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Learn About Partnership Potential from Industry Leaders At #MACoCon Sponsor Showcases

MACo’s Winter Conference will hold Sponsor Showcase Sessions to educate attendees about products and services from the conference sponsors. Each session will be 30 minutes and will be held in the “Life Is On” Attendee Lounge (sponsored by Schneider Electric), in the Skipjack AB room of the Convention Center at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Hotel in Cambridge, Maryland.

The Sponsor Showcase Session schedule is below:


1:00 pm – 1:30 pm

Efficient Partnerships – What We Can Do Together

Sponsor: Pepco Holdings

Description: Through the EmPower Maryland Program, Pepco Holdings (Pepco and Delmarva Power) continues to work hand-in-hand with customers and service providers to deliver quality energy efficient projects that not only save energy, but increase a customer’s bottom line by reducing annual energy cost. Attend this session to learn how Pepco Holdings can help you!

Speakers: Vincent Wynne, Senior Program Manager, Pepco Holdings
Corey Wheat, Program Manager, Pepco Holdings


2:30 pm – 3:00 pm

Fortinet Two Factor Authentication & Advanced Threat Protection Solutions

Sponsor: Fortinet

Description: Need to implement two-factor authentication per federal requirements? Looking to protect your network from Zero Day Attacks? The Fortinet Security Fabric connects critical security and networking technologies—from firewalls to dual factor authentication to content and application security to secure access points—for seamless security and authentication across the distributed network, whether local or remote, physical or virtual, wired or wireless, and in your domain or in the cloud. Come understand how Fortinet protects your network from Zero Day Threats and provides Authentication for your users.

Speakers: Michael Brunner, Regional Account Manager, Fortinet
Greg Martin, Systems Engineer, Fortinet


4:00 pm – 4:30 pm

Minding Your Watts & Therms: Energy Efficiency Solutions

Sponsor: WGL Energy

Description: A report of the current trends in energy efficiency services and financing options, including flexible options for organizations and businesses of all sizes. The discussion will include recent case studies, as well as actionable plans and tools to help you implement an energy efficiency strategy to meet sustainability goals and save money.

Speakers: Jack Ensor, Director Account Sales, WGL Energy
Robin Cunningham, Green Products Specialist, WGL Energy



8:15 am – 8:45 am: 

Experiencing the Enterprise Cloud through Nutanix Hyperconverged Infrastructure

Sponsors: SLAIT Consulting, Nutanix

Description: Nutanix makes datacenter infrastructure invisible by delivering an Enterprise Cloud that enables IT to focus on the applications and services that power their business. Nutanix leverages a hybrid delivery model to capitalize on public cloud advantages while retaining the security and control of private datacenters. The Nutanix Enterprise Cloud integrates server, storage, virtualization and networking in a hyperconverged platform to run any workload, at any scale, while removing the complexity of legacy infrastructure. Join this session to learn how hyperconvergence can bring radical simplicity to private clouds.

Speaker: Patrick Outlaw, Sr. Cloud Architect, SLAIT Consulting 


11:45 am – 12:15 pm:

Yellow Book Update – The Changes in Government Auditing Standards

Sponsor: Zelenkofske Axelrod, LLC

Description: On April 5, 2017, the US Government Accountability Office issued an Exposure Draft to revise the existing Government Auditing Standards (“Yellow Book”). With the final issuance expected to be in 2018, now is the time to make sure you understand the proposed changes! Join Zelenkofske Axelrod for a discussion of these changes and their potential impact on your future audits. Topics to be discussed include Independence, Continuing Professional Education, Documentation of Quality Control and Internal Control, Requirements in relation to “Waste,” and various other topics.

Speakers: Nathan Swartz, Senior Manager, Zelenkofske Axelrod, LLC
Patrick Kirk, Partner, Zelenkofske Axelrod, LLC


12:30 pm – 1:00 pm:

Credibility, Choice, and Savings

Sponsor: U.S. Communities

Description: U.S. Communities is the leading national purchasing cooperative, providing world-class procurement resources and solutions to government agencies, educational institutions, and nonprofits looking for the best overall supplier government pricing. In this session, you will to see how your agency can save time and money with solutions created and supported by the Maryland public sector.

