Charles Co. Gov. News Briefs

Mallows Bay Draft Plan Public Meeting Set for March 7

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has released the draft plan to designate Mallows Bay in Nanjemoy, Maryland as a National Marine Sanctuary. A public meeting discussing the draft plan will be held on Tuesday, March 7 at the Charles County Government Building (200 Baltimore Street, La Plata) from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Mallows Bay's designation as a National Marine Sanctuary will be the first for the state of Maryland and the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

"Mallows Bay has been a hidden jewel in Charles County for a century. Thanks to President Obama's marine sanctuary nomination, we will be able to share this with not only our residents but with new visitors to the county who will be able to explore and experience first-hand the heritage of our nation," said Commissioner President Peter F. Murphy.

The second public meeting will be held on Thursday, March 9 at Anne Arundel Community College (101 College Parkway, Arnold) from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. NOAA is holding public meetings and accepting public comments on the draft plans through March 31, 2017. To submit comments, visit

Based on widespread and overwhelming community support, the plan calls for the protection of the historic World War I Ghost Fleet, shipwrecks dating back to the Revolutionary War, and archeological sites sacred to Native Americans. Although the sanctuary focuses solely on these historic resources, this tidal area of the Potomac River is also critical to the overall health of the Chesapeake and the ongoing efforts to restore the Bay and its rivers and streams.

Mallows Bay-Potomac River is most renowned for the remains of more than 100 wooden steamships, known as the "Ghost Fleet," which were built for the U.S. Emergency Fleet between 1917-1919 as part of America's engagement in World War I and are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. A Mallows Bay-Potomac River National Marine Sanctuary would preserve these important pieces of American history; enhance public access, education and research; and create business and job opportunities from tourism and outdoor recreation.

For more information about the National Marine Sanctuary System, visit To learn more about Mallows Bay, visit Citizens with special needs may contact the Maryland Relay Service at 711, or Relay Service TDD: 866-269-9006.

Charles County Commissioners February Town Hall Meeting

The Charles County Commissioners invite the public to attend the February town hall meeting as scheduled below. The purpose of Commissioner town hall meetings is to take questions from those in attendance and to discuss items of importance to the citizens and the community.

Board of County Commissioners Quarterly Town Hall Meeting (District 1)

Wednesday, Feb. 15 at 6 p.m.

County Government Building in the Commissioners Meeting Room (200 Baltimore Street, La Plata)

Future town hall meeting dates are available at

Residents are encouraged to email questions to be discussed at the town hall meeting to the Citizen Response Office at or call 301-645-0550. Citizens with special needs may contact the Maryland Relay Service at 711, or Relay Service TDD: 866-269-9006.

National Citizen Survey Results Available Online

Charles County Government, in partnership with the National Research Center, Inc., conducted the National Citizen Survey™ (NCS™) to obtain a baseline measurement for how Charles County Government is serving residents, gauge perceptions of the county, and compare local government agencies. Survey results are available for viewing online at

Survey Summary:

• Most Charles County residents enjoy a good quality of life.

• Safety and economic development are key focus areas for the Charles County community.

• All modes of transportation and economic development are areas for improvement.

• Public trust ratings are mixed, but residents are pleased with customer service.

The survey centered on community livability and included questions about the quality of life in the community, local policies, demographics, rating of local government services, and residents' use of services.

ABOUT THE NATIONAL CITIZEN SURVEY: The National Citizen Survey™ (The NCS™) was among the first scientific surveys developed to gather resident opinion on a range of community issues, and has been used in more than 350 jurisdictions across 46 states. The NCS™ is a high-quality cost-effective scientific survey of resident opinion and an important benchmarking tool that allows for comparison among communities. Communities using The NCS™ have reported that the tool helped improve performance, strengthen communications with community stakeholders, and identify clear priorities for use in goal and budget setting.

Nominations Open for the 2017 Historic Preservation Awards

The Charles County Historic Preservation Commission is seeking nominations for its annual award program for outstanding achievements in historic preservation that occurred during the 2016 calendar year. The Historic Preservation Award is presented annually to an eligible individual, business, organization, or project deserving recognition for outstanding achievements in historic preservation.

Awards are presented in two categories: Preservation Projects and Preservation Service. The Preservation Project award recognizes excellence in the preservation and restoration of historic buildings, and adaptive reuse of historic structures. The Preservation Service award recognizes outstanding achievement in and support for furthering the aims of historic preservation in Charles County, including: education, research, development, planning, advocacy, and community leadership.

The Charles County Commissioners established the Historic Preservation Commission in 2009. The commission recommends properties for local historic landmark designation, reviews exterior changes to locally designated landmarks, and supports documentation of historic resources throughout the county.

