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

St. Mary's Co. Gov. News Briefs


2015 State of the County Video Report Available for Viewing

Operations of all nine county departments featured

Citizens wanting to learn more about county government operations over the past fiscal year can view the 2015 St. Mary's State of the County video report.

The report highlights projects such as the construction of the new Patuxent River Naval Air Museum and Visitor's Center, planned design and construction of the new Garvey Senior Activity Center and Leonardtown Library. The video also details the approved $227 million budget and reviews plans for economic development initiatives on tap for the county.

The 2015 report marks the third consecutive year an annual video report has been produced by county government under the direction of the Public Information Office.

The video can be viewed online on the Public Information Office's webpage at www.stmarysmd.com/pio/. The video is also available on the county's YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6v2SaHHhOFQ .

Also, the State of the County Executive Summary has been posted and is available for viewing. The document can be accessed at www.stmarysmd.com/pio/.

SKYWARN Class Returns to St. Mary's County

St. Mary's County citizens interested in becoming storm spotters can sign up for the SYWARN class, hosted by the St Mary's County Department of Emergency Services & Technology, on October 22. The class will be held from 6 - 9 p.m. at the Charlotte Hall Library, 37600 New Market Road in Charlotte Hall.

Many Americans are impacted by the effects of severe weather every year. To obtain critical weather information, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) National Weather Service (NWS) established SKYWARN with partner organizations. SKYWARN is a volunteer program which trains citizens to become severe weather spotters. These volunteers help keep their local communities safe by providing timely and accurate reports of severe weather to the National Weather Service.

SKYWARN spotters provide essential information for all types of weather hazards, including severe thunderstorms, flash floods, tornados and severe winter storms. In an average year, 10,000 severe thunderstorms, 5,000 floods and more than 1,000 tornadoes occur across the United States. These events threaten lives and property. Since the program began in the 1970s, information provided by SKYWARN spotters, coupled with Doppler radar technology, improved satellite and other data has enabled NWS to issue more timely and accurate warnings for tornadoes, severe thunderstorms, flash floods and winter storms.

NWS and the St Mary's County Department of Emergency Services & Technology encourage anyone with an interest in public service and access to communication, such as HAM radio, to join the SKYWARN program. Volunteers include police and fire personnel, dispatchers, EMS workers, public utility workers and other concerned private citizens. Individuals affiliated with hospitals, schools, churches, nursing homes or who have a responsibility for protecting others are also encouraged to become a spotter.

The free class will last approximately two hours and includes the following curriculum:

-- Basics of thunderstorm development

-- Fundamentals of storm structure

-- Identifying potential severe weather features

-- Information to report

-- How to report information

-- Basic severe weather safety

To register for the SKYWARN Basic I class go to http://www.weather.gov/lwx/skywarn.

For more information, please call 301-475-4200 Ext. 2124.

Ethics Commission Seeks Public Input Regarding Meeting Times

In an effort to garner increased citizen participation, the St. Mary's County Ethics Commission is seeking feedback from the public regarding the time it holds meetings.

Currently the commission meets at 2 p.m. on the first Monday of each month however the group is willing to consider changing its meeting time if it leads to more members of the public attending the meetings.

Citizens with suggestions about a more convenient meeting time for the Ethics Commission should contact Diane Gleissner, Office of the County Attorney, at 301-475-4200, ext. 1700 or via email to Diane.Gleissner@stmarysmd.com. .

Commissioners to Hold Next Code Home Public Hearing on October 14

The Commissioners of St. Mary's County will host the next public hearing regarding a proposed move to Code Home Rule form of government on Wednesday, October 14. The hearing will take place at the Hollywood Volunteer Rescue Squad, 23469 Rescue Lane, Hollywood, MD 20636. This is the second of seven hearing commissioners will hold regarding Code Home Rule.

Code Home, which has been part of the Maryland Constitution since 1966, would not significantly change the familiar county commissioner form of government. Rather, it authorizes County Commissioners to enact local laws on a number of subjects without having to await 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. Public hearings on legislation would be held in Leonardtown, rather than in Annapolis during winter months. The public would also have the right to demand a referendum on any new public local law, something which does not currently exist. St. Mary's County is one of six counties in Maryland which has not adopted 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 remaining Code Home Rule public hearings:

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.

MetCom Public Notification Announcement October 4, 2015

The St. Mary’s County Metropolitan Commission is reporting a sanitary sewer overflow in the area of 16668 Piney Point Road, St. George Island. The sanitary sewer overflow is a result of a broken sanitary sewer main. Public contact of flood and standing waters in the general area of the St. George Island Wastewater Pumping Station should be avoided for ten days. For additional information, please contact the St. Mary’s County Metropolitan Commission at (301) 373-5305.

Commission for Women Changes October Meeting Date

Due to the upcoming Columbus Day holiday, the Commission for Women meeting, originally scheduled for Monday, October 12, will now be held on Tuesday, October 13 at 5:30 p.m. in Room 14 inside the Potomac Building. The building is located at 23115 Leonard Hall Drive in Leonardtown.

For more information, please contact the Department of Aging and Human Services at 301-475-4200, extension 1680.

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