Counties Call For Smarter School Construction Investment

County government officials kicked off a day of stakeholder input to the 21st Century School Facilities Commission this week in Annapolis. Representatives of Allegany, Frederick, Harford, Queen Anne’s and Anne Arundel counties shared recommendations for how to improve the school capital improvement program, including specific suggestions to modify the timing of project approvals, incentivize value-engineering, mitigate rising costs, and expand financing capabilities.

The five panelists representing local government were given only 15 minutes to present, but within that time frame managed to convey many of the concerns and suggestions of county governments. Over the next several months, county governments will continue communication with the Commission through Commissioners Mel Franklin, Member, Prince George’s County Council and Jan Gardner, County Executive, Frederick County.

For more information about Thursday’s testimony, see:

MACo Panel 1
From L-R Allegany County Commissioner Bill Valentine, Frederick County Education Liaison Janice Spiegel, Queen Anne’s County Administrator Gregg Todd, Harford County Treasurer Robbie Sandlass, and Anne Arundel County Budget Director John Hammond testify before the 21st Century School Facilities Commission Thursday, July 21 in Annapolis.

Frederick County testimony to 21st Century Schools Commission

Queen Anne’s County testimony to the 21st Century School Facilities Commission

MACo testimony to the 21st Century School Facilities Commission

 

 

Fun Fact: Did You Know that Queen Anne’s County is the Largest Producer of Corn, Wheat and Soybeans in the State?

Question: Did You Know that Queen Anne’s County is the Largest Producer of Corn, Wheat and Soybeans in the State?

queenannes_map_sealIt’s true! Queen Anne’s County ranks number one in the state for the production of corn, soybeans and wheat. Queen Anne’s County has preserved approximately 70,000 acres through various preservation programs which enables agriculture to remain the largest industry in the County. The county has approximately 155,000 acres in production agriculture with the average farm size of 351 acres.  There are approximately 443 full time farmers and 800 part-time farmers and farm owners.

Sources: Queen Anne’s County website and University of Maryland Extension Website

Do you have a fun fact to share about your county? If so, please send it to Kaley Schultze to be featured in MACo’s weekly Fun Fact on Conduit Street.

Get Refreshed with Rifkin, Weiner, Livingston, LLC at #MACoCon

MACo would like to thank Rifkin, Weiner, Livingston, LLC (RWL) for sponsoring the Beverage Carts and Stands for the Crab Feast at MACo’s Summer Conference, this August 17-20 in Ocean City, MD. Enjoy a refreshing beverage with RWL at MACo’s Crab Feast, the largest networking event of the conference!

Rifkin Weiner Livingston LLCRifkin, Weiner, Livingston, LLC is a law firm specializing in government relations. Please visit RWL on the web at www.rwlls.com.

Thank you, Rifkin, Weiner, Livingston, LLC, a Summer Conference Sponsor, for your continued support of the Maryland Association of Counties!

Learn more about MACo’s Summer Conference:

Free Webinar Highlights Kansas City’s $5 Billion Stormwater Management Initiative

Sustainability in Kansas City, Mo.

The Sustainable City Network, in conjunction with Crescent Electric Supply Co., is offering a free webinar on Kansas City’s $5 billion stormwater management project, which incorporates green infrastructure and other sustainability initiatives. The webinar is on July 26, 2016 and runs from 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM Eastern Time. From the 2016-07-20 announcement email:

Sustainable City Network will host a free 1-hour webinar Tuesday, July 26, featuring the city of Kansas City, Mo.

Dennis Murphey, chief environmental officer, and Gerald Shechter, sustainability coordinator, in Kansas City’s Office of Environmental Quality will share details of the city’s $5 billion stormwater management project, which includes extensive use of green infrastructure, among other sustainability initiatives. You’ll also learn how the city is putting an emphasis on equitable investment in its most vulnerable neighborhoods. …

Attendees will receive certificates of participation for a professional development hour.

This webinar is sponsored by Crescent Electric Supply Company. Feel free to forward this invitation to any colleagues who might be interested.

Useful Links

Webinar Registration

Sustainable City Network Website

4 Rs for #MACoCon Participants

1. Renew your view of Maryland – County Exhibits are UPSTAIRS in Bayfront CMUWK-AUEAAFDgS.jpgHall
Be sure to visit our county exhibitors in the Bayfront Hall on the second floor of the Convention Center. Continental breakfast for attendees and the Taste of Maryland Reception are ONLY available in Bayfront Hall! You can also enjoy lunch and our Thursday Ice Cream Break with the county exhibitors on the second floor or with the commercial and state exhibitors on the first floor.

2. Reserve your discounted hotel room
MACo works with many hotels in Ocean City to offer blocks of discounted hotel rooms during our Summer Conference. Rates are only available to conference registrants. Book soon – some of our blocks are already full and many have upcoming expiration dates!

3. Register for the Golf Tournament
MACo Summer Conference attendees, exhibitors, and sponsors are eligible to participate in our Golf Tournament on Wednesday, August 17, at the Ocean City Golf Club. Create your own foursome or let MACo assign you to a foursome – it’s a great opportunity to meet new people or reconnect with old friends, all of whom are involved in local government in one way or another! Register for the Golf Tournament or contact Kaley Schultze for more details.

4. Recreation for the whole family – MACo Kids’ Party
MACo Kids’ Party, sponsored by Musco Sports Lighting, will be held on Thursday. The Taste of Maryland Reception is for adults aged 21 and over, so MACo is holding a Kids’ Party at the same time! Childcare and entertainment will be provided by the Ocean City Department of Parks & Recreation. There will be games, crafts, and snacks for the children to enjoy while their parents enjoy the Reception. Children must be registered for the Kids’ Party in advance. View the registration policies and fill out the form here.

