MACo’s Weekly County News & Notes…from Twitter

The social media site Twitter has become a fast-moving setting for news, information, and advocacy on public affairs. We welcome followers of MACo’s own twitter feed for updates from the Conduit Street blog and other MACo hot topics, and often use Twitter to reach our own audience, and to hear from others following the same issues as county leaders.

Here are some tweets that caught our eye this week:

For more news and information:

Follow MACo
Follow Executive Director Michael Sanderson
Follow NACo
See Tweets on #mdpolitics

RMC Announces Regional Community Development Stakeholder Meetings

The Rural Maryland Council (RMC) has announced dates of community development stakeholder meetings which will be held regionally across Maryland.

The announcement states,

The Community Development Network (CDN), with sponsorship by the Rural Maryland Council, organizes the industry into regional coalitions and hosts meetings in rural areas to report on the outcome of the General Assembly with the Community Development Network’s legislative priorities and begin discussions for next year.

All community development nonprofits, community action agencies, main streets, housing counseling organizations, and public agencies are welcome to each meeting.

The following sessions are being offered:

  • Allegany and Garrett Counties – May 9, 2017 at 10 am: Frostburg Senior Center- 27 S. Water Street, Frostburg, Maryland 21532 – Register here.
  • Frederick and Washington Counties – May 9, 2017 at 2 pm: Frederick Community Action Committee , 100 S. Market Street, Frederick, Maryland 21701 – Register here.
  • Southern Maryland – May 10, 2017 at 12 pm: College of Southern Maryland, Business and Industry Building, 8730 Mitchell Road, La Plata, Maryland 20646 – Register here.
  • Eastern Shore – May 17, 2017 at 12 pm: Delmarva Community Services, 2450 Cambridge Beltway, Cambridge, Maryland 21613 – Register here.

For more questions about our upcoming events, please contact the RMC at 410.841.5772 or rmc.mda@maryland.gov.

Calvert County Creates Two New Departments in Government Organization Restructure

The Board of County Commissioners in Calvert County recently announced that it will restructure the government organization to improve overall government operations and services to the public. The plan will create two new departments: Parks & Recreation and Communications and Media Relations. The plan does not call for staff reductions. Changes in the county’s organizational structure will take effect July 1, 2017.

According to the county press release,

The BOCC reviewed and approved the proposed organizational structure in open session during its regular meeting. To better meet the needs of the citizens, changes in the departments of Economic Development, Finance & Budget, General Services, Personnel and Public Safety are planned. The reorganization is a response to guidance established by the BOCC to ensure the effective and efficient use of county resources by determining alternative approaches to the way government is run.

“These changes set the foundation for a more effective county government now and in the years to come,” said BOCC President Tom Hejl. “More effective management of operations will help us provide improved service to Calvert County residents and also help identify talents and skills in the organization that can be grown and better utilized. The reorganization accomplishes a board goal for restructuring and efficiency and its implementation will have long-term benefits to Calvert County.”

“Restructuring has been a personal goal of mine since being selected for office in 2010,” said Board Vice President Evan Slaughenhoupt Jr. “It allows an organization to review and apply efficiencies and processes that make for better government operations. Today’s decision will lead to a better-aligned government that will ultimately better serve the public and our employees.”

As part of the reorganization, two new departments will be created: Parks & Recreation (formerly under the Department of General Services) and Communications and Media Relations (formerly under the Department of Economic Development). In addition, two departments will be renamed. The Office of Personnel will become the Department of Human Resources and the Department of Community Planning & Building will return to its designation as the Department of Planning and Zoning.

The departmental reporting structure will also be realigned along two primary functions. Departments responsible for operations and public services – Planning and Zoning, Community Resources, Economic Development, Parks & Recreation, Public Safety and Public Works – will report to County Administrator Terry Shannon. Departments providing internal support and administrative services – Communications & Media Relations, Finance & Budget, General Services, Human Resources and Technology Services – will report to Deputy County Administrator Wilson Parran.

Click here to view the specific organizational changes.

Fun Fact: Did You Know that the Jacob Leverton Dwelling in Caroline County is the Only Documented Underground Railroad Station Building Remaining on the Eastern Shore?

Question: Did you know that the Jacob Leverton Dwelling in Caroline County is the only documented Underground Railroad station building remaining on the Eastern Shore?

leverton house
Jacob Leverton Dwelling, Courtesy of Caroline County Historical Society

It’s true! Freedom seekers found shelter and assistance in Caroline County as they traveled along the Underground Railroad to Delaware. The Jacob Leverton Dwelling was “the main stopping place,” a focal point around which several adjoining landowners participated in a broad stronghold of Underground Railroad activity. From their early 19th century residence, Quakers Jacob and Hannah Leverton aided escapees moving under cover to freedom in the North. It is a designated site of the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom Program. Location: 3531 Seaman Road, Preston, MD.

You can explore by foot and by car the history and the lore of Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass and others. Sites include: Poplar Neck near Preston where Harriet Tubman made her greatest rescues; the Jacob Leverton Dwelling, (privately owned), the only documented Underground Railroad station building remaining on the Eastern Shore of Maryland; the Courthouse Square in Denton, the site of numerous incidents and the jail that held captured freedom seekers and Underground Railroad agents; and Hillsboro, the location of the permanent separation of Frederick Douglass family among various slaveholders.

caroline countySource: TourCaroline.com

Do you have a fun fact to share about your county? If so, please send it to Kaley Schultze to be featured in MACo’s weekly Fun Fact on Conduit Street.

