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.cup-1010916_1920

The publication will select fifty finalists and 10 winners from five categories:

MSDE Awards $26.5M in Pre-K Expansion Grants

The Maryland State Department of Education’s Division of Early Childhood recently awarded 53 grants to expand high-quality prekindergarten programs across the state. All nineteen school systems that applied for the expansion grants received funding for at least one additional pre-k classroom.

According to a press release:

The approximately $26 million in grant awards will provide four-year-old children from low-income families access to full-day prekindergarten in school year 2018-2019.

Systems receiving funds are:

Allegany County – $73,440

Baltimore City – $1,175,040

Baltimore County – $660,960

Carroll County – $146,880

Caroline County – $1,332,936

Charles County – $119,880

Dorchester – $844,560

Frederick County – $293,760

Garrett County – $146,880

Harford County – $859,248

Montgomery County – $1,175,040

Prince Georges County – $1,957,176

Queen Anne’s County – $440,640

Somerset County – $220,320

St. Mary’s County – $293,760

Talbot County – $271,728

Washington County – $1,248,480

Wicomico County – $1,674,747

For the past three years these funds have allowed school systems and early childhood programs to increase the length of the day from a half day to a full day, fund highly qualified and certified Early Childhood teachers in each classroom, and serve more vulnerable children who otherwise would not have access to the early education they need for success in school. Maryland’s statewide plan expands high-quality prekindergarten, provides intensive technical assistance, and ensures comprehensive services are accessible in many high-need communities.

These grants have been awarded since 2015 using funds provided to Maryland through the federal Preschool Development Grant – Expansion Grant program and matching state funds made possible through the passage of the Prekindergarten Expansion Act of 2014 (Senate Bill 332).

A total of $88,216,000 will have been provided through this program over the four years of the grant.

Read the full press release for more information.

Queen Anne’s, Talbot Go Purple to Fight Opioid Abuse

The Queen Anne’s County Drug-Free Coalition, in partnership with the Queen Anne’s County Commissioners, the Queen Anne’s County Sheriff’s Office, and other stakeholders is launching a new campaign to prevent opioid abuse. “QAC Goes Purple” is a substance abuse awareness program that will engage the community and youth to stand against substance abuse.

“Talbot Goes Purple” is an initiative from Talbot County Sheriff’s Office and Tidewater Rotary, in partnership with Talbot County Public Schools and Mid-Shore Community Foundation.

According to a press release:

The project is based upon THP Project Purple, an initiative of The Herren Project, a 501(c)(3) non-profit foundation established by former NBA basketball player, Chris Herren, that assists individuals and families struggling with addiction.

The THP Project Purple initiative was launched to break the stigma of addiction, bring awareness to the dangers of substance abuse and encourage positive decision making to navigate life’s challenges.

More information on THP Project Purple is available at

Let’s Get Crackin’ – #MACoCon Crab Mallets Sponsored by Deep Water Wind

DWW Print +Tag Trademarked_2-18MACo thanks Deepwater Wind for sponsoring MACo’s 2018 Summer Conference Crab Feast mallets. The Crab Feast will take place on August 17, 2018, in the parking lot of the Roland Powell Convention Center in Ocean City, MD. This ticket-only event features unlimited Maryland fresh crabs, and thanks to Deep Water Wind, a FREE crab mallet souvenir.

0608181603Deepwater Wind is proud to be America’s leading offshore wind developer. The company’s path-breaking Block Island Wind Farm is the first in the nation. Led by a veteran management team with experience in developing complex energy projects worldwide, Deepwater Wind is making offshore wind in America a reality.

Visit Deepwater Wind at booth #432 in Exhibit Hall A/B at MACo ‘s Summer Conference.

Thank you, Deepwater Wind, a Summer Conference Sponsor, for being a County Champion!

Learn more about MACo’s Summer Conference:


AT&T Brings Counties the Big Picture on Small Cells on June 21

MACo would like to thank AT&T, a MACo Gold Corporate Partner, for being the LEAD SPONSOR of MACo’s Small Cell Symposium on June 21, 2018. 

MACo’s annual symposium focuses on a hot topic for county governments. This year, we’re talking about small cell wireless technology. 60+ individuals are expected to attend to connect with peers and explore the challenges and possibilities around small cells.

Communities today crave faster data speeds and more reliable service. 5G – the next generation of wireless services – promises to deliver on all that and more in the upcoming years. Small cells are being billed as one bridge to the 5G future…a bridge built on local infrastructure and rights of ways. As the public and private sectors explore this emerging technology and shape its legislative and regulatory framework, local governments need to not only be prepared for the future but be proactive in ensuring what is best for their communities. Through a collaborative exchange, this symposium will explore some of the challenges and opportunities of the deployment of small cells and seek to provide best practices and possible solutions for local governments.

Thank you, AT&T, for your continued support of the work of Maryland’s counties!

