The 2012 session is all but wrapped up – though those last few days sometimes give us real surprises. It has been my privilege to serve as your President, and to testify, lobby, and work with so many of you on behalf of the counties.
On issue after issue, MACo and the counties have been front and center in the Annapolis debate. We seem to be on our way toward a workable compromise on a number of difficult land use issues, and getting there is testament to your hard work in keeping MACo’s message and approach productive. On fiscal issues, we know Delegates and Senators are hearing about the pressures that face county governments, and many are working hard with us in mind as the final stages of a budget plan come together. The county voice has been heard as we raise concerns about unfunded mandates and state intrusion, and MACo continues to advocate for the county governments’ ability to serve their citizens the best way they can.
As the economy and the state budget placed teacher pensions front and center this year, it put the teacher pension shift squarely before the legislature. Unfortunately, we will see a large shift of responsibilities occur as a result. But I am proud of the effort so many of us made to resist this from happening, and I know that making this an unpopular option has resulted in the shift being both phased-in and not as deep as originally proposed. Nobody is thrilled with the outcome, but your work has helped make a bad situation a bit better. We will continue to work together and we will make the best of it.
There’s much more work to do, both in Annapolis and back in your county seats. We don’t have the luxury of sitting back, we need to keep working for our constituents, and doing everything we can to protect our community and local services.
Ingrid M. Turner, Esquire
Prince George’s County Council Member