The Big Picture on Small Cells – Save the Date for MACo’s 2018 Symposium

MACo hosts an annual members-only symposium on a hot topic for county governments. This year, we’re focusing on small cells.

Date: Friday, June 15, 2018
Time: 9:30 am – 3:30 pm
Location: TBD

Destechnology-sml.jpgcription: Communities today crave faster data speeds and more reliable service. 5G – the next generation of wireless services – promises to deliver on all that and more in the upcoming years. Small cells are being billed as one bridge to the 5G future…a bridge built on local infrastructure and rights of ways. As the public and private sectors explore this emerging technology and shape its legislative and regulatory framework, local governments need to not only be prepared for the future but be proactive in ensuring what is best for their communities. Through a collaborative exchange, this symposium will explore some of the challenges and opportunities of the deployment of small cells and seek to provide best practices and possible solutions for local governments.


9:30 am – 10:00 am Refreshments and Exhibits
10:00 am – 10:15 am Welcome and Introduction
10:15 am – 11:00 am Small Cell 101 and the Race to 5G
What are small cells? How do they work? Why are they the all talk of the residents and businesses in town? Learn the basics of what every local government should know about small cells.
11:00 am – 12:15 pm Major Issues
What challenges do local governments face managing small cells on their public infrastructure and in their ROWs? What issues are on the horizon? Learn more about the powers and pitfalls of siting small cells and the boundaries of local government authority.
12:15 pm – 1:15 pm Lunch & Exhibits
1:15 pm – 2:15 pm Best Practices/Success Stories
You don’t have to reinvent the wheel! Get ahead of the curve by building on best practices and model ordinances from your peers.
2:15 pm – 3:15 pm Facilitated Discussion
Share comments and questions with other symposium attendees, led by an expert in the field.
3:15 – 3:30 pm Summary and Next Steps

This symposium is only free for MACo Members (county elected/appointed officials and professionals).


Commercial or industry participants must be exhibitors or sponsors to participate. Review the sponsorship/exhibitor flyer or contact Nicolette Querry for more information.

Counties Mourn the Loss of Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz

kevin-kamenetz1MACo Past President and Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz passed away early Thursday morning, due to cardiac arrest.

County Executive Kamenetz recently concluded his 2017 term as MACo President and was running for Governor of Maryland. He leaves behind his wife, Jill, and their two sons. Constituents, colleagues, and competitors alike have shown an outpouring of grief this morning.

Maryland’s counties mourn the loss of a champion for county government. MACo President and Anne Arundel County Council Member Jerry Walker shared his thoughts on behalf of MACo:

We are shocked and saddened by County Executive Kamenetz’s passing. He was a passionate leader, a dedicated public servant, and one of the longest serving Maryland county officials in recent history. Our thoughts are with his family and loved ones.

County Executive Kamenetz began his career in the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office as a prosecutor in 1982 and practiced law for 30 years. His elected county service began in 1994, when he was voted onto the Baltimore County Council. He served for a total of 16 years on the council and was elected by his fellow Council Members as Chairman in 1996, 1999, 2003, and 2008. In 2010, Mr. Kamenetz was elected as Baltimore County’s 12th County Executive, succeeding James T. Smith, Jr.

Mr. Kamenetz joined the MACo Board of Directors in 2011. His peers in county government elected him to serve as one of six MACo Officers in 2015, and then to serve as MACo President in 2017. As President, County Executive Kamenetz represented MACo in many meetings, hearings, and briefings. He traveled around the state on official MACo visits to discuss the needs and challenges facing county officials. MACo Executive Director Michael Sanderson commented:

County Executive Kamenetz was deeply invested in making a difference. His commitment to serve his county and his state will leave his constituents, and all of us, better off.

