LEONARDTOWN, Md. — The St. Mary’s Board of County Commissioners(BOCC) announced that their Mar. 17 meeting would be canceled largely in response to Gov. Larry Hogan’s [R-MD] State of Emergency declaration regarding the spreading novel coronavirus(COVID-19). In doing so, the Commissioners will be forced to delay their votes that would potentially turn the county into a Second Amendment(2A) sanctuary.

However, this does not mean the movement is dead in the water. Commissioner Todd Morgan [R-District 4] has said that even though the Mar. 17 meeting is canceled, the intent to push forward with the resolution at their next scheduled meeting is strong, assuming that meeting happens.

“Whenever the next meeting happens is when we will likely take the vote…” Morgan explained. “I’m not going to say nothing crazy is going to happen before then… It may not happen on March 24 as the schedule continues to change, but right now we have the intent to take the vote soon.”

In addition to these new cancelations that are sweeping across the state, Morgan made it clear that when the 2A sanctuary vote eventually comes up, large crowds of people in the room may not be ideal given the circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 virus. Although the symbolism behind the movement to create a 2A sanctuary in St. Mary’s County is much of what comprises this resolution, the well-being of the community is something Morgan and other commissioners have said they’d like to keep at the forefront of this ongoing “pandemic”.

On top of the proposed 2A resolution, the draft agenda for the Mar. 17 BOCC meeting listed a budget work session. The commissioners have a number of dates that, by law, must be met in their budget process, such as formalizing the budget by Mar. 31. Multiple commissioners recognize concerns about meeting their budget deadlines, but say the coronavirus shouldn’t be too disruptive to the process.

“We have plenty of time to get the budget complete,” Commissioner Eric Colvin [R-District 1] said. “We just want to be safe and mitigate any risk. Our public hearing [about the budget] is still way out so we have plenty of time to get the budget finalized. We still want to ensure everyone gets a chance to voice their feedback and participate in the process.”

It remains unclear how public hearings might be handled going forward if no breakthroughs with the novel coronavirus are made. The Maryland General Assembly moved yesterday to eliminate all in-person public testimony on bill hearings during what is left of the legislative session, but rules about public testimony on the county level have not yet changed.

“People, please just relax,” Morgan said. “Discretion is the greater part of valor.”

TheBaynet.com has been unable to confirm any additional cases of COVID-19, specifically in St. Mary’s County at the time of publication. We will continue to provide updates as this is an ongoing story.

Contact Zach at zach.hill@thebaynet.com.