Speaker: Matt East, Program Manager, U.S. Communties


1:15 pm – 1:45 pm:

Fuel Your Big Ambition With P3s

Sponsor: Schneider Electric

Description:This presentation will guide attendees as to how Public – Private Partnerships (P3) can help redirect operational and energy expenses into big ambitions. Progressive counties across the country are finding new funding opportunities through these innovative projects to fund projects in safety, security, water / wastewater, transportation, and facilities including corrections.
Learn how forward-thinking leaders accomplish these goals:
• Create more efficient infrastructure operations while unlocking revenue for reinvestment
• Fund modernization and deferred maintenance projects without increasing taxes
• Drive revenue and new growth opportunities to boost economic development in your community
• Build a sustainable image to attract & retain staff and administration
Emerging trends suggest more and more counties will use P3s as a funding vehicle in the years to come. Get the information you need to achieve your next big ambition.

Speakers: Chris Dellinger, Public Sector Solutions, Schneider Electric
Barry Wilhelm, CEM, CPM – Team Leader, Schneider Electric


3:00 pm – 3:30 pm:

Superconducting Maglev in the Baltimore—Washington Corridor: Transforming the Region

Sponsor: The Northeast Maglev

Description: The Northeast Maglev (TNEM) is a US private company committed to the deployment of a superconducting magnetic levitation train (SCMAGLEV) to run from Washington DC to Baltimore City in just 15 minutes. The SCMAGLEV is the fastest train in the world, offering the most technologically advanced, environmentally friendly, reliable, and efficient high-speed rail system. To learn more about this exciting project and how it will transform our region, TNEM invites you to attend this session.

Speaker: Robert W. Kiernan, Senior Director, The Northeast Maglev


4:30 pm – 5:00 pm:

Opioid Civil Litigation

Sponsors: Ferrer, Poirot, & Wansbrough; Fears & Nachawati; Principal Law Group, LLP; McNamee Hosea Attorneys & Advisors

Description: Nowhere is safe from the Opioid Crisis. Not even the counties’ budgets! The current epidemic has put a strain on the counties to provide care and treatment to those affected. These firms are here to discuss the epidemic and how counties can seek financial compensation as reimbursement for those expenses. Join this session to learn more about how your county can earn back your money with no cost to you.

Speakers: Jim Harkins, Consultant
Matthew McCarley, Partner, Fears Nachawati
Matthew Daniel, Partner, Ferrer, Poirot, & Wansbrough
Jonathan Novak, Associate, McNamee Hosea Attorneys & Advisors

Learn more about MACo’s 2017 Winter Conference:

Leadership, Advocacy, and Community at Women of MACo

Women in county government leadership have an opportunity to connect at Maryland’s County Conference in Cambridge this December.


At this year’s MACo Winter Conference, the Women of MACo Lunch will focus on sharing stories of struggle and success.

Women who serve in elected, appointed, and other roles in county government are welcome to join in round table discussions about their careers, and recent challenges and breakthroughs they have experienced. This opportunity for sharing and discovery furthers the goal of the Women of MACo — to motivate, inspire, and advocate for women in pursuit of excellence in community service.

The Women of MACo is a chapter organization of MACo for female elected and appointed officials and staff from all of Maryland’s county governments and Baltimore City. Baltimore County Council Chairwoman Vicki Almond is the President of the Women of MACo.

About the Women of MACo Lunch:

Learn more about MACo’s 2017 Winter Conference:

Cecil Residents Concerned Over Mandatory Water & Sewer Connections

Cecil Guardian article (2017-11-16) reported that some Cecil residents expressed concern at a November 14 public hearing over mandatory hookups to the County’s public water and sewer system. The County is looking at expanding its sewer within the county’s growth corridor and has proposed connection rules based on “economic growth considerations” instead of just public health issues. Subject to certain narrow exceptions, Maryland law requires properties next to water and sewer lines to connect. The article noted that the Cecil County Director of Public Works Scott Flanigan oversaw the public hearing. Flanigan was joined by the county Director of Administration Al Wein and Health Department Director of Environmental Services Fred von Staden. From the article:

If the area has public health concerns about septic tank failures, connections to public utilities would be have to be made by homeowners quickly. But in the case of economic development pipelines, people could possibly take 20 years or more to connect. For those who have to connect and are short on finances, the county is working out a finance plan for the major facilities fee of $6,000. This fee is the cost to connect into county sewer lines. It does not cover the actual work which could approach $20,000 for running lines into the house and breaking up the existing septic tank and filling the void with stone. …

People wanted to know why the county would charge any interest where connections were forced. They also believed that fixed rate loans should be made available for homeowners as well as business people planning apartment complexes.

There were questions about a list of triggering events that would force the connection to public sewers. This includes major additions to a house, sale of the house and failure of the septic systems. While the county administration officials appeared to say that minor repairs of septic systems, such as a cracked lid, would be okay, von Staden said the health department could not permit any work on a septic system if it is on a property under the state mandate to connect to public sewage.

