TO: Maryland Municipal Leaders
FROM: Scott A. Hancock, MML Executive Director
SUBJECT: COVID-19 State of Emergency - Five Months and Counting......
DATE: August 10, 2020
It has been nearly five months since Governor Hogan issued his State of Emergency declaration in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and though we have been making progress in "flattening the curve" in Maryland, the coronavirus still dominates our lives and our plans in so many ways. Within the last two weeks, plans for our long-anticipated Fall Conference in College Park were pivoted to a virtual event, now scheduled for October 8th and 9th. Program details are being finalized and will be available on the MML website soon but please make note of the October dates on your calendar. In addition to the Fall Conference, the traditional in-person orientation workshop for the MML Board of Directors had to be postponed until the Spring. We sincerely regret and even mourn the loss of opportunities for cherished face-to-face gatherings, but the health and safety of our municipal community leaders will always come first. MML’s ability to facilitate large professional virtual meetings provides education and learning alternatives for our members even when we are unable to hold traditional conferences.
Speaking of alternative learning opportunities, MML recently coordinated a virtual orientation designed for our newer municipal officials. The 45-minute Orientation for Municipal Officials webinar was recorded and is available on MML’s YouTube channel. If you or recently elected members of your council or new appointed staff were unable to participate in the July 29th orientation, I strongly encourage you to review the material covered in the webinar at your leisure.
We hope you have read about the Cities are Essential Campaign, coordinated by the National League of Cities. This national effort aims to educate Congress and the Trump Administration on the "frontline" role our municipalities are playing in the pandemic fight and the need for federal funding DIRECTLY to our nation’s cities and towns. MML continues to partner with NLC in this effort and although recent negotiations ended in a stalemate, we are cautiously optimistic that a deal providing fiscal relief to our municipalities will occur.
MML members are reminded that we are still monitoring and updating the MML Coronavirus Resource Page. We hope you check it often for "all things COVID-19" including applicable Federal and State of Maryland mandates, orders, recommendations and infographics. Whether you are seeking Executive Orders or business grant applications, health department guidelines or social gathering requirements, MML has it posted in one convenient location. We are also posting municipal-specific FAQ’s and many of the "best practices" that Maryland cities and towns have instituted since the virus struck Maryland in March. You are free to "borrow" some of those shared ideas in your community.
To facilitate better communications and the sharing of ideas in a private municipal environment, MML has established a Municipal Connections Page where you may virtually network with your fellow municipal officials in real time on the many special circumstances you are confronting as a result of this emergency. Of course, many municipal leaders are sharing their stories on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Be assured thatMML team members are regularly monitoring various platforms and sharing to the MML Facebook Page, which we encourage you to join, if you haven’t already.
Finally, please accept our deepest appreciation and accolades for the inspiring way you are caring for your communities during these trying times. Your examples of leadership inspired MML’s Felicia Bañuelos to create the Leading by Example video, which is posted on MML’s YouTube channel and on all MML social media platforms. Please feel free to share it on your social media channels and highlight the superb leadership examples being set by Maryland’s cities and towns.
MML remains committed to supporting your municipality in any way we can during this pandemic. Please don’t hesitate to reach out.
Please stay safe and well! We are "#MunicipalMarylandStrong"!