August 2019

Over 350 Gather for NCACC Annual Conference, Yadkin County Commissioner Kevin Austin Sworn in as President

August 22-24, 2019 more than 350 county commissioners, county officials and staff, state leaders and others gathered in Guilford County for the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners’ (NCACC) 112th Annual Conference.

During the Business Session of the conference, Kevin Austin, Yadkin County Commissioner ascended to the role of President of the NCACC. Commissioners voted to elect Ronnie Smith, Martin County Commissioner to serve as President-Elect, Frank Williams, Brunswick County Commissioner to serve as First Vice President, and Tracey Johnson, Washington County Commissioner to serve as the Association’s next Second Vice President. Brenda Howerton, Durham County Commissioner will serve as Past President.

This year’s conference featured presidential historian and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Doris Kearns Goodwin. Dr. Jeanette Betancourt, Senior Vice President, U.S. Social Impact, Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit behind Sesame Street joined Page Lemel, Transylvania County Commissioner and Jaime Laughter, Transylvania County Manager to discuss their new partnership to build resilient children.

NCACC also celebrated the 10th anniversary of YouthVoice, a youth development and leadership program created by Mary Accor, a NCACC Past President and former Cleveland County Commissioner. Several counties received awards from the Local Government Federal Credit Union for establishing innovative partnerships to improve services to citizens. NCACC also honored the following four individuals for their achievements in support of counties. 
  • Mary Accor, NCACC Past President (2009-2010) and former Cleveland County Commissioner was honored with the NCACC Hall of Fame Award for undertaking a youth leadership development initiative during her year as president. Her initiative evolved into YouthVoice, which is now a key component of NCACC’s Annual Conference.
  • Katie “Kay” Cashion, Guilford County Commissioner was recognized with the Outstanding County Commissioner Award for her life-long dedication to addressing issues related to criminal and social justice and arts education and outreach, among many other important causes.
  • Dr. Mike Yoder, Associate Director and State Program Leader for 4-H, and Ms. Sarah Kotzian, Youth and Adult Citizenship Engagement Specialist for 4-H received the Friend of the Counties Award in recognition of their instrumental role in developing and launching NCACC’s YouthVoice program, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year.
Click here to view photos from the conference.

Theron McCabe, Craven County Commissioner Honored with Frederick Douglass Award

During the 2019 NCACC Annual Conference, Theron McCabe, Craven County Commissioner, was honored with the Frederick Douglass Award. Given by the North Carolina Association of Black County Officials (NCABCO), the award recognizes a NCABCO member, who as a county commissioner has exemplified the character, leadership and vision of the legendary civil rights pioneer, Frederick Douglass.

NC Delegation of Commissioners Attend White House State Leadership Day

On August 8, nearly 80 county commissioners from North Carolina and representatives from NCACC travelled to Washington, D.C. to attend the White House State Leadership Day, along with officials from South Carolina and Tennessee. The event was part of a series of meetings hosted by the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs designed to give state and local leaders from across the United States an opportunity to discuss local issues with Administration officials. Secretary Sonny Perdue, U.S. Department of Agriculture addressed the group as well as other high-level officials from key White House offices and federal agencies.

Kevin Leonard, NCACC Executive Director Featured on Carolina Newsmakers

On July 25, Kevin Leonard was featured on Carolina Newsmakers radio program, hosted by Don Curtis. He discussed challenges facing North Carolina’s 100 counties, including school funding and broadband access. Listen to the full interview here

Granville County Students Complete Summer Civic Leadership Program

This month, five high school students Sarah Elliott, Tanaura Harrison and Akoya Penny-Campbell (students of Granville Early College High School); Anthony Goreman (homeschooled); and Brooklyn Pridgen (J.F. Webb High School) completed the Granville County Government’s Summer Civic Leadership Program. Now in its twentieth year, the program helps students learn how government operates, how departments work together and how day-to-day operations and decisions made by the Board of Commissioners impact residents. Participants are selected through a competitive process and each earns $1,400 for educational assistance. Click here to read full press release.

