Counties Discuss Little Appreciated Roles of Public Works

At MACo’s Winter Conference panelists discussed the ins and out of public works.  

Public Works is a massive policy area. It covers everything from pipes to roads, some buildings, and even airports. Some functions of county government may not draw much attention, but when a road collapses, or the water will not turn on, residents very quickly pay attention. Because of its central importance in how society functions, public works is a very key area of county government to understand.

Title: Public Works: More Than Just Filling Potholes

Description: Public works is easily one of the most central functions of a local government. Beyond just filling potholes, this department maintains the lion’s share of critical infrastructure that communities rely on – everything from road maintenance to permits and, in some cases, even airports. Interacting with municipal, state, and federal partners, public works departments do much more than the average resident realizes. This panel will dive into the ins and outs of technical challenges, major funding concerns, and recent federal actions. 


  • Chris Conklin, Director of Transportation, Montgomery County  
  • Andrew Eshleman, Washington County Director of Public Works
  • Heather Murphy, Director of Planning and Capital Programming, MDOT 

Moderator: The Honorable Kumar Barve, House of Delegates

More about MACo’s Winter Conference: