Counties Consider TMDL & MS4 Assistance Proposal at #MACoCon

Returning county officials offered their input on a proposal by the Local Government Advisory Committee (LGAC) to provide meaningful technical assistance to counties and municipalities as they struggle to meet their Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) and Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permit goals at the MACo 2019 Winter Conference. The panel, We're Here to Help: Technical Assistance for the Bay TMDL and MS4 Permits, occurred on Wednesday, January 2.  LGAC Coordinator and…

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Smart Growth Subcabinet Answers County Questions at #MACoCon

Returning county officials received an update from the Smart Growth Subcabinet on key land use, transportation, environmental, and economic development issues at the MACo January 2019 Winter Conference. The panel, A Chat with the Smart Growth Subcabinet, was held on Wednesday, January 2.   The Subcabinet oversees and advises on Maryland’s growth policies and laws. Its members are mostly Cabinet secretaries or their designees. Maryland Special Secretary of Smart Growth Wendi Peters serves as the…

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New County Officials Learn How to Work With the General Assembly at #MACoCon

Newly-elected officials learned about the importance of working with their county’s General Assembly delegation and how they can participate in MACo’s advocacy efforts at the MACo January 2019 Winter Conference. The panel, The County Elected Official’s Role in the Legislature, was held on Wednesday, January 2, as part of MACo’s Newly Elected Official Orientation. Maryland Senator George Edwards stressed the importance of getting to personally know your state legislators and maintain a good relationship with…

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Opioid Questions Asked and Answered at #MACoCon Round Table

The MACo Winter Conference closed out with an interactive round table session that provided an opportunity for audience members and panelists to share insights and answer questions related to what's working, what's not, and what is next for the opioid crisis. The first half of the session was a Q&A between facilitator Nastassia Walsh, Program Manager, National Association of Counties (NACo), and panelists Steve Schuh, Executive Director, Opioid Operational Command Center (OOCC); Birch Barron, Deputy Director, Opioid…

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Breaking Behavioral Health Barriers Behind Bars and in the Communities

Attendees of the MACo Winter Conference session, Who's Falling Through the Cracks: Addressing Gaps in Behavioral Health Services, heard frank discussions from panelists on the scope of behavioral health issues in local communities as well as what is being done what more is needed to close gaps in addressing behavioral health issues. Much of the discussion centered around the criminal justice population. Dan Martin Senior Director of Public Policy for the Mental Health Association of Maryland (MHAMD)…

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County Human Services Deliver Seamless Support for Community Members in Crisis

At the MACo Winter Conference session, Constituents in Crisis: Human Services to the Rescue!, audience members learned about the broad continuum of county agencies and programs that are dedicated to providing community-based services to address the special needs of children, families, older adults, and persons with disabilities. Christine Kay, Director of the Carroll County Department of Citizen Services started the panel off with explanation of how county human service agencies (also known as citizen services or community…

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Diversity Caucus Installs 2019 Board at #MACoCon

The Maryland County Officials Diversity Caucus (Diversity Caucus), a chapter organization of MACo, installed its 2019 Executive Board at the MACo Winter Conference. The 2019 Maryland County Officials Diversity Caucus Board: President Craig Rice (Montgomery County Council Member), First Vice President Craig Mathies (Somerset County Commissioner), Treasurer Deni Taveras (Prince George's County Council Member), Second Vice President Sharon Green Middleton (Baltimore City Council Member), and Secretary Opel Jones (Howard County Council Member). The Diversity Caucus provides…

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No Public Safety Agency is an Island…Partnerships are Key!

At the MACo Winter Conference General Session, The Life Saving Power of Public Safety Partnerships, county emergency managers, correctional officers, and law enforcement discussed the role they play and the collaborations they form to protect communities from all sorts of dangerous situations – from active shooter encounters to weather disaster response and recovery. Clay Stamp, Director of Emergency Services for Talbot County and a Senior Emergency Management Advisor to Governor Larry Hogan, kicked off the panel…

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Keeping Up with Kirwan at #MACoCon

The [Kirwan] Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education was formed in 2016 to answer two questions: Should the State revise current education funding formulas? And, what major new education policies must be enacted to put Maryland public schools on par with the best in the world? And while the Commission's final recommendations won't be ready in time for the 2019 session of the Maryland General Assembly, the pattern and role of county funding, spending formulas,…

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It’s Not All ‘Hot Air’. . . Cloud Computing and New Technologies Are Changing Government

A panel at MACo's Winter Conference provides an update on major technology shifts and hurdles for county government. Maryland Senator Steve Hershey moderated a panel discussion of Cloud computing, automation, and broadband and 5G at MACo's Winter Conference for county government officials. Mitsuko R. Herrera of the Montgomery County Office of Broadband Programs spoke first on the panel, providing background and insight into broadband and 5G, including issues of preservation of local government authority, private…

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