Commission to Advance NextGen 9-1-1 Across Maryland Releases Final Report

Nationally,  the key underpinnings of the legacy 9-1-1 framework are based on the same wireline, analog, circuit-switched technology that was the foundation of the original 9-1-1 architecture in 1968. Aside from an enhanced data environment and the ability to support wireless and Internet telephony, the system has not significantly changed in more than 40 years. With advances in technology, the emergency communication networks built four decades ago are becoming less efficient, less technologically advanced and,…

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Preview the 2019 Session “Big Picture”

A compilation of Issue Papers previews major fiscal and policy issues facing the General Assembly in the year ahead. This resource is a handy guide to the top issues that your legislators will be tackling in the year ahead – a great preparation document for county officials in advance of meetings with their local Delegations. Developed by the Department of Legislative Services, the 2019 Issue Papers are an annual staple for the Annapolis policy-inclined population.…

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This State Now Accepts Bitcoin for Tax Payments

While most governments are warning their residents against investing in cryptocurrency like Bitcoin, the state of Ohio seems to be embracing the concept.  Starting this week, businesses in Ohio are now permitted to settle tax payments using Bitcoin. Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency that is conducted on a public ledger, the "blockchain." Digitally transferred, it exists only online. Similar to gold, it can have monetary value while also being a commodity, but it’s still its own…

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Hold That Tweet! Mastering the Art of 21st Century Communication

Don't let that social media post get you in trouble. Panelists at the MACo Winter Conference session, "Hold That Tweet! Mastering the Art of 21st Century Communication," will help you successfully navigate the world of digital communication -- avoiding the legal and societal pitfalls along the way. Title: Hold That Tweet! Mastering the Art of 21st Century Communication Description: The right communication strategies can build a bridge between government officials and the public they serve.…

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FCC Proposal Threatens County Cable Franchise Fees

Proposed FCC Rule could cost counties millions in franchise fees by allowing cable companies to deduct the fair market value of public benefits, such as setting aside channels for county council or school board broadcasts, from the fees.  The potential effects of the order are vast. Nationwide there are approximately 1,500 public, education, and government (PEG) stations and 3,000 channels that could be impacted. From NACo County News: In some smaller jurisdictions, [Mitsuko] Herrera noted,…

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Montgomery County Council Defers Acting on Small Cell Bill

The Montgomery County Council's vote on a zoning text amendment that would have allowed the attachment of small cells to existing utility poles in residential areas was called off this week as members could not agree on amendments. From The Washington Post: Montgomery Council President Hans Riemer (D-At Large) and Montgomery Executive Isiah Leggett (D) said they had tried to balance the needs of the wireless industry to expand broadband capacity with residents' concerns that…

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Calvert Launches Animal Shelter Website

The Linda L. Kelley Animal Shelter in Calvert County, named for a longtime County Commissioner, now features a website featuring information about adoptions, lost and found pets, surrendering an animal, volunteering, fostering and more. The website is an effort to expand the reach of the county's animal programs, and to promote local events. “We will strive to always provide the best overall experience to anyone who visits our shelter,” said Animal Shelter Division Chief Crystal…

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Charles County Launches New Podcast

Charles County recently released its new series of podcasts, “Charles County Unscripted.” Podcast subscribers can tune in and listen to the latest county news and information at home or on the go, on any mobile device. County staff interviews a variety of guests who provide an inside look at the people, places, and events that shape Charles County. According to a press release: One of the podcast programs, “Inside Your County Government,” explores the range…

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Cecil Council Going Digital, Will Live-Stream Meetings

Cecil County Council meetings will be live-streamed on the Council's webpage starting Tuesday, October 16, 2018. According to a press release: “By clicking on the link, you will be redirected to our provider, Zoom Video Communications. On your first visit, you will be prompted to ‘download & run Zoom.’ After the brief download, you will then be instructed to provide your email address and name, and that’s it. The livestream will start as soon as…

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Virus Shuts Down Anne Arundel County Public Library Computers

Anne Arundel County Public Library (AACPL) officials recently announced that its public computers were exposed to the Emotet virus, an especially deleterious program that spreads via infected email attachments. As a result, some 600 computers are expected to be offline for at least two weeks as officials work to eradicate the virus and scrub the network. According to a press release: On October 11, officials discovered that a database of customers who used library computers or…

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