Dagny Stapleton, executive director of the Nevada Association of Counties (NACO), headquartered in Carson City, made a presentation at the July 2 meeting of the Lincoln County Board of County Commissioners.
Stapleton outlined the organization’s mission as well as its administrative structure and staff. She was accompanied by Deputy Director Vinson Guthreau.
There are 17 counties in Nevada, ranging in population from over two million in Clark County, to less than 1,000 in Esmeralda County.
Historically, counties have served as administrative arms for the state – maintaining records, providing courts and law enforcement, fire protection, development review and building safety, health and welfare assistance, assessing property and collecting taxes, building roads, and conducting elections.
Even though Nevada is one of the most rural states in the country, seven of the 25 largest counties (by land size) outside of Alaska, are located within Nevada.
On behalf of NACO, Stapleton represents the counties at the state legislature on issues common to the counties as well as before interim committees and other state bodies. She has participated in each of the regular sessions of the legislature since 2009.
In 2017, NACO was involved in securing funding for the new voting machines and law enforcement body cameras and 911 fees, as well as being part of the task force that put together regulations for the legalization of recreational marijuana.
Guthreau said that at the commission meeting this coming year NACO anticipates working on several issues including NACO bill draft requests that are used to present bills in the legislature, the governor’s budget, marijuana, public records, diesel tax, as well as indigent legal defenses.
Varlin Higbee currently represents Lincoln County on the NACO board with Phillips serving as a member emeritus.
Higbee said he is being considered to represent Nevada as a member of the National Association of Counties Natural Resources Steering Committee.