4 Rs for MACoCon Participants

1. Renew your view of Maryland – County Exhibits are UPSTAIRS in Bayfront MACO-DAY2-SUMMERCONFERENCE2016-GLG189Hall
Be sure to visit our county exhibitors in the Bayfront Hall on the second floor of the Convention Center. Continental breakfast for attendees and the Taste of Maryland Reception are ONLY available in Bayfront Hall! You can also enjoy lunch and our Thursday Ice Cream Break with the county exhibitors on the second floor or with the commercial and state exhibitors on the first floor.

2. Reserve your discounted hotel room
MACo works with many hotels in Ocean City to offer blocks of discounted hotel rooms during our Summer Conference. Rates are only available to conference participants. Book soon – some of our blocks are already full and many have upcoming expiration dates!

3. Register for the Golf Tournament
MACo Summer Conference attendees, exhibitors, and sponsors are eligible to participate in our Golf Tournament on Wednesday, August 15, at the Ocean City Golf Club. Create your own foursome or let MACo assign you to a foursome – it’s a great opportunity to meet new people or reconnect with old friends, all of whom are involved in local government in one way or another! Register for the Golf Tournament or contact Nicolette Querry for more details.

4. Recreation for the whole family – MACo Kids’ Party
MACo Kids’ Party, sponsored by Musco Sports Lighting, will be held on Thursday. The Taste of Maryland Reception is for adults aged 21 and over, so MACo is holding a Kids’ Party at the same time! Childcare and entertainment will be provided by the Ocean City Department of Parks & Recreation. There will be games, crafts, and snacks for the children to enjoy while their parents enjoy the Reception. Children must be registered for the Kids’ Party in advance. View the registration policies and fill out the form here.

Learn more about MACo’s Summer Conference:



#MACoCon Academy Electives Focus on Tech, TMDLs, Tides, And More

academylogoCounty Fellows of the Academy for Excellence in Local Governance are required to complete 8 Core Courses and 6 Elective Credits – MACo announces 4 Electives to be held at the 2018 Summer Conference.

Core Courses to be offered: Conducting Effective Meetings and County Financial Management.

Academy Fellows with questions about their transcripts should contact registrar Aisha Washington at awashin1@umd.edu or (301) 314-2641.

Any conference registrant may attend these courses. Academy Fellows will need to attend and fill out a form to receive credit for the course.

Tech Expo Deep Dive Session: Surf’s Up! Small Cell Tsunami

The hanging of small cells on new and existing poles affects a range of issues, including business development, rural connectivity, and health concerns. Several counties have already dipped a toe in the water, negotiating directly with providers on zoning and licensing. Hear about 5G technology and what it could mean for Maryland, learn more about the necessary county role, and see a small cell up close at this educational session.


  • LaTara Harris, Regional Director of External Affairs, AT&T
  • Victor K. Tervala, Chief Solicitor, Legal Advice & Opinions, Baltimore City Department of Law

Moderator: The Honorable Johnny Mautz, Maryland House of Delegates

Date/Time: Wednesday, August 15, 2018; 11:00 am – noon   

Tech Expo Deep Dive Session: All Hands on Deck: Cybersecurity for County Governments

County government networks possess a wealth of valuable personal information, including Social Security numbers, tax ID numbers, health information, and other sensitive data. This makes county government employees at every level potential targets for online pirates looking to steal sensitive information. Even well-meaning and internet-savvy employees may fall prey to inappropriate release of data…with multiple consequences. Learn from Maryland’s leading cybersecurity firms how counties can work together to keep fast all data, including personal information.


  • Ryan Spelman, MPA GSLC GCCC, Senior Director, Business Development, Center for Internet Security
  • Catherine Kelly, Legislative Officer, Maryland Military Department
  • Ilan Barda, CEO, Radiflow

Moderator: The Honorable Edward Reilly, Maryland State Senate

Date/Time: Wednesday, August 15, 2018; 12:45 pm – 1:45 pm

Handle with Care: Substance Exposed Newborns

One unfortunate consequence of the opioid crisis is the dramatic rise in substance exposed newborns (SEN). SEN are babies that test positive for a controlled drug or show symptoms of withdrawal from prenatal exposure. These children and their families can experience a variety of health and welfare problems that overburden county resources, resulting in a growing urgency to identify more effective and rapid interventions. In this session, learn more about recent federal and local action being taken to spur earlier intervention and care for substance abusing mothers and their substance exposed newborns.


