State planners seeking public input

Leonardtown, MD - At the Tuesday, Nov. 28 St. Mary's County Board of County Commissioners meeting, the commissioners were given a presentation by officials from Governor Hogan's office and the Maryland Department of Planning, on the"Hogan Initiative" which is developing a master plan for the state going forward. "We are here in a listening mode" said Rob McCord, Acting Secretary from the Maryland Department of Planning. Although late notice was given, the public is invited to express their  views and ask questions of the delegation.

Visit the web site to understand the extent of this initiative. The Commissioners to a person were polite and receptive to the visit  but they all made the point that comparing planning for an urban center like Baltimore does not equate to a rural location like St. Mary's. The state delegation said that "we are not here to impose policies but rather to understand your issues."

One size does not fit all was a theme expressed by the Commissioners. St. Mary's County has tremendous issues with traffic on state roads,Route 235, Route 4 and Route 5. The county needs help with funding to mitigate this issue. Commissioner John O'Connor [R - District 3] also expressed the view that veterans have to travel to Baltimore to access resources they are entitled to, and suggested a decentralization of that function be considered. Commissioner Todd Morgan [R - District 4] felt that the centralized state government seems to push mandates which may be good for urban environments but rural counties lose out. The overall objective is to encourage growth across the state while preserving the environment. Growth is expensive and tough for communities like St. Mary's, which includes several areas on septic rather than sewer.  

The St. Mary’s County listening session was scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 28 in the Commissioners Meeting Room in the Chesapeake Building at 41770 Baldridge Street in Leonardtown. The 3 p.m. meeting is with local planning and other county government staff while a 6 p.m. public meeting will be held with the community.

Other business was conducted, with upcoming events mentioned. Dedication of a portion of Route 235 to Former Senator J Frank Raley and a reception in honor of Ella May Russell's retirement. Upcoming, the commissioners will be meeting with the Southern Maryland Delegation. Dates and times will be posted later. 

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