Solar Siting Tools and Best Practices at #MACoCon

Attendees to the MACo 2019 December Winter Conference learned about some best practices and tools for solar siting during the "Let the Sunshine In: What You Need to Know About Solar Energy Siting" panel on December 5. Caroline County Planning and Codes Director Katheleen Freeman outlined the stakeholder process used by the County to develop its utility-scale solar zoning. Freeman stated that the County established a short moratorium on utility-scale solar projects an formed two…

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Rural County Coalition Shares Lunch, Policy Updates at #MACoCon

The Rural County Coalition held their regular lunch event at the MACo 2019 December Winter Conference on December 5. The Coalition heard updates on a variety of policy issues, including solar siting, the Forest Conservation Act, volunteer firefighters, and Kirwan Commission education funding recommendations. The Rural County Coalition is a MACo Chapter Organization that provides a voice for sixteen of Maryland's rural counties, allowing them to offer their unique perspective on important state and federal…

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Attendees Glimpse Maryland’s Clean Energy Future at #MACoCon

The "Clean and Green: Charting Maryland's Energy Future" panel at the MACo 2019 December Winter Conference discussed how Maryland's energy paradigm is shifting away from fossil fuels and towards renewable (solar and wind) and zero-carbon (nuclear and hydro) power sources. Panelists explained the state anad local land use, regulatory, and infrastructure changes that are coming as Maryland moves towards a renewable and clean energy future. The panel was held on December 5. Maryland Secretary of…

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Smart Growth Subcabinet Answers County Questions at #MACoCon

Counties received updates on a wide array of key policy issues at the MACo 2019 December Winter Conference during the "A Chat with the Smart Growth Subcabinet" panel on December 4. The Smart Growth Subcabinet oversees and advises on Maryland’s growth policies and laws. During the panel, its members provided updates on land use, environmental, housing, economic development, and transportation issues chosen by county elected officials and staff.   Issues covered by the Subcabinet included:…

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Improving Census Participation Means More $$$ at #MACoCon

Attendees to the MACo 2019 December Winter Conference learned about the importance of participating in the 2020 Census and how to achieve higher participation rates among undercounted communities during the "2020 Census: The Foundation of Our Future" panel. The paenl was held on December 4. Maryland Secretary of Planning Robert McCord explained the importance of the census to state and local funding and how census data is used. McCord highlighted how the Maryland Department of…

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#MACoCon Attendees Learn About Graywater Reuse

Panelists on the "50 Shades of Graywater: What Does Water Reuse Mean for Your County?" panel discussed the implications of 2019 legislation (HB 535) authorizing limited graywater reuse in residential settings and the broader benefits and challenges of graywater reuse for local governments. The panel was held on December 4 at the MACo 2019 December Winter Conference. Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) On-Site Systems Division Chief Naomi (Nony) Howell discussed the 2019 legislation and…

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Risk Management Best Practices at #MACoCon

County attendees to the 2019 December MACo Winter Conference learned the basics of risk management and the necessary tools to minimize liability at panel "Academy Core: Basics of Risk Management." on December 4. Good risk management practices are essential for local governments as they oversee many high-risk functions, including public safety, infrastructure maintenance, waste disposal, and special events. Reducing and controlling loss exposure protects a county and its taxpayers from unnecessary risk. Local Government Insurance…

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Legalized Cannabis, Public Information Act Among Issues Discussed at 2019 MACo Attorneys Conference

County attorneys and legal staff from across the state attended the 2019 MACo Attorneys Conference on November 13. The annual conference allows county legal staff to receive important policy updates and discuss emerging legal challenges. Attendees heard updates on: (1) Maryland's Public Information Act; (2) Open Meetings Act; (3) recent Attorney General opinions; (4) human resource and liability issues posed by legalized cannabis; (5) sheriff and deputy sheriff liability issues; (6) 2019 interim issues; and…

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Save the Date for Climate Leadership Academy Workshop for Elected & Appointed County Officials

Maryland's Climate Leadership Academy is offering a one-day workshop for county and municipal elected and appointed officials to discuss the local government challenges, including economic, infrastructure, public safety, and public health, posed by climate change. The Climate Leadership Academy is a unique state program that offers climate change education and training to state and local officials and other key stakeholders. SAVE THE DATE - OFFICIAL INVITATIONS AND AGENDA INFORMATION COMING SOON Maryland Climate Leadership Academy…

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School Construction Press Conference Highlights a General Assembly in Transition
Senate President Mike Miller, Courtesy of Maryland General Assembly
School Construction Press Conference Highlights a General Assembly in Transition

A Maryland Matters article (2019-11-07) highlighted the challenges faced by Maryland General Assembly in transition, particularly as Senate President Thomas "Mike" Miller prepares to pass the mantle of leadership on to Baltimore City Senator Bill Ferguson. The article reported that during a press conference in Prince George's County over school construction (which will be a top priority of both chambers with funding legislation being introduced as House Bill 1 and Senate Bill 1) it fell to Miller…

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