Chuck Morris, Page County Supervisor, Clarinda

Last month Page County Supervisor Chair Alan Armstrong and I attended a five-state conference hosted by the White House.

Pottawattamie and Mills counties in western Iowa also had supervisors who accepted the official White House invitation to attend this meeting which featured many top level executives in the Trump Administration.

About 10 days before the conference, each invitee was told he or she could bring one guest and I asked my nephew from Missouri to be mine. His trip was entirely at his own expense. Many attendees brought their spouses as the invited guest, but it didn’t work in my wife’s schedule.

Supervisor’s trip expenses were co-funded by the county and the attending supervisor. This is all public record and anyone can see that county expenditures for this meeting were virtually equal to the number of dollars it takes for each of us to attend the annual ISAC meeting in Des Moines for a three-day period.

I am skipping the annual ISAC meeting, which was budgeted and I will instead rely on convention materials which are available online to stay up to date on the covered topics from Des Moines.

I’ve had people ask why county tax dollars should be spent on this type of “boondoggle.”

I’ve had others who disgustedly exclaimed there would be no way they would visit the White House as long as Donald Trump is President.

There are reasons why two Page County Supervisors attended (Jon Herzberg was invited, but did not attend).

First of all, regardless of politics, every American should feel honored to be invited to the White House.

Secondly, the current administration has worked hard to make federal agencies more transparent and accessible to local officials. As an example of this, prior to leaving the White House attendees were given a contact list with 40 names, direct phone line numbers and email addresses from top executives in every department of the Executive Branch.

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