Will You Throw the First Pitch?

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Step up and share your county’s IT needs at MACo’s Summer Conference.

This year’s MACo Conference offers attendees an opportunity to voice county government information technology interests directly to private sector providers in an informal, informational format.

Share challenges & discover capabilities in this new Tech Wednesday offering.

SWITCH PITCH” IGNITE! — Meet Your Match: Solutions to County IT Challenges

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

11:30 am – 12:30 pm

Gain quick insight into what tech can do for county governments in this fast-paced session. County IT and management professionals will state their needs, and vendors in the Tech Expo Tradeshow will respond with their pitch for solving the top tech issues. Attendees will get a chance to learn a little about a lot of vendors in a short period of time. Listen and learn!

Example County Pitches

  1. How do I empower employees to work from home in a secure and productive manner at minimal cost to the County?
  2. There are so many mobile apps in the market. Other than reading through the reviews, how can one determine the overall quality of a mobile app?  Is there a standard to check an app’s quality? What is it?
  3. What and where have been some of the more successful public/private partnerships providing broadband to unserved rural areas?

SIGN UP HERE TO BE A PART OF THIS SESSION Space is limited – Reply by July 19.

Have a pitch, but you are not attending this session?  Contact Robin Clark Eilenberg at MACo.

Tech Wednesday Vendor List

  • AVI-SPL, Inc
  • CDW-G
  • Comcast
  • Commvault
  • Cybersecurity Association of Maryland, Inc.
  • Data Networks of America
  • ePlus Technology Inc.
  • Esri
  • Freedom Broadband
  • Fujitsu America, Inc.
  • GovDeals, Inc.
  • Juniper Networks
  • Lenovo
  • Maryland Department of Natural Resources
  • Maryland Libraries
  • Maryland Relay
  • Motorola Solutions, Inc.
  • Musco Sports Lighting
  • NIC Maryland
  • Phillips Office Solutions
  • Presidio
  • Prosys Information Systems
  • Regent Development Consulting, Inc. (RDC)
  • Ricoh USA, Inc.
  • Rimkus Consulting Group, Inc.
  • Rudolph’s Office & Computer Supply, Inc.
  • SAIC
  • ShoreScan Solutions
  • Splunk
  • Sprint
  • Supply Solutions, LLC
  • Tomi Environmental Solutions

Learn more about MACo’s Summer Conference:

Ideas Add Up to a 10% Reduction in County School Construction Costs

Frederick County School Construction Work Group Presents Cost Savings in Final Report.

As reported by Frederick County, a work group appointed by County Executive Gardner has met its charge by identifying means to reduce school construction costs by 8-10%.

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A report on school construction from Frederick County considers possible savings of new HVAC technology.

Some items identified in the report include changes to the construction of schools, such as:

  • reducing the overall size of schools ($2 million in potential savings)
  • changing ceiling tiles ($300,000 in potential savings)
  • altering the height of roof parapets ($45,000 in potential savings)
  • employing Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) Technology for school HVAC systems

From Frederick County:

The report contains over 40 recommendations ranging from legislative solutions, site acquisition and preparation, delivery methods, construction technologies and other general cost savings.

For more information, see the full report, Reducing School Construction Costs While Preserving Excellence in Education.

Webinar: National Flood Insurance Reauthorization Update

Join the National Association of Counties (NACo) on Monday, June 26, 2017 at 3:00 PM for a webinar and update on the National Flood Insurance Program reauthorization.

NACo to host webinar on National Flood Insurance Program reauthorization

From NACo:

“National Flood Insurance Program Reauthorization: What Counties Need to Know” will provide participants with an overview of the NFIP and how it works. Additionally, the webinar will provide an update on legislation that both the House and Senate have developed to reauthorize the program before it expires on September 30, 2017.

