Calvert Commissioner Proposes “Code Home Rule” Government for County

A December 18 Gazette.net article reports that Calvert County Commissioner Susan Shaw has proposed that the Board of County Commissioners consider whether it would be beneficial to move from a “commission” form of county government to a “code home rule” form of government.  Under a code home rule form of government, the County would have broader legislative authority and be less reliant on having to go to the Maryland General Assembly to get local legislation passed. The article notes that the response of the other county commissioners is mixed, with several wanting to research the matter further before taking a position.  The article also notes that a 2004 county referendum on the issue failed.

During her commissioner’s report Dec. 10, Shaw said she would “like to see us go to code home rule form of government. I feel like we really — we really should take that step. Our population has increased. The complexity of what we do has increased, and I would just suggest to my fellow commissioners that we could work on that in the coming year, and it would go to referendum the same time as the next election. So, please think about that.”  …

The article also includes responses from two State legislators that represent Calvert County – Senate President Thomas V. “Mike” Miller Jr. and Delegate Anthony J. O’Donnell:

Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert, Prince George’s), who has opined before that he supports charter and code home rule forms of county government, said Monday he thinks “it’s a step in the right direction. I’ve always believed the government closest to the people governs best.”

Del. Anthony J. O’Donnell (R-Calvert, St. Mary’s) said Tuesday afternoon, “It never hurts to have a discussion of matters but I think a lot of people are skeptical about giving – making it easier for future boards of county commissioners to” create and alter taxes and implement new local laws.

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