  • Tiffany Rexrode, Assistant Director for Adult, Child, and Family Services, Washington County
  • Rebecca Jones-Gaston, Executive Director, Social Services Administration
  • Jennifer Thomas, Staff Development Nurse Special Care Nursery and Pediatrics at Upper Chesapeake Health
  • Bethany Fisher, SEN Specialist, Harford County

Moderator: The Honorable Eric Bromwell, Maryland House of Delegates

Date/Time: Thursday, August 16, 2018; 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Putting Our Best Food Forward: A Sea of Possibilities

Maryland counties purchase billions of dollars of food each year for hospitals, jails, schools, senior programs, cafeterias, and other county-owned or -operated facilities. Hear from panelists who have leveraged this purchasing power to promote food that aligns with their counties’ values of health, local economic vitality, and sustainability. Panelists will share concrete, cost-effective strategies to develop and implement food procurement practices that improve health outcomes for residents while supporting our state’s agriculture (and water!) system.


  • The Honorable Danielle Glaros, Council Chair, Prince George’s County
  • Chloe Waterman, Senior Food Campaigner, Friends of the Earth
  • Liz Marchetta, Director, Food and Nutrition Services, Baltimore City Public Schools

Moderator: The Honorable Sheree Sample-Hughes, Maryland House of Delegates

Date/Time: Thursday, August 16, 2018; 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm 

Charting the Next Course for the Bay TMDL

The journey of the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) is entering its third and final phase for reaching water pollution reduction goals for nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment by 2025. With a new Bay Model and new Watershed Implementation Plans (WIPs) come revised state loads and incorporation of issues, such as accounting for growth, climate change, and the Conowingo Dam. Panelists will discuss the current and future path of the Bay TMDL and how it will affect both Maryland and its counties.


  • Lee Currey, Water and Science Administration Director, Maryland Department of the Environment
  • Charles MacLeod, Attorney, MacLeoad Law Group, LLC and Representative, Clean Chesapeake Coalition
  • Kim Grove, Office of Compliance and Laboratories Chief, Baltimore City

Moderator: The Honorable James Mathias, Maryland State Senate

Date/Time: Friday, August 17, 2018; 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Rising Tides of Rural Health Care

Of Maryland’s 24 counties, 18 are considered rural and cover a population of over 1.6 million. These rural counties (and rural areas of urban counties) have unique challenges and vulnerable populations with needs that can be vastly different than those seen in their more urban counterparts. There are exciting, emerging opportunities to transform the framework for rural health care through new partnerships, innovative funding methods, and inventive means of delivering services. In this session, learn more about the future of rural health in Maryland.


  • Lara Wilson, Executive Director, Maryland Rural Health Association (MRHA)
  • Ciotola, Health Officer, Queen Anne’s County
  • Mark Luckner, Executive Director, Community Health Resource Commission
  • Simone Bratton, Chief, Division of Community Support Services, Medicaid, Maryland Department of Health (MDH)
  • Charlotte Davis, Executive Director, Rural Maryland Council

Moderator: The Honorable Mary Beth Carozza, Maryland House of Delegates

Date/Time: Friday, August 17, 2018; 2:15 pm – 3:15 pm

Angling for Educational Excellence: Kirwan 2.0

The [Kirwan] Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education was formed in 2016 to answer two questions: Should the state revise current education funding formulas? And what major new education policies must be enacted to put Maryland public schools on par with the best in the world? The Commission released preliminary policy recommendations earlier this year, and has recently sharpened its focus on education formulas – including the pattern and role of county funding. Spending formulas, systematic accountability, and resource equity are all hot topics. How will the Kirwan Commission’s recommendations affect county governments? This session focuses on education funding and accountability, and how to best ensure that Maryland students receive a fair, equitable, and high-quality education.


  • The Honorable Craig Rice, Council Member, Montgomery County
  • The Honorable William Valentine, Commissioner, Allegany County
  • William “Brit” Kirwan, Chair, Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education

Moderator: The Honorable Maggie McIntosh, Maryland House of Delegates

Date/Time: Saturday, August 18, 2018; 10:15 am – 11:15 am


Learn more about MACo’s Summer Conference:




Meetings & Money with #MACoCon Academy Core Courses

County Fellows of the Academy for Excellence in Local Governance are required to complete 8 Core Courses and 6 Elective Credits – MACo announces 2 Core Courses to be held at the 2018 Summer Conference.

