Winter #MACoCon Academy Electives Tackle Trauma, Traffic, and More!

Fellows of the Academy for Excellence in Local Governance (County Track) are required to complete 8 Core Courses and 6 Elective Courses to earn their certificate through the University of MD’s School of Public Policy – MACo will offer 5 Electives to be held at the 2019 Winter Conference.

Core Courses to be offered: County Financial Management, Risk Management, and Employment Issues

academylogoThe Academy for Excellence in Local Governance is a volunteer certificate program for elected and appointed county and municipal officials. The program provides a strong background of necessary skills and knowledge for local government leaders. It was founded by MACo and MML, is facilitated by the University of Maryland’s School of Public Policy, and is sponsored by the Local Government Insurance Trust (LGIT).

Academy courses are open to ALL conference registrants – Academy Fellows must complete evaluation forms for each class to earn credit.

Academy Fellows with questions about their transcripts should contact registrar Aisha Washington at or (301) 314-2641.

Title: It Takes a Village: Building Resilience and Treating Trauma

Description: Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES) are traumatic events such as physical, emotional, or sexual abuse; divorce or family dissolution; and incarceration of parents or guardians. Studies show they play a significant role in childhood learning, health, and overall well-being — with the negative effects lasting well into adulthood. In this session, learn more about ACES and how local governments and community partners are working to build resilience and treat trauma in a child’s life to improve their academic and health outcomes.


  • The Honorable Zeke Cohen, Council Member, Baltimore City
  • Dave Trolio, Director, Cecil County
  • Laura Howard, Kaiser Permanente, Sr. Program Manager for Community Health (invited)

Date/Time: Wednesday, December 4, 1:45 pm – 2:45 pm

Title: Contemplating Our Congestion Crisis

Description: Everyone can agree that there is an issue with traffic congestion in Maryland. With new plans and projects being revealed every year, what transportation alternatives should be considered? Join this panel for a discussion on what the future holds. Panelists will discuss transit options and solutions such as telework, bikes, complete streets, and mass transit.


  • Dan Reed, Planner, Toole Design Group
  • Graham Young, Complete Streets Manager, Baltimore City
  • Travis Johnston, Director of Locally Owned Transit, MDOT MTA
  • Mark Belton, County Administrator, Charles County

Date/Time: Wednesday, December 4, 2019; 3:15 pm – 4:15 pm

Title: Let the Sunshine In: What You Need to Know About Solar Energy Siting

Description: The siting of large, utility-scale solar facilities in Maryland remains an ongoing concern for county governments. A recent Court of Appeals decision finding that the Maryland Public Service Commission can preempt local zoning on solar siting has created further worry. Panelists will discuss the current law surrounding local zoning for solar projects, best practices, and potential legislation for the 2020 Session.


  • Katheleen Freeman, Planning and Codes Director, Caroline County
  • Robert Busler, Director of Business Development, Standard Solar, Inc.
  • Susan Minnemeyer, Geospatial Program Manager, Chesapeake Conservancy (invited)
  • Teresa Moore, Executive Director, Valleys Planning Council (invited)

Date/Time: Thursday, December 5, 2019; 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Title: Inmate Healthcare: Sorting Fact from Fiction

Description: Federal law requires counties to provide adequate health care to inmates….a task easier said than done. Many inmates enter the system with chronic health conditions, mental illness, and substance use disorders—add the restrictive federal “inmate exclusion law,” and it makes sense that county jails are running low on resources. The big picture is just as bleak: many inmates will return to communities where barriers to continuity of care increase the risk of recidivism, re-incarceration, and in some cases…death. In this session, untangle the complexities of inmate health care and learn how improving inmate health services can decrease short- and long-term costs, reduce recidivism, and improve public safety.


  • Lindsey Holman, Associate Legislative Director of Justice and Public Safety, NACo
  • Tom Weber, Esquire, Chief Executive Officer, PrimeCare Medical, Inc.

Date/Time: Thursday, December 5, 2019; 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm

Title: Cannabis Conundrum: Looking Toward Legalization

Description: The State’s fiscal picture, and a pending commitment to substantial new education investments, has driven talk of authorizing new activities that carry substantial new revenue potential. Public health, social equity, local reinvestment, tax and license structures, and economic development remain at the forefront of the discussion as state lawmakers consider how to best foster the growth of a responsible and legitimate cannabis industry. Panelists will explain how state legislation may impact county governments, and share best practices for navigating the fast-changing political, social, and regulatory landscape of adult-use cannabis.


  • The Honorable Bill Ferguson, Maryland State Senate (invited)
  • Shad Ewart, Professor, Entrepreneurial Opportunities in Emerging Markets: Marijuana Legalization, Anne Arundel Community College

Date/Time: Friday, December 6, 2019; 11:00 am – 12 noon

Learn more about MACo’s Winter Conference: