Commissioners Announce Guidelines for 2016 General Assembly Legislative Package Process
Public Hearing Set for Nov. 3
The Charles County Commissioners invite interested citizens, groups, or organizations to submit a legislative proposal or suggestion for revision or amendment to an existing state law. Requests must be submitted in writing by Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015, to:
Office of the County Attorney
P.O. Box 2150
La Plata, Maryland 20646
Each proposal requiring enactment by the Maryland General Assembly will be included in a preliminary package available for distribution on Friday, Oct. 30. The preliminary package will be presented to the County Commissioners at a public hearing on Tuesday, Nov. 3 at 6 p.m. in the Commissioners Meeting Room at the Charles County Government Building (200 Baltimore Street, La Plata). Those who submit proposals will be asked to attend the Nov. 3 public hearing to provide a brief synopsis of the initiative and answer questions.
A work session on the preliminary package is scheduled tentatively for Tuesday, Nov. 17. During the work session, the County Commissioners will review the proposals and determine which ones will be forwarded to the Charles County Delegation for inclusion in the 2016 General Assembly Legislative Package.
For more information, call the Countys Attorneys Office at 301-645-0555. Citizens with special needs may contact the Maryland Relay Service at 711, or Relay Service TDD: 800-735-2258.
Nov. 2 Planning Commission Meeting Canceled
The Charles County Planning Commission meeting originally scheduled for Monday, Nov. 2 is canceled.
The next regular meeting of the Planning Commission is scheduled for Monday, Nov. 16 at 6 p.m. in the Commissioners meeting room at the Charles County Government Building (200 Baltimore Street, La Plata).
Visit www.charlescountymd.gov/commissioners/boards/planning-commission for Planning Commission agendas and minutes.
For more information, contact Clerk to the Planning Commission, Theresa Pickeral, at 301-638-2409 or PickerTh@CharlesCountyMD.gov. Citizens with special needs may contact the Maryland Relay Service at 711, or Relay Service TDD: 800-735-2258.
Economic Development Fall Meeting Set for Nov. 3
The Charles County business community and stakeholders will get an update on the countys economic development direction next week. In lieu of its annual Economic Summit, the Department of Economic Development is hosting a Fall Meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 3 at the Greater Waldorf Jaycees Community Center (3090 Crain Highway, Waldorf) from 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. The meeting, titled, Are We on the Same Page? Building Consensus, will focus on partnership and collaboration towards vibrant economic development in Charles County.
Discussion topics include partnership programs to support small business, an update on the state of Marylands restructuring of the Department of Business and Economic Development into the Department of Commerce, and local partnering initiatives. A keynote address from one of the consultants engaged to create the countys new strategic economic development plan will focus on the characteristics that make a community competitive and successful in creating a business ecosystem and attracting new jobs and new investment.
• 8 a.m. Networking Breakfast
• 8:30 a.m. Program Begins
• 10:30 a.m. Keynote Address
The meeting will begin with several brief presentations from small business and business development partners as well as the countys new Department of Economic Development Director, Darrell A. Brown, Esq. The keynote speaker is Jay Garner, president of Garner Economics, LLC and a 35-year, award-winning veteran of site location consulting and economic development. His presentation will provide a framework for building consensus and a competitive economic development.
For more information about the meeting or the Department of Economic Development, visit www.MeetCharlesCounty.com. To register for the meeting, visit www.eventbrite.com/e/the-annual-economic-development-fall-meeting-registration-18886274355. Citizens with special needs may contact the Maryland Relay Service at 711 or Relay Service TDD: 800-735-2258.
Commissioners Present Citation to Local Bus Driver
On Wednesday, Oct. 21, the Charles County Commissioners presented a citation to Charles County Public Schools bus driver, Chiquita Posey. Posey assisted a wounded 17-year-old who was shot and robbed. Posey drove the young man to safety, aided his wound, and waited with him until police arrived. The Commissioners thanked Posey for her inspiring example of kindness and courage.
In attendance were Dr. Kimberly Hill, Charles County Public Schools; Commissioner Bobby Rucci (District 4); Commissioner Vice President Ken Robinson (District 1); Chiquita Posey with her family; Commissioner President Peter F. Murphy; Commissioner Amanda M. Stewart, M.Ed. (District 3); and Commissioner Debra M. Davis, Esq. (District 2).
Commissioners Recognize 70th Anniversary of the United Nations Charter
On Tuesday, Oct. 20, the Charles County Commissioners join the State of Maryland and the nation in celebrating October 2015 as the 70th anniversary of the signing of the United Nations (UN) Charter. The UN is an international organization consisting of 193 member states, guided by the purposes and principles contained in its founding charter.
The charter provides an opportunity to reflect on the UN history and its enduring achievements. The charter spotlights where the UN, and the international community as a whole, needs to increase its efforts to meet current and future challenges within the areas of peace and security, development, and human rights.
Charles County recognizes the importance of the UN for the welfare of people near and far, and joins the international community in celebrating its past and looking forward to its future.
In attendance were Commissioner Debra M. Davis, Esq. (District 2); Commissioner Bobby Rucci (District 4); Delegate Edith Patterson, Ed.D., Nu Zeta Omega Chapter - Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated; Denise Barnes and Natalie Hart, Nu Zeta Omega Chapter - Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated; Commissioner Vice President Ken Robinson (District 1); Amelia Turner, Nu Zeta Omega Chapter - Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated; Commissioner Amanda M. Stewart, M.Ed. (District 3); Cecelia Spinks and Agnes Lilly, Nu Zeta Omega Chapter - Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated; Commissioner President Peter F. Murphy; Francine Dove Hawkins, Nu Zeta Omega Chapter - Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated.
Charles County Receives High Bond Ratings, Financial Outlook Upgrade
Bond rating agencies Moodys Investors Service, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services, and Fitch Ratings affirmed the countys high ratings for general obligation bonds. Standard & Poors and Fitch assigned Charles County's general obligation bonds an "AAA" rating, the highest rating issued by the agencies. Moody's assigned an "Aa1" rating, and upgraded Charles Countys financial outlook to "positive" from "stable."
The revised outlook received from Moodys Investors Service increases the countys chance of receiving a rating upgrade from the agency in the next 12-18 months. According to a Sept. 28 news release issued by Moodys, factors that could result in a rating upgrade include continued growth and diversification of the tax base and continued positive budget-to-actual operations, resulting in stable reserves.
On behalf of the Board of Commissioners, Charles County Commissioner President Peter F. Murphy said, Such favorable bond ratings reflect Charles Countys strong fiscal management and the vibrancy and health of our local economy. We are pleased with the rating results, and expect Charles County to remain financially stable and well positioned for the future.
In an Oct. 2 announcement, Fitch identified the countys stable reserve levels, healthy debt profile, and its narrow yet stable and wealthy economy as key rating drivers. Fitch noted Charles Countys economy benefits from the presence of a naval research facility as well as a location proximate to the employment centers of Washington D.C. and northern Virginia.
The confirmation from all three rating agencies of our excellent bond ratings is their professional evaluation of many factors within Charles County, such as our economy, debt structure, financial condition, demographics, and management practices. The high-grade ratings continue to show financial markets that Charles County bonds are a good investment. The ratings will also help us receive lower interest rates on our long term debt, as demonstrated by the 2.47 percent interest rate received on Oct. 6. These bonds will help fund the cost of infrastructure needed throughout the county for schools, roads, water, and sewer, said David Eicholtz, director of Fiscal and Administrative Services. I certainly appreciate the respect Fitch, S&P, and Moody's are showing Charles County with our rating confirmations.
In September, county officials traveled to New York and met with bond rating experts who reviewed the health and stability of the county based on budget management, external audits, financial management, and economic development. Bond proceeds will be used to fund various capital projects for the Board of Education, water and sewer system, stormwater system, and road maintenance.
Participation Requested for Economic Development Business Survey
During the next two weeks, Charles County residents and businesses are encouraged to participate in a brief, 10-minute online survey for an economic development analysis to be used by the Charles County Department of Economic Development. The analysis is part of a strategic planning process to result in a new, five-year economic development strategic plan for the county. The electronic survey is live now through Oct. 30, 2015.
The survey is available at http://charlescountyed.questionpro.com. To be considered in the analysis, the answers must be submitted by Friday, Oct. 30 at 5 p.m.
Community-wide feedback is essential as we consider ways to leverage and enhance Charles Countys economic development activities, said Darrell Brown, director of the Department of Economic Development. We strongly encourage every county resident to make their voice heard by participating in this online survey.
The survey includes questions from focus groups recently conducted by Garner Economics, LLC, a consulting team for Economic Development. The online survey allows all county residents and business individuals to provide input, with options based on feedback from the focus groups. A comment box is available for each question to list additional ideas or concerns.
Darrell Brown, director of the Department of Economic Development said, We must have clear action steps that we can take together, as a community, to achieve the economic prosperity that our county has the potential to achieve. But in order to do that, we have to collaborate and commit to an ongoing, sustained effort for which we are accountable and in which we are all partners. This is why everybodys input is so vital.
For additional information about the Department of Economic Development, visit www.MeetCharlesCounty.com.
County Leaders Meet with Sen. Mikulski to Discuss Current Priorities
On Monday, Oct. 5 the Charles County Commissioners had the honor of meeting with U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski at Naval Support Facility, Indian Head. Mikulski began serving in the House of Representatives in 1977, and is the longest-serving woman in the history of the United States Congress.
The Commissioners shared with Mikulski their visions and goals for the county, and how they can continue working together to benefit Charles County residents. Discussion focused on the future of the naval base and its importance as a valuable county asset. Director of Economic Development Darrell A. Brown and Indian Head Mayor Brandon Paulin were in attendance.