In an April letter to the presidents of MACo and MML, Governor O’Malley committed to reconvening an Intergovernmental Council, as a setting for state, county, and municipal leaders to regularly engage over various issues. MACo President Rick Pollitt and MML President J Davis collaborated on a letter to the Governor earlier this year suggesting such a forum would be mutually productive. A similar state/local construct existed in years past, but has not convened for some time.
From the Governor’s letter:
Dear County Executive Pollitt and Mayor Davis,
Thank you for your recent letter regarding the formation of an Intergovernmental Council in Maryland. As you know, it is only by working together that we can continue to make progress as a State. In the O’Malley-Brown Administration, this is a belief that we are committed to demonstrating – through relentless interaction, open and transparent government, and continued collaboration. The Intergovernmental Council would strengthen our efforts in outreach and engagement with local governments, as well as our partnership with the Maryland Association of Counties, and the Maryland Municipal League (MML). I have asked Lt. Governor Anthony Brown to lead this effort, as we work together to make better choices for Maryland.
During the past two months I have met personally with both the Legislative Committees of MACo and MML, respectively. I feel that this direct dialogue is helpful in addressing local government needs and collaborating on common priorities. Lt. Governor Brown shares my commitment to working closely with our county and municipal leaders, and has also met with both your bodies on a regular basis. Additionally, my Intergovernmental Affairs Office will continue to be accessible to your organizations. They meet often with your individual members and staff, and remain committed to assisting you.
I would recommend that the Council initially hold two formal meetings per year: once in November or December, and another in May or June. These time frames would be strategic, as they book-end the legislative session, and also occur before the MACo and MML Summer Conferences.
MACo and MML leadership will be working with the Administration to arrange formalities of convening this collaborative group.