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Posted on: March 16, 2020

Executive Director's Weekly Update During COVID-19 Emergency 04/06/2020

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TO:             Maryland Municipal Leaders

FROM:       Scott A. Hancock, Executive Director 

SUBJECT:  Executive Director’s Weekly UPDATE During COVID-19 Emergency

DATE:     April 6, 2020

I write this update as we begin the fourth week of working remotely at MML.  Although the virtual environment is tolerable for our Team, I think we all long for the day when social distancing will no longer be required, and we can be in each other’s presence at 1212 West Street!  In the meantime, we all remain safe at home and healthy as I trust is the case with you.

Your Association staff remains available to respond to our members in an expedited manner. All of our in-office communications have been technologically shifted to our personal devices, including MML’s main phone line (410-295-9100) and general email box (mail@mdmunicipal.org) which is personally answered by MML staff.  We remain your “one-stop” source for Federal, State of Maryland and municipal issues related to the novel coronavirus.  We hope you will make the MML COVID-19 Resource Center your first stop when searching for information.  Our website is updated several times a day and includes the very latest in executive orders, business assistance and community welfare information. Please let us know what’s missing that would be helpful to you and your community. We are writing this “playbook” day-by-day.

The MML team members spent the majority of our time last week responding to member inquiries and participating on numerous conference calls.  Most questions related to upcoming municipal elections, virtual meeting platforms and public information act changes during the crisis. I encourage municipal leaders to use MML’s Municipal Connections page to post ideas, questions or thoughts to benefit your municipal colleagues. Networking is an important way to stay educated!

I was personally pleased to have been invited to calls with our two United States Senators and Congressman Anthony Brown last week as they telephonically met with Maryland municipal leaders. The calls were informative and allowed municipal officials to have a one-on-one with those responsible for coordinating the COVID -19 Federal response in Maryland.  We also joined the Governor and members of his cabinet to a Friday afternoon briefing of municipal CEOs and CAOs. The coordination with the Governor’s office has been phenomenal and most welcomed.

Now that the Federal Cares Act has been enacted, it is time for you to reach out to your county officials and state representatives to remind them that municipal resources are stretched to the limit and we deserve a portion of the $2.3B allocated to the State of Maryland.  MML is working with state officials to craft a formula for allocations directly to municipal governments but your insistence with your legislators and county commission/council/county executive would be helpful. Also, whatever your expenditures related to reacting to the COVID-19 emergency, PLEASE REMEMBER TO KEEP GOOD RECORDS AND RECEIPTS! You will be glad you did later on.  Also, if you are in need of personal protective equipment for your community’s first responders, please direct your requests to the Maryland Emergency Management Agency.

Your MML staff team remains committed to supporting you in any way we can during this emergency. Please don’t hesitate to reach out.

Please stay well and safe. We will come through this together #MarylandMunicipalStrong!

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Posted on: March 18, 2020