Monday’s webinar will be moderated by NACo Emergency Management Subcommittee Chairman, Commissioner Bill Truex, from Charlotte County, Florida. Other special guests include:

  • Caitlin Berni, Vice President for Policy and Communications at Greater New Orleans, Inc.
  • Jason Tuber, Senior Advisor, Office of Senator Robert Menendez (D-N.J.)
  • John Steitz, Legislative Assistant, Office of Senator John N. Kennedy (R-La.)
  • Jacob Terrell, Associate Legislative Director, National Association of Counties

NACo encourages local leaders from communities that participate in the NFIP to register for the webinar by clicking here.

Calvert Commissioners Approve FY 2018 Budget

From Calvert County, Maryland:

The Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) approved a $282.8 million Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 general fund operating budget by a vote of 4 to 1. It is a balanced budget with no tax rate increase and no use of fund balance.

The county expects to receive the first payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) payment from the Dominion Energy Cove Point LNG Terminal in FY 2018, which will add approximately $25 million to general fund revenues.

“This budget clearly reflects our priorities while addressing the issues facing Calvert County,” said board President Tom Hejl. “In FY 2018, we will continue to exercise conservative financial management for the good of our citizens. This budget puts Calvert County in a strong fiscal position.”

The FY 2018 budget features an additional $36 million more for the operating budget than in the prior fiscal year. This increased spending is largely due to the fact that staffing needs, equipment purchases, pay increases and payments toward retiree benefits were deferred during the recession years. Some of the specifics are:

  • $1.4 million more for health insurance
  • $2 million more for county road paving
  • $2 million more for vehicles and equipment
  • $2.5 million for employee salary increases
  • $3.4 million more for new staffing, new equipment and new initiatives
  • $6 million additional for Calvert County Public Schools
  • $17.9 million for Other Post Employment Benefit costs (OPEB)

About 49.9 percent, or $141 million, of the county’s general operating budget is committed to public school operations, infrastructure costs and the schools’ OPEB, which represents an increase of 16.3 percent, or $19.8 million.

In addition, the six-year Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) lays out the county’s capital program for FY 2018-2023, totaling $273.7 million. School construction and renovations account for $103.6 million of the CIP budget, with significant resources focused on the replacements of Northern High and Beach Elementary schools.

Review the budget in its entirety online

NACo Issues Call to Action on Health Bill

From NACo:

Senate Health Bill Spells Massive Costs for Counties

On June 22, the U.S. Senate released a draft health care reform bill, the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017. This is the Senate version of the House-passed American Health Care Act (H.R. 1628). The legislation substantially alters the federal-state-local partnership for Medicaid and would shift significant health care costs to counties.

Senate Republicans are expected to discuss key provisions in the bill over the coming days and are planning a vote prior to the July 4th recess.

The National Association of Counties (NACo) opposes the “Better Care Reconciliation Act” because it would:
• Adversely alter the federal-state-local partnership for Medicaid;

• Shift significant costs to county taxpayers; and

• Negatively impact counties as health providers, payors, administrators and employers.

Here is NACo’s CALL TO ACTION: Urge your senators to oppose this legislation.

To provide you with the latest information on activity in the Senate, NACo will host a national conference call:

Monday, June 26
4:30 p.m. EDT
Dial: 1.888.394.8197
Passcode: 166189

NACo’s Annual Conference is coming up!

The NACo Annual Conference & Exposition is the only meeting that draws a cross section of elected officials and county staff from across the country. Attendees from rural and urban counties, large and small budgets and staff – all come together for four days of education, networking and sessions aimed to help improve residents’ lives and the efficiency of county government.

Register for the NACo Annual Conference & Exposition in Franklin County, Columbus, Ohio here

Are You Ready For #MACoCon? VR!

This year’s Maryland Association of Counties Conference will feature a Tech Expo and two special sessions focused on technology themes, including one on social media and virtual reality.

Headsets On: Get Ready for Virtual Reality and the Social Shake-Up

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Jason Michael Perry, VP of Engineering at Mindgrub, will be speaking at MACo’s Summer Conference.

Virtual reality is one of the hottest and most mysterious types of tech and its tempting serum, poured over snowballing social media use, could turn the way that government interfaces with the public into one heck of a snow cone. VR applications for county governments already include tourism, economic development, and information science, with more to come.

