A Message From The President
As I said when I was sworn in during our winter conference, I am honored and humbled to serve as MACo president, especially as our governments cope with the most challenging fiscal period of our lifetimes.
The conference was a terrific opportunity to meet many newly elected officials, and for all of us to reacquaint ourselves with the issues that lie ahead.
What struck me most was the message of cooperation delivered by Gov. Martin O'Malley, who reaffirmed his commitment to working with counties as he -- and we -- grapple with another difficult budget year. I'll say it again: we are fortunate to have as governor an elected official who is one of us, who knows what it is like to manage and make decisions at the local level. I've been going full-speed since we left Cambridge, knowing that we are all working together.
The General Assembly session is underway, and MACo will play as important a role as ever before.
As an organization, MACo will be developing and advocating on positions that are important to all of us: from funding for public safety, roads and other services to the obligations of the public pension system, and to making sure the unintended consequences of seemingly good ideas don't burden Maryland's counties.
As I write this, I just finished testifying before the Senate Budget & Taxation committee on the difficulties that counties face. State lawmakers are making tough decisions, just as we are. I told them that we'd work together, while we as an organization work to protect our collective interests.
Tensions might rise in the weeks ahead, but it's important to keep the dialogue respectful. As the bumper stickers say here in Howard County: "Choose Civility."
Once the legislative session is over and we approve our budgets, what I'm really looking forward to in the coming year is getting to visit your county, sitting down with you and talking about the issues that bring us together. Maryland is a diverse and wonderful place, and I welcome the opportunity for you to show me the greatness from your perspective.
The challenging times we live in require energy and innovation from public servants like you. We in Howard are generating good ideas, and I know you are too. Let's keep putting our heads together, developing innovative solutions and making sure Maryland's counties remain the backbone of what makes this such a desirable place in which to live, work, and raise families.
Thank you again for the distinction of allowing me to serve as head of this great organization.
Howard County Executive