KK - MACo Winter Conference 2017

  • Date of Funeral: Friday, May 11, 2018
  • Time of Funeral: 2:00 pm
  • Funeral Location:  Baltimore Hebrew Congregation (7401 Park Heights Avenue, Baltimore, ND 21208)
  • Cemetery: Baltimore Hebrew Cemetery – Berrymans Lane
  • Condolences may be sent to:
    Historic Courthouse, 400 Washington Avenue, Towson, MD  21204

In lieu of flowers the family is asking for donations to the following charities in Kamenetz’s honor:

American Cancer Society
405 Williams Court
Suite 120
Baltimore, MD 21220
Online Donations

Baltimore Humane Society
1601 Nicodemus Road
Reisterstown, MD 21136
Online Donations

Dive In: #MACoCon “Water, Water Everywhere” Titles Now Available!

MACo’s Summer Conference, “Water, Water Everywhere,” is fast approaching. More than 2,500 individuals are expected to participate on August 15-18, 2018, at the Roland Powell Convention Center in Ocean City, MD.


SC18 Brochure Cover - final
This year’s conference will focus on the importance of water. From the health of the Bay and our waterways to the infrastructure, treatment, and regulations that ensure safe and healthy water flows through our pipes, county governments are keeping our residents afloat. This conference will highlight all the ways counties work with water. 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.

Early registration details are available now. The full brochure – with all schedule, session titles, and description details – will be available soon.

For now, here’s a sampling of what we’ll talk about at “Water, Water Everywhere”:

Wednesday Tech Sessions:

  • Surf’s Up! Small Cell Tsunami
  • All Hands on Deck: Cybersecurity for County Governments
  • Anchor Your Local Economy with Biotech
  • Still Waters Run Deep: Dive Into Your Dark Data Potential

Wednesday Academy for Excellence in Local Governance Core Sessions:

Thursday Keynote:

  • When It Rains, It Pours: Crisis Communications for Counties

Thursday and Friday Affiliate Sessions:

(These workshops are hosted by MACo’s Affiliate Members – organizations of county professionals)

  • Batten Down the Hatches! Weathering a Water Crisis
  • Boxed Out? Criminal History Checks and County Employment
  • Calibrating the Compass: GIS in a Next Gen 9-1-1 World
  • Charting the Next Course for the Bay TMDL
  • Conduit Street LIVE! A Live Recording of MACo’s Podcast
  • Earth, Wind, Fire, WATER: Powering Your County’s Future
  • Getting Your Feet Wet: Big Benefits of Water Recreation
  • Good to the Last Drop: Keeping Your Water Clean
  • Green Is the New Black
  • Handle with Care: Substance Exposed Newborns
  • Like a Bridge Over Troubled Water: Know Your Water Law
  • MACo Book Club: “Trying Hard Is Not Good Enough”
  • Navigating Murky Waters: Predicting Unpredictable Revenue Streams
  • Putting Our Best Food Forward: A Sea of Possibilities
  • Rising Tides of Rural Health Care
  • Smart Growth Next: How Do We Grow From Here?
  • Surviving the Stormwater Surge: MS4 Permit Update
  • Turn the Tide with Demographics: 2020 Census and the Senior Boom
  • X Marks the Spot: A Treasure Trove of Stormwater Solutions

Friday General Sessions:

  • Clear Water: The State of the Bay
  • The Wealth in Our Water
  • Ready, Set, GROW! Procurement Connections Workshop

Saturday General Sessions:

  • Active Shooter Response Training
  • Angling for Educational Excellence: Kirwan 2.0
  • Gubernatorial Candidates Forum

MACo’s Summer Conference features many other activities and events you won’t want to miss!

Co-hosted by the Maryland Tech Council, this one-day event features an exhibit show of 60 technology vendors demonstrating tech products and services. Three educational sessions bring a “deep dive” aspect to technology topics and challenges facing all county governments.

250 booths will house commercial, state, federal, and nonprofit organizations looking to partner with YOU! From healthcare to communications, sports lighting to supplemental insurance, pest control to retirement solutions…and everything in between!…MACo’s exhibit hall has something for everyone on your team.

MACo’s Summer Conference brings you many opportunities to interact with other decision-makers from all levels of government and the private sector. Thursday’s Taste of Maryland Reception highlights food and beverages produced locally in our counties – 800+ people attend to enjoy tasting samples and learn more about our counties’ tourism and economic development initiatives. MACo’s Governor’s Cabinet Reception gives attendees the chance to connect with the Governor, Lt. Governor, and State Secretaries in a casual environment. The Crab Feast – always a highlight! – provides a fun atmosphere with all-you-can-eat MARYLAND blue crabs and picnic fare, our official Crab Feast Band (The Klassix), and Lollipop the Clown.

During an election year, MACo hosts a forum to give our members the chance to ask county-specific questions of the two top candidates for Governor. We’ll ask for your input – don’t miss this opportunity to ask the questions you need answered before election day!

Heard enough? Register online today!

Learn more about MACo’s Summer Conference:


New Look, Same Great Info – Check Out MACo’s New Website!

Full Website Preview.JPGMACo’s website,, has always been a great source of information for all things county government. A recent update to the design has made it easier to navigate and more mobile-friendly.

The new site features a fresh layout spotlighting information our site users access most often. Conference info, the Conduit Street blog, contact info, and the legislative tracking database are all front-and-center on the homepage. There’s also a scrolling preview window of our blog postings and highlights of information we’re sure you don’t want to miss! Our Corporate Partners’ logos are scrolling at the bottom the screen – click any logo to learn more about how our partners can help you.

Here are a few pages you’ll want to be sure to check out:

A few pages you might not know we have:

Check out the new website and see how easy it is to access all the county info and MACo updates you need!

Questions or suggestions? Please email Nicolette.

The entire staff contributed to this project, but a big THANK YOU goes to our Outreach Coordinator, Nicolette Querry, for her outstanding talent and hard work in coordinating this redesign!

This Is How You Dramatically Reduce Your Risk of a Cyber Attack

CIS.pngDue to the vast amount of valuable private data stored in their systems, government organizations are often prime targets for cyber attacks. Recent targets included the City of Atlanta, Colorado Department of Transportation, and more locally Baltimore’s 9-1-1 dispatch system.

We often picture most data breaches resulting from cunning hackers breaking into systems with their technical skills or brute force. Most attackers prey on your employees by trying to trick them into leaving system doors open or opening malicious links at work. Numerous studies have proven that a lack of security awareness is a leading cybersecurity threat, especially in government, including:

  • The Ponemon Institute’s State of Cybersecurity in Local, State, & Federal Government, which reported that 44% of IT professionals at federal organizations and 40% of IT professionals at state and local organizations listed naive insiders as their primary security threat.
  • Verizon’s 2016 Data Breach Investigations Report, which found that two-thirds of public sector security incidents were caused by human error or inappropriate account privilege use.
  • According to Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, 640 data breaches were reported by government organizations between 2007 and 2017, resulting in over 191 million compromised records. 54% (415) of those breaches and 60% (120 million) of those compromised records were the result of human error.

With the vast number of data breaches being traced back to mistakes or carelessness, it’s clear that providing security awareness training can be one of the most reliable methods to protect your data.

The good news is – with employee education and strong cyber policies, you can reduce your risk dramatically.

By increasing your employees’ awareness of likely threats, teaching them how to identify them, and providing them with the skills to avoid or combat them, your organization can thwart some of the most common and prevalent cybersecurity threats in existence today.

Implementing a comprehensive security awareness program is a relatively simple and efficient method to drastically improve the safety of your sensitive information. To successfully protect your organization, a thorough and complete employee security awareness program must meet certain criteria:

  • Comprehensive – curriculum should cover all of the cybersecurity issues your staff is likely to face
  • Specific – regulations and compliance issues unique to your industry, such as HIPAA or PCI, should be covered appropriately
  • Understandable – lessons should take complicated topics and communicate them to your non-technical staff in a meaningful manner
  • Motivating – employees should feel encouraged to change the
  • Adaptable – new topics and issues that arise should be easily integrated into your program

While training programs developed in-house can be effective solutions, for many government organizations, this is just not a realistic option. Whether it’s due to lack of resources, staff, time, or experience in teaching others, many public organizations are unable to develop an effective awareness program on their own.

