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Travel To Maryland Conference Debated By Supervisors

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Sonora, CA — The first item that opinions were split on at today’s Tuolumne County Supervisors meeting was a proposal by Supervisor Jaron Brandon that he travel to a conference in Maryland.

It is the annual National Association of Counties conference this July 9-12. The backstory is that Board Chair Ryan Campbell is the county’s voting member for the annual conference. Campbell was planning to attend, and vote, virtually, online. However, there is also an option to attend in person. Campbell indicated a belief he could accomplish goals online rather than having the county spend money to send him to the East Coast. CAO Tracie Riggs estimated the costs for air travel, lodging, and food would be around $2,500.

Supervisor Jaron Brandon told the board he felt it would be beneficial to have someone in person to network and get a better feel about the national issues facing counties. He proposed that he travel to the conference in person, while Campbell also attends virtually.

District Three Supervisor Anaiah Kirk questioned the benefits of having an alternate onsite in Maryland, while Campbell would be the voting member for the county, attending virtually. Supervisor Campbell also questioned the need to have Brandon at the event in person while he is the only voting member. District One Supervisor David Goldemberg then said he would be in favor of sending both Brandon and Campbell, physically, to the conference. District Four Supervisor Kathleen Haff also liked the idea of having someone in person at the conference, citing the benefits of past supervisors attending, and asked if Campbell would be able to travel there, as an option instead of Brandon. Campbell said he would, if that is the desire of the board.

After spending nearly a half-an-hour on the topic, many of the supervisors started to express discouragement taking “so much time” discussing this item. Campbell stated that the board needed to just make a decision. In the end, the board unanimously directed county staff to move forward with the concept of sending Supervisor Campbell in person to the Maryland conference. Supervisor Brandon would then have the option of attending virtually.