Gazette Article Covers the Value of MACo Summer Conference

An August 6 Gazette.net article discusses the value of the upcoming MACo Summer Conference and the potential overlap of the impending special session.

MACo Executive Director Michael Sanderson notes in the article that even if the special session on gaming that is scheduled to start on August 9 overlaps part of the  conference, attendance is still expected to be better than prior years.  The article also discusses the importance of the conference to many county officials:

For anyone who is affiliated with Annapolis, it’s important to be in Ocean City for MACo, said Melanie Wenger, Montgomery County’s chief lobbyist in the State House.

“A lot of networking is done — these things are extremely important,” Wenger said.  …

Montgomery County Council President Roger Berliner (D-Dist. 1) of Bethesda said the MACo conference is important for discussing critical issues.

“The most fundamental issue the state needs to grapple with is transportation,” Berliner said.

The article also summarizes various educational sessions and discussion topics being offered at the conference:

The conference agenda includes a range of topics that are pressing business for many of Maryland’s 23 counties and Baltimore city.

One conference session focuses on how downsized planning departments can cope with increased pressure to comply with state and federal mandates on land use and the environment.

Other discussions will explore how better data might help counties show they are doing their part to meet the federal mandate to reduce pollutants running into the Chesapeake Bay and whether local governments’ land-use plans can reduce car travel and the pollution it generates, which is thought to contribute to climate change.

Also slated is a discussion on how collaboration among state, local and municipal governments — as well as neighboring military installations — can benefit each with better planning and infrastructure, as well as cost savings. Another discussion will focus on best practices that county governments and school boards could use to save money and improve education.

For more information about MACo’s Summer Conference, including the full schedule of conference sessions and descriptions, please visit the MACo website.

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