Get Involved! Apply Now to Be a Part of NACo’s Presidential Committees

Committee leadership and participation are an integral part of the National Association of Counties’ (NACo) mission. Incoming President-elect Roy Charles Brooks encourages you to get involved. In preparation for his presidency, he and NACo are pleased to begin the appointments process. Applications are due June 2, 2017.

President-elect Roy Charles Brooks

These appointments are for:

  • Policy steering committee chairs and vice chairs and subcommittee chairs and vice chairs
  • Large Urban County Caucus (LUCC) and Rural Action Caucus (RAC) chairs, vice chairs and members
  • Standing committee chairs, vice chairs and members
  • Ad hoc committee, task force and advisory board chairs, vice chairs and members
  • At-large NACo board directors

Click here for more information about NACo committees.

To be considered for a presidential appointment to any of the above committees or as an at-large director for the NACo Board of Directors, you MUST complete the application online before June 2, 2017. Appointments will be announced after NACo’s Annual Conference in July.

IMPORTANT:  Steering committee membership is not a part of this application process.

State associations of counties are responsible for nominating policy steering committee members. The online nomination form for policy steering committee membership can be found here.

Rural Maryland Council Announces MAERDAF Call for Proposals – Deadline June 9, 2017

The Rural Maryland Council (RMC) is now accepting proposals for the Maryland Agricultural Education and Rural Development Assistance Fund (MAERDAF). The deadline to submit a proposal is June 9, 2017. The application process has changed this year. Please see details below.

RMC logoFrom RMC’s announcement:

The Rural Maryland Council is proud to announce for Fiscal Year 2018 the Maryland Agricultural Education and Rural Development Assistance Fund (MAERDAF) Call for Proposals is now open!

The application process is a little different this year. Phase One of the application process requests a proposal which includes organization information, applicant and project point of contact information, scope of work, and project goals.

Please visit http://rural.maryland.gov/maerdaf_rmpif/ to access instructions, guidelines, and the Call for Proposals form.

Deadline for Call for Proposals is June 9, 2017, 11:59pm.

For Fiscal Year 2018, the RMC is particularly interested in proposals that address the following:  Agriculture, Energy, Rural Broadband, Healthcare, Youth Engagement and Workforce/Economic Development. Regardless, the Grant Review Board will give full consideration to any application that is submitted.

Join them in-person for two in-depth information outreach sessions on our two grant programs, the Maryland Agricultural Education and Rural Development Assistance Fund (MAERDAF) and the Rural Maryland Prosperity Investment Fund (RMPIF), including past recipients, requirements, eligibility and application process.

This is a great opportunity to have your questions answered in a friendly setting prior to embarking on the application process. Plus, lunch will be included! Please be sure to register on their events page here.

If you have any questions, please contact them at 410.841.5772 or rmc.mda@maryland.gov.

MACo’s Weekly County News & Notes…from Twitter

The social media site Twitter has become a fast-moving setting for news, information, and advocacy on public affairs. We welcome followers of MACo’s own twitter feed for updates from the Conduit Street blog and other MACo hot topics, and often use Twitter to reach our own audience, and to hear from others following the same issues as county leaders.

Here are some tweets that caught our eye this week:

For more news and information:

Follow MACo
Follow Executive Director Michael Sanderson
Follow NACo
See Tweets on #mdpolitics

Fun Fact: Do You Know Why St. Michaels in Talbot County is Branded “the Town that Fooled the British”?

Question: Do you know why St. Michaels in Talbot County is branded “the town that fooled the British”?

Talbot sealSt. Michaels is branded “the town that fooled the British” because avoided destruction by British invasion on August 10, 1813, when residents—forewarned of an imminent attack—turned off all their lights and attached lanterns to the masts of ships and the tops of trees, causing cannons to overshoot the town. The only house to be struck became known as the “Cannonball House.”

Source: History.com

Do you have a fun fact to share about your county? If so, please send it to Kaley Schultze to be featured in MACo’s weekly Fun Fact on Conduit Street.

Maryland Board of Public Works – April 26, 2017 Agenda

Maryland’s Board of Public Works reviews projects, contracts, and expenditure plans for state agencies – many of which have effect on county governments. It meets on alternating Wednesdays and the meetings are open to the public.  The meeting will be held in the Governor’s Reception Room (2nd floor) of the State House in Annapolis.

The Board’s next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, April 26, 2017 at 10 a.m. Material for the upcoming meeting is available online:

For “frequently asked questions” about the Board’s charge and meetings, visit the Board’s website.

2017 Aspire Awards from NACo & Nationwide – Submissions Due May 26

The National Association of Counties (NACo) and Nationwide Retirement Solutions are excited to launch the 2017 Aspire Awards which honors and recognizes counties for innovative solutions and promoting employee retirement savings. Submissions are due May 26, 2017.

Are you aware that over 350,000 county employees from more than 3,000 county agencies are saving for retirement with the NACo Deferred Compensation program? That’s 350,000 citizens who were given the opportunity to take an active role in planning for their future – 350,000 community members who, in the face of numerous and competing financial demands, took that opportunity, and decided to utilize a trusted program to save. In a day and age when individuals and organizations alike are pushed to do more with less, NACo is eager to recognize the monumental contribution from NACo’s county plan sponsors in marketing this cornerstone program successfully and helping that number of participants reach new heights.

Please review the guidelines here for further information. Please address questions to Carlos Greene at NACo at cgreene@naco.org or 404-263-3656.