Note: On Friday afternoon, June 28, Commissioner Alan Perdue informed the Rhino Times that, due to a conflict in his schedule, he would not be able to make the trip to Las Vegas.  Perdue added that he had planned to “drop in” for a steering committee on telecommunications and technology, and he also said that he had intended to pay for that trip out of his own pocket.

Guilford County’s taxpayers are sending five of Guilford County’s nine commissioners to the National Association of Counties (NACo) Annual Conference and Exposition – but the citizens may never find out what goes on at the conference, because, as they say, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.

Each summer, NACo holds the giant annual conference that brings county commissioners and other county officials from across the country together to attend seminars, discuss solutions to ubiquitous county problems and get updates on programs that may benefit their constituents.   Oh, and the attendees also might every now and then get a chance to take in some local attractions.  In this case, they may enjoy a gondola ride on a river running through a hotel or hit it big at the craps table at the Bellagio.  (It’s expected that any gambling by the commissioners will be done with their own personal money rather than with taxpayer funds.)

Attending the conference in Sin City this year will be Chairman of the Guilford County Board of Commissioners Alan Branson along with Commissioners Alan Perdue, Carlvena Foster, Skip Alston and Kay Cashion – a commissioner who’s very active in the county associations at both the state and national level.  This year’s conference runs from Friday, July 12 to Monday, July 15,

Some citizens don’t like the idea of paying to send their local leaders to nice and often exciting conferences each summer, however, county officials who attend the events say that the experience is very valuable and that it gives them ideas for addressing county problems and keeps them abreast of current trends in effective and efficient county government.

One keynote speaker this year is Chris Pilkerton, the acting administrator and general counsel of the US Small Business Administration.  According to the conference’s promotional literature, he’s “an advocate for America’s 30 million small businesses and works to connect entrepreneurs to the resources they need to start, grow and expand businesses of their own.”

Another keynote speaker will be Roy Spence, the co-founder and CEO of The Purpose Institute, a consulting firm that helps people and organizations discover their purpose and follow it.