Learn more about MACo’s Summer Conference:

For a schedule of educational sessions at MACo’s Summer Conference, please view the Registration Brochure.

Questions? Contact Meetings & Events Director Virginia White.

The Taste of Maryland Reception is Back and Better Than Ever at #MACoCon

MACo is again offering the Taste of Maryland Reception at the upcoming Summer Conference. The reception is hosted by the MD-DE-DC Beverage Association. We are striving to showcase everything Maryland has to offer—food and beverages from the shore to the mountains and everything in between—all produced in Maryland.

See below for some of what our Bayfront Hall exhibits will be offering at the reception.

And more!!!!

Don’t miss the Taste of Maryland Reception on Thursday, August 18 from 4:30 pm – 6:30 pm at the MACo Summer Conference in Ocean City. This is a ticketed event for conference registrants only, so if you don’t have a ticket, please stop by the MACo registration desk to purchase one!

Learn more about MACo’s Summer Conference:

Gotta Catch ‘Em All – Pokémon GO and the Public

Pokémon GO, a newly released, beyond-popular digital pastime that has sent millions of Americans into the landscape in search of cartoon creatures that are only visible on their smartphones, poses many challenges for local governments. At this year’s MACo Summer Conference, you can learn more about Pokémon GO and the future of augmented reality games, as well as how state and local officials are handling the additional safety, law enforcement, and recreation needs caused by the influx of players.

Here are more details:

Title: Gotta Catch ‘Em All – Pokémon GO and the Public

Description: Pokémon GO, the augmented reality smartphone application, has been downloaded by millions of players. Using technologies such as GPS and cameras, players navigate real, physical spaces and overlay their camera-view with digital images – characters from the game appear as if they’re in the player’s real-life setting. In the quest to “catch ’em all,” some players have gotten a lot of exercise, explored new parts of their communities, and made new friends. Others have injured themselves while walking distracted, played in inappropriate places, and been targeted by criminals. The popularity of this game – and the anticipation of more like it – present both positive and negative challenges for local governments. In this session, learn more about Pokémon GO and the future of augmented reality games, as well as how state and local officials are handling the additional safety, law enforcement, and recreation needs caused by the influx of players.

Speakers to be announced soon.

Moderator: The Honorable Allan Kittleman

Date/Time: Friday, August 19, 2016; 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

The MACo summer conference will be held August 17-20, 2016 at the Roland Powell Convention Center in Ocean City Maryland. This year the conference’s theme is “Cyber Solutions: Counties in the Digital Age.”

Learn more about MACo’s Summer Conference:

 

#MACoCon Exhibit Halls are SOLD OUT – Announcing the Final List of Exhibitors!

The MACo Exhibit Halls are SOLD OUT! Check out the list of vendors in advance, so you know who will be at the conference, a little bit about each organization, and where to find them! exhibit hall

On Thursday evening, conference registrants will join the Maryland counties, economic development, and tourism booths at the Taste of Maryland Reception from 4:30 pm – 6:30 pm in Bayfront Hall to sample delicious fare from different parts of Maryland. We are striving to showcase everything Maryland has to offer—from little-known wineries and vineyards to mass-produced, Maryland-based concessionaires. Join us for a great evening!

The MACo Summer Conference will be held August 17-20, 2016 at the Roland Powell Convention Center in Ocean City Maryland. This year’s conference theme is “Cyber Solutions: Counties in the Digital Age.”

And don’t miss our new Wednesday content – our special Tech Expo! 2 deep-dive sessions, an IGNITE session, and a special exhibit showcase of technology-focused vendors.

Learn more about MACo’s Summer Conference:

 

USDOT Partners with NACo To Prioritize Safer Local Roads

Each year a disproportionate share of the nation’s fatalities occur on local roads: almost three times as frequently as on the Interstate Highway System, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. On July 13, 2015, Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx signed a resolution reflecting the need to improve safety on county-owned roads and affirming that the U.S. Department of Transportation will work with the National Association of Counties (NACo) to improve road safety in America’s communities. According to Secretary Foxx,

Improving the safety and resiliency of our transportation infrastructure depends to a significant extent on the quality of county-owned roads.  Counties are responsible for building and maintaining not only a large number of transit systems, but also approximately 230,000 bridges, and 43 percent of our public roads.  Unfortunately, far too many deaths occur on such roads. Making safety improvements on county-owned roads is critical to the health and economy of our country, and reducing fatalities and serious injuries on all public roadways continues to be a national priority. 

In partnership with the Federal Highway Administration Office of Safety, NACo has released Local Road Safety: A Focus for County Elected Officials. This document highlights a number of resources and techniques that county leaders can use to improve safety on local roads. To read, click here.

NACo Report: Reducing Mental Illness in Rural Jails

A new NACo report outlines effective strategies for addressing rural mental health and highlights counties that have effectively reduced the number of people with mental illnesses in their jails.  To read the report and accompanying case studies, click here.

The crisis of mentally ill individuals in jail will be discussed at the 2016 MACo Summer Conference session “Mentally Ill and Incarcerated: A Criminal Justice Crisis.” The session will be held from 2:15-3:15 pm, Friday, August 19 at the Roland Powell Convention Center in Ocean City Maryland.

Learn more about MACo’s Summer Conference: