Charles Co. Gov. News Briefs

Commissioners Recognize Catholic Schools Week

On Tuesday, Feb. 3, the Charles County Board of Commissioners recognized Jan. 25 to Jan. 31 as Catholic Schools Week. The Archdiocese of Washington has three Catholic elementary schools in Charles County, including Archbishop Neale, St. Mary’s Bryantown, and St. Peter’s. These schools provide quality education, and represent an important and honored segment of the educational community of Charles County.

The success of Catholic schools is attributable, in part, to the formation of caring communities of parents, teachers, staff, administrators, and students dedicated to academic excellence and to moral and spiritual values.

The Charles County Commissioners recognize the commitment of Charles County Catholic schools have to serving their fellow citizens through service programs.

Spring Sports Leagues Announced

Registration starts Feb. 23

The Charles County Department of Public Works will hold registration for spring sports leagues from Monday, Feb. 23 through Friday, March 13.

Adult Softball – League play will start the week of April 22 at Laurel Springs Park and White Plains Regional Park. The franchise fee is $600-650 per team.

Adult Co-Ed Kickball – League play will take place on Tuesday or Wednesday nights at White Plains Regional Park. The franchise fee is $450 per team.

Men's Soccer – League play will take place Monday nights at White Plains Regional Park. Games will be 11 vs. 11 format on a regulation-size soccer field. The franchise fee is $550 per team.

Men’s “Over-35” Soccer – League play is at Laurel Springs Park on Wednesday nights. Games will be 11 vs. 11 format on a regular-size soccer field. The franchise fee is $500 per team.

Women's Soccer – League play will take place Sundays at Laurel Springs Park. Games will be 7 vs. 7 format on an intermediate-size soccer field. The franchise fee is $450 per team.

Team registration is at the Department of Public Works office (1001 Radio Station Road, La Plata), weekdays between 7:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. For more information, call 301-932-3470 or 301-870-2778, or visit

Commissioners Recognize Syanne Centeno as Miss Maryland World

On Tuesday, Feb. 3, the Charles County Board of Commissioners presented Syanne Centeno with a Certificate of Congratulations for her victory as 2015 Miss Maryland World. Ms. Centeno was recognized for her anti-bullying advocacy, eating disorder initiatives, and her Warrior Princess Initiative.

Miss World America is a national competition consisting of representatives, ages 17 to 25 from all 48 contiguous states, Alaska, Hawaii, and the District of Columbia. Participating young women compete in several areas, including interviews, evening gown attire, runway, social media, on-stage questions, and public speaking. Miss World America is the preliminary to the international Miss World competition.

Junior Golf Program Offered at White Plains Golf Course

The Charles County Commissioners are pleased to announce that White Plains Golf Course will offer golf memberships for youth between the ages of 8 and 17 years old (as of Jan. 1, 2015).

Two memberships for junior golfers are available:

-- Yearly Pass - $200 (April 1 to March 31)

-- 3-Month Pass - $150 (June 1 to Aug. 31)

The membership fee and occasional volunteer hours allow junior golfers access to basic golf etiquette classes and golf privileges. Beginners are welcome.

This is a popular program. Early registration is encouraged. For more information, contact the White Plains Golf Course at 301-645-1300.

White Plains Golf Course is located on St. Charles Parkway, south of DeMarr Road.

White Plains Golf Course Offers Golf Clinics for Men, Women, and Youth

The Charles County Department of Public Works’ Parks Division will offer golf clinics for men, women, and youth at White Plains Golf Course. Learn the basic skills needed to become a confident golfer. Sessions include proper golf course etiquette, safety, rules, grip, stance, posture, chipping, putting, irons, woods, and on-the-course instruction.

Men’s Golf Clinics: (Each four-day session is from 5 p.m. – 6:15 p.m. Cost: $80)

Session I – April 13 – 16, 2015

Session II – April 20 – 23, 2015

Women’s Golf Clinics: (Each four-day session is from 5 p.m. – 6:15 p.m. Cost: $80)

Session I – May 4 – 7, 2015

Session II – May 11 – 14, 2015

Junior Golf Clinics: (Each four-day session is from 8 a.m. – 9:15 a.m. Cost: $50; Sessions include instruction, contests, and prizes.)

Session I (Ages 8 – 12) – June 15 – 18, 2015

Session II (Ages 13 – 17) – June 22 – 25, 2015

Pre-registration is required. Maximum class size is eight participants. Golf clinic participants will receive a complimentary round of golf. For additional information or to register, call White Plains Golf Course at 301-645-1300. White Plains Golf Course is located at 1015 St. Charles Parkway, south of DeMarr Road, in White Plains.

Board of Education, Commissioners strengthen ties at retreat

The Charles County Commissioners and Board of Education gathered today for a half-day retreat to build relationships and a foundation for collaborative leadership for the future.

Facilitated by Argen Carswell, an attorney and experienced mediator, the goals of the retreat were to:

-- Strengthen the working relationship between the County Commissioners and the Board of Education;

-- Develop a stronger appreciation of respective roles and individual contributions;

-- Begin to identify effective communication mechanisms and how differences will be resolved; and

-- Begin to chart a dynamic future for Charles County through collaborative leadership.

Commissioner President Peter Murphy said he felt the two Boards achieved their goals at the retreat. "Forging personal relationships between members of our two respective Boards was the goal of our joint retreat and I think all would agree that we accomplished that. The result will be a great benefit for the citizens we all serve," Murphy said.

Board of Education Chairman Virginia McGraw agreed. “Wednesday’s activity was an excellent opportunity to get to know each other and build relationships. Our goal is to collaborate in a positive manner to do what is best for the citizens of Charles County,” McGraw said.

The Board and Commissioners are equally splitting Carswell’s $5,300 fee for two and a half days of work, including retreat preparation and retreat facilitation. Superintendent Kimberly Hill said the school system’s portion will be paid from professional development funds and believes this was a “wise investment” based on the outcome of the retreat. The Commissioners are paying their half of the fee from its community promotions account.

The retreat was held at the College of Southern Maryland. Attendance was limited to Board members, Commissioners, the Superintendent of Schools and the acting County Administrator.

Citizens Discuss Joint Land Use Study in Indian Head

Nearly 70 area residents attended a public forum for the Indian Head Joint Land Use Study (JLUS), a cooperative land use planning effort underway between Naval Support Facility (NSF) Indian Head, the Town of Indian Head, and Charles County, on Wednesday evening, Jan. 28, 2015 at the Village Green Pavilion in Indian Head, MD. Included in the evening’s attendance were Town of Indian Head Mayor, Dennis Scheessele, and Naval Support Activity South Potomac Commanding Officer, CAPT Mary Feinberg.

The Indian Head JLUS is investigating how changes in land use around the installation could affect the Navy’s mission, as well as how current and future operations at the base may impact the surrounding areas. The purpose of the forum was to present information on the JLUS process and give community members an opportunity to share their thoughts on Navy operations and surrounding land use.

“The JLUS provides an open forum for dialogue between the community and NSF Indian Head to identify and resolve any issues,” says Project Manager Amy Blessinger, Charles County Department of Planning & Growth Management. “We are pleased with the interest the community has shown in the study; their input is vital.”

Topics discussed during the public forum included development, economic growth in the Town, the potential impact to the environment, and Navy operations. “The community appears to be very supportive and proud of NSF Indian Head,” said Blessinger. Feinberg stated that the Navy desires to remain good stewards, and the JLUS is an opportunity to “help us help you.”

“The Town and Naval Support Facility Indian Head have enjoyed a mutually supportive, good neighbor relationship for many decades. We want to continue to do that as we attract visitors and economic development. We are looking for the JLUS to help us provide goods and services supportive of our residents, visitors, and NSF Indian Head in a manner consistent with our goals and the mission of the base,” stated Mayor Scheessele.

Commissioner Debra M. Davis, Esq. (District 2), who serves on one of the JLUS planning committees said, “The JLUS is an important initiative to help ensure the Indian Head base and the community can continue to have an excellent relationship for many years to come. We welcome the public's input, feedback, and ideas.”

Comments received during the public forum will be incorporated into the Indian Head JLUS. Citizens are also encouraged to provide input by taking the stakeholder survey posted on the Indian Head JLUS website,

Another public forum to discuss preliminary findings and recommendations is planned for spring.

If you were unable to attend the public forum and wish to learn more about the Indian Head Joint Land Use Study, visit or contact Project Manager Amy Blessinger, Department of Planning & Growth Management, at 301-645-0650 or

The Indian Head Joint Land Use Study is sponsored by Charles County and funded by a Department of Defense Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA) grant.

Vacancies for Commissioner-Appointed Boards, Committees & Commissions

The Charles County Commissioners are seeking county residents to fill vacancies on the following boards, committees, and commissions:

-- Adult Public Guardianship Review Board

-- Alarm Review Board

-- Animal Matters Hearing Board

-- Area Council on Aging

-- Cable Advisory Commission

-- Commission on Individuals with Disabilities

-- Gaming Permit Review Board

-- Grants Advisory Panel

-- Heritage Commission

-- Homeowner’s Association Dispute Review Board

-- Library Board of Trustees

-- Maryland State Highway Administration Task Force Newly Formed

-- Nuisance Abatement Board

-- Wicomico Scenic River Commission

There are six vacancies on the 11-member Adult Public Guardianship Review Board. The board provides impartial oversight of the care and services provided for the individuals under public guardianship, reviews the current status of health and welfare of these persons, and makes recommendations as to whether guardianship should be continued as established, modified or terminated.

There are three vacancies for a citizen representative on the Cable Advisory Commission. The Commission invites, receives and evaluates applications for franchises; holds public and administrative hearings in order to make recommendations to the Board of County Commissioners; encourages the use of access channels among the widest range of institutions, groups, and individuals within the county; audits all franchise records as necessary or appropriate; retains experts and consultants to assist in its work; conducts periodic evaluations of cable systems; reports matters relating to cable systems and cable operators; reviews and recommends regulations relating to cable systems and cable operators; and seeks to resolve disagreements among franchisees, subscribers and public and private users of system facilities.

There are five vacancies on the Commission on Individuals with Disabilities. This board provides the Charles County Commissioners with advice, information and assistance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, to increase social acceptance and ensure full participation of individuals with disabilities in the many facets of county life. The board meets on an as needed basis.

There is one vacancy on the seven-member Nuisance Abatement Board. This board conducts hearings pertaining to citizen complaints regarding unsightly accumulation of paper, junk, vehicle parts, trash, garbage, leaves, etc. and if grass, weeds, uncultivated vegetable growth, briars, bush and plants are more than one foot high on private property.

There are vacancies on the Heritage Commission for citizen members. The task of the Heritage Commission is to manage, procure, preserve and disseminate materials relating to the local history of Charles County.

Positions remain open until filled. Applications and a detailed list of all current vacancies are available on the Charles County Government website at or by contacting Ms. Carol DeSoto, Commissioner Specialist, at 301-645-0691 or A separate application must be submitted for each membership for which you wish to apply.

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