By Sen. Roy Dyson

[ Senator Dyson's Newletter ]

24 January 1997

I was most pleased with the turnout at my public hearing on the proposal to make the
various campuses of Charles County Community College into the College of Southern
Maryland. More than 100 people attended the hearing at Calvert Marine Museum and
many of them testified.

Before the meeting began I told those in attendance that I was leaning towards waiting a
year to work out the plan details. Most people I have talked to like the idea in concept
but they are either unfamiliar with the proposed details or think they need to be
modified. Delegate Tony O'Donnell also questions the need to rush into the major

After listening to the presentation from Charles County Community College President
Dr. John Sine and the testimony from Calvert and St. Mary's County citizens, I am
more convinced than ever that we need more time to work on this issue. The bill as
drafted has an implementation date of July 1, 1998, so even if we take a year to refine
the proposal, the Maryland General Assembly can still pass a law next year with the
same implementation date. We will have had more time to deliberate but will not have
lost any time in implementing it.

Dr. Sine says there are some reasons for moving quickly, including the possibility of
saving the counties money through increased state funding of a regional community
college. But some questions persist about the plan, including the resultant ownership of
property by the community college boards instead of the counties, as well as the
number of representatives on that board from each county. Initially Calvert would have
one person and St. Mary's two persons on the nine member board. Some people are
genuinely concerned about that.

So it will be my suggestion to the rest of the Southern Maryland delegation that we wait
until next year and study the idea between now and then. I'11 keep you posted about
what eventually happens.

Southern Maryland puts on a show

Our legislature is often criticized for the number of receptions which are held for us in
attempts by lobbying groups to get our attention. I avoid them unless someone from my
district is involved. Now the regions of the state have taken the cue and are starting to
pitch their benefits to the rest of the legislature. At least most of the regions have done it
in the past, except Southern Maryland. This year we hopped on the bandwagon with
some wonderful results.

Southern Maryland Day was Friday, January 24th here in Annapolis. The cornerstone
of the day was a breakfast at Loew's Annapolis Hotel. Almost 300 people attended,
including Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy-Townsend, Comptroller Louis Goldstein and
Treasurer Richard Dixon. Many legislators from around the state also attended, as did a
number of elected officials, businessmen, and citizens from the three Southern Maryland
counties. The people I talked to deemed the breakfast a success in getting the message

The breakfast's theme was that our region is a place "Where Time and Tide Meet."
Attendees were treated to some Living History with skits from an Indian, and farmer
and a waterman. The skits showed our traditions and also the threats to those
traditions. Then those gathered were launched into the 21st century with Presentations
from Capt. Wayne Newton of the Naval Surface Weapons Center at Indian Head and
Capt. Elmer Standridge of Patuxent River Naval Air Station.

The message to those who didn't know already is that our area is the growth center of
the state. Captain Standridge explained that 3,000 additional workers were coming for
the relocated Naval Air Systems Command and that 820 people have relocated from
Warminister, Pennsylvania and another 560 have been hired in the first wave of the
Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process.

Some people still ask what part of the Eastern Shore is Southern Maryland. But we are
chipping away at that ignorance. I think events such as the Southern Maryland Day here
in Annapolis contribute to that educational process.

The day was made possible through work of the delegation staff, the county
commissioners and the Southern Maryland Travel and Tourism Committee. Also
money was contributed by a number of benefactors and corporate sponsors, who had
exhibits outside the dining area and sent representatives to attend the event.

Our message to those who attended was "Share our history and join Southern
Maryland as we enter the 21st century." I think the message was well received by those
who attended. I hope we'll continue this tradition of telling the rest of the state about us
in future years.

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