Counties Get Creative to Avoid Flooding at #MACoCon
Patty Bubar presents at the 2019 MACo Winter Conference
Counties Get Creative to Avoid Flooding at #MACoCon

Flooding has become a real concern for local jurisdictions in Maryland, particularly those with coastlines. What proactive steps can counties take prior to flooding to reduce its impacts, and what role do other levels of government play in prevention? An expert panel at the 2019 MACo Winter Conference session "2 for 1: Flood Prevention (And Cleaner Water, Too!)" gave insight into flood mitigation tactics and how to take advantage of state and federal funds. "For…

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Increased Trail Traffic Discussion at #MACoCon

As more and more people utilize trails for recreational purposes and even commuting, local jurisdictions are looking to update their laws and regulations to address congestion and new technologies including electric bikes and scooters. At the MACo Winter Conference session "Sharing the Trail: Bicycles, Pedestrians, and Now…E-Scooters?!?" attendees had the opportunity to hear from stakeholders on how counties are dealing with shifting user preferences. Stephen Lafferty, Chief Sustainability Officer, Office of the County Executive, Baltimore…

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Budgeting Best Practices at #MACoCon

With all the talk about funding formulas for Kirwan and other initiatives, it is clear that there is an even greater need for counties to have strong budgeting procedures. At the 2019 MACo Winter Conference Adacademy Core session, "County Financial Management" attendees learned about the budgeting process; important financial terms; how to implement a multi-year plan; and questions to keep in mind when managing your county's budget. It was taught by Carroll County Director of…

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Addressing Climate Change at #MACoCon

Maryland has committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030, and the state has developed a Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act (GGRA) plan outlining how the state and local governments will meet this goal. The plan includes new energy, land use, transportation, building, and carbon sequestration requirements. At the 2019 MACo Winter Conference session, "What’s the Plan? Meeting Our Climate Change Goals," panelists gave their perspective on Maryland's current plans. Benjamin Grumbles, Secretary…

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Counties Tackle Employment Issues at #MACoCon

At the 2019 MACo Winter Conference Adacademy Core session "Employment Issues," attendees learned best practices for the hiring process; managing troublesome employees; and, if necessary, handling employee termination. The session was taught by Kevin Karpinski, partner at Karpinski, Colaresi & Karp, PA, and was moderated by Frederick County Council Member Michael Blue. Karpinski discussed a variety of employee-employer relationship topics, and reviewed important legal requirements for public employers. The Academy for Excellence in Local Governance…

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Howard County Council Passes Plastic Bag Fee

Howard County Council has passed legislation to impose a 5-cent fee on each disposable bag provided by retailers. The move comes on the heels of Baltimore City, where the City Council approved an outright ban on plastic bags in November.  A full ban on disposable plastic bags was debated after the introduction of an amendment, but in a split 2-3 vote the County Council voted it down in favor of maintaining just a fee. The…

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Maryland State Fair Adds Solar Power

The Maryland State Fair has announced plans to add over 7,000 rooftop solar panels to it's Timonium fairgrounds. The project will be installed by SolarGaines and financed by NextGrid, allowing the fair to avoid up-front costs.  Fair officials are hoping to have the 2.6 megawatt project completed by spring 2020 to take advantage of an anticipated reduction in energy costs associated with the installation of solar. Costs are not the only reason for the project,…

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What’s the Plan? Discussing Climate Change Goals at #MACoCon

MACo’s Winter Conference is just one week away – Dec 4-6. Don’t miss this chance to connect with hundreds of county leaders to discuss “Building for the Future.” Climate change has become an increasing concern for many jurisdictions in Maryland. MACo's Planners will host a session at the upcoming Winter Conference to discuss the role of local government in combatting climate change and give updates on the State's objectives. Title: What’s the Plan? Meeting Our…

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MACo Discusses Local Land Acquisition Goals With Legislators

MACo Legal and Policy Counsel Les Knapp discussed proximity and equity requirements for local land acquisition goals before The Joint Subcommittee on Program Open Space and Agricultural Land Preservation on November 19. The Presentation Knapp covered several topics in his remarks, including: MACo's position on local land acquisition goals Project Open Space (POS) requirements MACo Position on proximity and equity requirements MACo recognizes the importance of ensuring that large population centers and disadvantaged populations have…

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State to Consider Balloon Release Ban

A bi-partisan group of State legislators plan to introduce legislation during the 2020 session to ban the intentional release of balloons. The bill comes after Queen Anne's County enacted a ban on releases of all non-biodegradable, non-photodegradable balloons in August.  Senator Clarence Lam, the bill's sponsor, says the intent is to reduce the amount of waste in the environment and to raise awareness of proper disposal. If this version of legislation passes, a $250 civil…

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