The Maryland Sustainable Growth Commission held a transitional meeting on November 23, 2015, and welcomed a number of new members appointed by the Administration of Governor Larry Hogan. The Commission has largely been in a “standby” mode for the last 6 months as the terms of many of the Commission’s discretionary membership expired and had to be reappointed or replaced by the Administration. The most up-to-date listing of the Commission’s membership can be found here.
Most of the Commission’s workgroups have likewise been in a research or wait mode during the membership changes. The primary exception has been has been the Rural Economies Workgroup. That Workgroup, with support from MACo, has been looking at how Priority Funding Areas (PFAs) apply in rural regions of the state. Maryland Department of Planning (MDP) staff is working on a communication tool to help local jurisdictions understand the complicated criteria and requirements of the PFA law. The Workgroup’s next step will be to survey local governments and organizations to get their thoughts on how the current PFA law is working. The Workgroup has also reached out to key stakeholders to work on sustainable forestry issues.
At its meeting, the Commission also went on a walking tour of downtown Salisbury hosted by Mayor Jacob Day and heard welcoming remarks from Day and Wicomico County Executive Bob Culver. Representatives from the Harry R. Hughes Center on Agro-Ecology gave an overview of the Center and its work.
The Commission plans to fully resume its work at its next meeting, which will take place on January 25, 2016, in Crownsville.