January 2020

NCACC President Kevin Austin Meets with White House and N.C. Congressional Leaders

This month, NCACC President Kevin Austin and NCACC Executive Director Kevin Leonard participated in NACo’s County Association Presidents and Executive Directors event in Washington, D.C., where they met with senior White House officials to discuss broadband access, the opioid epidemic and other county issues. They also met with U.S. Senators Richard Burr and Thom Tillis, as well as U.S. Representative Virginia Foxx to discuss President Austin’s Pathways Initiative focused on engaging disconnected youth.

NCACC Mourns Loss of Former New Hanover County Commissioner, E.L. "Matt" Mathews, Jr.

On January 21, E.L. “Matt” Mathews Jr., died peacefully at age 96. He served in the U.S. Army during World War II, retiring as a Major, and later worked in the insurance industry and sales. He served on the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners for eight years. He also served on the New Hanover County Airport Authority for eight years and 18 years as a member of the board of directors at Cornelius Nixon Davis Health Care Center. Click here to read his obituary.

NCACC Names Amber Harris as Director of Government Relations

NCACC congratulates Amber Harris on her new role as Director of Government Relations. In her new position, she will develop strategies to advance NCACC’s legislative goals, and coordinate and focus the work of the Association’s government relations team. Under her leadership, the policy team will analyze emerging issues that affect county government, and provide policy guidance and recommendations to NCACC and its members. Additionally, Harris will assist NCACC’s seven Steering Committees, while continuing to serve as the host of NCACC’s podcast series, CountyCast.
For the past four years, Harris has worked as an advocate for the Association, serving as Government Relations Coordinator and Legislative Grassroots Coordinator. She is a proud 4th generation Durham County native. Before joining the NCACC team, she spent eight years serving as a Legislative Assistant for four members of the North Carolina Senate. Harris has a Bachelor of Arts degree in African-American Studies and English from Bates College in Lewiston, Maine. She also earned a Master of Public Administration degree from North Carolina Central University.

NCACC Hosts Leading Your County Governing Board Training

January 10, NCACC hosted Leading Your County Governing Board: An Orientation for County Board Chairs. The one-day training provides an overview of legal responsibilities and duties for chairs and vice chairs, how to run a meeting, tips for building and maintaining effective relationships, and guidance for effective communication. Materials from the event are available here.

HUD Releases Awaited Federal Register Notice for Assistance for $542 Million for Florence Recovery

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released details of a federal register notice, which will allow the North Carolina Office of Recovery and Resiliency (NCORR) to move forward with developing a draft action plan for more than $542 million in Community Development Block Grant–Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funding for Hurricane Florence. The federal register notice identified 10 counties and four zip codes as the most impacted and distressed areas due to impacts from Hurricane Florence. Federal regulations require that the state spend 80 percent of the funding in those locations. The most impacted areas are Brunswick, Carteret, Columbus, Craven, Duplin, Jones, New Hanover, Onslow, Pender, and Robeson counties. Most impacted zip codes identified by the federal register notice include 28352 in Scotland County, 28390 in Cumberland County, 28433 in Bladen County, and 29571 in Pamlico County. Click here for more information.  

NCACC Convened Meeting to Inform Counties Involved in Opioid Litigation

January 21, NCACC convened a meeting for county board chairs, managers and attorneys to receive an update on opioid litigation and engage in discussions with key stakeholders including the NC Attorney General’s office, as well as law firms Baron & Budd and Crueger Dickinson, which serve as national counsel on opioid-related cases.

NCACC Steering Committees Meet in January

Click here to view pictures from the meetings.

Senators Burr and Tillis Announce $321 Million for Flood Projects and $15 Million for Flood Studies

U.S. Senators Richard Burr and Thom Tillis announced the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will award $281 million to Surf City/North Topsail Beach and Carteret County for storm damage reduction projects. The Army Corps also allocated $39.6 million for a long-awaited flood mitigation project in Edgecombe County. In addition, the Corps will award $15 million to study flood and storm damage reduction around North Carolina’s rivers and beaches, including Wrightsville Beach, NC, Carolina Beach, NC, the Neuse River Basin, NC, the Tar-Pamlico River Basin, NC, and the Lumber River Basin, NC.

