. That last cold snap before Easter is still coming. Sooner or later, the weather will put us all in a bind and we’ll need “a little help from our friends,” to quote the Beatles. Author T.A. Webb said, “A burden shared is a burden halved.” Disaster recovery can be a monumental task when faced alone. I encourage you, if you have the resources, to help your neighbors when the wind blows and the creek rises. When tornados recently struck two counties in my home state, surrounding counties answered the call to help with debris removal. Willingness to help our neighbors is one reason I’m proud to work in County Government.
The Executive Committee and a few State Directors had a successful Fly-In to Washington DC February 9-11. Meetings were held with the White House Transportation team, the Council on Environmental Quality, House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee staff, and Deputy Assistant Secretary Secretary Charles Small and his team at USDOT. Meeting topics included the appropriations process, the BIL application process, and a permanent NACE legislative priority, streamlining federal project reviews. We were well received at each meeting and I think an open dialogue has been established with our partners at the federal level.
I hope you took the opportunity to fill out the NACE Committee Interest Survey, sent via email in January. We extended the deadline for completing the survey to February 24, so if you’re reading this before the deadline, please let us know if you have interest in serving on a committee for the 2023-2024 year. Committees are an integral part of our association and we want your participation and expertise.
Can you feel the sand in your toes yet? We’re 7 short weeks from the Annual Conference in Orange Beach, AL. New information has been posted on the website concerning the Guest Program and Golf Registration. If you haven’t registered for the conference, please do so soon. You don’t want to miss out on the quality technical sessions, vendor exhibits, spending time together and the most beautiful beaches you’ve ever seen!
Thank you for the honor of serving as your President!