Local officials to visit White House

ELKINS — Elected officials from across the state will descend Thursday on Washington, D.C., to become more acclimated with federal office holders.

A range of county commissioners, including Randolph County Commission President Mike Taylor and Commissioner Mark Scott, will be among those in attendance.

“I am very proud and excited as a commissioner of Randolph County to have been invited to Thursday’s meeting at the White House,” Taylor said Monday. “My understanding is that commissioners from throughout West Virginia will be meeting with high-ranking federal officials that we, as county elected officials, deal with on a regular basis dealing with such issues as federal grants, (Federal Emergency Management Agency) funds, (Payment in Lieu of Taxes) funding and trying to expand broadband in our area.”

Scott added officials plan to discuss issues that could benefit Randolph County financially.

“The purpose for the day at the White House is for us to be able to meet various different officials that will be able to help counties from a federal standpoint,” Scott said, adding he thinks the secretary of commerce has indicated he will attend. “We have several things that the federal folks have to do with that affects counties, not least of which is PILT, that the federal government pays the county for the National Forest and the resources we spend to take care of the National Forest.”

Taylor added he believes this visit will be a positive for the community.

“This meeting will serve as an excellent opportunity for local elected officials to network with federal officials who make the ultimate decisions affecting our daily lives,” Taylor said.

Scott said officials plan to bring up various issues during the meeting in an attempt to better the county.

“There (are) other issues on the federal level that we, hopefully, will have an opportunity to talk with those at the highest level of federal government to give them our feedback and get some direction on how to get things done,” he said.

Scott also referenced federal grant programs, such as the U.S. Economic Development Administration funds that were announced last week for Armstrong Flooring and the Randolph County Development Authority.

“That’s a federal grant, so we would love to learn more about grant opportunities from the federal government and how we can better do our jobs,” he said, going on to say this trip will be an exciting opportunity.

“I’m excited to go and be in the White House but also to be able to learn about opportunities to make Randolph County better through better relationships with the federal government,” Scott said. “We are the fourth state to do this. Two of the three that went before us were Ohio and Michigan. Commissioner Taylor and I are both excited for the opportunity to talk to the decision makers at the federal level.”

Scott added they also plan to meet with U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., while in Washington.

COMMENTS