October 2020

NACE Update from Executive Director Stone


Dear NACE Members:

As summer has departed and we enter fall, I hope and your colleagues are staying healthy and safe.  If we are lucky, Mother Nature will cut us a break in the middle of a public health crisis, but, as many of you can attest, that may be wishful thinking.  We know the work of you and your departments do not change due to a pandemic.  Roads will still have to plowed, salt laid, and transportation infrastructure cleared.  Allow me to thank you for the work you do each and every day.  Your contributions to your county cannot be measured, and NACE is grateful to call you our members.

As we all know, its election season.  If you’re like me, you can’t go one commercial break without seeing a campaign ad.  I think the only ones who will be sorry to see November 3 pass are the tv network’s advertising department.  Infrastructure, while not claiming the headlines like other policy issues, will play an important aspect in 2021.  While the Washington dysfunction is always news of the day, there are many in Washington, both inside and outside the halls of Congress, that want to get to work on an infrastructure bill.  I look forward to both sides of the aisle renewing their focus on infrastructure after the election.

As you may know, the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, which was set to expire on September 30, has been extended one full calendar year, allowing for an uninterrupted policy process for national transportation programs.  While we all would like to see a long-term reauthorization, election politics and the pandemic simply ran out the clock on getting something done.  We are heartened, however, that both chambers version of a new authorization bill introduced in the past year included a multitude of new grants, provisions and polices that counties would benefit from exponentially.  While a new bill will be introduced next year (all unpassed bills expire at the end of each Congress), I remain confident that many of those positive measures will again be present in the reauthorization.  

This month, I was fortunate to travel to Branson, Missouri for the Missouri Association of County Transportation Officials (MACTO) to present a NACE and federal legislative update to their membership.  I was joined by NACE South Central Vice-President Jacob Thorius, who made the 6 plus hour drive to attend as well.  We would like to thank NACE board rep. Bryan Boyce for his hospitality in working with us to bring NACE to their event.  We also thank and congratulate outgoing MACTO President Jim Francka his service in what has obviously been a challenging year for us all.  As conferences slowly begin to re-convene, we look forward to being on hand to support wherever possible.  We also continue to provide virtual updates to our state affiliates holding their own virtual conferences.   If you would like a representative from NACE to attend (in person or virtually) your meeting, please let us know.

Next week, NACE will convene an in-person/virtual hybrid annual fall board meeting.  I bring this up to recognize and thank our board members who give selflessly of their time and expertise for the betterment of our association.  In other association activities, we as of today remain hopeful that our 2021 Conference will take place in Riverside County (Palm Springs), California at the end of April as our planning is continuing to be full speed ahead.  Should the pandemic prohibit that from happening, we are fully prepared to move forward with a hybrid/virtual conference event.  Additional information on NACE 2021 will be coming out shortly.

I am pleased to inform you that NACE will be unveiling webinar opportunities to keep your skills honed and introduce you to new, cutting-edge products to utilize in the field.  NACE Connect, our new educational webinar series featuring our Corporate Members, launches on November 17th. This is a great way to earn PDHs and learn about products, services and research that our Corporate Members provide to our County Engineers.

As we approach the holiday season, I want to wish you all health and happiness as we approach 2021.  Having the opportunity to serve you is an honor and not taken for granted.  As always, if there is anything we can do to assist you in your efforts back home, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Best,
Kevan Stone
Executive Director


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