Friday, Aug. 27, 2010
The Charles County commissioners met Tuesday with their newly appointed economic development executive board without giving advance notice of the meeting or opening it to the public.
When asked if the four commissioners’ attendance with no public notice violated the Maryland Open Meetings Act, Commissioner Sam Graves (D) said, “You’re right. The four of us were there, on government property. Like I said, it wasn’t intended to be a meeting [of the commissioners]. It was an opportunity for us to thank them for volunteering.”
The Maryland Independent sent two Open Meetings Act violation complaints to the state’s Open Meetings Law Compliance Board on May 26 for two meetings the commissioners held in May.
The Charles County Board of Commissioners would like to inform citizens that the next public forum will be held on Tuesday, May 6, at 7 p.m. in the Commissioners’ Meeting Room at the Charles County Government Building (200 Baltimore Street, La Plata). Sign-in will begin at 6:30 p.m. outside the Commissioner Meeting Room. Public forums are open to the general public.
...Why We Should Invest in Them
By Richard E. Hall, AICP
On this Earth Day, Marylanders can be proud of their efforts to protect the state’s natural resources, from productive agricultural land to the national gem that is the Chesapeake Bay. This administration has worked hard, along with many others, to protect farmland, forest land, other natural resources and water quality, and we can be grateful that we and future generations can benefit from that.
This is especially important in a growing, but compact state. To do this well, we need to remember the other side of the smart growth coin: investing in cities, towns and communities.
A comment from the floor during a meeting of residents living near a Calvert County gas plant sparked a reaction from the leader of the opposition to an expansion plan at the facility. The meeting took place Wednesday, April 16 in Lusby, a short distance from Cove Point Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Plant. Residents living in subdivisions located near the plant were conducting a community forum sponsored by Calvert Citizens for a Healthy Community (CCHC) and Chesapeake Climate Action Network (CCAN).
The groups are opposed to plans by Dominion Resources to construct a liquefaction facility at the plant. The facility would allow the company to export natural gas to foreign countries.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday morning upheld Michigan’s ban on using race as a factor in college admissions.
In a 6-2 ruling, the justices said the state did not violate the U.S. Constitution when its voters banned affirmative action. The justices say that a lower federal court was wrong to set aside the change as discriminatory.
In 2006, 58 percent of Michigan voters approved Proposal Two, amending their state constitution to ban affirmative action. The state justified the vote as an effort to put an end to racial preferences.
...Fund and Environmental Service Fee Fund Operating Budgets, Proposed Increases to Certain County fees, Rates and Charges, and the Requested 2015-2019 Capital Improvement Program (CIP Budget)
Board Docs - Apr 23, 2014 - Charles County Commissioners’ Meeting
1.03 [7:00 p.m.] Public Hearing: Requested Fiscal Year 2015 General Fund, Water & Sewer Fund, Landfill Fund and Environmental Service Fee Fund Operating Budgets, Proposed Increases to Certain County fees, Rates and Charges, and the Requested 2015-2019 Capital Improvement Program (CIP Budget)
Board Docs - Apr 23, 2014 - Charles County Commissioners’ Meeting
1.02 [6:30 p.m.] Public Hearing: Fiscal Year 2015 Constant Yield Tax Rate
Board Docs - Apr 22, 2014 - Charles County Commissioners’ Meeting
1.10 [11:20 a.m.] Initial Work Session/Introduction: HOA Governing Documents Legislation (Ms. Barbara Holtz, County Attorney)
Delivering on the O’Malley-Brown Administration’s commitment to reduce congestion and enhance highway safety in Southern Maryland, Transportation Secretary James T. Smith, Jr. joined area officials to break ground on the northbound MD 4 widening project at MD 235 and activate a traffic signal along MD 4 at Wildewood Parkway in St. Mary’s County.
“Thanks to Governor O’Malley, Lt. Governor Brown and the legislative leadership in Annapolis, the Transportation Investment Act is now delivering real projects that will make a real difference in St. Mary’s County,” said Secretary Smith. “With the strong support and hard work of Delegate Bohanan, these projects will support economic development and enhance safety while protecting the quality of life that makes Southern Maryland so special.”
The General Assembly last year made it possible for Maryland counties to establish public financing of local offices such as county executive and council members. This is a great idea, but unfortunately it will not be available until the 2018 elections.
Campaign financing has been a hot issue in recent years, and no wonder. The Supreme Court has handed down two decisions that make greater financial contributions to candidates possible, and money has become even more influential in state and national elections.
Presidential campaigns being fueled by millions from special interest groups is one thing, but when local politics are backed by special interests, the consequences can be much more direct.
The Montgomery County Council is breaking new ground in Maryland as it moves to establish public financing. According to Andrews, all nine member of the council are backing this local bill, along with a number of organizations.
The U.S. Supreme Court refused Monday to hear an appeal by Florida Gov. Rick Scott on his 2011 executive order that would have required random drug tests for as many as 85,000 state workers.
The ruling lets stand an appeals court decision that Scott’s order was too broad. That decision also directed a Miami federal judge to oversee ongoing negotiations between the state and an employee union over which positions could be subjected to random drug tests.
The number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan may drop well below 10,000 - the minimum demanded by the U.S. military to train Afghan forces - as the longest war in American history winds down, Obama administration officials briefed on the matter say.
Since Afghanistan’s general election on April 5, White House, State Department and Pentagon officials have resumed discussions on how many American troops should remain after the current U.S.-led coalition ends its mission this year.
General Motors Co filed a motion in a U.S. bankruptcy court to enforce a bar on lawsuits related to ignition defects in cars sold before its 2009 bankruptcy as it fights a class action lawsuit that seeks to set aside the restriction.
The plaintiffs also filed a class action lawsuit on Monday, seeking an order declaring that GM cannot use the bankruptcy protection to absolve itself from liabilities.