NCACC Files Amicus Brief to Support County Position in NC Supreme Court Case

On January 2, 2020, the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners (NCACC) filed an amicus brief in North Carolina’s Supreme Court to support Ashe County’s request to reverse the Court of Appeals decision in the court case, Ashe County North Carolina v. Ashe County Planning Board and Appalachian Materials, LLC. The Court of Appeals’ decision requires all counties to “develop a process” to review every staff determination involving land development permits and applications and to preserve the county’s right to appeal. The purpose of NCACC’s involvement is to inform the court of the potential statewide effects of the decision on all counties, which amounts to an unfunded mandate. NCACC is also concerned the decision forces counties to choose between legal exposure and public engagement, which is not conducive to positive relations between counties and their constituents.  

NC DIT Urges Counties to Remain Vigilant and Report Cyber Incidents Amid Heightened Threats

Amid heightened concerns of cyberattacks, the N.C. Department of Information Technology strongly recommends local governments and agencies be vigilant of threats associated with phishing emails, ransomware, unauthorized access, data tampering and deletion, and denial of service attacks, among others. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency has released an advisory with recommended actions. Local governments and agencies should report cybersecurity incidents immediately to the N.C. Emergency Management 24-Hour Operations Center by calling 919-799-3300 or through the Statewide Cybersecurity Incident Report Form.

EDA Releases New Opportunity Zone Tool to Assist with Economic Development in Low-Income Areas

The Economic Development Administration (EDA) created a new mapping and demographic tool to help economic developers, planners and investors develop Opportunity Zone projects. Qualified Opportunity Zones or “OZs” were created by the federal 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to foster long-term private sector investments in low-income communities. These zones consist of low-income census tracts nominated by each of the 50 states and U.S. territories and comprise economically distressed areas where new investments may be eligible for referential tax treatment and the resulting investments, according to the U.S. Treasury. Click here for more information and to access the new tool.
Funding and Grant Opportunities

County Briefs

Bob Woodard, Chairman of the Dare County Board of Commissioners Joined President Trump at the White House for Announcement on Infrastructure Projects.

Read full story here.
Althea A. Riddick Appointed to Fill Unexpired Term on Gates County Board of Commissioners.

Read full story here.
Governor Cooper Announces $825,000 Grant to Support Career Readiness for High School Students in Seven County School Systems.

Click here to read full press release.
Click here for more stories on

Upcoming Events

White House to Host North Carolina Summit on Revitalization in Mecklenburg County

February 7, 9 a.m. - 2 p.m.; Mecklenberg County

The White House is hosting the “Opportunity Now Summit,” featuring a panel discussion with top Administration officials on ways to identify and leverage private sector investments, revitalization programs and regulatory innovation. Speakers include Secretary Ben Carson, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Jovita Carranza, Administrator, Small Business Administration, and Scott Turner, White House Opportunity & Revitalization Council Executive Director. The event will be held at Central Piedmont Community College, Dale Halton Theater, 1206 Elizabeth Dole Avenue, Charlotte, NC. Commissioners are encouraged to attend.

Click here to RSVP


National Association of Counties Legislative Conference

February 29 - March 4; Washington, D.C.

The National Association of Counties Legislative Conference brings together nearly 2,000 elected and appointed county officials to focus on federal policy issues that impact counties and our residents. Attendees have the opportunity to engage in second-to-none policy sessions, interact with federal officials, and participate in congressional briefings and meetings.

More information

NCACC District Meetings

Throughout March and April; Various locations around the state

Each spring, the NCACC hosts a series of District Meetings throughout the state. Click here for a list of counties that comprise each district.

There is no cost to attend the meetings, which begin at 5 p.m., include a dinner and conclude by 8 p.m. Commissioners who attend a District Meeting earn 3 credits in the “Association Sponsored Programs” category toward Practitioner, Master or Mentor status through the Local Elected Leaders Academy (LELA) Recognition Program.

More information.

Visit our calendar to see all upcoming events.

Featured Classifieds

County Manager - Clay County

Director of Economic Development - Hertford County

Director, Parks and Recreation - Durham County
.Click here to view all classified ads

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