7 Elective Courses will be offered at MACo’s Summer Conference. Academy logo

Academy Fellows with questions about their transcripts should contact registrar Aisha Washington at awashin1@umd.edu or (301) 314-2641.

Any conference registrant may attend these courses. Academy Fellows will need to attend and fill out a form to receive credit for the course.

Conducting Effective Meetings


Conducting public business requires managing the issues that come before a public body. Building an agenda, promoting useful discussion, and providing a structure for decision-making are key goals for an effective meeting and for effective public officials. The instructor also covers the proper use of organized rules of order – known as parliamentary procedure – which allow all voices to be heard but with debate that remains focused and civil.

Speaker: Jack A. Gullo, Jr., Attorney, Taneytown, Rising Sun & Poolesville; Jack A. Gullo, Jr. Law Office

Moderator: The Honorable MC Keegan-Ayer, Council Member, Frederick County

Date/Time: Wednesday, August 15, 2018; 1:15 pm – 3:15 pm

County Financial Management

A challenge faced by new and veteran county officials is understanding and using the government budget process, the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, and other financial documents effectively as tools for setting priorities and managing the government while maintaining the fiscal integrity of the jurisdiction. Fiscal management can be infused with economic assumptions, technical jargon, and a process that seems foreign to the uninitiated. In this class, a veteran public administrator discusses the budget process and financial reporting, as well as giving practical tips for county officials.

Speaker:  Ted Zaleski, Director of Management & Budget, Carroll County

Moderator: The Honorable Jack Wilson, Commissioner, Queen Anne’s County (R)

Date/Time: Wednesday, August 15, 2018; 3:30 pm – 5:00 pm

Learn more about MACo’s Summer Conference:


5 Reasons Not to Miss the #MACoCon Exhibit Halls

MACo’s Summer Conference Exhibit Halls are full of vendors wanting to make your work easier, more cost-effective, and more efficient. Here are some great reasons to make sure you visit the exhibit halls and see how these companies, state departments, and nonprofits can help you!

1. Make lasting partnerships MACo Summer Conference Exhibit Hall AB
Over 220 exhibiting companies are waiting to talk to you about their cost-saving products and services (Hall A/B) or about Maryland’s counties and their tourism and economic development industries (Bayfront Hall). Counties, commercial representatives, and other government participants can all benefit from meeting our exhibitors and discussing options to lower their costs and enhance their services.

2. Get a taste of everything “Maryland”
The Taste of Maryland Reception on Thursday, August 16, will feature tasting samples from local Maryland concessionaires – wineries, orchards, creameries, bakeries, AND MORE!

3. Visit Maryland in Miniature
Our Bayfront Hall hosts our Maryland county and economic development booths. Visit all parts of the state – from the mountains to the shore – all in one place!

4. Network over lunch
Lunch will be served in BOTH exhibit halls – grab a bite and meet potential business partners.

5. You know you need another tote bag…
We’ll give you a tote bag when you check in (sponsored by The Northeast MagLev!). Our exhibitors give away the best goodies – lots of handy items you can take home and remember them by…and The Northeast MagLev is giving you the bags to carry them!

Interested in exhibiting?
Our exhibit halls are sold out and our waitlist is full, but we have several sponsorship opportunities that can give you a visible presence, including promotional display tables at select conference events. Contact Nicolette Querry for more details.

OR, if you’re a technology company or have a digital solution or tool to showcase, consider exhibiting in our one-day-only Summer Conference Tech Expo! Review the details in the brochure or contact Leslie Velasco for more information.

Learn more about MACo’s Summer Conference:


6 Ways to Prepare for MACoCon Before July 6th!

1. MACO-DAY3-SUMMERCONFERENCE2016-GLG113Plan to attend the Tech Expo on Wednesday
Worth getting there early, we promise!

Lowest rates expire on July 13!

3. Book your Ocean City hotel room
HURRY! Many discounted rates expire mid-July!

4. Browse our Registration Brochure
Includes full schedule and session descriptions!

5. Plan your carpool or bus route
Parking spots fill up fast!

6. Register for these great additional events

  • Golf Tournament – Make new connections!
  • Book Club – Get a free copy of the book in advance and discuss it at the conference!
  • Kids’ Event – A fun party with childcare for the kids while adults enjoy the Taste of Maryland Reception!