The article noted that the current proposed sewer expansion would affect less than 50 homeowners but that other residents who could be affected by future expansions also attended the hearing.

Three Eastern Shore River Associations Combine Into ShoreRivers

Star Democrat article (2017-11-21) announced the combination of three Eastern Shore water quality groups into a single regional entity. The article stated that the Midshore Riverkeeper Conservancy, the Chester River Association, and the Sassafras River Association were combining into ShoreRivers. The  new organization will continue to focus on local water quality and ecosystem issues. The article stated that ShoreRivers will be based near the Eastern Shore Conservation Center in Easton. The new Executive Director of ShoreRivers is Jeff Horstman.

From the article:

Horstman said that by merging together, the three organizations “become more than just the sum of our parts,” and will now be afforded a larger, single voice for policy influence and “more capacity to enact a program and more potential to undertake larger regional … pollution reduction systems.” …

“We maintain our commitment to our local communities by maintaining strong riverkeeper programs that project specific rivers, but by coming together as a team, we can now apply ourselves as regional experts, regional specialists to combat system-wide issues, regional pollution issues that endemic to our rivers,” Horstman said. “Our new consolidated ShoreRivers voice represents our native Eastern Shore environmental concerns, our voices from businesses, farmers, families and diverse community members. Together, we are 100 percent committed to our vision of healthy waterways across the Eastern Shore.”

According to the article, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan’s Chief of Staff Jeannie Haddawy-Riccio and Secretary of Staff Natural Resources Mark Belton were guest speakers at the formal announcement of ShoreRivers formation on November 17, 2017.

Learn more about how Maryland and the counties are addressing water quality, climate change, and land use issues at the 2017 MACo Winter Conference, December 6-8, at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Hotel in Cambridge, Maryland.

Learn more about MACo’s 2017 Winter Conference:


2 Stops You Need to Make at #MACoCon

MACo’s 54-booth tradeshow offers products and services ranging from insurance to architecture.

1. Exhibits
Our expanded exhibit space will host 55 exhibitors in the main conference center foyer, in Choptank AB, and on the second floor landing leading to the hotel. View our list of exhibitors and plan to stop by and learn more about their cost-saving products and services.

2. Schneider Electric’s “Life is On” Attendee Lounge
Sponsored by Schneider Electric, the “Life is On” Attendee Lounge (room Skipjack AB) is a space for our conference participants to relax, hold small meetings, or participate in our Sponsor Showcase Sessions. Several of our sponsors will offer 30-minute overviews of specific services and programs that our conference attendees might find useful. Be sure to check out the Showcases schedule and plan to attend a session.

Learn more about MACo’s 2017 Winter Conference:



Join MACo, their board, the Governor, And Mobilitie at the Inaugural Banquet!

1.jpgMACo would like to acknowledge Mobilitie‘s sponsorship of the 2017 Winter Conference Inaugural Banquet!

The Inaugural Banquet, taking place on Wednesday, December 6 from 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm will feature the installation of the of MACo’s 2018 Board of Directors and a keynote address from Governor Hogan.

Mobilitie is the largest privately-held telecommunications infrastructure company in the United States. As a global provider of complete wireless solutions, Mobilitie helps people stay connected on their mobile devices wherever they are. It funds, deploys and operates next generation infrastructure that enables robust 4G LTE coverage and upcoming 5G services and speeds. Mobilitie wireless infrastructure includes communication towers, indoor and outdoor neutral host DAS networks, small cells, and Wi-Fi networks.

Thank you Mobilitie for supporting Maryland Counties!

Learn more about MACo’s 2017 Winter Conference:

No Charger? No Problem! Charge Your Device with Crown Castle

CC_Logo_RGB1At MACo’s Winter Conference, you won’t have to worry about being tethered to an outlet because we have a Charging Station sponsored by Crown Castle.

We would like to thank Crown Castle for sponsoring the charging station this year. You can find the charging station in the foyer at the Hyatt Regency in Cambridge, MD from December 6-8, 2017.

Crown Castle is the nation’s largest provider of shared communications infrastructure—including cell towers, rooftop antennas, small cell solutions, and fiber optic networks. We work closely with wireless carriers, municipalities, utility companies, and landowners to make sure communities have the infrastructure in place to support the data, technologies, and wireless services they rely on. We have a national footprint with a local presence in every major market in the US, helping us to respond to the individual needs of each community we serve.

Thank you Crown Castle, for supporting the Maryland Association of Counties!

Learn more about MACo’s 2017 Winter Conference:

Ellicott City Perseveres Post-Flood, County Prepares for Future

A little over a year after a flood devastated Ellicott City, Howard County officials continue to build upon what they’ve learned and plan for the future disasters.

