Commissioners meet with federal officials during conference


Oakland County Commissioners Eileen Kowall (R-White Lake) and Adam L. Kochenderfer (R-Rochester) joined a contingent of nearly 80 county leaders from Michigan on Oct. 3 for the White House State Leadership Conference. The visit is part of an ongoing effort by the Trump administration to forge partnerships between local and federal leaders, and to solicit local views on public policy challenges.

The conference included remarks from Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency Andrew Wheeler, director of the National Economic Council Lawrence Kudlow and director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy Jim Carroll. Speakers focused their remarks on issues around economic development and the opioid crisis.

“I appreciated the opportunity for an update on many policy issues of concern to counties, and the back and forth exchange between the Trump administration and local elected leaders in attendance,” said Kowall. “They were genuinely interested in our input.”

“It was an honor to be invited by the White House to discuss issues affecting Oakland County,” said Kochenderfer. “Regardless of political beliefs, it’s critical that we continue expressing our constituents’ concerns and pressing for the changes we need.”

Before traveling to the White House for a tour of the East Wing and for policy briefings in the West Wing, the commissioners attended a breakfast briefing from the Michigan Association of Counties (MAC) and National Association of Counties (NACo).

“Building relationships is critical to the policy process, be it at the local, state or national level,” said Stephan W. Currie, executive director of MAC. “Two years ago, I was proud to see a delegation of about 50 travel to the White House. I’m even prouder that this year’s contingent is even larger. We appreciate the efforts of the administration and NACo to solicit the views of our membership on the challenges facing regional governments in our state.”

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