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Posted on: August 10, 2018

MACo Summer Conference

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Maryland Association of Counties Summer Conference

The Allegany County Commissioners, Jacob C. Shade and William R. Valentine, County Administrator Brandon S. Butler, Director of Economic & Community Development Jeffrey S. Barclay, Director of Human Resources Brian P. Westfall, Director of Planning & Growth Angela Patterson, Director of Tourism Ashli Workman, and Jessica L. Palumbo, Marketing and Sales Manager, will participate in the Maryland Association of Counties (MACA) Summer Conference, August 15 - 18, 2018.


Twenty-five hundred local government officials, county staff decision-makers, legislators, state and federal officials, business representatives, and exhibitors are expected for the conference at Ocean City's Roland Powell Convention Center.


The theme of the conference is "Water, Water Everywhere" with many panels focused on state and federal storm water management requirements. County governments are involved in the infrastructure, treatment, and regulations that ensure safe and healthy water is available for residents and commercial enterprises.


During the conference, local government officials will have the opportunity to gain knowledge and understanding of the most important issues facing local governments. Officials will share ideas and discuss viable solutions to numerous challenges, small and large. Year after year, the short and long-term benefits from talking face-to-face with colleagues are immeasurable.


Education Sessions & Exhibits

Educational sessions are emphasized at the conference. There are over 30 sessions: general sessions for everyone as well as affiliate sessions which present specialized topics for administrators, attorneys, health officers, engineers, planners, information technology professionals, etc. There are 90 + speakers involved in the conference.


Commissioner Valentine, who serves on the MACO Board of Directors, was appointed by MACO's Executive Director to be MACO's rural county representative on the prestigious Kirwan Commission. Commissioner Valentine will join William R. Kirwan, Chancellor Emeritus of the University System of Maryland, and MACо's urban county representative Montgomery County Council member Craig Rice for an educational session. The panelists will focus on education funding and accountability, and how to best ensure that Maryland students receive a fair, equitable, and high-quality education.


A technology-focused tradeshow is a new addition. Sixty companies exhibiting at the Tech Expo will bring live demonstrations of technology products including: 3D printers, body cameras, virtual reality demonstrations, speed cameras, and more. Attendees will see demos of software to help with data storage, safe and secure digital record-keeping, and cybersecurity. There will be deep-dive intensive technology sessions, complete with demonstrations of the latest technology for county governments. Tech and cyber vendors will introduce their products and services.


The conference will also feature 250 exhibiting companies. County leaders will be abeteam mmercial ve t eringewpducts, service, and programs designed specifically for use by county governments. This will provide another way for county leaders to meet and discuss how they can cut costs, increase efficiency, and streamline services for the benefit of their constituents.


Finally, the Academy for Excellence in Local Governance will, once again, provide a professional development program designed to train informed and responsible local official there providing jurisdictions with the leadership needed to meet the challenges of the 21st century. The Academy is associated with the University of Maryland School of Public Policy. County Administrator Brandon S. Butler, a Leadership Maryland graduate, is enrolled in the Academy held during the summer conference. Commissioners Shade, Brodie, and Valentine and Director Westfall are graduates.


The Academy offers eight core courses: basics of risk management, conducting effective meetings, consensus and team building, county financial management, ethics, employment issues, open meetings, and the Public Information Act. There area number of elective courses as well. Courses are taught by experienced officials, proven practitioners, and university faculty. For additional information visit www.publicpolicy.umd.edu/executive-education-academy-excellence-localgovernmance

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