St. Mary's Co. Gov. News Briefs

Garvey Senior Activity Center Council to Host Town Hall Discussion

The Garvey Senior Activity Center Council will host a Town Hall meeting to update and provide information on the group's accomplishments and determine present and future next steps.

Attendees can also offer ideas and suggestions for the new Garvey Senior Activity Center and to assist with fundraising efforts to outfit the new center.

The town hall will be held on Monday, November 16 at 1:30 p.m. in the multipurpose room inside the Garvey Senior Activity Center in Leonardtown. Light refreshments will be served.

For more information call 301-475-4200, ext. 1072.

Contractors Needed to Educate Local Youth on Health Risks of E-Cigarettes

The St. Mary’s County Health Department is seeking contractors to educate local youth on the health risks of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes). Use of tobacco and exposure to second hand smoke are the leading preventable causes of death in the United States. Funds for this award are provided from the Cigarette Restitution Fund which is administered through the Prevention and Health Promotion Administration within the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. For more information about this request for proposals, please visit the health department’s website at

Board of Elections Seeks Election Judges for 2016 Presidential Elections

The St. Mary's County Board of Elections are looking for persons interested in being Election Judges for the 2016 Primary and General elections. The primary election is scheduled for Tuesday, April 26, 2016 and the General election will be held Tuesday, November 8, 2016.

Who can be an Election Judge?

You are eligible if you:

• Are registered to vote in Maryland

• Are not a candidate for any public or political party office

• Are detailed oriented and can speak, read and write the English language

• Are a motivated person who can endure long hours (6 a.m. - 10 p.m.) You may not leave at any time

• Can provide your own transportation to and from your assigned polling place

• Enjoy meeting people and serving the public

What does an Election Judge do?

In accordance with Federal and State law, you must perform all of the duties assigned to you by the Local Board of Elections and perform your duties faithfully, diligently and without partiality or prejudice.

• Prepare the polling place for voting

• Check voters in

• Instruct voters on how to use the voting equipment

• Maintain the security of voting materials

• Close the polling place

Is an Election Judge paid?

Yes. Judges are paid 150.00 per election as well as 30.00 for attending the required training class. However if you do not work the Election, you do not get paid for attending the training class. You will be paid by the county within 4-6 weeks.

Citizens interested in becoming an Election Judge should go to and click Residents, then click Elections and then the Election Judge star. Once there, fill out the prospective judge form and mail it to P.O. Box 197, Leonardtown MD, 20650. You may call the Elections Office at 301 475-7844 (1614) or Email for more information. Prospective Judge forms can be faxed to 301 475-4077.

SORP Changes Meeting Time

The Sheriff's Office Retirement Plan (SORP) Board of Trustees meeting, scheduled for Thursday, November 19 at 1 p.m., will now begin at 2 p.m.

The meeting will take place in the commissioners meeting room, inside the Chesapeake Building, in Leonardtown.

Commissioners Celebrate National Disability Awareness Month

Back in 1945 Congress designated the first week in October as National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week. In 1988, Congress expanded the week to a month and changed its name to National Disability Employment Awareness Month. The Commissioners of St. Mary's County continued the tradition by issuing a National Disability Awareness Month proclamation for St. Mary's County during its weekly business meeting.

The commissioners recognize individuals with disabilities are an untapped resource and are among those experiencing the highest unemployment rate at 16.8% of any group in Maryland. "Employers can enhance and bring diversity to their businesses and workplaces by creating equal career opportunities and practices in addition to hiring qualified individuals with disabilities," said Commissioner Todd Morgan (4th District).

The U.S. Department of Labor's theme for this year's observance, which celebrates 70 years of Disability Employment Awareness Month, is "My disability is one part of who I am." The goal is to raise awareness about disability employment issues, honor the many diverse contributions of America's workers with disabilities, and convey that advancing disability employment is much more than just hiring; it is about creating a continuum of inclusion.

The commissioners urge county citizens to observe the month with appropriate programs and activities which reaffirm the dedication to create equal employment opportunities for people with disabilities.

Commissioners Join Business Leaders on Trade Mission to Alabama

In an effort to learn firsthand how a predominantly military community has successfully diversified its economy, Commissioners Randy Guy and Tom Jarboe were among a delegation of 14 government and business leaders on a trade mission to Huntsville, Alabama.

The delegation also included County Administrator Dr. Rebecca Bridgett, County Economic Development director Chris Kaselemis, Richard Braam, chair of the St. Mary's County Economic Development Commission, private sector executives, a State economic development representative, Department of Defense representatives from NAWC-AD, a private developer, St. Mary's County Chamber of Commerce, and a defense advocacy agency representative.

The group traveled to Huntsville October 21 - 23 at the invitation of Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle and the Huntsville Chamber of Commerce. While there they visited a number of sites and companies, including Redstone Arsenal a garrison for tenants including the Unites States Army's Material Command, Aviation and Missile Command, the Department of Defense's Missile Defense Agency and NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center. Redstone employs over 35,000 employees, working in over 19 million square feet of office space on 38,125 acres of land.

The group also visited NASA's Payload Operations Center and Hudson Alpha Research as well as receiving briefings on cyberHuntsville, Providence Development and GAN Corporation.

"Huntsville's economy has some similarities to St. Mary's in that both have a large military installation anchoring their economy," said Chris Kaselemis, St. Mary's County Economic Development Director. However, the Huntsville economy is also powered by private sector dollars, with a nearly 50/50 split between government jobs and private sector jobs."

Huntsville's target industries include defense, aerospace, life sciences, information technology, and advanced manufacturing.

The group learned how Huntsville successfully attracts companies with incentives and fast-track permitting. "I would offer that this would be a great opportunity for this Board of Commissioners to work with our delegation to try and come up with some solutions and see if we can ease that process because that's a big deal," said Commissioner Tom Jarboe (1st District).

Jarboe also believes tax abatements would be another incentive to luring new companies to St. Mary's.

The group also had the opportunity to meet with Alabama State Senator Bill Holtzclaw. "It was very enlightening to hear what he had to say," said Commissioner President Randy Guy. "He was big on pushing government services down to the lowest level. He said 'I don't want the county coming to me for anything' except for what relates to the entire state of Alabama and not the county."

Other takeaways from the trip included opportunities to collaborate with the state to incentivize development, partner with private sector firms in local efforts to improve the economy, tying an infrastructure plan to the BRAC report card, and develop ways to attract new businesses both regionally and nationwide.

"It was a power-packed tour - both informative and experiential. I look forward to the opportunities for implementation in St. Mary's County," said Dr. Rebecca Bridgett, County Administrator.

Members of the delegation will meet on November 5 to discuss things they experienced on the trip and the steps needed to make them a reality.

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