NASCOE News Flash – Update from President Dennis Ray

NASCOE President Dennis Ray

The NASCOE executive committee, national committee chairs and the legislative committee all met in Sioux Falls, SD the weekend of September 15-18, 2017 for the organizational meeting.  The meeting was held at the Ramkota Best Western and Convention Center which will be the site of the 2018 National Convention.  The South Dakota association is preparing for a great convention and I hope that you all plan on attending.

With several new team members present, we started the meeting by going around the room and introducing ourselves.  I was once again amazed by the dedication and generosity of NASCOE members.  Several members of the team were missing family gatherings, children’s ballgames and other important events just to be there on behalf of all membership.  I am extremely grateful for everyone who donated 4 days of their time to work on NASCOE business.

Our legislative consultant, Hunter Moorhead, was unable to attend due to obligations in Washington but he met with the group by phone in the Saturday morning session.  He also spent about an hour and half on the phone when the legislative committee was holding their breakout session on Sunday.  In addition to setting their action plan for the upcoming year, the legislative committee worked on finalizing their new PAC promotion.

Teresa Dillard and John Lohr of Dillard Financial Services met with the team to review the past year accomplishments and to go over their plans for the upcoming year.  They shared their training plan, which has been reviewed by the Acting DAFO, for the coming year.  They also presented a request to extend their contract for an additional 4 years.  The executive committee took the request under consideration and also initiated a comment period from membership.  You should have received an email through your area exec asking for feedback and where to respond.

Any time the executive committee meets together we address the business of the association but the main purpose of the organizational meeting is to set a course of action for the coming year.  The national committee chairs all presented their goals and plans for the year and the executive committee discussed and acted on their requests.  The remainder of the meeting was spent setting the goals and priorities of the executive committee.  I will list a few below.

  • Maintaining and strengthening the authority of the County Committee. This includes educating our members on the history of the county committee and the importance of the grass roots system of government.  NASCOE has a working group devoted to protecting the authority of the county committee.
  • Improving our communication with membership. Breakdown in communication has been one of our biggest issues for as long as I have been a member.  We have several ways of distributing information including the NASCOE NEWS Facebook page, the NASCOE webpage itself, a distribution chain through the area execs and a national database for distributing sensitive information.
  • Building and maintaining relationships with management. This process has been delayed due to the lack of appointees in the national office but will be a high priority as they come into office.
  • Working with management and the Managerial Cost Analysis working group on a workload tool that provides valid data down to the county level.
  • The reorganization of the mission area announced by the Secretary and how it might affect field the footprint of our agency will be a point of emphasis. We have a task force looking at current operations and how that might change going forward.  This task force is also reviewing shared management operations to see if there are ways they can be made less burdensome for the staff.  NASCOE also has a representative assigned to a National Office task force on shared management operations.

There isn’t enough space to provide a complete list and we go into this year realizing that circumstances will come up that will require immediate attention.   That is part of why we stress an effective communication strategy.  We want to be able to share information with you but we also need for you, our membership, to have an avenue of contacting us when a new issue comes up.  Please feel free to contact your area exec or a national officer if you have an issue or concern.  You can also contact me directly if you prefer that.  My personal email is djray2239@sbcglobal.net and my cell number is 573-382-2087.

The entire leadership team is here to serve you and I thank them all for volunteering their time, talents and personal resources.  We look forward to having a good year and invite you to share any thoughts or concerns you may have.

Sincerely,

Dennis Ray
NASCOE President