Summary: CountyCast is a podcast series from the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners designed to educate listeners about the level of government closest to the people – counties. Join host Amber Harris as we share county stories from North Carolina, help people understand county government’s impact and why it matters, and attempt to entertain while celebrating counties and our members.
In this episode, we look for ways to address the fact that 50% of occupations available today will be gone by 2050, and ask what counties can do to help prepare the workforce of tomorrow. Bringing an abundance of initiative and an arsenal of ideas to this topic are NCACC President Kevin Austin, who serves as Chairman of the Yadkin County Board of Commissioners, & NCACC Manager of Strategic Initiatives Laurel Edwards, who join us as guests. For relevant links, visit ncacc.org/countycast.
With the 2020 census approaching, we filled our studio with a census expert, a couple of data enthusiasts, and a county administrator to talk about why the census matters and how it can be used to make our counties even better places to live. Joining us are Bob Coats, Census Liaison and State Data Center Coordinator, and Mike Cline, State Demographer. Also joining the show is Dominique Walker, Assistant to the County Manager in Bertie County, and Paige Worsham, Associate General Counsel with the NCACC.
Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Doris Kearns Goodwin drops by to impart perspectives on leadership from some of America’s most influential presidents and shares how experience in local government shaped each of their stories. Joining the conversation is Lillian McNeal, a 4-H youth representative from Guilford County, as well as NCACC Deputy Director and General Counsel Amy Bason, to talk about developing good leaders and the importance of mentoring the next generation.
As a yearly tradition, the NCACC convenes county officials from across the state to meet in August to provide educational sessions, facilitate networking opportunities, and in a word, connect. Joining us to talk about conference highlights are Commissioner Jeff Phillips of Guilford County and the NCACC's Jason King. Listen in to hear why this conference has implications beyond the three-day meeting and what our host county of Guilford has been doing to exemplify collaboration.
Mercy triumphs over judgment. That’s not an idea that will make it in to many blockbuster action movies or courtroom reality TV shows, but when it comes to real life, nothing makes for a better story than the missteps of offenders being wiped clean. Those are the very stories that are being written in Cumberland County, as Commissioner Charles Evans and District Attorney Billy West, along with their team of partners, are working hard to achieve second chances for some in their community.
The effort to end the practice of modern-day slavery that is human trafficking takes awareness & recognition of the business models where it exists. County workers are often positioned to see the tell-tale signs of trafficking, & their vigilance is critical. To talk about the work counties are doing, we’re joined by Renee Price, Vice Chair of the Orange County Board of Commissioners & Margaret Henderson, Director of the Public Intersection Project. Visit www.ncacc.org/countycast for relevant links.
Some leaders assert their strategies with raucous arguments and a self-reliant mindset. Other leaders choose a wider scope, building a spectrum of relationships in order to get things done. As a lifelong leader and proven convener, Ray Jeffers has worked hard as a Person County Commissioner, among many other roles, to bring people and organizations together. He joins the show to talk about his story and share his vision as a candidate for office with the National Association of Counties.
We get down to the nitty-gritty on the process to come up with the state’s $26 billion budget and discuss how it is that the NC house, senate, and governor develop and negotiate the spending plan. What do the three versions of the budget have in common? What are the sticking points in the budget and how do they impact counties? Why does it take so long? NCACC Director of Government Relations Johanna Reese and Legislative Counsel Adam Pridemore join us to talk about these questions and more.
It’s nearly impossible to overstate the value of county emergency services and the impact those services have on their communities. Even then, some departments go above and beyond and add a personal approach to their day-to-day duties. This is exemplified in Nash County, where one of this week’s guests, Brandon Taylor, manages the Community Paramedicine program. We’re also joined by Nash County Director of Emergency Services, Brian Brantley, who has 40+ years of experience in emergency services.
Since the NCACC’s founding 110 years ago, grassroots advocacy has been a hallmark of the organization's identity. Join us as we talk to the Association's President-Elect, Commissioner Kevin Austin, along with Government Relations Coordinator Hugh Johnson, to examine how challenges at the local level are addressed with innovative thinking that often results in important policy shifts at other levels of government. For relevant links, visit ncacc.org/countycast
How can a county make sure it serves its residents in parks and recreation while being efficient with resources? Harnett County Assistant County Manager Brian Haney as well as Parks and Recreation Director Carl Davis join the show to talk about their award-winning solution to provide a community resource. To find out more about the LGFCU Excellence in Innovation Awards and to submit your program for consideration, visit ncacc.org/lgfcuawards. The deadline to apply is May 31.
There is a wide scope of services that counties provide, and all of these services carry risks which must be accounted for and minimized. NCACC Risk Control Manager Bob Carruth has built a career in navigating and educating on the liabilities that county governments face, all of which has earned him the unofficial title of “Safety Bob.” Listen in as Bob shares his insights & personal stories on the nature of risk that counties work to manage. Visit ncacc.org/countycast for relevant links.
It is a crucial role of the sheriff’s department to serve & protect the citizens of a county, and in New Hanover County, this includes building a network of support for formerly incarcerated individuals so that they “are released from jail with a plan" through a project called Community1. We’re joined by Officer Anthony Johnson of the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office, as well as Sarah Stoloff, an intern with Community1, to talk about this program. For links visit ncacc.org/countycast
Foster care placement is a critical function of county Departments of Social Services. When children are in need of families, staff in these departments step in to coordinate and ensure the needs of children and the families that care for them are met. Join us as we talk with Alison Clark who leads these efforts in Cleveland County as a dedicated promoter of her county’s foster care program as well as a passionate advocate for children in need of homes in her community. For links, visit ncacc.org/countyca
One month into the legislative session, we check in on trending topics at the General Assembly and discuss how they might affect counties with NCACC Government Relations Coordinator Hugh Johnson. Listen in as we talk about state budget projections and how they play into the priorities of county governments across the state of North Carolina. For relevant links, visit ncacc.org/countycast.