Victim Privacy & Government Accountability Hang in the Balance – Can You Help?

MACo Action Alert 2018.jpgMACo needs help ensuring that Senators vote to support SB 788, to protect victims and ensure transparency. One little word could change everything.

SB 788 – Public Information Act – Revisions is on the docket for the Senate EHE Committee on March 13, 2018. This is a MACo Initiative bill – 1 of 4 top priorities set by the 24 county jurisdictions.

The main focus of this bill is ensuring government transparency and accountability while shielding victims of sexual crimes, domestic violence, and child abuse from having their very private – and very traumatic – information needlessly shared. With new technology such as body cameras, more private details are available now than have ever been available before. This bill allows record custodians to focus on videos that are in the public interest, while protecting the identities of victims.

Opponents of the bill want to change SHALL to MAY. Shall ensures victims will be shielded. MAY makes it an option.

Do you want protecting victims to be an option? MACo doesn’t.

Here are the key points of the bill:

    • Video in the public interest (where someone’s rights may have been violated) is subject to disclosure
    • Even a spoken allegation of potential misconduct is enough to trigger disclosure
    • Shields identity of victims of sexual crimes, domestic violence, and child abuse
    • Shuts down “victim shaming”
  • RESIST “SHALL” TO “MAY” AMENDMENT – Making victim disclosure optional by changing “SHALL” to “MAY” (as opponents suggest) will “just protect victims sometimes.” MAY IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH


Join Maryland’s counties in getting this message to legislators.

Tell your EHE members to SUPPORT SB 788 and RESIST the “SHALL” to “MAY” amendment.

Send this text as an email to EHE members.

Contact Les Knapp at or 410.269.0043 for more info.



Summer #MACoCon Registration is Open! Don’t Miss “Water, Water Everywhere”

MACo’s 2018 Summer Conference, “Water, Water Everywhere,” will be held in Ocean City, Maryland, on August 15-18. Registration is now open. Register today!

Photo Courtesy of DHCD

MACo’s Summer Conference attracts approximately 2,500 local and state government
leaders and professionals who will spend 4 days discussing county government issues and solutions. Highlights include more than 30 educational sessions, a 50-booth Tech Expo, and a 250-booth Tradeshow.

The 2018 conference will focus on water. From the health of the Bay and Maryland’s waterways to the infrastructure, treatment, and regulations that ensure safe and healthy water flows through our pipes, county governments are keeping our residents afloat.

Conference sessions will discuss the Bay, water infrastructure, watermen and oyster/fishery/habitat issues, floods and other natural disasters, and ways to put the wind back in the sails of a tight budget. More details.

Learn more about MACo’s Summer Conference:

Olympics-Related Malicious Activity Likely to Affect Local Governments

Malicious cyber threat actors have historically used high-profile events such as the Olympic Games to carry out their attacks – government entities are likely targets.

CyberAttackOlympicsThe Center for Internet Security (CIS), endorsed by MACo, has published a white paper providing recommendations for county technical staff in protecting networks and users during the 2018 Winter Olympics. The cybersecurity experts at CIS note that high-profile events are usually turned into vehicles for malware, scams, fraud, and cyber-espionage.

Because county employees might view Olympics content on government-issued devices or networks, these threats could directly impact the security of local government systems.

Tactics likely to be used are summarized below, but more details are available in the CIS white paper:

Phishing – Expect emails with links to malicious website advertising live coverage, news stories, or ticket sales. These websites often contain malware or attempt to steal login credentials.

Olympic Coverage – Malicious actors are likely to create malware-laden websites with domains resembling legitimate ones. They often use social media to spread these links. The CIS Multi-State Information Sharing & Analysis Center has already observed an uptick in registration of several domains containing “Olympics,” “winter,” “games,” or similar key phrases.

Mobile Apps – Olympics-themed apps may not be as legitimate as they appear. While they may use 2018 Winter Games branding, they could contain collection capabilities that could cause data breaches if downloaded to government network endpoints.

Travel to the Olympics – CIS reports that cyber-espionage and profit-motivated cyberattacks on visitors and spectators in PyeongChang are almost a certainty. Wi-Fi spoofing, card-skimming, and similar hard-to-detect threats could invade government systems through employee devices or credit cards.

Recommendations for addressing these threats are available in the CIS white paper.

To find out more about the Center for Internet Security – and how they can help your county networks stay safe and secure with low-cost or FREE MACo member options – please contact MACo Member Services Director Virginia White.

MACo Legislative Committee Meeting to Take Place as Scheduled

MACo’s Legislative Committee will hold their first meeting of the 2018 Maryland General Assembly Session today (January 17) as scheduled, despite a slightly snowy Wednesday in Annapolis. Subcommittees will meet at 10:00 am and the full Committee will meet at 10:30 am.

The Committee, which comprises representatives from all 23 counties and Baltimore City, meets weekly during the Session to decide MACo’s policy positions.

Inclement Weather Policy for MACo and Annapolis Meetings

annapolis snow As bad weather looms, and the legislative session is in full swing, MACo wants our members and meeting participants to have easy and timely access to information on Annapolis events. On any day with inclement weather, MACo will post information to the blog site on its policy for that day as early as possible — usually by 7:30 am.

