Officials’ DC trip is worthwhile

Local leaders foster relationships that will benefit Fort Dodge and Webster County

Visiting Washington, D.C. is always a fascinating experience.

The Capitol, the White House, the Supreme Court building, the towering Washington Monument and even the cherry trees surrounding the Tidal Basin make the city a unique place. And within that place, history is made every day and has been since the original portion of the Capitol opened in about 1800.

What happens in Washington affects Fort Dodge and Webster County.

That’s why a group of local leaders representing Fort Dodge, Webster County, Iowa Central Community College and the Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance went to Washington this week. They traveled to the nation’s capital on Monday. They spent Tuesday and Wednesday meeting with members of Congress, their aides and officials from various federal agencies before returning Thursday.

The local group went there to help federal officials learn about the needs of Fort Dodge and Webster County and to seek help for some specific local initiatives.

But maintaining and building relationships with the federal officials is perhaps the most important thing the group did.

“Having all these meetings builds the relationships that are needed when it comes time to pull triggers for actual projects in our community,” Astra Ferris, the chief executive officer of the Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance, said to The Messenger during a phone interview from Washington.

Fort Dodge City Councilwoman Megan Secor added “I’m very impressed with our staff and the useful relationships they have utilized over the years.”

Local officials have been making trips to Washington since about 2000. Former U.S. Rep. Tom Latham, a Republican, encouraged Fort Dodge officials to have a presence in the capital.

The trips are not sightseeing vacations. The local delegation always has a full schedule and often the group splits up so that multiple meetings can be held at once.

We believe these trips are worth the cost and effort.

We thank the delegation members for putting in the time and resources to complete this Washington trip. Championing our community in the nation’s capital is vital work that benefits us all.


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