MACo members have a great resource available to them to help address this and other cybersecurity related issues: the Center for Internet Security (CIS). Through MACo’s partnership with CIS, members have access to a number of cost-effective resources to improve their employees’ security awareness, including industry-leading training programs from the SANS Institute, as well as social engineering and phishing exercises, and expert-led training seminars.

Learn more about CIS benefits for MACo members.

Or contact MACo Member Services Director, Virginia White, for more info.

Still Need Open Meetings Act Training? Clear Your Calendar for April 12

OMA TrainingThe Academy for Excellence in Local Governance announces an additional session for their Open Meetings Act training, which meets the State of MD training requirements.

During the 2017 Session, the Maryland General Assembly passed and Governor Larry Hogan signed into law new Open Meetings Act training requirements for public bodies (HB 880 / SB 450). Here are the five things you need to know to be in compliance.

This class provides an overview of Maryland’s Open Meetings Act law, which guides public officials in the requirements for providing public notice of the meetings that public bodies hold to conduct public business and for closing meetings when appropriate. The presenters focus on steps that local governments can take to comply with the law’s application to Maryland local government, discuss some of the cases and complaints that have come before the Open Meetings Compliance Board, and, if time permits, address questions from the audience.
This training is open to Maryland county and municipal officials and staff. REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED.

Academy logo

Registrants do not need to be Fellows in the Academy for Excellence in Local Governance. Fellows will receive Academy credit if they complete the on-site evaluation form. ALL attendees will receive a completion certificate in the mail if they complete the on-site evaluation form and include a mailing address.

Open Meetings Act Training Information:
April 12, 2018
7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Hyattsville Municipal Building, Multipurpose Room
4310 Gallatin Street, Hyattsville, MD 20781
$10 registration fee before March 31
$15 registration after March 31
More Info

To register, contact Aisha Washington with the School of Public Policy at 301.314.2641 or

Everything You Need to Know About Submitting a Proposal for #MACoCon

MACo’s Summer Conference, “Water, Water Everywhere,” will be held at the Ocean City Convention Center on August 15-18, 2018. Topic proposals will be accepted through April 13, 2018.

SC18 Brochure Cover - finalMACo’s 2018 Summer Conference will focus on all the ways counties work with 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.

Review the Call for Proposals – deadline is April 13, 2018.



For your topic or session to be considered, please send the following information by email ( no later than April 13, 2018:

  • Topic and/or draft title
  • Brief abstract of information to be covered (MAXIMUM: 200 words)
  • Suggested speakers (individual names or generic titles, eg: county finance officer, Delegate, etc.)
  • Contact information for follow-up



MACo’s educational sessions are typically 1 hour in length and focus on issues of interest to county government officials and staff. A proposed session does not need to fit the conference theme, but it is strongly encouraged.

To ensure that we present a balanced presentation with varying viewpoints, MACo’s conference sessions will normally include 3, possibly 4, speakers; for example: a county representative, an academic representative, a state agency representative, and/or a commercial representative. We normally invite legislators to moderate the panels.

MACo’s conference planning group is very open to other formats. However, please keep in mind that if your topic is accepted, that is not a guarantee that it will be presented as submitted. MACo may need to add or substitute speakers to achieve our desired level of viewpoint diversity or adjust content to be broader or narrower, as appropriate for our audience. If your topic is selected, a MACo staff person will be assigned to coordinate that session and invite speakers.

We do not allow presentations that strive to sell a particular product or service as part of our educational session program. If a commercial representative is included on a panel, they are included as an industry expert and are asked to speak broadly about industry best practices with only minimal focus on their particular commercial entity and only as it relates to the topic or project being discussed.

If you represent a commercial organization and would like an opportunity to talk specifically about your product or service, we offer a special Solutions Showcase of 30-minute sessions on a topic of the sponsor’s choice. Contact Nicolette Querry at 410.269.0043 or for more details.



MACo’s conference planning group meets at the end of April and makes decisions on a final slate of presentations in early- or mid-May. You will receive an email confirmation that your proposal was received right away, but notification of topic acceptance will not be until mid-May.

Please contact Virginia White if you have any questions: 410-269-0043 or


Learn more about MACo’s Summer Conference:

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!

SC18 Brochure Cover - final

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.