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

St. Mary's Co. Gov. News Briefs


St. Mary's County Traffic Monitoring Camera Project Completed

Working closely with the Maryland State Highway Administration, the St. Mary's County Department of Public Works and Transportation, and utilizing federal grant funds the St. Mary's County Department of Emergency Services & Technology reports the completion of the Traffic Monitoring Camera Project.

The final camera to be incorporated into the Maryland Coordinated Highways Active Response Team (CHART) program, located at the intersection of Chancellors Run Rd. and Route 235, was activated this past week. Using Federal Grant funds and specifications provided by the State Highway Administration, St. Mary's County can now monitor several critical intersections in real-time.

Previously installed camera locations allow viewing of the intersections at Great Mills Rd. and Route 5; Route 4 and Route 235 (in 2 directions), and Route 5 and New Towne Neck Rd. were added to the CHART system which also displays traffic traveling on the Thomas Johnson Bridge.

Emergency Services & Technology is able to reposition and control the cameras when weather or other emergency situations arise.

The public can be access the video feed through the CHART website at http://www.chart.state.md.us/TravInfo/trafficcams.php# Click on the Southern Maryland Tab to view St. Mary's County camera locations.

Economic Development Commission Changes October Meeting Date

The St. Mary's County Economic Development Commission (SMCEDC) has rescheduled its October meeting. The commission will now meet on Wednesday, October 28 at 6:00 p.m. in the commissioners meeting room inside the Chesapeake Building located at 41770 Baldridge Street, Leonardtown, MD.

The Commission normally meets on the third Wednesday of each month. However, several SMCEDC members are currently participating in the County's Economic Development Trade Delegation trip to Huntsville, Alabama which necessitated the change to the fourth Wednesday of the month for the October meeting.

For more information about the SMCEDC, contact Robin Finnacom, Deputy Director, St. Mary's County Department of Economic Development at 301-475-4200, ext. 1407.

St. Mary's County Commissioners Proclaim Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Domestic violence is a crime which violates an individual's privacy, dignity, security and humanity. Experts say this is attributable to the systematic use of physical, emotional, sexual, psychological and economic control and/or abuse including abuse to women, children and the elderly. In acknowledging the impact domestic violence can have on victims, the Commissioners of St. Mary's County have declared the month of October National Domestic Violence Awareness Month in the county.

Statistics indicate a woman in the United States is assaulted or beaten every 9 seconds and nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner. This equates to more than 10 million people per year. 1 in 5 women has been raped in their lifetime; and

"On a typical day, there are more than 20,000 phone calls placed to domestic violence hotlines nationwide." Said Commissioner John O'Connor (3rd District). "1 in 15 children are exposed to intimate partner violence each year, and 90% of these children are eyewitnesses to this violence."

A confidential, coordinated community response through the St. Mary's County Family Violence Coordinating Council, and agencies such as MedStar St. Mary's Hospital, Southern Maryland Family Advocacy Center, St. Mary's County Department of Social Services, Three Oaks Center and Walden Sierra are available to victims of domestic violence, dating violence and sexual assault.

In proclaiming National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the commissioners recognize the vital work being done by the St. Mary's County Family Violence Coordinating Council and the St. Mary's County Commission for Women and urges citizens to work toward improving victim safety and raising public awareness about how to prevent, recognize and stop domestic violence.

Two Public Hearings to be Held to Allow Comments on Non-Profit Contribution Policy Models

The Commissioners of St. Mary's County invite the public's comments and participation at two public hearings regarding on the Non-Profit Contribution Policy Models.

The models can be found on the County's website at www.stmarysmd.com/boarddocs or can be requested through the County Administrator's Office.

The hearings will be held on Tuesday, October 27, 2015, in the commissioners meeting room inside the Chesapeake Building, 41770 Baldridge Street, Leonardtown, Maryland 20650. The hearing will be held at 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Citizens wishing to make comments should sign-in before the hearing begins. Comments may be limited to three minutes per person. A presentation will be made prior to the start of each hearing.

Written comments received by November 1, 2015 may be considered. These should be mailed to:

Commissioners of St. Mary's County
41770 Baldridge Street, Chesapeake Building
P.O. Box 653
Leonardtown, Maryland 20650

The policy may, as a result of the public hearing or staff comment, be modified in whole, or in part, either substantively or procedurally as a result of the public hearing.

Reasonable accommodation for persons with disabilities should be requested by contacting the St. Mary's County Public Information Office at (301) 475-4200, ext. 1342.

