Mary Ann Borgeson, left, hugs Cookie Monster from Sesame Street while Jeanette Betancourt, right, takes the stage to discuss how Sesame Workshop is working with counties to raise public awareness of circles of care within communities at the 84th annual National Association of Counties conference in Clark County, Nevada. Borgeson recently became president of the National Association of Counties. (Courtesy National Association of Counties)
Borgeson Starts NACo Presidency
By Scott Stewart
The Daily Record
Douglas County Commissioner Mary Ann Borgeson is now the president of a national group representing county governments.
Borgeson was sworn in as the president of the National Association of Counties (NACo) on July 15 at the conclusion of the organization’s 84th annual conference in Clark County, Nevada.
“I am honored to be able to be in this position,” Borgeson said, adding that she looks forward to bringing back what she’s learning to Douglas County and counties across the state of Nebraska.
Borgeson has been part of the NACo executive team since 2017. She was first elected to the Douglas County Board of Commissioners in 1994. She became the board’s first chairwoman in 1997, and she was re-elected to her seventh term on the board in 2018.
NACo performs advocacy for county governments at the federal level, including working with the White House and Congress to make sure counties are at the table for proposed legislation.
“We have issues ranging anywhere from ‘A’ to ‘Z’ – agriculture all the way to Zika and pubic health issues,” Borgeson said. “Whether fighting unfunded mandates or securing needed investments in critical county services, NACo is the voice for county government in our nation’s capital and beyond.”
The organization also works with counties on a variety of programs, including a prescription discount card, county employment retirement program savings and networking to share best ideas on dealing with issues.
“A huge one right now is mental health in jails,” Borgeson said.
She said one focus of her presidency this next year would be serving aging populations. By 2035, for the first time in U.S. history, the population of adults 65 and older will outnumber children. Borgeson said it’s also key to make sure caregivers have the resources and support they need.
“If you look around at any of the things again that we’re dealing with, there is a common denominator, and that is our aging population,” Borgeson said. “I felt it was a good issue to make a priority during my presidency.”
Active in NACo for nearly a decade, Borgeson was elected second vice president in 2017 in Franklin County, Ohio, and became first vice president last year in Davidson County, Tennessee.
She has served as chair of the Health Policy Committee and vice chair of the Large Urban County Caucus and Healthy Counties Advisory Board. Borgeson is a former president of the Women of NACo Leadership Network.