Here are a few guidelines and procedures for events:

The General Assembly – Bill hearings, briefings, and other public events conducted by the General Assembly are very rarely canceled due to bad weather. The General Assembly’s website is a reliable source for any overall closures, and if MACo is aware of anything being delayed or canceled, we will post it on the Conduit Street blog.

MACo Meetings – For the MACo Legislative Committee and other meetings at the MACo offices, MACo staff will consult with Association leadership in determining a closure policy. Recognizing the statewide nature of the organization, we seek to be respectful of those who face substantial travel to attend these meetings — so our consideration will include looking at multiple regions of the state, not just the state of the roadways in and around Annapolis.

Please be aware, though, that cancellation of a Legislative Committee meeting will often lead to bill positions or other strategic considerations being delayed – and may trigger extraordinary procedures to direct MACo’s advocacy. Leadership and staff will seek to balance these needs against the travel concerns in making case-by-case decisions on meeting cancellations.

2017 Winter #MACoCon Photo Recap

MACo’s 2017 Winter Conference – “The Power of Partnership” – on December 6-8 focused on how counties can work with partners from all levels of the private and public sectors to provide excellent service for Maryland’s county residents.

The full conference schedule and program of events can be viewed online.

Save the date for MACo’s next Winter Conference: January 2 – 4, 2019, at the Hyatt in Cambridge, MD (held in January to allow newly elected officials from the November 2018 elections to settle in and be able to attend the conference).

Don’t miss the 2018 Summer Conference: “Water, Water, Everywhere” on August 15-18 at the Roland Powell Convention Center in Ocean City, MD.

Photography was sponsored and provided by Grant L. Gursky Photography

Summer #MACoCon to Focus on Water Issues

MACo’s 2018 Summer Conference will focus on all the ways counties work with water.

Photo Courtesy of DHCD

From the health of the Bay and Maryland’s waterways to the infrastructure, treatment, and regulations that ensure safe and healthy water flows through our pipes, county governments are keeping our residents afloat. Conference sessions will discuss the Bay, water infrastructure, watermen and oyster/fishery/habitat issues, floods and other natural disasters, and ways to put the wind back in the sails of a tight budget.

Mark your calendars and join us on August 15-18, 2018 to discuss “Water, Water, Everywhere.”

The call for conference proposals will be issued in January and will close on April 13, 2018. Exhibitor and sponsor registration will begin in January. MACo’s Corporate Partners and 2017 Summer Conference sponsors and exhibitors will be given first choice of exhibit placement and sponsorship opportunities. For more information, contact Virginia White.

2018 MACo Board of Directors Installed

On Wednesday evening, December 6, 2017, Governor Larry Hogan installed the MACo Board of Directors for 2018. The installation took place at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Hotel in Cambridge, Maryland during the MACo Winter Conference Inaugural Banquet. The 2018 slate of Members and Officers are as follows:

2018 MACo Board of Directors


  • Jerry Walker, Council Member, Anne Arundel County – President
  • William Pickrum, Commission President, Kent County – First Vice President
  • Barry Glassman, County Executive, Harford County – Second Vice President
  • Jan Gardner, County Executive, Frederick County – Secretary
  • Allan Kittleman, County Executive, Howard County – Treasurer
  • John Barr, Commissioner, Washington County – Past President


  • Rushern Baker III, County Executive, Prince George’s County
  • Charles Fisher, Commissioner, Somerset County
  • Matthew Holloway, Council Vice President, Wicomico County
  • Kevin Kamenetz, County Executive, Baltimore Countyt
  • Isiah Leggett, County Executive, Montgomery County
  • Wilbur Levengood, Jr., Commissioner, Caroline County
  • Sharon Green Middleton, Council Member, Baltimore City
  • Laura Price, Council Member, Talbot County
  • Evan Slaughenhoupt, Jr., Commissioner, Calvert County
  • William “Bill” Valentine, Commissioner, Allegany County

These individuals were elected by the assembled membership at the Inaugural Banquet to serve in the Association’s top leadership positions.

Join the Baltimore Metropolitan Council for a Reception at #MACoCon

The Baltimore Metropolitan Council invites all MACo Winter Conference attend to join their reception on Thursday, December 7, 2017 from 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Hotel in Cambridge Maryland.

This reception is open to all MACo Winter Conference Attendees. You may register to attend the 2017 MACo Winter Conference online. 

The Baltimore Metropolitan Council (BMC) is a nonprofit organization that works with the region’s elected executives to identify mutual interests and develop collaborative strategies, plans and programs that will help improve the quality of life and economic vitality.

The MACo Winter Conference will be held December 6-8, 2017 at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Hotel in Cambridge, Maryland. The conference’s theme is “The Power of Partnership.”

Learn more about MACo’s 2017 Winter Conference:

1 Way to Get the Most Out of #MACoCon – NEW MOBILE APP!

MACo’s Winter Conference is just ONE WEEK AWAY!

Preview the event by checking out the schedule, speakers, sponsors, exhibitors, and attendees through our NEW mobile app, sponsored by Nationwide Retirement Solutions.

Instructions for your FREE download:Whova Photo

  1. Delete the old MACo app, if you have it – this one is all new!
  2. Access the App Store/Google Play: search for “Whova”
  3. Select “Whova—Event Guide”
  4. Sign up in the app with the same email address you used for conference registration
  5. You’re all set. Enjoy!


Learn more about MACo’s 2017 Winter Conference: