St. Mary's Co. Gov. News Briefs - Southern Maryland Headline News

St. Mary's Co. Gov. News Briefs


Meeting Cancellation Notice

The Metropolitan Commission Regular Meeting, scheduled for Thursday, September 10, 2015 at 3:00 p.m., has been cancelled.

The next Regular Meeting is scheduled for Thursday, September 24, 2015 at 3:00 p.m.

Parking Lot Work to Close Loffler Senior Activity Center

The Loffler Senior Activity Center will be closed Wednesday - Friday, September 16 - 18 for repaving of the parking lot. No activity programs or meal service will be available during that time.

The Center will reopen on Monday, September 21 at 8 a.m. For more information, please call 301-737-5670, ext. 1658.

Commissioners to Hold Public Hearings on Proposed Move to Code Home Rule

The Commissioners of St. Mary's County have scheduled a series of seven public hearings to gather comments about a proposal to convert to Code Home Rule form of government.

Code Home Rule is a local government option which has been part of the Maryland Constitution since 1966. Code Home Rule would not significantly change the familiar county commissioner form of government. Rather, it would authorize the Commissioners to enact local laws on a number of subjects without awaiting action by the Maryland General Assembly. Under Code Home Rule commissioners would not have the authority to enact any new taxes or regulatory fees.

Under the current system, enacting a local law could take as long as 21 months, even when the Commissioners, legislators and the public agree that a new law is a good idea. Under Code Home Rule, the Commissioners would have legislative authority throughout the year. All public hearings on legislation would be held in Leonardtown, rather than in Annapolis during winter months. Also, the public would have the right to demand a referendum on any new public local law, a right which does not presently exist. St. Mary's County is one of only six counties in Maryland which has yet to adopt some form of home rule.

St. Mary's County voters would have to approve a referendum to adopt Code Home Rule on the ballot in the November, 2016 general election.

The following is the list of scheduled Code Home Rule public hearings:

Thursday, September 17
Ridge Volunteer Fire Department
13820 Point Lookout Road
Ridge, MD 20680

Wednesday, October 14
Hollywood Volunteer Rescue Squad
23469 Rescue Lane
Hollywood, MD 20636

Tuesday, November 10
Seventh District Volunteer Fire Dept.
21660 Colton's Point Road
Avenue, MD 20609

Tuesday, January 19, 2016
Bay District Volunteer Fire Department
46900 South Shangri-La Drive
Lexington Park, MD 20653

Tuesday, February 23, 2016
Second District Volunteer Fire Dept.
45245 Drayden Road
Valley Lee, MD 20692

Tuesday, April 12, 2016
Golden Beach Volunteer Fire Department
29848 Therese Circle
Mechanicsville, MD 20659

Tuesday, March 22, 2016
Leonardtown Volunteer Fire Department
22733 Lawrence Avenue
Leonardtown, MD 20650

All hearings begin promptly at 6:30 p.m.

More information about Code Home Rule can be found at www.stmarysmd.com/pio/codehome.asp Questions and comments can be sent to: CodeHomeRule@stmarysmd.com.

Community Groups Invited to Host Code Home Briefings

As the Commissioners of St. Mary's County begin hosting a series of public hearings to gather comments about a proposal to convert to Code Home Rule form of government, community groups and organizations may be interested in holding their own meetings.

Community groups and organizations interested in scheduling a briefing should contact the County Administrator's office at 301-475-4200, ext. 1320. County Government staff will be on hand to give a presentation, provide information and answer questions.

Code Home Rule is a local government option which has been part of the Maryland Constitution since 1966. Code Home Rule does not significantly change the familiar county commissioner form of government. Rather, it would authorize the Commissioners to enact local laws on a number of subjects without awaiting action by the Maryland General Assembly. Under Code Home Rule commissioners would not have the authority to enact any new taxes or regulatory fees.

Currently, enacting a local law could take up to 21 months. Under Code Home Rule, the Commissioners would have legislative authority throughout the year. Public hearings on legislation would be held in Leonardtown, rather than in Annapolis during winter months. Also, the public would have the right to demand a referendum on any new public local law, a right which does not presently exist. St. Mary's County is one of only six counties in Maryland which has yet to adopt some form of home rule.

St. Mary's County voters would have to approve a referendum to adopt Code Home Rule on the ballot in the November, 2016 general election.

More information about Code Home Rule can be found at www.stmarysmd.com/pio/codehome.asp Questions and comments can be sent to: CodeHomeRule@stmarysmd.com.

Commission on the Environment to Change Meeting Location

Beginning with the October 7 meeting, the Commission on the Environment will hold its meetings in the Department of Land Use and Growth Management conference room, located inside the Patuxent Building in Leonardtown. Meetings will continue to take place on the first Wednesday of each month at 7 p.m.

Those wishing to attend the meetings should enter through the Department of Land Use and Growth Management's staff entrance, which is down the sidewalk to the right of the Patuxent Building's main portico. A meeting notice will be posted on the entry door.

Dr. Johnson Road Reopens to Traffic

Following months of construction, Dr. Johnson Road, located in Helen, is now open to traffic.

Weather delays and State permit restrictions provided a challenge in completing the Dr. Johnson Road Bridge Replacement project. Because of that, the roadway has been closed for an extensive period of time for the construction of a new bridge to replace three large deteriorated existing metal culvert pipes at St. Clements Creek (one mile south of MD 238).

Construction of these improvements, along with the raising of the roadway, will decrease the frequency of flooding, increase the design life, and remove the previously posted 66,000 pound weight restriction on the structure.

The Department of Public Works & Transportation expresses its appreciation to everyone in the area who was affected and for their patience during this project.

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