The Highland County Board of Commissioners agreed Thursday that their recent trip to Washington, D.C. is likely to benefit the county in the future.
As reported by The Times-Gazette, the Trump administration hosted county commissioners from Ohio on Tuesday “in its continuing efforts to develop and promote relationships between the Administration and the influential leaders of local communities,” according to a media advisory from the White House.
“Tuesday’s event continues the administration’s innovative localized outreach efforts. Previous administrations have never held White House events dedicated solely for local county commissioners,” the advisory stated.
Board president Shane Wilkin said during Thursday’s commissioner meeting — held a day later than usual due to the D.C. event — that the the trip was “very worthwhile,” adding that it was “very nice to put a face and a contact with a lot of the federal agencies.”
According to Wilkin, many federal officials said “just call me” with any questions or concerns.
Highland County Auditor Bill Fawley said he believes the Trump administration is the first administration to host such an event.
Commissioner Jeff Duncan said Ohio is the fourth state to be invited to capital for the event.
“They feel like the grassroots is the base they want to hear from,” he said.
Commissioner Terry Britton said he was impressed by the federal officials’ interest in county-level politics.
“For them to come to a county level… and greet us with open arms, I thought was amazing,” he said.
Wilkin said a surprise visit from vice president Mike Pence was a highlight of the trip, and although a meeting with secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson was cancelled due to Carson leaving with President Trump for Texas, the group saw several helicopters take off from the White House.
Kellyanne Conway, counselor to President Trump and a frequent spokesman for the administration, also spoke to the local officials from Ohio.
Other presentations were made by:
• Department of Agriculture, secretary Sonny Perdue;
• Deputy chief of staff and assistant to the president Rick Dearborn;
• Department of Transportation;
• Department of Housing and Urban Development;
• Department of Energy;
• Health and Human Services;
• Department of State;
• Department of Homeland Security;
• Environmental Protection Agency;
• Department of Interior;
• Department of Veterans Affairs.
Also Thursday, Wilkin presented a letter to Lakeside Drive residents explaining the Lakeside sewer plant’s financial situation.
The commissioners also passed routine financial resolutions.
Reach David Wright at 937-402-2570, or on Twitter @DavidWrighter.