NACo provides a wealth of resources

By Debbie Wise
AAC Board President, Randolph County Circuit Clerk

The National Association of Counties’ (NACo) Annual Conference & Exhibition is just around the corner — July 12-15 in Hillsborough County, Florida — and I am excited to attend. I always return to Randolph County with new knowledge and ideas. That’s why I am such a strong advocate of NACo. I believe every county and district official in Arkansas can benefit from the resources provided by NACo.

As of this writing, 37 county officials from 12 Arkansas counties are registered to attend the 2024 NACo Annual Conference. That’s one of the largest groups from Arkansas that I can recall in recent years, and I am thrilled that so many among us are participating in this event.

NACo represents the nation’s 3,069 counties, parishes, and boroughs. Its annual conference includes discussions of federal policies that impact counties, workshops focusing on county best practices, general sessions, mobile tours across the host county, and much more. The diverse pool of speakers are leaders in their fields who are glad to share their insight with attendees.

Each county in Arkansas is a NACo member thanks to the Association of Arkansas Counties (AAC), which pays the NACo membership dues. As a county or district official, you can become as involved in NACo as you like — from attending NACo meetings to serving on a committee, caucus, task force or advisory board. Many county officials and employees who recognize the importance of NACo have embraced leadership roles within the organization.

Polk County Judge Brandon Ellison and I are NACo board members., Pulaski County Judge Barry Hyde, Greene County Judge Rusty McMillon, Benton County Judge Barry Moehring, Jefferson County Justice of the Peace Ted Harden, Pulaski County Justice of the Peace Paul Elliott, Pulaski County Coroner Gerone Hobbs, Crittenden County Collector Ellen Foote, Crittenden County Chief Computer Operator Tawanna Brown, and Sebastian County Director of Information Technology Services Kevin Smith all serve on NACo committees. AAC Executive Director Chris Villines is a past president of the National Council of County Association Executives (NCCAE), an arm of NACo.

Even if you cannot attend one of NACo’s conferences or many meetings held throughout the year, or if you are unable to serve on a committee, you can still take advantage of NACo’s vast resources.

Just go to the website (, and you will find a multitude of tools for counties, updates on federal legislation, news, webinars and more that will help you in your role as a county elected official. Or you might read or see something that will help a fellow official in your county. I urge you to broaden your thinking as you peruse the wealth of information on the website. You might not think the 2024 Farm Bill affects you in your capacity as a treasurer. But read through the information, and you’ll see that the House version of the bill includes a three-year reauthorization of Secure Rural Schools (SRS), which provides critical financial support to forest counties, funding services like education, infrastructure and emergency response. When you receive the moneys, you will need to know which revenue code to use when putting it on your books.

My point is this: Just as the AAC provides valuable resources for us, so too does NACo. Please take advantage of as many of them as you possibly can. It is an honor and a privilege to represent Arkansas counties as a NACo Board member, a role that I take very seriously

Rainwater, Hold & Sexton Injury Lawyers 800-434-4800