The nomination form may be found online at The nomination deadline is Friday, Feb. 24, 2017. The Historic Preservation Commission will host a Preservation Reception and Awards Ceremony in May, to announce the winners.

For more information, please contact Ms. Beth Groth at 301-645-0684 or Citizens with special needs may contact the Maryland Relay Service at 711, or Relay Service TDD: 800-735-2258.

Circuit Court Provides Educational Seminars about Law and Court Processes for Public

The Charles County Circuit Court is hosting free three-hour seminars for the public to learn about common family law issues and court procedures. Upcoming seminars are currently scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 25 and Tuesday, Feb. 21 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Charles County Public Library Waldorf West Branch (10405 O'Donnell Place, Waldorf). The Family Law for the People seminars are for informational purposes only and are not intended to provide legal advice. Participants must attend the seminar in order to obtain participant handbooks.

Topics include:

— Child custody and support

— Divorce

— Starting a case

— Alternatives to trial

— Trial process and procedures

— Finding and working with an attorney

Seminars are for adults only. Child care is not provided. Family Law for the People was developed by the Administrative Office of the Courts Department of Family Administration, Maryland State Bar Association Juvenile Law Section, and the People's Law Library of Maryland.

To register for the seminar, email, or call 301-932-3278. Registration is confidential and is used for the purposes of notifying participants of any changes in the schedule and for statistical reporting. To find additional monthly seminars, visit the Charles County Government online calendar at Citizens with special needs may contact the Maryland Relay Service at 711, or Relay Service TDD: 866-269-9006.

Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Releases Youth Sport Videos for Parents and Coaches

The Department of Recreation, Parks, and Tourism has released a three-part video series titled, "The Rules: A Guide to Youth Sports." The three videos discuss our code of conduct, the impact of youth sports coaches, and basic basketball rules. The videos are available online at

CODE OF CONDUCT: This introductory Code of Conduct video is for parents and caregivers of children participating in youth sports. The video outlines standards for participating in all our sports programs to allow children to have a positive and rewarding experience. The Code of Conduct is based on sportsmanship and fair play.

COACHING: This video outlines benefits of becoming a youth coach, the steps of becoming a volunteer coach, and the expectations for coaches.

BASKETBALL: This video focuses on the more commonly misunderstood basketball moves, featuring Jerry Radford, Maryland Basketball Officials Association commissioner.

For more information, contact the Department of Recreation, Parks, and Tourism at 301-392-3470 or visit Follow the Department of Recreation, Parks, and Tourism on Facebook at Citizens with special needs may contact the Maryland Relay Service at 711, or Relay Service TDD: 866-269-9006.

County Announces Economic Development Advisory Board Members

10 county business leaders to serve on board

Charles County announced today the members of the newly formed Economic Development Advisory Board (EDAB), an entity created by the Board of Commissioners. The advisory board is one of the key recommendations from the county's recently launched five-year Economic Development Strategic Plan, "A Proactive Approach to Shaping the Economic Future of Charles County, Maryland," and consists of 10 board members, all with corporate level experience in business, particularly in the county's target industries.

"We, along with the County Commissioners, are pleased to announce the 10 inaugural members of our Economic Development Advisory Board," said Director for the Economic Development Department Darrell Brown. "The establishment of the EDAB shows the county's commitment to implementing the five-year Economic Development Strategic Plan, and we look forward to an open dialogue with the business community as we move forward with the plan's other recommendations."

Chosen from a pool of applicants based on business experience, the advisory board members, whose terms will be three years (with initial terms varying for one or two years for staggered terms), include:

•Randall Williams, Meinhardt Properties president and Economic Development Advisory Board chair

•Andrew Welburn, The Welburn Organization president

•Bradley Gottfried, College of Southern Maryland president

•Darlene Breck, Southern Maryland Business Center owner

•Paul Blackwood, University of Maryland Medical System Planning vice president

•Harry Shasho, Shasho Consulting, P.A. Commercial Real Estate president and broker

•Jeffrey Guido, Community Hub for Opportunities in Construction Employment for Charles County field representative

•Kimberly Hill, Charles County Public Schools superintendent

•Olajide Ijadare, Mesmo, Inc. founder and president

•Sheila Zattau, Advanced Vision Systems, Inc. marketing manager

The advisory board will play an integral role in advising the Economic Development Department by sharing ideas, solutions, and creative approaches to business and economic development issues facing the county.

"I'm honored to serve as the first chair of the Economic Development Advisory Board," said Randall Williams, president of Meinhardt Properties. "I look forward to leading my fellow board members as we actively support the Economic Development Department in implementing the recommendations of the five-year Economic Development Strategic Plan, as well as creating a direct line of communication between the board and members of the Charles County business community."

For more information about the Economic Development Advisory Board, email For more information about the county's economic development efforts, visit

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