New Treasury Guidelines Developed to Accelerate Rental Assistance

The US Department of Treasury has announced new guidance on the Emergency Rental Assistance program - designed to accelerate deployment of these needed funds, and responding to calls from local program directors. From White House Senior Adviser and "American Rescue Coordinator" Gene Sperling via social media: https://twitter.com/genebsperling/status/1430518077100150786 Mr. Sperling and senior officials from the US Department of Treasury joined a remote call earlier this month with multiple Maryland jurisdictions' housing program directors, to discuss holdups…

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Knapp to Serve as MDE Policy Advisor for Local Government Issues

MDE Hires Les Knapp as New Local Government Policy Advisor The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) has hired former MACo Legal and Policy Counsel Les Knapp as a new Senior Policy Advisor for county and municipal government issues. Knapp’s primary duties include: (1) advising MDE leadership on issues affecting local government; (2) improving MDE’s communication and relationships with local governments; and (3) serving as a point-of-contact and “ombudsman” for local governments that have issues…

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St. Mary’s County Solar Task Force Submits Final Report to Commissioners

St. Mary’s County Solar Task Force Submits Final Report to Commissioners The Commissioners of St. Mary’s County will review the final report and recommendations prepared by the St. Mary’s County Solar Task Force on August 17 in open session. The Task Force was formed by the Commissioners after hearing about solar development concerns from County residents. The Task Force’s final report includes 37 recommendations that address all sizes of solar projects, including small accessory use…

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MACo Welcomes New Policy Team Member, Dominic Butchko

The MACo Staff gladly welcomes Dominic Butchko, who joins the policy team as Associate Director, and will be contributing at the upcoming Summer Conference. Dominic Butchko joins MACo with credentials from both county and municipal government, and track record of achievement at both levels. "Mr. Butchko has been working within county government and has seen how we can succeed, but also has hands-on experience as a municipal official," said Executive Director Michael Sanderson. "He'll draw…

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MACo Policy Team Welcomes Brianna January

MACo is pleased to welcome Brianna January, new MACo Associate Director, who is joining the policy team and will be at the Summer Conference. Brianna January brings experience with the Maryland General Assembly, and her background in writing and policy, to her new role with MACo as Associate Director. "Ms. January already knows the halls of Annapolis, and how to get things done here. Add to that her media savvy and research record, and I…

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Infrastructure: Virtual Event with President Biden, Wednesday 3pm

Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act Event with President Biden Wednesday, August 11 3:00-4:00PM ET County officials are invited to join a virtual event with President Biden on the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act on Wednesday, August 11 at 3:00PM ET. The bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act includes around $550 billion in new federal investment in America’s roads and bridges, transit, water infrastructure, resilience, broadband, and more. With the US Senate having just advanced…

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MD Courts Rein in County Board of Appeals’ Fine Authority
Court of Appeals Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera (Photo Courtesy: www.mdcourts.gov)
MD Courts Rein in County Board of Appeals’ Fine Authority

The Maryland Court of Appeals recently ruled on a Talbot County case, including a subject matter determination that civil penalties are beyond the appropriate realm of charter counties' Boards of Appeals (who govern zoning matters). The decision in the unreported case is summarized on the first page of the decision document: Angel Enterprises Limited Partnership, et al. v. Talbot County, Maryland, et al., No. 45, September Term, 2020, Opinion by J. Booth IMPOSITION OF CIVIL…

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No New Statewide Masking Rule, But It’s Back in Three Large Jurisdictions

The continued spread of COVID variants has public health officials and government leaders re-thinking their local approaches. This week Governor Hogan announced new requirements for many State employees, and three of Maryland's largest jurisdictions renewed their local indoor masking requirements to combat the virus's effects. https://twitter.com/ScottWykoffWBAL/status/1423599236256575489 In Baltimore, Mayor Scott and Health Commissioner Dzirasa announced the resumption of an indoor masking mandate. From coverage on the WBALTV webpage: The mayor cited a rapidly increasing number…

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MACo Staff Welcomes Sofia Pablos-Aguirre

Sofia Pablos-Aguirre has joined MACo's Member Services Team, and will be the first face that our visitors see as our new Office Coordinator. Be sure to say hello at #MACoCon! MACo's newest staff member, Sofia Pablos-Aguirre has recently relocated to Prince George's County from Southern Florida. She has joined the MACo staff as Office Coordinator, and will be managing the office and contributing as part of MACo's Member Services team, helping to coordinate education and…

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Pending Evictions in Maryland: Where Are We Now?

With a federal eviction moratorium expiring, and the State's emergency declaration phasing out, programs to forestall evictions are on their way out - what's next for Maryland? (Tuesday twist: the CDC's action moves this question down the road for most MD jurisdictions, most likely) Among multiple policy provisions enacted during the COVID-19 pandemic, special accommodations for renters without income to make payments have prevented a major wave of tenant evictions. A federal provision, widely referenced…

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