AT&T Inc. helps millions around the globe connect with leading entertainment, business, mobile and high-speed internet services. They offer the nation’s best data network and the best global coverage of any U.S. wireless provider. They’re one of the world’s largest providers of pay TV. AT&T has TV customers in the U.S. and 11 Latin American countries. Nearly 3.5 million companies, from small to large businesses around the globe, turn to AT&T for their highly secure smart solutions.

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.

Bring Economic Security to Your County with this BPC Workshop


The Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) is hosting The Power of Local Innovation: Tackling Economic Insecurity.


BPC has partnered with NACo to address the gamut of problems that can result from economic insecurity.


The event will take place Monday, June 25 from 2 – 4 pm.


The event will be held at the Bipartisan Policy Center.

Bipartisan Policy Center
1225 Eye Street NW, Suite 1000
Washington, DC 20005

The presentations will also be broadcast for those unable to make it in person.


Despite the outward signs of a growing economy, many Americans live on an economic precipice. Stagnant wages, lack of mobility, income volatility, and low savings make it difficult for many individuals and families to gain and sustain economic traction. Although economic insecurity is a national problem, local communities across the nation are developing innovative solutions to tackle its root causes and chronic effects.


Matthew Chase, Executive Director, NACo

Merceria Ludgood, Commissioner, Mobile County, Alabama

Michael Myers, Managing Director, Rockefeller Foundation

Scott Pattison, Executive Director, National Governors Association

Steve Rogers, Sergeant, Lucas County’s Sheriff’s Office, Ohio

Lori Stegmann, Commission, Multnomah County, Oregon


  • Learn more about the program on the event website
  • RSVP to attend or watch the event
  • Join the Twitter conversation with #BPClive


Early Voting Numbers Up 53% from 2014

June 14th marked the beginning of early voting for Maryland’s primary elections. Maryland voters made a strong showing on the first day of early voting, which will continue through June 21. Primary election day is set for June 26.

According to The Baltimore Sun:

As of 7:30 p.m., more than 31,000 Marylanders have cast ballots on the first day of early voting. This marks a 53 percent increase over 2014, when more than 20,000 Marylanders cast ballots during the first day of early voting.

Only registered voters are eligible to participate in early voting. Anyone not registered may provide proof of residency at their early voting location and register on site.

Read the full article for more information.

Frederick to Sue Opioid Manufacturers, Distributors

Frederick County and The City of Frederick will join many other states, county, and municipal jurisdictions in filing lawsuits against drug manufacturers and distributors for their role in the nationwide crisis. The lawsuits will be filed in the Federal District Court in Baltimore.

According to a press release:

“We need to hold pharmaceutical companies accountable for heavily promoting the very prescription drugs that are a key factor in opioid addiction,” said County Executive Jan Gardner. “Frederick County has already devoted a tremendous amount of resources to the opioid crisis. Through this lawsuit we will be better able to help our residents with educational and addiction recovery assistance.”

This year there have been 154 opioid-related overdoses handled by law enforcement agencies in Frederick County as of May 31, including 25 fatal overdoses. Frederick County and The City of Frederick retained the law firm Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd, which will file the lawsuits on behalf of the jurisdictions.

The firm was also hired by several counties and cities across the United States, including Montgomery and Baltimore Counties. Outside counsel for Anne Arundel, Cecil and Harford have filed similar suits on behalf of their residents, claiming that the pharmaceutical manufacturers intensified the opioid epidemic by minimizing or concealing the risks to doctors and patients about the highly probable addiction associated with its drugs.

The lawsuits will seek restitution for the harm incurred as a result of deceptive and fraudulent marketing practices of several pharmaceutical manufacturers and the failure to report suspicious purchases by certain wholesalers. As a result, these manufacturers and wholesalers have violated federal and state laws.

Read the full article for more information.

Harford Receives Nearly $1M for Waterway Improvement Projects

Harford County was recently awarded $957,250 in state funding to improve waterways in Abingdon and Joppatown. The funding is available for FY19, which begins on July 1, 2018.

According to a press release:

Harford County will manage the following projects and provide matching funds where noted below:

  • Otter Point Creek – Bush River, Abingdon: $750,000 for maintenance dredging
  • Otter Point Creek Boat Launch, Abingdon: $99,000 for repairs to the existing finger piers, boat ramp and adjacent parking lot at Otter Point Creek
  • West Taylors Creek, Joppa: $63,250 plus $63,250 in matching county funding for maintenance dredging of the Taylors Creek channel west of the Mariner Point Park boat ramp
  • Rumsey Island and Taylors Creek Outfall, Joppatowne: $45,000 plus $45,000 in matching county funding for maintenance dredging of the Rumsey Island/Taylors Creek channel to restore access.

“I would like to thank Gov. Hogan and the Maryland General Assembly for their support of these worthy projects,” Harford County Executive Barry Glassman said. “This funding will help us keep boaters safe, promote jobs, and enhance our beautiful waterways for everyone to enjoy.”

Read the full press release for more information.