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Polk County goes to Washington

Polk commissioners attend conference at White House

COLUMBUS — Some Polk County commissioners recently got to meet and make contacts with federal official in Washington, D.C.

Polk County Board Chair Jake Johnson, Vice Chair Myron Yoder and commissioner Ray Gasperson attended a conference last month at the White House.

Polk County Commissioners attended a conference at the White House last month, and heard from federal officials, including Vice President Mike Pence. (Photo submitted by Jake Johnson)

Commissioners from across North Carolina heard from various officials in President Donald Trump’s administration, including Senior Strategist Kellyanne Conway, Secretary of Department of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson, and Vice President Mike Pence.

Johnson said the main purpose of the conference was to promote issues that local commissioners across North Carolina are faced with.

Johnson said the main themes commissioners promoted were combating mental health issues and the opioid epidemic, and improving aging infrastructure in North Carolina.

“I would like to say a huge thanks to our staff, especially Ange High, for help putting this together and the White House staff for hosting such an insightful event,” Johnson said. “Also to both the state and national county commissioner associations for helping coordinate the county initiatives. 

“We walked away feeling like our voices were heard. Even more than that, we walked away with contact information for all of the major departments in Washington, and a point of contact that will be invaluable as future planning for Polk County’s needs.”​

During the county’s March 19 meeting, all commissioners discussed the conference.

Gasperson said at least 160 commissioners attended and it was highly informative, and gave local commissioners connections with the federal level of government.