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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The County Program: Local Duties, Local Powers

State preemption of local laws, in particular those laws seeking to advance health, environment, and community preservation aims, is a national issue. This article is the first in a series exploring local government powers, their preemption, and implications for Maryland. What Makes Maryland #Countystrong? As compared with other states in the US, Maryland’s county governments have a relatively large role in the delivery of public services. This is in part because Maryland, unlike other states,…

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Nominate County Leadership for the Navigator Awards

The Route Fifty Navigator Awards honor individuals and teams turning great ideas into reality in state and local government. In 2019, the digital news publication is once again naming 50 finalists for their demonstrated abilities to implement great ideas that improve public sector services and the communities they serve. 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…

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Young Formally Assumes Mayor Role Following Pugh Resignation

Bernard "Jack" Young has formally taken the reins as Baltimore Mayor, following Catherine Pugh's official resignation after a weeks-long leave of absence. New Baltimore Mayor Bernard "Jack" Young set a note of optimism as he formally assumed the role, upon Catherine Pugh's May 2 resignation. Young, elected city-wide to serve as Council President, became Mayor under the provisions of the City charter. He extended thanks for "your faith in me" and offered a positive note…

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Census Catalogs Density of Local Governments (Maryland’s Very Lean!)

US Census data, recently updated, compares the levels of local government across America - Maryland is, as always, more consolidated than most states. The Census recently updated 2017 data on local governance across the country. Its latest report is available online: Individual State Descriptions: 2017 Census of Governments the Maryland data begins on page 136 of the full report. From their Maryland summary: For complete information from 2017 and earlier, visit the USE Census Bureau…

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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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