Septics and Sewers Are Everyone’s Business at #MACoCon

Even more about staff retention and how it effects county governments - this time in septic and sewer infrastructure. Septic and sewer infrastructure is an incredibly pivotal piece of local government functions that has a cascading array of consequences when the people are not in place to make the process go. That is, by design, not a pun. At the MACo Winter Conference, we had a chance to hear from local and state leaders on…

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Counties Discuss Little Appreciated Roles of Public Works

At MACo’s Winter Conference panelists discussed the ins and out of public works.   Public Works is a massive policy area. It covers everything from pipes to roads, some buildings, and even airports. Some functions of county government may not draw much attention, but when a road collapses, or the water will not turn on, residents very quickly pay attention. Because of its central importance in how society functions, public works is a very key area…

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Big State and Local Challenges in Caring for the Incarcerated at #MACoCon

County wardens and NACo health policy advocates discuss the progress and ongoing challenges with the care and rehabilitation of justice-involved communities. With incarceration rates on the rise in Maryland, a panel of experts came together at the MACo Winter Conference to discuss how county jails are adapting to the growing needs of inmates in our county facilities. At risk of sounding like a broken record, staffing shortages and looming retirements are a real and present threat…

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County Leaders Discuss Cannabis Implementation in Maryland

Closing out MACo’s Winter Conference, panelists discussed cannabis implementation in Maryland.   Cannabis implementation is set to be one of the biggest topics heading into the 2023 legislative session. With implementation comes a series of still unanswered questions and policy options. As Maryland is set to be one of the first twenty-five states to allow for recreational use, policymakers and stakeholders are still debating what implementation should look like. At MACo's Winter Conference expert panelists discussed…

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#MACoCon Attendees Explore How to Best Support Local Health Departments

At the 2023 MACo Winter Conference, attendees explored the vast roles of local health departments, their unique state-local infrastructure, and how county governments can best support them. Local health departments are a robust resource for citizens from clinics for routine care and addiction treatment to elder care services and safety classes for new parents. These teams of physicians, nurses, social workers, sanitarians, counselors, therapists and other allied health and support personnel are ready to help. At…

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Opioids and Pandemic Response Discussion Points To Workforce Concerns at #MACoCon

County health officials lead an hour long discussion on the current state of local health departments in the wake of the pandemic and amidst the opioid crisis.  The MACo Winter Conference was off to a great start with this panel featuring Dr. Laurence Polsky and Robert Stephens. Senator Clarence Lam, was an incredibly informed moderating as a doctor of preventative medicine himself and a leader in shaping the pandemic response in Maryland. While the meeting…

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Talk Early and Often is Key Takeaway at #MACoCon for Successful Public Education Relationships

At the 2023 MACo Winter Conference, attendees explored best practices for successful and diverse relationships in public education.  Counties are key figures in the funding and operations of Maryland schools, working closely with local and state partners to provide quality education. Managing these relationships − and sometimes competing priorities − with the multitude of stakeholders in education can be overwhelming. At the MACo Winter Conference session, “Public Education 101: Key Partners for Success,” attendees learned…

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Abundant State and Local Collaboration on Police Accountability at #MACoCon

Local and state officials shed light on the status of police misconduct reforms and the extensive collaboration required by everyone involved.  The implementation of the Maryland Police Accountability Act of 2021 involves the collaboration of numerous state and local agencies across Maryland. With speakers from the Attorney General's Office, the Maryland Police Training and Standards Commissions (MPTSC), and County Attorneys, it is clear that all hands are on deck and the process is moving ahead.…

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Counties Learn How Tourism Turns Clicks Into Cash

At MACo's Winter Conference industry experts discussed the intersection of technology and tourism. Tourism is an important part of Maryland’s economy, from the mountains of Western Maryland to the waters of the Chesapeake and everywhere in between. In recent years, technology has become an irreplaceable tool for tourism, and the data which that technology generates holds endless opportunity to support economic development. One of the biggest takeaways from this session was the discussion on cellphone…

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