MACo’s social media and virtual reality session will feature Jason Perry of Mindgrub. With over 16 years of experience as an engineer and consultant, Mindgrub’s Vice President of Engineering Jason Michael Perry keeps the train on time, oversees the web and mobile engineering teams, and provides technical direction. Jason is a veteran of multiple business sectors and has strong experience working on Drupal, Javascript, and mobile application development. Before joining Mindgrub Jason was a partner in a New Orleans based web consulting firm that did work for Michael Jackson, the City of New Orleans, and Dillard University.

A New Orleans native, Jason studied Marketing and Computer Science at University of New Orleans and is currently pursuing an Executive MBA from Villanova University.

Join this session to hear more about the opportunities presented by virtual reality and its integration with county services.

Learn more about MACo’s Summer Conference:

 

Your Boat Tax At Work! $10.5 Million for 49 County Waterway Projects

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As reported, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources is providing $10.5 million in Waterway Improvement Fund grants to improve public boating access and navigation throughout the state.

From the Department:

Funded projects include the dredging of local navigation channels, maintaining public boating access facilities, improving parking and upgrading existing infrastructure such as bulkheads, piers and ramps. Funding is also provided to local first responders to enhance water rescue operations.

“From cruising the Chesapeake Bay to maneuvering the open waters of the Atlantic Ocean, boating is a way of life in Maryland,” Natural Resources Secretary Mark Belton said. “The Waterway Improvement Fund is a vital state resource that ensures that residents and visitors alike will continue to benefit from Maryland’s world-class recreational boating opportunities for years to come.”

The Waterway Improvement Fund was created in 1966 by Natural Resources Article 8-701 to support the development, use, and enjoyment of all waters of the State of Maryland for the benefit of the general boating public. Revenues for this Fund are obtained primarily from the one-time 5% excise tax that is paid to the State of Maryland when a boat is purchased and titled in the State. For more information see the Department of Natural Resources Grants for Waterway Improvements and Your Boat Tax At Work!

Anne Arundel Budget Funds Education and Public Safety

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The budget will fund renovations at three elementary schools, including Richard Henry Lee Elementary (pictured).

As reported by the Capital Gazette,

The Anne Arundel County Council on Wednesday passed a final version of the fiscal year 2018 budget, a $1.5 billion spending plan that funds a salary step for teachers, 40 new public safety officers and a boost to renovation projects at three aging elementary schools, among other items.

For more, see County Council approves budget for fiscal year 2018 from the Capital Gazette and see the Anne Arundel County Budget Office.

100 Brilliant Ideas

The National Association of Counties recently announced the winners of “100 Brilliant Ideas at Work,” an initiative of NACo President Bryan Desloge.

The 100 Brilliant Ideas illustrate the best innovations in county government, according to the National Association of Counties (NACo).

“These brilliant ideas can serve as examples for counties across the country. Though no two of America’s 3,069 counties are exactly alike, many face similar challenges and can learn from one another’s ideas and experiences,” said NACo President Bryan Desloge.

Montgomery County’s GreenFest and Prince George’s County’s LitterTRAK and PGCLitterTRAK, mobile apps for tracking progress toward cleaner and healthier waterways are featured as brilliant ideas by NACo.

NACo will recognize the winners of its brilliant ideas competition at its 2017 Annual Conference and Exposition July 21–24 in Franklin County, Ohio. Three Maryland counties have registered for the Annual Conference already. Will your county be represented?

Contact Robin Clark Eilenberg with questions about the conference, or register for the Conference with NACo.

Federal Funding for Opioid Abuse Treatment Caught in Healthcare Debate

As reported by The Hill,

Senate Republicans are considering adding funding for opioid abuse treatment to their ObamaCare repeal bill, according to senators and aides.

The move would be meant to ease concerns about the effect on opioid addiction treatment from rolling back ObamaCare’s expansion of Medicaid, which currently plays a major role in providing coverage for that treatment.

For more information, see Senate GOP considers adding opioid funding to ObamaCare repeal bill.