MACo Talks Initiatives, Solar Siting, & Recycling With E&T Committee

MACo Legal and Policy Counsel Les Knapp briefed the House Environment and Transportation Committee on MACo and its legislative initiatives, county demographics and responsibilities, solar siting, and recycling challenges. Knapp provided this update on January 22, 2019. Maryland Counties Knapp discussed the diverse needs and demographics of Maryland's counties and urged that "one size does not fit all." Knapp also described the broad range of services counties provide (many either mandated or governed under state…

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2019 Legislative Handbook Series – An Indispensable Reference

The Department of Legislative Services has released its quadrennial Legislative Handbook Series, a deep and useful reference series that encapsulates nearly every issue of government at the state and local level. The series may be downloaded or viewed online for free at the links below: Legislative Handbook Series: Vol 1 – Legislators Handbook Vol 2 – Government Services Vol 3 – Revenue Structure Vol 4 – Budget Process Vol 5 – Personnel, Pensions & Procurement…

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Nominate County Leadership for the Navigator Awards

Route Fifty is accepting nominations for county leaders who "demonstrate their ability to implement a great idea that improves public sector services and the communities they serve." Nominations for the 2018 Navigator Awards are due by July 11. The publication will select fifty finalists and 10 winners from five categories: Elected leaders who are driving change in their communities, inspiring others and "getting things done in the process." High-level administrators, and department and agency leaders who "have…

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Hard to Count the Amount of Data in this Local Government Report

The annual Overview of Maryland Local Governments, prepared by the Department of Legislative Services for the General Assembly, also contains a wealth of information for Maryland counties. The Overview of Maryland Local Governments, Finances and Demographic Information is released in January of each year, but the information can provide a helpful reference throughout the following year, too. As Research Director of the Maryland Association of Counties, the Overview is the external source that I reference most frequently in response…

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Feel the Power of Maryland’s Startup Engine

Startup Maryland invites county governments to the STRT1UP Showcase in Annapolis on March 14. The event will feature finalist pitches from Maryland entrepreneurs and a discussion of early stage investing. Startup Maryland tours Maryland counties and Baltimore City energizing the entrepreneurial community and creating a network of new business leaders. Startup Maryland joined MACo's Summer Conference in 2017 and staged a pitch event on the Conference's main stage. Next week in Annapolis Startup Maryland is…

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Women of MACo Shine Light on Each Other’s Stories

  At this year's Women of MACo Lunch, Maryland's female county elected officials joined in round table discussions about their careers, and recent challenges and breakthroughs they have experienced. County Executive Jan Gardner kicked-off the event with a short keynote about her political career. Gardner is the First Frederick County Executive. Before winning that historic election, she served for 12 years as a Frederick County Commissioner, including as President of the Board of County Commissioners…

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Montgomery Department of Liquor Control Wins National Award

The Montgomery County Department of Liquor Control (DLC) has received the 2017 National StateWays Best Practices Award for its Legislative Outreach Program. The award specifically recognizes the DLC for its efforts in reaching out to local and state leaders at last year’s Maryland Alcohol Forum. According to a press release, “We are very excited to have won this national award,” said Robert Dorfman, director of the DLC. “We are a national model for public safety and…

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MACo Exploring County Workers’ Comp Pool

The Maryland Association of Counties speaks with entities interested in performing a feasibility of a county self-insurance group. Additional workers' compensation insurance options, including a county government self-funded workers' compensation group, could provide alternatives to Maryland counties that purchase insurance and re-insurance on the open market. MACo is exploring the viability of creating such a group through a feasibility study RFP process. For more information, click here for the Feasibility Study Request for Proposals or contact Robin…

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Double Tax Amendment Fails, Maryland Checkbooks, Counties Could Take Hit

Maryland's recently elected U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen is leading the charge to protect a tax deduction popular in Maryland. So far, efforts have failed to preserve the state and local tax deduction, however. The National Association of Counties urges Counties to advocate to preserve the state and local tax deduction (SALT) to protect against double taxation. NACo portrays eliminating the exemption a shift of revenues from local and state governments. The Honorable Roy Charles Brooks,…

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Calvert County Creates Two New Departments in Government Organization Restructure

The Board of County Commissioners in Calvert County recently announced that it will restructure the government organization to improve overall government operations and services to the public. The plan will create two new departments: Parks & Recreation and Communications and Media Relations. The plan does not call for staff reductions. Changes in the county’s organizational structure will take effect July 1, 2017. According to the county press release, The BOCC reviewed and approved the proposed…

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