News Release, Charles County Government

On Tuesday, March 5, the Board of Commissioners received a briefing on theALICE Report, which was commissioned by United Way and provides a framework and tools to identify and measure the needs of a growing population of households that do not earn enough income to afford basic necessities. These needs include housing, food, child care, transportation, and health care. Michael Bellis, executive director of the United Way of Charles County, highlighted the results from the 2016 data from Charles County. He shared some of the many challenges that county residents face due to lower wages, higher costs-of-living, and related factors that may affect household budgets such as caregiving expenses.

Commissioners approved anauthorizing resolutionfor a grant application to fund theFiscal 2020 Annual VanGO Transportation Plan. The consolidated grant application to the Maryland Department of Transportation and the Maryland Transit Administration requests $3.6 million to partially fund VanGO transit operations. The application includes a request for a new route to the Waldorf Senior and Recreational Facility, full-time security at both VanGO transfer points, and funds for a variety of capital assistance needs.

Open Session Briefings

  • Department of Social Services:Director Therese Wolf presented an overview of theagency’s mission, services, and operationswithin Charles County. Theagencyoversees programs that address food insecurity, homelessness, work development, medical and disability program enrollment, long-term care eligibility, temporary cash assistance, child abuse and neglect, foster care, adult abuse and adult care services, and child support collection. Wolf discussed new initiatives and current challenges within the county.
  • Department of Planning and Growth Management (PGM):Staff presented anoverviewof the department, which includesAdministration,Planning,VanGo, andCodes, Permits and Inspection Services. They highlighted progress over the past year, including an internal reorganization, implementation of online permitting software, and process improvements to enhance customer service. Commissioners also toured the department’s office and learned more about its operations.
  • Charles County Charitable Trust:Sandy McGraw, president of the Board of Directors, presented anoverviewof its services and highlighted the challenges and needs in the community. The Charitable Trust administers the county’snonprofit grant award program, provides nonprofit professional development and advocacy, and conducts fundraising activities to obtain contributions from outside the county.

Work Session

Commissioners held a work session to review and discuss the Board’s operating procedures for its sponsorship process,community support policy, andexpense policy. Commissioners decided to defer discussion onCommunity Support Policy CC.1.019to a following meeting in order to revise language within the document.

Public Hearing

Commissioners held apublic hearingto receive comments on the Waldorf Volunteer Fire Department request for approval of aresolutionthat would authorize the fire department to issue bonds for the purpose of purchasing a pumper truck.

Approval Items

Commissioners discussed and approved anupdated resolutionto establish a Rural Land Use Designations Task Force. The Task Forcewill evaluate opportunities for preservation of the county’s rural heritage through existing and proposed farming, agricultural, and agri-tourism uses.

Commissioners approved aresolutionto establish a “Complete Count Committee” to support the upcoming Census 2020 in Charles County. Since it was first presented on Feb. 12, the resolution was revised to include representatives from additional groups and included language to dissolve the committee when its work is completed.

The Commissioners also approved:

  • Achange orderin the amount of $159,117.33 for replacement of the wet well at the Cliffton Pump Station.
  • Abudget transfer requestwithin a capital project in the amount of $3 million to pay for design services to address the County’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit requirements.
  • TheCounty Commissioner Expense Policy SOP CC.1.014with the revision of removing “not” from section 1.3.

General Assembly Legislation Update

Acting County Attorney Danielle Mitchell presented updates and requests for action on the county’s legislative priorities for the 2019 Maryland General Assembly Legislative Session.

  • House Bill 389,House Bill 388,House Bill 438, andHouse Bill 400: No additional action reported.
  • Senate Bill 634: Aletter of supportprovided by the Board of Commissioners was included as part of the official record.
  • Senate Bill 290: The Acting County Attorney reported that the Maryland Association of County Health Officers opposes the bill so the Commissioners will not pursue further action.
  • Senate Bill 973: The bill is scheduled for a hearing on Mar. 8.
  • Senate Bill 866: The Board of Commissioners approved ajoint letterfrom the Boards of County Commissioners in St. Mary’s, Calvert, and Charles, requesting that the bill be withdrawn In the letter, they recommended that the counties hold joint discussions with the College of Southern Maryland to reach a mutual agreement on budgetary concerns.
  • Senate Bill 845: The Board of Commissioners approved aletter of supportfor funding of the next planning phase of Southern Maryland Rapid Transit.
  • House Bill 1051: No additional action reported.

Commissioner Appointments

  • Reappointed Russell Scott and Robbie Wilson and appointed Clarissa Stroud-Kemp, Daniella Djiogan, and Aretha Larson to the Commission for Women.
  • Reappointed Matthew Cook and appointed Elizabeth McWey Shelton and Eva Lightfoot to the Animal Matters Hearing Board.


Representatives from the Charles County Commission for Women received a proclamation from Commissioners to recognize March asWomen’s History Month. Charles County will highlight several women who are important to its local history throughout the month of March.

Next Commissioners Meeting:Tuesday, March 12, beginning at 9 a.m.

For More Information:

Commissioners meetings are aired on CCGTV, which broadcasts on Comcast channel 95 and Verizon channel 10, and are available for streaming Materials and minutes of the Commissioners meeting will be posted approval.

David M. Higgins II, Publisher/Editor

David M. Higgins was born in Baltimore and grew up in Southern Maryland. He has had a passion for journalism since high school. After spending many years in the Hospitality Industry he began working in...