Debbie Arnold goes to White House, Trump makes surprise appearance

President Donald Trump speaking at a White House event attended by Supervisor Debbie Arnold


San Luis Obispo County Supervisor Debbie Arnold attended a White House event for local government officials on Tuesday at which President Donald Trump made a surprise appearance and reportedly offered his assistance in tackling a variety of issues.

The White House is anxious to work with local officials to understand how to help each county with its unique issues, Arnold said shortly after her return. The District 5 supervisor plans to work with the White House to try to secure funding for SLO County.

“I look forward to working with the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs to bring funding and opportunity home to San Luis Obispo County,” Arnold said.

Supervisor Debbie Arnold speaking at the White House event

Tuesday’s gathering was the last in a string of events in which local elected officials met with Trump Administration personnel at the White House. The Trump Administration invited every county supervisor — known as county commissioner in some states — to attend a so-called White House State Leadership Day Conference.

Arnold, a Republican, was the only member of the SLO County Board of Supervisors to attend the event. The White House conference Arnold attended was for local elected officials from Alaska, Hawaii and California.

Federal officials who participated in the discussion on Tuesday included Trump, Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke, Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao, Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert Wilkie, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler and Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment Jim Hubbard. Other speakers included Kellyanne Conway, assistant to the president and senior counselor; Douglas Hoelscher, deputy assistant to the president and director of White House Intergovernmental Affairs; and Bill McGinley, assistant to the president and cabinet secretary.

The issues discussed that could directly impact SLO County included energy production, management of public lands, water supply, forest health, transportation funding, streamlined permitting for public projects, vocational education, battling the opioid crisis, reducing CO2 emissions, protecting children from lead exposure, EPA regulations, veterans’ issues and reducing wildfire risk, Arnold said.