In a special interview held before attendees at MACo’s Summer Conference, former Governor Parris Glendening shared his reflections on his years of service and his insight into today’s policy areas of interest for county governments. Phil Tilghman, former Wicomico County Council Member and TV host, interviewed the Governor in a segment that will be aired on PAC-14, Wicomico County’s public access channel.
MACo President Tom Duncan introduced the Governor, sharing his history in state and local government service, including twenty years in county government service. The Governor served three terms as Prince George’s County Executive and two terms as MACo President.
During the interview, Mr Tilghman asked the Governor a range of questions, on topics including economic development. In response to a question about how the Governor moved from 43rd to 14th nationwide in job creation during his office, the Governor attributed some of it to the luck of being in office during the early Clinton years and a surplus in government dollars. Surplus funds also allowed him to invest in school construction and preserving open spaces.
Governor Glendening, who is currently President of SmartGrowth America, also described how he began the State’s smart growth policy. The Governor shared how growing up in Florida and witnessing the destruction of the Everglades, he was committed to reversing the decline of the health of the Chesapeake Bay. He first used the term “smart growth” to unify a legislative package that he undertook to reduce sprawl in an effort to protect the Bay.
As Governor of Maryland from 1995-2003, Glendening promoted tax reform, economic development, and environmental protection. Prior to becoming Governor, he was a local elected official in many capacities: a city Councilman in Hyattsville; a Council Member in Prince George’s County; the County Executive in Prince George’s County for three consecutive terms; and President of MACo from 1986-1987.