St. Mary's Co. Gov. News Briefs

Redistricting Board Announces Meeting Schedule

The 2013 St. Mary's County Redistricting Board has released it preliminary schedule of meetings. The Board's schedule calls for meetings to be held every other Thursday, beginning this Thursday, April 18. However the locations of the meetings will not always be the same due to previously scheduled meetings for other boards and commissions.

The following is the meeting schedule, including location, for the Board through the end of June:

-- April 18 (Chesapeake Building)

-- May 2 (Room 14, Potomac Building)

-- May 16 (Chesapeake Building)

-- May 30 (Chesapeake Building)

-- June 13 (Room 14, Potomac Building)

-- June 27 (Room 14, Potomac Building)

Meetings held in the Chesapeake Building will take place inside the Commissioners meeting room. The address is 41770 Baldridge Street in Leonardtown. The meetings held in the Potomac Building will take place in the former Commissioner's meeting room (Room 14), located directly behind the Chesapeake Building at 23115 Leonard Hall Drive. All meetings will begin at 6:30 p.m.

The meetings are required by the St. Mary's County Code, Section 26-2, which requires a Redistricting Board to be appointed following each decennial U.S. Census.

All proceedings and records of the Redistricting Board shall comply with the Maryland Public Information Act and St. Mary's County Open Meetings Act.

Volunteers Needed to Represent County on Property Tax Assessment Appeal Board

St. Mary's County is seeking three citizen representatives to the Property Tax Assessment Appeal Board.

Interested applicants will need to submit an Appointee Exemption Disclosure Form, a Biographical Information Form and a copy of their resume for consideration.

Forms can be found on the Property Tax Assessment Appeals webpage on the County website at

Completed forms should be returned to Diane Gleissner, Senior Administrative Coordinator, St. Mary's County Office of the County Attorney, P.O. Box 653, Leonardtown, MD 20650. Submissions can also be faxed to 301-475-4660 or emailed to All forms and information must be received by close of business on Friday, May 10, 2013.

For more information call 301-475-4200 ext. 1700.

Museum Division Partners with Volunteers for Potomac River Clean Up

The St. Mary's County Museum Division of Recreation and Parks spearheaded the 25th Annual Alice Ferguson Foundation Potomac River Watershed Clean Up on Saturday, April 6. The clean-up took place at the St. Clement's Island Museum and Piney Point Lighthouse, Museum and Historic Park. Integral to the effort were volunteers from the St. Mary's College Cares program from St. Mary's College of Maryland, employees from NuStar Energy, L.P. of Piney Point, and St. Clement's Island Museum Junior Volunteers Sikoya Gordon and Sheyonna McClory.

Museum Division staff and volunteers combed the shore lines of the Potomac River along the St. Clement's Island Museum riverfront, St. Clement's Island State Park, Piney Point Lighthouse and Piney Point Creek. The effort netted many bags full of discarded beer cans, water bottles, grocery bags, tires, and wooden debris washed up on shore and more.

The effort supports the Alice Ferguson Foundations initiative to eradicate trash from the watershed and bring awareness that everyone should be responsible caretakers and custodians of a clean environment and of our natural resources.

Library Director Receives National Award Brings National Recognition to St. Mary's County

St. Mary's County Library Director, Kathleen Reif, is the 2013 recipient of the American Library Association (ALA) Peggy Sullivan Award for Public Library Administrators Supporting Services to Children Award. This annual national award is presented to an individual in an administrator role who has shown exceptional understanding and support of public library services to children. She will receive the award on June 30 at the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago.

Reif received the award "for her sustained and effective efforts to providing children's services, with particular attention to early literacy and learning and Every Child Ready to Read (ECRR), a parent education outreach initiative."

Her passion for children and early literacy and her unwavering commitment the role public libraries play in this mission were overwhelmingly evident in the eleven glowing nominations letters from local, state and national colleagues. Local testimony was submitted by library staff, Library Board Vice-President Alan Dillingham, Delegate John Bohanan, retired Commissioner Tom Mattingly, School Superintendent Dr. Michael Martirano and the Carolyn and Grant Graessle family.

According to the jury chair, "the Award Committee was unanimous in their selection of Kathleen." One jury member noted that "her intense focus and commitment to early literacy is what I feel definitely puts her on top." Another stated, "Good leaders can change lives and it sounds like Kathleen has done that as a library administrator in terms of her library colleagues in St. Mary's County, the role model she has become for others dedicated to childhood literacy, and for all the children her initiatives have touched."

Locally, Reif has expanded the WoW Van Service and transformed the children's departments into welcoming spaces for children and families to spend meaningful moments to grow and learn together. She has created and nurtured community relationships and partnerships with Judy Centers, Head Start, social services and local businesses to further early literacy. The library system was selected as one of five pilot sites for The Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge Grant in Maryland.

At the state level, Reif developed and chaired the Maryland Association of Public Library Administrators Birth to Four Task Force in 1998 which led to the statewide campaign "It's Never Too Early." She was instrumental in developing an on-going relationship with public libraries and Ready at Five, the statewide public/private partnership which gives voice to young children in Maryland. She was appointed by Governor Martin O'Malley to represent public libraries on the Maryland Early Childhood Advisory Council, a first for public libraries.

Nationally, her perseverance ultimately led to the creation of the national Every Child Ready to Read initiative which was recognized and earned Maryland public libraries and Reif an invitation to participate in Laura Bush's White House Summit on Early Childhood Cognitive Development in 2001. Her leadership led to the creation of a partnership between Institute of Museum and Library Services, the Office of Head Start, and the Administration for Children and Families' Office of Child Care to encourage collaboration between early childhood programs and public libraries to meet the educational needs of young children and their families.

Not only is this an outstanding honor for Reif, but also for St. Mary's County Library. As she said, "If it weren't for the extraordinary support I receive from the library staff and local partners, I could not have accomplished many of the projects that allowed me to be nominated for this award. I am honored to be recognized by my professional association and, more importantly, to be appreciated by the many colleagues who wrote the support letters."

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