MACo Winter Conference Offers 6 Courses For Academy Credit

MACo’s Winter Conference is coming up December 11-13, 2013 at the Hyatt in Cambridge, Maryland. Of the 20 educational sessions to be offered at the conference, 6 courses are eligible for credit towards the Academy for Excellence in Local Governance Certificate through the University of Maryland’s School of Public Policy.

The Academy for Excellence in Local Governance is a volunteer educational program founded by the Maryland Association of Counties (MACo), the Maryland Municipal League (MML), and the Local Government Insurance Trust (LGIT) – the program is administered by the University of Maryland’s School of Public Policy. There are two tracks – County and Municipal. County Participants in the program must earn credit for 8 Core Courses and 6 Elective Courses, offered at MACo, MML, and LGIT conferences and events.

This year, MACo’s Winter Conference will offer the following Core Courses:

  • Basics of Risk Management
    One of the main responsibilities of local governments is to protect its residents from risk to themselves and their property. Risk may result from a number of sources, including fire, crime, automobile accidents, harm to the infrastructure, or as a result of waste disposal. This class is designed to sharpen the awareness of officials that local government activities are subject to risks that may result in significant loss. Through learning about steps to reduce and control loss exposure and tools for identifying hazards, government officials can learn how to avoid the consequences of taking unnecessary risk.
    Speakers: Larry Bohlen, Member Services & Education Manager, Local Government Insurance Trust and Richard Furst, Senior Loss Control Services Manager, Local Government Insurance Trust
  • Open Meetings
    Maryland’s Open Meetings Law guides public officials in the requirements for providing public notice of decision-making functions and for closing meetings when appropriate. The law has nuances for different forms of county governments, especially for county commissioners, who act in a dual legislative/executive role. The Open Meetings Law has been revised to better accommodate “administrative functions” and other procedures of governmental bodies. A knowledgeable expert focuses on the law’s application to counties, including some of the cases and complaints that have come before the Compliance Board.
    Speakers: Anne MacNeille, Assistant Attorney General and John Mathias, County Attorney, Frederick County
  • Conducting Effective Meetings
    Conducting public business requires managing the issues that come before a public body. Building an agenda, promoting useful discussion, and providing a structure for decision-making are key goals for an effective meeting and for effective public officials. The instructor also covers the proper use of organized rules of order—known as parliamentary procedure—which allow all voices to be heard but with debate that remains focused and civil.
    Speakers: Jay Gullo, Attorney for Taneytown, Rising Sun & Poolesville – Jack A. Gullo Jr. Law Office

Three courses at this event have been designated as Academy Elective Courses:

  • Walking the Line:  Correctional Officer Discipline
    In the name of public safety, correctional officers are required to perform important but challenging duties in a stressful and sometimes dangerous environment.  While the vast majority of officers perform their duties with both honor and integrity, some become corrupt or abuse their authority.  It can be challenging to balance reasonable due process protections for correctional officers against the equally reasonable need of a supervisor to remove an officer. Maryland adopted a “Correctional Officer Bill of Rights” in 2010 for State correctional officers.  Counties have created different discipline systems to meet their own needs and several have adopted a local “bill of rights” based on one that exists for Maryland law enforcement officers.  Speakers will address the challenges of balancing the process rights of correctional officers with the discipline rights of supervisors and commensurate public safety and retention issues.    
    Speakers: Captain Michael R. Merican, Warden/Commander, St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office; Robert L. Green, Warden, Montgomery County Correctional Facility; George R. Hardinger, Warden, Carroll County Detention Center; Patricia Donovan, Acting Deputy Secretary of Administration, Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services
  • Supporting Older and Disabled Adults to Remain in the Community
    Maryland’s Long Term Care and Community Support Services system is transforming under new Medicaid and Aging programs that build the capacity and processes to efficiently and effectively provide services to individuals in the community. How will the Community First Choice initiative fit in with existing programs, and how will it change the direction and functionality of our area agencies on aging?  In this session, representatives of Maryland’s Departments of Aging and Department of Health and Mental Hygiene will engage in a discussion about Community First Choice with county aging directors and local government authorities.
    Speakers: Teja Rau, Acting Chief, Long Term Services and Supports, Maryland Department of Aging; Devon Mayer, Money Follows the Person Project Director, Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and Catherine R. Willis, LGSW, Director, Queen Anne’s County Department of Community Service
  • Copyright or Copywrong?  Best Practices for Licensing Intellectual Property
    In today’s digital world, it is easy for a county to unintentionally violate copyright, trademark, and licensing laws.  Such violations can be easily prevented, but if not addressed, can expose the county to potential liability and fines.  For example, having music play on the county phone system while a person is on hold could subject the county to a licensing requirement.   Panelists will discuss basic intellectual property requirements; best practices, including for the licensing of software and music; and potential actions to take if a potential violation is discovered.
    Speakers: Steven C. DeSmet, Member, Leahy & DeSmet, LLC; Richard H. Melnick, Associate County Attorney, Montgomery County Office of the County Attorney; Charles W. Thompson, Jr., Executive Director and General Counsel, International Municipal Lawyers Association, Inc.

Academy courses are open to all conference attendees. Academy Fellows wishing to earn credit for any of these courses must attend a course and submit the Academy attendance form at the end of each course. For more information on the Academy, please contact UMD’s Academy Registrar, Aisha Washington, or MACo’s Meetings & Events Director, Virginia White.

You must be registered for the conference to attend these courses – our current Winter Conference registration rates end on Wednesday, November 27, so please register today for our lowest possible rates!

For more information about MACo’s Winter Conference, please click on one of the links below: