Can a Governing Body’s Conflicts Be… Constructive?

A recent study on local governments looked at conflict among elected officials - and found, perhaps surprisingly, that certain "healthy" policy or priority conflicts may actually add to the effectiveness of a governing body. An academic study on public governing bodies (in Illinois) indicates that conflict among members of decision-making bodies can actually be healthy - but the nature of the conflict matters in this respect. Coverage on Route Fifty, a website with news about…

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Chesapeake Employers’ Insurance to Hold Several Free Trainings this Fall

MACo's Gold Corporate Partner Chesapeake Employers' Insurance Company, is hosting several important free employer and employee trainings over the next few weeks. Thursday, Oct. 31, 2019, 8:30 am to 1 pm, Frederick Clarion Inn 2019 Workers' Compensation Seminar Learn how Chesapeake Employers' specialists work with you to help control premium costs. These will be free, half-day seminars for policyholders, employers, and agents. Presentation topics include: Update on Maryland Employment Laws, including Medical Marijuana Drug Testing Safety…

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Two New Delegates for Baltimore County

Baltimore County Democrats Carl Jackson and Catherine Forbes will join the Maryland House of Delegates soon, replacing Del. Eric Bromwell (District 8) and Del. Stephen Lafferty (District 42A) respectively. Both Bromwell and Lafferty resigned in August, taking high-level positions in the Baltimore County government. From Maryland Matters: When Baltimore County Democrats Carl Jackson and Catherine Forbes join the House of Delegates in the next several days, assuming Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. (R) follows tradition…

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Being Safe and Secure in the Workplace

Join HR Daily on October 8 for a webinar on work-place safety and security, "Why a Good Emergency Action Plan Should Include More Than Natural Disasters!" James Davis, Editor of HR Daily, on the webinar: While it is never pleasant to think about worst-case scenarios, it is vastly important to have an Emergency Action Plan (EAP) in place. Because employee safety is such a high priority, one must have a plan in place that explains…

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Commissioner Wilson Tapped to Serve on Education Commission

Queen Anne's County Commissioner Jack Wilson has been appointed to serve as MACo's representative on the State's Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education. His appointment would replace former member Bill Valentine, who no longer serves as an Allegany County Commissioner. Commissioner Wilson is vice-chair of MACo’s Education Subcommittee, and chairs MACo’s Rural Counties Coalition. He has served as a productive member of MACo’s Legislative Committee, and Board of Directors. We are confident that Commissioner…

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Preemption Part 2: A Path out of the Morass

Research shows that implied preemption of local laws by state courts creates unpredictable results throughout the country. But there is one state where a clarifying constitutional amendment removes uncertainty. A report developed for MACo by a candidate for a Master's degree in Public Policy at the University of Maryland details the history of preemption and its types while identifying ways that Maryland might end this unpredictable court doctrine. Case Laws Lay on Boggy Ground  When…

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Council President Scott Unveils “Tracker” For Policy Proposals

Baltimore City Council President Brandon Scott unveiled a user-friendly progress tracking tool to allow residents and stakeholders to monitor the progress of numerous recent procedural and accountability proposals. Council President Brandon Scott has advanced a series of proposals to promote transparency and responsiveness in City government and Council business, and today has unveiled a one-stop "tracker" to help residents monitor the progress of each component of the plan. The tracker, hosted online as a shared…

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County Support for the ‘Firehouse Family’

A session at MACo's Summer Conference explores the best methods for county governments to recruit and retain volunteers for fire companies which have seen dwindling numbers in recent years. Carroll County Commissioner Steve Wantz, Maryland State Firemen's Association Executive Director Kate Tomanelli, and Queen Anne's County Fire & EMS Commission representative Tracey Johnston served as panelists in the MACo Summer Conference Session, Stoke the Fire: Volunteer Recruitment and Retention. Delegate Mike McKay of the House…

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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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Carroll to Brief Community on Code, Commissioner, and Charter Forms of Local Government

The Carroll County Board of Commissioners (BOC) will host a forum to inform county residents on the three types of local government in Maryland. The panel will be held Tuesday, June 11, 2019; at 7:00 PM in Room K100 at Carroll Community College. In January 2019, the commissioners chose to investigate and learn about code home rule and charter forms of government (Carroll currently operates under a commission form of government). This educational forum marks…

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