St. Mary's County Gov. News Briefs

Appointments Made to Elected Officials Compensation Review Commission

The Board of Commissioners for St. Mary’s County appointed three members to the quadrennial St. Mary’s County Compensation Review Commission on Tuesday, in accordance with the St. Mary’s County Code.

The appointments, Mary Ann Murray, Ray Wernecke and Joe Densford, will join those appointed by the members of the 29th Legislative District and the Democratic and Republican Central Committees. The other members of the Commission are: Judith Hewitt Sterling and Beverly Bailey (St. Mary’s County Legislative Delegation); Betty Currie (St. Mary’s County Democratic Central Committee) and Doug Ritchie (St. Mary’s County Republican Central Committee).

The Commission will review the salaries set by law, review state and local laws and procedures followed concerning inclusion of benefits as part of the compensation, and make recommendations to the county commissioners concerning the compensation set by law for the president of county commissioners and commissioners, chairman and members of the St. Mary’s County Board of Education, County Treasurer, Sheriff, Orphan’s Court Judges and State’s Attorney. Should the commission recommend any changes, these changes will take effect at the “beginning of the NEXT FOLLOWING TERM OF OFFICE.” Any recommended changes in salary or benefits must be transmitted to the delegation for their consideration as to whether to adopt as law.

The Commission will report its findings to the Board of County Commissioners by December 1, 2008.

Board of County Commissioners Approves Annual Growth Policy

The County Commissioners for St. Mary’s County have approved an annual growth policy for St. Mary’s County.

“We believe that this new policy will help us to achieve the high quality of life for our residents,” explained President Jack Russell. “We need a growth policy to ensure that the right amount of public infrastructure is in place for our community.”

Infrastructure needs include schools, roads, water and sewerage, recreational facilities and public buildings. Continued residential growth is needed to meet the needs of residents and to enhance job opportunities. Annual growth rates of residences over the past fifteen years have ranged from 1.56 percent in 2001 to 3.66 percent in 2004. The average annual increase rate was 2.55 percent.

The Commissioners examined the need for a growth policy at a public hearing on July 1 and at two work sessions this summer. The newly approved policy lays out a plan to allow an annual growth rate of 1.90 percent of total dwelling units. The Board of County Commissioners, in concert with the Planning Commission and the Department of Land Use and Growth Management, will review the policy annually. Of the new residential units allowed each year, a maximum of 30 percent will be allocated for the Rural Preservation Districts (RPD’s) and a minimum of 70 percent shall be allocated to the non-RPD’s.

Together with the new Growth Policy, the Commissioners also approved a new method to determine adequacy of public schools prior to approval of new residences. Two school attendance zones, being north and south of Patuxent Beach Road (MD4) and St. Andrew’s Church Road (MD4) will be used to determine adequacy of elementary schools and a single county wide attendance zone will use used to determine adequacy of middle and high schools.

These changes were discussed by the members of the St. Mary’s County Planning Commission and the Board of County Commissioners during meetings aired live on Cable Channel 95. Both boards held public hearings on the changes. The newly approved resolutions and ordinances are available upon request by calling the Public Information Office at 301-475-4200, x1342. For more information, call the Land Use and Growth Management Department at 301-475-4200, x1500.

Joint Energy Resolution Signed

The Board of County Commissioners for St. Mary’s County and the St. Mary’s County Board of Education have signed a joint resolution outlining their continued commitment to energy management and conservation.

“The escalating increase in energy costs is impeding our ability to fulfill our obligations,” said Jack Russell, President, Board of County Commissioners. “This resolution outlines actions for both St. Mary’s County Government and the Board of Education to better manage our energy resources while conserving.”

“I am proud that our two organizations have come together to study this issue and enumerate tangible steps we can begin today,” said Bill Mattingly, Chairman of the Board of Education. “Many of the recommendations are already being realized, but, with the signing of this resolution, we are signaling to our community and our employees that energy use and conservation is of utmost importance.”

A copy of the resolution will be available at, St. Mary’s County Government’s website or by requesting a copy from the Public Information Office at 301-475-4200, x1340.

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