Members of the Long County Board of Commissioners met last week with White House officials in Washington, D.C., discussing several topics.
The gathering was designated as the Georgia Local Elected Officials Conference and arranged through the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs.
The highlight of the day was an unannounced visit by Vice President Mike Pence, who reinforced the message of the president that their administration believed in less governmental control in Washington and more at the local level.
In addition to the Vice President, Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, Assistant to the President and Deputy Chief of Staff Rick Dearborn, Chief of Staff to the Vice President Nick Ayers and Georgia U.S. Sen. David Perdue all spoke to the commissioners and fielded questions.
Also speaking and answering questions were officials from the Department of Transportation, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Energy, the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Small Business Administration.
Fifth District Commissioner Robert Parker said it was good that Georgia was so well represented by this administration and he appreciated the president establishing dialogue with local communities.
“I would like the public to know that the current presidential administration is making a great effort to help and hear the needs of city and county governments,” he said. “I would also like to say that most people are unaware of the high ranking positions in Washington that are occupied by people from Georgia.”
Commission Chairman Mike Riddle said it was important for local leaders to maintain a dialogue with both state and federal officials. He also said he brought up two local road projects with Department of Transportation Government Affairs Officer Chris Mitton.
“I got with Mr. Mitton after his session and told him about our efforts to seek funding for a second road access for the new school being built and also for federal funding to help improve Elim Church Road,” Riddle said. “The school project, he wasn’t too optimistic about. But as for Elim Church Road, that was a project he said he might be able to help us with.”
Also attending the event was District One Commissioner David Richardson and District Four Commissioner Clifton DeLoach.