Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2010 - (Page 27)

THE LEGISLATIVE ISSUE Legislative EFFORTS RTS in Arkansas BY DENNIS STERNBERG, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, ARKANSAS RURAL WATER ASSOCIATION AS WE ALL should know by now, if you want something, you are going to have to ask for it from somebody. Wouldn’t it be nice to know that somebody ahead of time, before you are in their office making your presentation on your particular request to them? Arkansas Rural Water Association was formed in 1977 and was very fortunate to have two individuals on the ARWA Board, Mr. Ernie Faucett and Mr. H.H. Harvill, who knew the legislative efforts that ARWA would need on the state level as well as on the federal level for this organization to continue to be successful in the future. These two individuals started working with the other ARWA board of directors to get them educated on the need for them to become more involved with their local legislators in telling the story of ARWA and what Arkansas Rural Water Association does for the rural and small community water and wastewater systems throughout the state. When that local mayors, councilmen, rural water association board members heard of the benefits that this association provided to their local community water and wastewater system, they were very supportive. In any association or organization, your foundation is the people you serve, or in any state rural water association, it is your members. When you have your local member utilities board and/or staff supporting your efforts, they can carry your message to the state legislators and federal legislators requesting they support your state association requests. Your state rural water association must have a presence at the state capitol, either through your state executive director being present to follow up on each request being made and monitor other legislation, your rural water association legislative committee members being present, or through a paid lobbyist to handle your association business. I personally believe from my experience that it needs to be the state rural water association executive director, who knows your state association inside and out, and can give an immediate answer to any question from the legislators. For some legislation, you will need to get your board or legislative committee to give an official stance on that specific legislation. In Arkansas, the ARWA Board has delegated full decision-making to the ARWA legislative committee during a state legislative session. The reason for that is that the executive director will need an answer quickly to be “for” or “against” a specific piece of legislation as it moves through the legislative process. In Arkansas, a lot of mayors, city attorneys, local insurance agents, county judges and other prominent individuals in their community go on to become a state representative or state senator. A lot of times, those state representatives and state senators decide to become the next state attorney general, lieutenant governor or governor. >> Third Quarter 2010 • 27 rter

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2010

Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2010
From the President
Relationships Don't Just Happen Overnight
Make the Link!
Meet the New Agency Heads!
Legislation is Top Priority in Texas
Legislative Efforts in Arkansas
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act
Rural Water Utilities Energy and Water Efficiency Program
Regulatory Update
Wrap It Up: Michigan and South Dakota Advertise Quality on Tap!
Throwing My Loop
Index to Advertisers/
From the CEO

Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2010