The Baltimore Sun reports on the process the county is taking and progress they are making, including updating the Ellicott City Watershed Master Plan to prepare for future floods:

[Mark] DeLuca [chief of the Department of Public Works’ Bureau of Environmental Services] updated residents on the four projects currently underway to build retention facilities and conveyance improvements in the watershed. The projects are the first wave of 18 project recommendations from the county’s hydrology and hydraulic study, completed this spring.

County officials are also updating emergency operations and community recovery plans, and implementing recommendations for improvement.

While the emergency operations plan is the county’s strategy for utilizing its resources immediately following a disaster like the 2016 flood, [Ryan] Miller [Director of Emergency Management] said the recovery plan picks up where the emergency plan leaves off, and includes strategies for bringing the community back to a “normal” state.

The article notes that officials plan to have the emergency plan finalized in the next few months and the recovery plan by the end of the year. Both plans include about 700 improvements for future responses.

Read The Baltimore Sun for more information.

Learn more about the Ellicott City post-flood recovery efforts at the 2017 MACo Winter Conference session, We’ve Got Your Back: Counties Collaborate

The MACo Winter Conference will be held December 6-8, 2017 at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Hotel in Cambridge, Maryland. This year the conference’s theme is “The Power of Partnership.”

Learn more about MACo’s 2017 Winter Conference:

Montgomery Department of Liquor Control Wins National Award

The Montgomery County Department of Liquor Control (DLC) has received the 2017 National StateWays Best Practices Award for its Legislative Outreach Program. The award specifically recognizes the DLC for its efforts in reaching out to local and state leaders at last year’s Maryland Alcohol Forum.

According to a press release,

“We are very excited to have won this national award,” said Robert Dorfman, director of the DLC. “We are a national model for public safety and it remains one of our highest priorities.”

The forum, “Innovative Solutions to Keeping Communities Safe,” was geared to alcohol licensing administrators from counties around the state. The event highlighted alcohol licensing needs, which require legislative changes at the state level, and it educated attendees about the public safety benefits of alcohol regulation. The forum was funded by the National Alcohol Beverage Control Association (NABCA).

“Participants were involved in open discussions about the importance of alcohol regulation as it pertains to public health,” said Emily DeTitta, outreach manager for the DLC. “It was very positive. The event revealed common goals such as supporting the health and welfare of our residents and creating a safe and vibrant nightlife.”

Over the past few years, the number of alcohol-licensed businesses in Montgomery County has been the highest in County history, at nearly 1,100, which is second in the state behind Baltimore City.

Read the full press release for more information.

America’s Opioid Epidemic Has a $504 Billion Price Tag

The opioid epidemic cost the United States economy more than $504 billion in 2015—nearly 3 percent of the gross domestic product in that same year.

The United States is grappling with a widespread opioid epidemic. More than a thousand people a week die from opioid-related overdoses. The crisis has reached such a scale that, beyond the risks it poses to public health, it is becoming a drag on the national economy.

According to Route Fifty,

The White House’s Council of Economic Advisers says the opioid epidemic cost the United States economy more than $504 billion in 2015.

The CEA estimate is more than six times higher than the most recent analysis that preceded it. The last time a study of the epidemic’s cost was examined, researchers found that the crisis had cost $79.9 billion. That study was carried out in 2016 and was based on 2013 data.

The CEA analysis is higher because, first, previous studies underestimated the economic cost of the loss of life from this epidemic, and second, those previous estimates did not account for the underreporting of opioid deaths.

The CEA analysis relied upon previous research which found that actual opioid-related death rates were 24 percent higher than what was being reported in official tallies. This underreporting is due in part to imprecise categories on death certificates and the difficulties associated with post-mortem toxicology screening.

Heroin and opioid deaths continue to skyrocket in Maryland and across the country. The crisis has been exacerbated by the deadly combination of heroin and fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid analgesic that is similar to morphine but is 50 to 100 times more potent.

At the 2017 MACo Winter Conference, you can receive hands-on training on how to recognizing and responding to opioid overdose by administering naloxone as well as how to perform hands-only CPR. The “Learn to Save a Life” trainings, sponsored by the Maryland Association of County Health Officers (MACHO), are being offered Wednesday, December 6 from 4:15 pm – 5:15 pm and Thursday, December 7 from 12:45 pm – 1:45 pm.

The MACo Winter Conference will be held December 6-8, 2017 at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Hotel in Cambridge, Maryland. This year the conference’s theme is “The Power of Partnership.”

Learn more about MACo’s 2017 Winter Conference: