El Paso County Commissioner Sallie Clark Installed as President of National Association of Counties
Clark Touts “Safe and Secure” Initiative for her Term as President
El Paso County, CO, July 13, 2015 – El Paso County Commissioner Sallie Clark (District 3) was elected President of the National Association of Counties (NACo) on Monday at the NACo annual summer convention in Charlotte, North Carolina. NACo serves America’s 3,069 counties by monitoring and assessing the impact of federal regulations and policies on county government and coordinating the legislative efforts to assure that counties can continue to serve citizens efficiently and effectively.
Clark is the first county commissioner from the State of Colorado to be elected President of NACo. Clark has been active in NACo since 2005, serving on its Board of Directors and as the subcommittee chair of the Justice and Public Safety Steering Committee. She has also been active in NACo’s Financial Services Center Advisory Committee, Large Urban County Caucus Steering Committee, Cybersecurity Task Force, Veterans and Military Services Committee, Membership Committee and its Arts and Culture Commission among others.
During her acceptance speech, Clark thanked her fellow El Paso County Commissioners as well as County staff for their support and work on her behalf. She also thanked Colorado Counties Inc. Executive Director Chip Taylor and, of course, her husband, Welling Clark, for his “love and support.”
Clark announced her focus as NACo President will be to ensure Safe and Secure Counties. “Today, we enter a new phase of promise. A new phase of growth and outreach efforts because we know that stronger counties make a stronger America,” said Clark during her acceptance speech.
In describing her presidential initiative Clark said, “The Safe and Secure Counties initiative will explore innovative strategies that counties implement to serve our citizens. We will convene public, private and philanthropic leaders, produce special reports and facilitate peer-to-peer learning opportunities for members. While each county is unique, we all face similar challenges and can learn from each other’s ideas.”
“NACo will continue to advocate for federal policies that advance the interests of county government ... whether fighting unfunded mandates or securing needed investments in critical county services,” said Clark.
Clark referenced her specific experiences as an El Paso County Commissioner in finding solutions to difficult problems during a period of economic downturn as well as historic local and statewide natural disasters. “Over the last few years, my county experienced two catastrophic wildfires followed by disastrous flooding, resulting in loss of life and long-term recovery costs. When disasters strike, counties are the boots on the ground, before, during and after emergencies. Regardless of where you live safety and security are at the core of county government,” said Clark.
Clark will also be using her position with NACo to give the citizens of her own County a better understanding of the critical services provided by counties including transportation, public health, environmental services, child protection, criminal justice and more. Each month during the upcoming year El Paso County will provide focused information on specific the functions, responsibilities and services provided by El Paso County Government.
Clark represents Commissioner District 3 which includes Colorado Springs' west side extending through Manitou Spring and the Ute Pass area to the Teller County line. Clark was elected to serve as an El Paso County Commissioner in 2004 and was re-elected in 2008 and 2012. She has served as chair and vice chair of the commission. Clark has won numerous awards for excellence in public and community service and has served in many state and local leadership positions, including the Colorado Commission on Criminal and Justice, the Colorado Child Welfare Allocation Committee and co‐chair of the Waldo Canyon Fire Recovery Group.