Academy Courses at MACo’s Winter Conference Offer a Firm Foundation for Local Government Officials


MACo’s Winter Conference on January 7Academy logo-9, 2015 will offer several courses from the Academy for Excellence in Local Governance. The Academy is a voluntary certificate program founded by MACo and the Maryland Municipal League (MML), sponsored by the Local Government Insurance Trust (LGIT), and offered through the University of Maryland’s School of Public Policy. Participating in the Academy is a great way for elected and appointed county officials to get in-depth understanding of the basics of everything they need to know as  local elected officials.

Academy Fellows must complete a set of Core courses and Electives, all offered through MACo, MML, and LGIT conferences and events.

Core Courses to be offered at MACo’s Winter Conference include:

  • Ethics
    Ethical dilemmas face county elected official every day in an atmosphere where public and private actions are increasingly scrutinized. Many ethical challenges facing elected officials are matters of common sense, but more complicated situations may fall into “gray” areas. This class, led by a seasoned practitioner in government ethics, explores the law and applies it to hypothetical but realistic situations.

    • Speaker: Ernie Crofoot, County Administrator & County Attorney, Kent County
    • Date/Time: Wednesday, January 7, 2015; 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm
  • 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. Knowledgeable experts focus on the law’s application to counties, including some of the cases and complaints that have come before the Compliance Board. 

    • Speakers: Ann MacNeille, Assistant Attorney General, Opinions and Advice, Maryland Office of the Attorney General; and John Mathias, County Attorney, Frederick County
    • Date/Time: Friday, January 8, 2015; 8:00 am – 9:30 am

Elective Courses include:

  • What You Need to Know about County Government: Snapshots from the Academy for Excellence in Local Governance
    A foundation of knowledge and skills is needed to successfully navigate the many different facets of being a government official. In this session, speakers will briefly touch on the basic skills and information every county government practitioner needs to know, including risk management, reaching consensus, financial management, ethics, and information on specific laws such as the Public Information Act, just to name a few. All of these topics are covered more fully as Core Courses in the Academy for Excellence in Local Governance.

    • Speakers: Thomas Reynolds, Director, Education Services, Maryland Municipal League; Dick Furst, Senior Loss Control Manager, LGIT; Theodore Zaleski, Acting Chief of Staff, Carroll County; Elaine Kramer, Chief Financial Officer, St. Mary’s County; and Ernir Crofoot, County Administrator & County Attorney, Kent County
    • Date/Time: Wednesday, January 7, 2015; 1:15 pm – 2:45 pm
  • 10 Things You Don’t Know About Running a County Jail
    You may know that in the interest of public safety and justice, county jails provide confinement of pretrial detainees and certain convicted felons within the borders of their facilities. You may also know that county jails offer alternatives to incarceration and re-entry programs. But do you know what it takes to get those jobs done and keep facility operations running 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, and 365 days per year while providing a clean, safe and secure environment for detainees and staff? In this session, learn about the ins-and-outs of running county jails as well as the comprehensive, innovative, and effective services they provide to prisoners and the surrounding communities.

    • Speakers: Michael R. Merican, Warden/Commander, St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office, St. Mary’s County Detention Center; Robert L. Green, Warden, Montgomery County Detention Center, Montgomery County Correctional Facility
    • Date/Time: Thursday, January 8, 2015; 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
  • How Hard Can It Be? An Introduction to County Planning & Zoning
    Planning and zoning decisions are among the most challenging and controversial issues facing a county elected official. Planning and zoning is a complex and formidable process – just what are those “visions” about anyway? As a county navigates this process, it must balance valid but often competing concerns from different stakeholders, including developers, businesses, agriculture, environmentalists, and county residents. Panelists will provide an overview of the planning and zoning process, discuss how to handle the “push and pull” between different stakeholder groups, and highlight recent significant land use changes at the State level.

    • Speakers: Jon M. Laria, Chair, Maryland Sustainable Growth Commission; Adrian Gardner, General Counsel, Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission; Adrian Gardner, General Counsel, Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission
    • Date/Time: Thursday, January 8, 2015; 2:15 pm – 3:15 pm
  • Bullseye: Hitting the Moving Target of County Government Recruitment and Training
    Every county department relies on its greatest asset – its people – to deliver services to residents. Over the next few years, a number of seasoned county workers will become eligible for retirement, and, at the same time, millennial employees are entering the workforce with different skills and expectations than their predecessors. Human resources management in this setting requires creativity and innovation. In this session, county human resources officers will describe their tactics for maintaining a skilled workforce over the next decade and a representative of Maryland’s Community Colleges will share how they can assist county governments as they set their sights on a changing workforce.

    • Speakers: Stephanye R. Maxwell, Esq., CPM, Director, Office of Human Resources Management, Prince Georges’ County; Bernie Sadusky, Executive Director, Maryland Association of Community Colleges
    • Date/Time: Thursday, January 8, 2015; 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm

To check on Academy credits you may need to complete your certificate, please contact the Academy Registrar, Aisha Washington.

Learn more about MACo’s Winter Conference:

Questions? Contact Meetings & Events Director Virginia White.