It was really a wonderful time for me, my family and friends to be sworn in as MACo President at the Winter Conference. I was so pleased with the event, and it was great to see so many of my friends from across the state there as we all look to the year ahead. The special presentation from my County Council colleagues was both unexpected and very touching.
I also can tell you that it was great to see so many of MACo's friends there. Hearing "Mister MACo" Henry Parker so thankful to receive his award, and so passionate about how important MACo has been to him, was really rewarding for many of us who have taken the reins of this great organization. Being there to talk with Dutch Ruppersberger, Jim Robey, Jan Gardner, and Wilson Parran, all MACo Past Presidents, is also a strong sign that these bonds can really last. I make the most of them, and I hope you can, too.
Looking ahead to my opportunity to serve as your President, I hope to launch some new efforts that I think can bring MACo even closer to your own communities. I am hoping to take the lead of our current NACo President Lenny Eliason, whose "Healthy Counties" initiative has showcased innovation and successes from counties nationwide. I think Maryland, and our own counties, can develop such a focus here, too - and I look forward to building this initiative during the year ahead.
Similarly, I feel like one of the best learning opportunities from MACo's conferences and events is the ability to learn from one another. At the summer conference this year, I'm committed to seeing even more of these best practices on display. Whether it's delivering a better service, saving taxpayer money, or finding private partners for your goals - we need to be talking about all of it. If your county has a project or success story to share, contact me or the MACo staff and we will find a way to showcase it, for everyone's benefit.
As you heard at the conference, we have a challenging year ahead. The economy is weak, the budget is tight, and the list of issues we'll face is long. I'll be remembering the leaders like Henry Parker who guided us through tough times years ago, and I'll be looking to the real strength of our organization - the county leaders from every jurisdiction. We'll work together, and we'll be heard.
Ingrid M. Turner, Esquire
Prince George's County Council Member