County Officials Attend MACo Conference

Representatives of St. Mary's County will join their local government counterparts from throughout the State at the Maryland Association of Counties (MACo) Annual Summer Conference August 18-21, 2004 in Ocean City, Maryland.

The conference theme is "Where Do We Grow From Here?" At the conference, more than 80 speakers will participate in nearly 20 sessions. Topics will include strategic land use management, economic development and growth, controlling health care costs, locating drug treatment centers, staffing child welfare cases, consensus and team building, housing needs of the elderly, corrections as public policy, waste management, impact fees vs. excise taxes, waste management, conducting effective meetings, and finding grant money, innovative ways to fund and build schools.

Conference speakers include Maryland Governor Robert Ehrlich who will deliver the closing address. Other confirmed speakers include prominent public and private sector leaders such as U.S. Congressman Benjamin L. Cardin, U.S. Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger, State Treasurer Nancy Kopp, Senate Finance Committee Chairman, Thomas "Mac" Middleton, Senate Budget and Taxation Committee Chairman, Ulysses Currie, Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee Chair, Paula Hollinger, House Minority Leader George Edwards, House Minority Whip Anthony O'Donnell, Senator Edward Kasemeyer, Delegate Daniel Morheim, Delegate James Hubbard, and Delegate Neil Quinter. Participating Cabinet Secretaries include Department of Planning Secretary Audrey Scott, Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Secretary Nelson Sabatini, Department of Human Resources Secretary Christopher McCabe, and Department of the Environment Secretary Kendl Philbrick.

Ten organizations are affiliated with MACo. These affiliate organizations each reflect a specific area of expertise and responsibility such as human services, health, and engineering. The organizations provide educational sessions during the conference for county officials, focusing on issues of interest to the specific affiliate organization.

County Commissioners Thomas F. McKay and Thomas A. Mattingly, Sr. will be attending the meeting. They are members of the MACo Legislative Committee. In addition to these elected officials, several staff members also will be participants at the meeting.

The goal of the MACo Summer Conference is to provide county elected and appointed officials and other participants with a clearer perspective on the challenges facing counties and, most important, to provide strategies for addressing these challenges. The ultimate result of attendance is more effective and efficient county government.

MACo and its predecessor organizations have been in existence since at least the early 1950's. Among other things, MACo represents the interests of county government before the State and Federal governments. MACo's members are the elected officials of the 23 counties' and Baltimore City. A 15-member Board of Directors governs the Association, with legislative priorities and positions determined by a Committee composed of representatives of all member subdivisions.

Further information on the program can be found at MACo's website,

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