Sound the Siren: Support Maryland’s Volunteer Fire Companies

Do you have any idea how unsustainable the costs of fire protection would become without Maryland's volunteers? Learn more about this critical resource and how new recruitment tactics, retention benefits, and long-range planning will help support and strengthen Maryland's volunteer fire companies. Back-to-back conference sessions on Maryland's volunteer fire service offer insight into this critical public safety partnership. Volunteer fire companies are a part of the national fabric and are at the heart of many…

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Ignoring Your Volunteer Firefighter Shortage Doesn’t Make It Go Away

Across the country, volunteer fire companies are experiencing a critical lack of volunteers to staff calls for service and Maryland is no different. Confronting the crisis requires learning new recruitment and retention practices, and making long-term plans that ensure resiliency. The number of volunteer firefighters has been declining in recent years. According to a 2017 report of the National Fire Protection Association, This past year the number of volunteer firefighters decreased to the lowest estimate…

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Howard Council Approves County Executive Ball’s Request for School System Audit

The Howard County Council this week voted unanimously to approve an amended version of County Executive Calvin Ball’s resolution calling for a state audit of the Howard County Public School System (HCPSS). Council Resolution 108-2019 calls on the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) to contract for a county-funded audit of HCPSS. The cost of the audit will be capped at $250,000. Ball’s original resolution called on MSDE to contract for a broad performance audit…

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Your School Portfolio Will Never Outperform Mine

A webinar offered by the Maryland Public School Construction Program on managing a school portfolio is open to the public, including county and school officials interested in learning best practices in facility management. The Public School Construction Program is offering a series of four (4) webinars as part of their support of the State's workgroup on school facility funding. The General Assembly envisioned the workgroup as part of the 21st Century School Facilities Act, passed…

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Funding Formula for Senior Nutrition Shifts Dollars from Some Counties

The Eastern Shore's provider of Meals on Wheels and other nutrition programs for seniors received less than half of the funding it has been receiving from the State this year.  A change to formulas for state funding of nutrition programs for area agencies on aging made in 2016 is now in effect. The change, intended to reflect shifts in the population, moves substantial funding from Dorchester, Somerset, Wicomico and Worcester counties, via a reduction to…

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School Funding Workgroup Sharpens Focus on Wealth Formulas

The Funding Formula Workgroup of the [Kirwan] Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education today met for the second time in Annapolis. The thirteen-member panel is charged with working through what is perhaps the most challenging portion of The Blueprint for Maryland’s Future—a ten-year plan to make Maryland schools more competitive both nationally and globally—the development of a plan to finance, realign, and apportion the costs of these ambitious, but expensive, goals. Specifically, the Workgroup will make recommendations…

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Beneath the Surface – How GPR Can Help Analyze Your Infrastructure

Maryland Environmental Service will host a session on the ground penetrating radar and how it can positively impact county budgets at MACo’s Summer Conference as part of MACo’s Solutions Showcase. MACo’s 2019 Summer Conference, “Winds of Change,” will take place on August 14-17 at the Roland Powell Convention Center in Ocean City, MD. Nearly 3,000 individuals from across Maryland will gather to discuss advancements and changes being seen at all levels of government, from cybersecurity…

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Summer Reader? Grab a MACo Classic from the Archives.

In addition to weekly updates on happenings in Maryland's counties and an ever-shifting set of policy areas, during the break from the legislative session, MACo's blog regularly features several deep-dive research series on topics of perennial importance to county governments.  Over the years, the contributors to MACo's blog have assembled the following series. Whether you are catching up on your reading this summer, or simply need something to help you fall asleep at night, you…

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Anne Arundel Names New Budget Officer

Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman today announced that Jim Beauchamp will be the new budget officer, starting on July 22. Mr. Beauchamp will succeed Assistant Budget Officer Jessica Leys, who was appointed acting budget officer on January 1, after long-time county budget officer John Hammond retired on December 31. “Jim Beauchamp has the knowledge, skills, and expertise to lead our talented budget team into the future,” said County Executive Pittman. “He is everything we…

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