Guilford County residents better hope that nothing catastrophic happens in the county from July 21 to July 24 because, if so, there won’t be many county leaders around to address the problem.

In July, the National Association of Counties (NACo) Annual Conference and Expo will take place in Austin, Texas – which, it should be said, is in Travis County since the focus of the event will be on county government.

Usually, a few of Guilford County’s board members head out to the conference which is in a different city each year – sometimes more than half the board goes.

However, the Rhino Times cannot recall a time when such a high percentage of commissioners headed out to the national conference that’s meant to train commissioners in best practices and make them become better informed county leaders.

Of course, the taxpayer funded trips also include the fun sightseeing excursions and some excellent parties.

According to county staff, currently, every Guilford County Commissioner except Republican District 3 Commissioner Pat Tillman plans to attend.

The annual conference is the largest meeting of elected county officials from across the country each year. In addition to learning about running counties, the commissioners at the events vote to shape NACo’s federal policy agenda, share their own county’s best practices and get in some networking while they are there.

NACo’s stated goal of the conference is “to help improve residents’ lives and the efficiency of county government.”

Some of the topics that will be addressed in Austin include broadband internet access, election integrity, dealing with the aftermath of the pandemic, DEI initiatives, addressing homelessness and many other timely subjects.

Also, commissioners will have a chance to attend a seminar on “Making sense of AI.” and they can be part of a response team for a simulated cyberattack.