Learn more about MACo’s Summer Conference:


Something for Everyone – Sign Up for These #MACoCon Extras Today

MACo’s Summer Conference is almost here! Join 2,500+ individuals on August 15-18, 2018, for 4 days of education and partnership opportunities!

Guests enjoying tasting samples from across the state at
MACo’s 2016 Taste of Maryland Reception

In addition to more than 30 educational sessions, 250 exhibit booths, and a 50-booth Tech Expo, the conference offers several casual networking opportunities and fun events to help attendees recharge and connect in a more informal way.

These events are only open to registered attendees, exhibitors, and sponsors. Additional registration is required, so don’t forget to sign up for these great extras:

Golf Tournament
MACo’s annual golf tournament will be held on Wednesday, August 15, and starts at 9:00 am. Bring your own foursome or let us assign you to one – this is a great chance to make new connections or strengthen current relationships. Register today!

Book Club
Get a free copy of MACo’s Book Club book: “Trying Hard is Not Good Enough” by Mark Friedman. Participate in the Book Club discussion at the conference on Thursday, August 16, at 3:30 pm and come away with common sense tips to effect change. Contact Nicolette Querry to sign up.

Kids’ Party
Sponsored by Musco Sports Lighting, this party on Thursday, August 16, from 4:30 pm – 6:30 pm provides childcare, fun, and dinner for the children of those participants attending our Taste of Maryland Reception. The reception is a 21+ event. Policies for attendance are available on the registration form. Contact vwhite@mdcounties.org with any questions.

Learn more about MACo’s Summer Conference:


MACoCon Book Club: Get Your FREE Copy of “Trying Hard is Not Good Enough”

Back by popular demand, MACo is excited to continue our Book Club at the 2018 Summer Conference.

Trying-Hard-Is-Not-Good-Enough-Book-CoverThis interactive session will provide participants the opportunity to read a governance-focused book before the conference and discuss it with fellow readers at the conference. A facilitator will help guide participants in analyzing the book and sharing experiences, reactions, and insights.

For the 2018 Summer Conference, participants will read “Trying Hard Is Not Good Enough: How to Produce Measurable Improvements for Customers and Communities” by Mark Friedman.

This acclaimed book by author and Results-Based Accountability (RBA) leader Mark Friedman presents a set of methods that can be used to improve the quality of life in communities, cities, counties, states, and nations. It includes everything from the well-being of children to the creation of a sustainable environment.

Learn about a framework that will help you get from talk to action quickly. Make a real, tangible difference, don’t just try hard and hope for the best. Mark’s methods have been used in over 40 states and seven countries outside the U.S.

Participants will come away from this session with practical methods for taking action that are simple and common sense, use plain language, produce minimum paper, and are actually useful to managers, community leaders, and decision-makers.

This session is scheduled for Thursday, August 16, 2018, from 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm. You must be registered for the conference to attend, so please REGISTER TODAY.

Participants may contact Nicolette Querry to sign up for the book club session and obtain their FREE copy of the book in advance.

Reviews from GoodReads.com and Amazon.com:

  • This is probably the most pragmatic book I have ever read. The principles, tools and concepts are applicable and understandable at every level in an organization. We apply this in the public health, human services and public administration fields. It helps to avoid blaming, turf issues and gives permission for groups to work together….


  • This is a short, easy to read book that gets right to the heart of performance measures in government agencies. A absolute “must read” book for anyone working in the public service.”


  • “For anyone committed to large scale change, either in the public or private sectors, this book is a must read. The straight-forward language and practical examples ease the reader into a provocative discussion of what’s wrong with many complex initiatives, and better yet, provide a clear road map for how to get better. Highly recommended.”

Interested in sponsoring the Book Club and giving welcoming remarks to the participants? Contact Nicolette Querry for details.

Learn more about MACo’s Summer Conference:

Stay Tuned – MACo’s Your Source for County Election Coverage & Results

Primary elections in Maryland are set for June 26. With early voting numbers already up 53% since 2014, there are sure to be several close elections to cover – MACo will have all the news you need on the county results!

What can you expect from MACo for election coverage?

