It has been a lively month since the last Courthouse News. After the conclusion of a very successful and educational Summer Conference in Ocean City, county leaders were literally jolted back to reality by an earthquake and Hurricane Irene. Counties are on the frontline when responding to such disasters and our response, combined with State coordination, helped minimize damage and subsequent disruptions.
Instead of being able to slow down and take a breath, MACo's Legislative Committee will have a full list of issues on its plate when it convenes on September 14. One of its top priorities will be the approval of MACo's Legislative Initiatives for the 2012 General Session. With significant issues such as county budget security, land use, school construction funding, and educational funding accountability under consideration, MACo will undoubtedly have a busy and challenging session.
The Committee will also receive an update on PlanMaryland and related land use initiatives from Maryland Planning Secretary Rich Hall and MACo staff. Land use planning is a core prerogative and responsibility of local governments and MACo's comments on the first draft of the Plan plainly stated our concerns. We hope the second draft of the Plan will address our issues and will continue to pursue changes to the draft if not.
As demonstrated by our response to Irene, when the State works in collaboration with the counties, we can accomplish great things. We look forward to the same as discussions continue on PlanMaryland.
Howard County Executive Ken Ulman