“There are some issues that are bigger than one county and it’s important for our elected officials to interface with each other and learn from each other,” said Will County Board Speaker Denise Winfrey (D-Joliet). “NACo conferences are always good learning experiences and that’s especially true for our newest board members.”
Mike Fricilone (R- Homer Glen) has been active in NACo for 6 years and is Vice Chair of the Finance Steering Committee. He is also a member of the Large Urban County Caucus. Fricilone said that it’s always beneficial to talk to county officials from other regions of the country. In 2018 and 2019 he sponsored resolutions to eliminate the Cadillac tax on health plans. He said that the US House just voted to pass the resolution and he expects the Senate to do the same.
“Many counties are facing similar problems across the United States,” said Fricilone. “I’ve been happy to share my knowledge and experience with other county officials and to listen to different ways that they’ve approached issues.”
Board Member Jackie Traynere (D-Bolingbrook) participated in several workshops about topics like solar energy, legal cannabis, and immigration. She said that she was excited to learn more about helping residents save money on electric bills and environmental sustainability. She also said that as Chair of the Will County Board Legislative Committee she was interested in working towards legislation that will enhance the security of our elections.
Freshman Board Member Joe VanDuyne (D- Wilmington) was at the NACo conference for his first time and was appointed to the Transportation Steering Committee. He said that he was proud to aid in the passage of the air ambulance regulation resolution.
Newly elected Board Member Mimi Cowan (D- Naperville) was also at her first NACo conference. She was especially impressed by the presentations on the 2020 census and brought back information and tools from these sessions that will assist the county in its “complete count” efforts, ensuring that Will County will obtain the federal funds and resources it deserves in the coming decade.
Other NACo conference participants were Mark Ferry (D- Plainfield), Judy Ogalla (R-Monee), Ken Harris (D-Bolingbrook), Jim Moustis (R-Frankfort), Herb Brooks (D-Joliet), and Laurie Summers (D-Crete).