Jim French elected NACO Vice President

Jim French elected NACO Vice President

Jim French elected NACO Vice President

Humboldt County Commissioner Jim French is going to be a very busy man. Aside from his duties as commissioner, he has also taken on the duties of Vice President of Nevada Association of Counties (NACO). The announcement was made last week during the NACO conference held in Winnemucca.

He said the initial nomination was “humbling.” It also gave him pause.

“With that [nomination] comes a lot of questions. What are my skill sets? What have I got to offer? I certainly don’t want to let these folks down.

“I can tell you straight up, I gave it a lot of thought before I accepted the nomination,” he said. “I wanted to make sure I would be firmly entrenched in the county’s issues and make sure that I don’t take on a responsibility that will pull me away from my responsibilities to the county.” He went on to say that he didn’t want to disappoint those who had placed their confidence in him.

French is no stranger to politics. He has served on many committees, boards of directors and councils over the years, including the board for the National Association of Counties’ Western Interstate Region.

Just this past March, he traveled to Washington DC to stand by as President Trump signed House Joint Resolution 44 into law. French had spoken at a hearing regarding the Bureau of Land Management’s Planning 2.0, which he had worked on. 

He said in an earlier interview that he was concerned the rule would have an adverse effect on Humboldt County by removing control from local interests. House Joint Resolution 44 rescinded the rule.

For the most part, French's new role in NACO will include advocating for policies and legislature that will benefit Nevada counties in general, including Humboldt County. He will serve on the Indigent Medical Program Board of Directors, the State Land Use Planning Advisory Council and the NACO Board of Directors, as well as providing input for the NACO President. He said his duties will really solidify as the 2018 legislative session draws near.

When asked how the new role will affect his place on the county commission, he said he’ll be busier. “It’ll mean more work for me. From an advocacy point of view, you won’t see any change at all. I’m not going to miss meetings.” 

French said he’s been absent for only two meetings. During one meeting, he said, he participated via telephone while at the hospital. “I was on the phone with the meeting until they wheeled me away to the operating room.”

“It’s a 70-hour-a-week job,” he said of his county commission seat. “If you think it’s a part-time job, you’re dreaming. After you’ve been there a year or two, if you still think it’s a part-time job, shame on you.”

With his new role and all that it entails, French said he intends to continue developing working relationships with key legislators in order to benefit counties. “Maintaining those kinds of relationships ultimately benefits everyone you advocate for.”

“You really have to get out there. You really have to roll up your sleeves and you’d better be sitting at the table with the big boys or you’re going to be insignificant.”

French believes his role as NACO VP will ultimately benefit Humboldt County as well. “I can argue on our behalf, for Humboldt County, and be successful,” he said. “By serving on additional boards...I serve as an advocate for Humboldt County.”

“For me, it’s an opportunity to advance what we need as a county,” French said.