All County Supervisors from Iowa received an invitation to the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs in Washington D.C. for the Iowa White House Conference which took place Tuesday, July 10th at the White House. The goal of the conference was to develop working relationships with local elected officials.
Dee Sandquist from the Jefferson County Board of Supervisors attended the conference and each Supervisor was able to extend one additional invitation. Sandquist extended that invitation to Fairfield Economic Development Association’s, Executive Director, Josh Laraby. Sandquist said, “with the variety of roles that economic development is involved in, I thought inviting the FEDA Director would benefit the whole county.” By the end of this year, every County Supervisor from all 50 every states will have been invited for a similar conference.
The conference speakers spoke on the priorities they have been given by the Federal Administration. The lineup included:
· Deputy Secretary for the U.S. Department of Labor Patrick Pizzella
· Deputy Secretary for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Eric Hargan
· Chief Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration, Linda McMahon
· Under Secretary for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Greg Ibach
· Chief of Staff for the U.S. Department of Justice, Matthew Whitaker
· Deputy Assistant to the President and the Director of the White House Intergovernmental Affairs, Douglas Hoelscher
· U.S. Senator, Joni Ernst
· U.S. Representative, David Young
The conference also included a tour of the White House and few surprises guest speakers who were not on the agenda, including, President Donald Trump by phone, Vice President Mike Pence, Kellyanne Conway and Senator Grassley.
Laraby said, “the entire conference was non-partisan and gratitude was expressed throughout the session for the service of elected officials being done on the local level, regardless of individual’s party affiliation. They continually conveyed that the work on the local level is where it all starts. With our community’s focus on economic growth, I thought one of the most valuable takeaways for Jefferson County and Fairfield, was the federal department staff contacts that were made. This will likely to be helpful to us.”
Sandquist said,” the conference was non-partisan, well worth attending and contacts were made that can benefit the residents of the county in the future.”
Sandquist and Laraby each paid their own expenses so no taxpayer money was used.