  • Unbiased, non-partisan coverage of all county, state, and gubernatorial election results
  • County-by-county breakdowns of the Council, Board of Commissioners, and County Executive results
  • Coverage of county elected officials moving to state positions (and vice versa)
  • Podcast episodes discussing interesting and unusual elections and the races to watch
  • Results of any hot topic voter proposals, like changing forms of county government
  • Turnover calculations and an overview sketch of what the county government landscape looks like post-election
  • Announcements of swearing-in ceremonies and transition team appointments

Stay tuned to MACo’s blog and our Conduit Street podcast for unbiased, non-partisan election news, details, and insider tips on what it all means for county government.

Anne Arundel County Delegate Ted Sophocleus Passes Away at 79

Delegate Ted Sophocleus of Anne Arundel County died on Friday, June 8, in Baltimore.

AACo Delegate Ted Sophocleus spent 35 years in public service (Photo courtesy of MD General Assembly website)

At the age of 79, Delegate Sophocleus spent nearly half his life in public service. He began his 35-year career as an elected official on the Anne Arundel County Council in 1982, where he served two terms. He was appointed to the House of Delegates by then Governor William Donald Schaefer in 1993, and was elected to his own seat in 1998. Delegate Sophocleus served on the Appropriations Committee and was vice chair of the Health and Social Services Subcommittee. He served as Anne Arundel County delegation chair in 2018, even though his health was declining.

Before becoming one of the longest-serving public officials in Anne Arundel County history, the Delegate was a practicing pharmacist and a store manager for an independent pharmacy. He brought this small-business experience with him to the Appropriations Committee, which oversees taxes and fees. As a delegate, he was also a frequent advocate for the needs of teachers, police, and hospitals.

Delegate Sophocleus was revered and respected by all who had the opportunity to work with him:


The family will receive visitors at Singleton Funeral & Cremation Services, P.A., 1 2nd Ave. SW (at Crain Hwy) on Wednesday, June 13, from 4 pm – 8 pm and Thursday, June 14, from 2 pm – 4 pm and 7 pm – 9 pm, a Trisagion Service will be held at 7:30 pm. Delegate Sophocleus will Lie-in-State at the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Annunciation, 24 W. Preston St., Baltimore, MD 21201, on Friday from 10:30 am – 11 am, at which time the funeral service will begin. Interment will be at the Greek Orthodox Cemetery in Woodlawn.

Memorial donations can be made to Opportunity Builders Inc. (OBI), 8855 Veterans Hwy., Millersville, MD 21108.

This Program is Helping Counties & Public Orgs Save $150M Annually. No Costs, No Fees.

MACo participates in the National Association of Counties (NACo) U.S. Communities Government Purchasing Alliance. Through MACo and NACo, Maryland counties can save millions of dollars on common purchases.

What Is It?

  • The leading national government purchasing cooperative
  • Founded and sponsored by NACo

What Does It Do?

  • Aggregates the purchasing power of public agencies nationwide
  • Reduces the cost of goods and services
  • Provides participants with access to a broad line of competitively solicited contracts with national suppliers that have committed to providing their lowest overall public agency pricing

Each month, more than 500 new public agencies register to participate. This continuing rapid growth is fueled by the program’s proven track record of providing public agencies unparalleled value and the best government pricing available.

What Does It Offer?

  • No User Fees – no costs or fees to participate.
  • Best Overall Supplier Government Pricing – by combining the potential cooperative purchasing power of more than 90,000 public agencies, you are able to access the best overall supplier government pricing.
  • Quality Brands – thousands of the best brands in a wide variety of categories, services and solutions.
  • Integrity and Experience – unlike other government cooperative purchasing organizations, U.S. Communities national government purchasing cooperative is founded by 4 national sponsors and over 90 state, city and regional organizations.
  • Oversight by Public Purchasing Professionals – third party audits on contracts ensure that program pricing commitments are met, with benchmark analyses against other suppliers and retailers to guarantee participants the best overall value.

What Kinds of Products and Services Are Available?

All contracts have been competitively solicited, evaluated, and awarded by an impartial lead public agency in accordance with their public purchasing rules and regulations. Applying these competitive principles satisfies the competitive bid requirements of most state and local government agencies.

What’s the Bottom-line?

  • Save time, save money, and save staff resources while still purchasing quality products and services!


For general information, visit www.uscommunities.org.

For more information on how the program works, along with answers to FAQs from procurement officers, visit the US Communities FAQs page.

Or, use the quick links below to jump to pages on:

Contact MACo Member Services Director, Virginia White, for more information.