Commissioners Encourage Drug-Free Lifestyle During National Red Ribbon Week Ceremonies

The Commissioners of St. Mary's County held two proclamation ceremonies to address a growing problem in Southern Maryland … illegal drug use. Commissioners joined communities across America plagued by the numerous problems associated with illicit drug use and abuse and those who traffic in them in proclaiming the week of October 23 - 31 as National Red Ribbon Week in St. Mary's County.

The Red Ribbon Campaign, established by Congress in 1988, encourages a drug-free lifestyle and involvement in drug prevention and education efforts. National Red Ribbon Week encourages Americans to wear a red ribbon to show their support for a drug-free environment

"There is hope in winning the war on drugs, and that hope lies in education and drug demand reduction," said Commissioner John O'Connor (3rd District). "This, coupled with the hard work and determination of organizations such as the Southern Maryland Young Marines, help to foster a healthy, drug-free lifestyle."

Red Ribbon Week proclamations were also handed out to the Lance Corporal Caleb John Powers Young Marines. During a separate ceremony staff from the St. Mary's County Department of Aging and Human Services, Walden Behavioral Health, MedStar St. Mary's Hospital, St. Mary's County Health Department, St. Mary's County Public Schools, St. Mary's County Sheriff's Department, Healthy St. Mary's Partnership, and the Community Alcohol Coalition also received proclamations.

The theme of the 2015 National Red Ribbon theme is "Respect Yourself. Be Drug Free." Governments and community leaders realize citizen support is one of the most effective tools in the effort to reduce the use of illicit drugs in communities across the nation.

The commissioners urge all St. Mary's County citizens to join them in this special observance now and throughout the year.

Training Session to be Held for Boards, Committees and Commissions

New Appointees, Current Members and Persons Interested in Volunteering on St. Mary's County Boards, Committees or Commissions are invited to participate in a special training session to acquaint them with their roles. The training will take place on Wednesday, November 4 at 5:30 p.m. in the commissioners meeting room inside the Chesapeake Building in Leonardtown. The address is 41770 Baldridge Street.

The session will begin with a brief overview of the many volunteer opportunities available, requirements to serve on a board or commission and answer any questions about the various volunteer opportunities.

County Administrator Dr. Rebecca Bridgett, and County Attorney George Sparling, will provide information to make the most of the volunteer experience. Topics to be discussed include: Setting an Agenda, the Open Meetings Act, Ethics, Financial Disclosure Forms, Public Information Act, Bylaws (including quorums), and more.

Anyone interested in attending should RSVP by November 2, 2015 to Diane Gleissner via email at diane.gleissner@stmarysmd.com or by phone to 301-475-4200, ext. 1700.

Commissioners and County Business Leaders Head South on Economic Development Trade Delegation

Seeking to come away with ideas on how to diversify the county's economy, two county commissioners and the county administrator will lead a delegation of government and business leaders on a two day trip to Huntsville, Alabama.

Commissioner President Randy Guy and Commissioner Tom Jarboe and County Administrator Dr. Rebecca Bridgett and Department of Economic Development Director Chris Kaselemis will represent county government on the trip. The will be joined by members of the St. Mary's County Chamber of Commerce and select business leaders from the community. The goal of the delegation is to come away with first-hand knowledge on how that city has successfully transformed its local economy.

"We believe there are a number of things we can learn and take away from Huntsville's experience," said Commissioner President Randy Guy. "I expect that we will come away with some points in which we can apply here in St. Mary's County to help broaden and strengthen our economy."

Commissioner Tom Jarboe says Huntsville provides the perfect model for St. Mary's County. "What Huntsville has been able to accomplish is admirable," said Commissioner Jarboe. "In my travels to the city on business over the past few years I've been able to see how they have grown their economy. I believe that what's made them successful can be replicated with our economy because we share a number of the same industries."

The two-day trip features tours and meetings with key leaders in city government and the business community. Wednesday's highlights include an overview of the Huntsville community from the Huntsville Chamber of commerce, a visit to the NASA Payload Operations and Integration Center and a tour of the Cummings Research Park. Thursday features a briefing on CyberHuntsville, a tour of the Technology Regional Innovation Cluster and a working lunch with the developer of the Providence Development.

"We expect to hit the ground running as soon as we land," said County Administrator Dr. Rebecca Bridgett. "The schedule is a mix of activities, meetings and networking.

We look forward to our return to Southern Maryland with lots of ideas to share."

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