NCACC Launches New Cyber Resources Webpage

This month, NCACC launched a new webpage to catalogue the resources available to counties to help address cybersecurity needs. The page highlights the eRiskHub® resource portal for NCACC Liability & Property Risk Pool members and NCACC’s new partnership with CIS® (Center for Internet Security, Inc.®), which provides all 100 counties free and discounted cybersecurity tools and services. CIS operates the MS-ISAC ® (Multi-State Information Sharing & Analysis Center ®), which is designated by U.S. Department of Homeland Security to serve as the central cybersecurity resource for the nation’s state, local, tribal and territorial governments.

Alexander County Conducting Parks Survey

Alexander County Government is working with the Western Piedmont Council of Governments to conduct a survey to assess park usage, needed improvements to existing parks, and ideas for future additions and facilities. For more information or to view the survey, click here for the full press release.

DHS Announces Grant Allocations for FY 2019 Preparedness Grants

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced $350 million for six Fiscal Year 2019 competitive preparedness grant programs to support state, local, tribal and territorial partners. Click here for more information.

NCDOR to Present Workshop Series for Local Finance and Property Tax Staff

Starting in September, the NC Department of Revenue will begin a series of free workshops for county and city finance staff and property tax staff to learn about their relationship with the Department and the distributions local governments receive. Click here for more information or to register.

Catawba County Selected to Participate in Research-Action Site Grant

Catawba County was selected to participate in the national Advancing Pretrial Policy and Research (APPR) grant initiative as a Research-Action Site. Catawba County is among five counties (including communities in Alabama, Georgia and Washington) selected to participate through a competitive application process. As an APPR Research-Action Site, Catawba County will receive intensive assistance from national justice experts to study its pretrial system, understand its data, and design and implement research-based strategies to meet local needs. Click here to read full press release.

NC Bar Association to Offer Continuing Legal Education, Organized by Paige Worsham of NCACC

The Government & Public Sector Section along with the Administrative Law, Juvenile Justice & Children’s Rights, and Environment, Energy & Natural Resources Law Sections of the North Carolina Bar Association are teaming up to offer a 6.0 credit hour CLE course this fall, titled “Riding the Waves of Change: 2019 Legislative Review.” Click here for more information. Paige Worsham, NCACC Associate General Counsel, serves as a Planner for the course and as Chair of the CLE Committee for the GPS section this year.

Ransomware Infected Systems of 22 Local Government Organizations in Texas

This month, state officials in Texas confirmed that a sophisticated ransomware attack, or series of attacks, infected the systems and data of 22 local government organizations and held them hostage for millions of dollars. Evidence currently points that these attacks came from a “single threat actor.” Read a summary of the incident in NCDIT’s August Cybersecurity Newsletter.

County Briefs

NC Rep. Terry Garrison and NC Commerce Secretary Tony Copeland Tour North Industrial Site in Granville and Vance Counties

Read full story here.
House Bill Could Be Helping Hand for Broadband. Haywood County Commissioners Discuss FIBER NC Act.

Read full story here.
Broadband Expansion Clears NC House Despite Opposition

Read full story here.
Dewey Harris, Assistant County Manager for Catawba County to Retire in June 2020

Read full story here.
Scott Sauer, Bertie County Manager to Retire in November

Read full story here.
Zeb Hanner, Davidson County Manager to Retire at the End of the Year

Read full story here.
Click here for more stories on

Upcoming Events

NC Clerks Eastern Regional Workshop

September 13 - Pasquotank County

More information

Working Together: Counties, School Boards, and Local Funding for Public Schools

October 3 - UNC School of Government

This one-day course provides an overview of the governance and funding structures of public schools in North Carolina. It focuses particularly on the relationship between counties and local school administrative units. Through a series of lectures and interactive exercises, participants will learn about the legal roles and responsibilities of counties for schools and the school budgeting and expenditure processes. As a group, we will identify common issues and brainstorm ways to better address them. The course is appropriate for any county or school official or employee (including board members, managers, superintendents, budget officers and finance officers), as well as any member of the community, who wishes to learn more about school funding decisions and funding options at the local level.

More information

Featured Classifieds

Employee Health and Safety Coordinator - Franklin County

Information Technology Administrator - City of Henderson, NC

Click here to view all classified ads

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Vision Statement

Empowering 100 counties to work together for the betterment of one state.

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Our Association supports and promotes the well-being of all North Carolina counties through advocacy, education, research, and member services.
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