The National Association of Counties is meeting next month in Honolulu, and county leaders across the country are getting a lot of flak from constituents about meeting in such a nice locale on the taxpayers' dime. At the US Conference of Mayors meeting in Chicago this weekend, I talked with a NACo representative who said attendance for this year's conference was going to be significantly lower than usual, because officials don't want to be perceived as taking a recreational junket to the beach. The Chicago Tribune even has a story today about how county officials are having to justify the trip to their constituents.
The NACo rep I talked to was miffed by the notion that the association's meeting was just an excuse for a nice trip to the beach. NACo hasn't held a meeting in Hawaii in 33 years, he told me, and county officials there have just as much right as any other members to host a meeting in their own state. Plus, I mean, Hawaii has counties, too, right? (Yes, there are four.... Or maybe five.)