LA PLATA, Md. – On Tuesday, Feb. 23, County Administrator Mark Belton, Department of Fiscal and Administrative Services, and other supporting county staff provided the Board of County Commissioners with an update on the Commissioners’ second goal of institutional governance and policy.

County work on institutional governance includes the smart county concept, automated technology and cyber security, information and data programming, equitable program funding, streamlining services and comprehensive zoning review, diversity and cultural competency, employee engagement, citizen engagement, and county branding. County work on public policy includes legislative initiatives and updated process, governance leadership efforts, resource stewardship through asset management and fiscal responsibility, and promotion of local and minority businesses.

Open Session Briefings 

• Department of Emergency Services Director Michelle Lilly and Health Officer Dianna E. Abney provided the Board of County Commissioners with an update on the COVID-19 public health emergency. COVID-19 vaccinations have expanded to include Phase 1A, 1B, and 1C. The Department of Health is providing this information on their website and a recorded hotline message, at 301-609-6710. The State of Maryland now has a call center number, which is 855-MDGOVAX (855-634-6829), available 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. Those who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should get tested through their medical provider, urgent care center, or local pharmacy. A drive-through testing site is available every Tuesday at Regency Furniture Stadium, and appointments are required in advance by scheduling online.

The University of Maryland Charles Regional Medical Center provided an update on its COVID-19 patients and vaccination of its staff. Charles County Public Schools Director of School Safety and Security Jason Stoddart provided an update on county teachers and other school staff receiving the vaccination. Chief of Media Services Jennifer Harris provided an update on the county’s communications efforts, which are focused on informing residents about the upcoming COVID-19 vaccinations and reminders to continue to wear masks, social distancing, and avoiding large gatherings of family and friends.

• Department of Planning and Growth Management staff provided a presentation on the VanGO Operations and Maintenance Facility at the Driggs site. The design and engineering phase began in December 2020 and 30 percent of the design is expected to be complete in March 2021.

• Department of Planning and Growth Management provided presentation on the annual VanGO Transportation Plan and the Commissioners provided approval for the plan and Resolution 2021-03 Authorizing Applications for Grants under the Federal Transit Act.

• Department of Planning and Growth Management and Southern Maryland Resource Conservation and Development (RC&D) Board, Inc. provided a presentation on leveraging innovative partnerships with the county, Department of Defense, Maryland Department of Natural Resources, and RC&D, to include the Zekiah Watershed Rural Legacy Area. The County Commissioners approved the Memorandum of Understanding with RC&D.

• Department of Planning Growth and Management, Department of Public Works, and Economic Development Department provided update on Waldorf Urban Redevelopment Corridor. Commissioners requested county staff to address zoning concerns and county staff to present implementation plan priorities to Commissioners at a later date.

Approval Items

Commissioners also approved the following items:

• A fiscal 2021 budget transfer request of $149,000 to cover costs to construct a well building at Cliffton Well 5.

• A fiscal 2021 budget transfer request of $216,180 to cover the final expenses associated with the BRIDGE pilot program.

• A fiscal 2021 budget transfer request of $215,000 for the purchase of mobile recreation vehicle, which would further outreach to the community and underserved populations through the county. 

• A fiscal 2021 budget transfer request of $60,750 for the maintenance of county-owned traffic signals by the Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Association.,

• A requested membership change to Public School Forward Funding Task Force.

Proposed bylaw changes, a change from seven voting members to nine voting members, to the Resilience Authority of Charles County.

• A Memorandum of Understanding with the Maryland Department of Health and Southern Maryland Blue Crabs to utilize the Regency Furniture Stadium as a mass COVID-19 vaccination site.


• Appointed Dr. Craig Beyrouty, Bonnie Norman, Dr. Charles C. Glass, Ryan Hicks, Patrice Kelly, Tom Schueler, Jenifer Ellin, Deborah Carpenter, Dave Nemazie, Daniel Donohue, and Teresa Ball to the Board of Directors of the Resilience Authority of Charles County.

Legislative Update
Associate County Attorney Danielle Mitchell discussed the 2021 legislative bills being considered by the Maryland General Assembly, including House Bill 655 and an amendment to House Bill 1061. Charles County Board of Education representatives discussed House Bill 1060 with the County Commissioners, as well as Senate Bill 245.

National Engineers Week

Next Commissioners Session: March 2, 2021 (held virtually)

Citizens with special needs may contact the Maryland Relay Service at 711, or Relay Service TDD: 800-735-2258.