Commissioners attend conference of counties

August 22, 1993|By Kerry O'Rourke | Kerry O'Rourke,Staff Writer

Carroll commissioners talked about everything from jails to the Maryland Wine Festival last week at the Maryland Association of Counties' annual summer conference in Ocean City.

"It was quite productive from beginning to end," Commissioner Elmer C. Lippy said Friday.

All three commissioners attended the three-day conference. About 1,000 officials from around the state were there, said Commissioner Julia W. Gouge, who is MACo's first vice president.

The seminars were informative and helpful, but a bit of information from a top official in the state Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services was a highlight, Mr. Lippy said.

Commissioner of Correction Richard A. Lanham Sr. talked with Mr. Lippy and Commissioner Donald I. Dell about the county's planned jail expansion.

"Rich gave us a real good tip that made the whole trip worthwhile," Mr. Lippy said.

The county has a 120-bed jail that often is overcrowded, and the commissioners are considering using modular buildings to enlarge the jail instead of building an addition.

Mr. Lanham didn't recommend modulars as a long-term solution to overcrowding, but he told the commissioners about a Maryland town with two modulars for sale.

Mr. Lippy did not want to reveal the town, for fear another countywould beat Carroll to the deal.

"Quite possibly, we could get a real bargain," he said.

Mr. Lippy and Mr. Dell met with a number of top state officials Friday afternoon. Mrs. Gouge could not attend the meetings because she was moderating a seminar about the Americans with Disabilities Act.

She was scheduled to moderate a session about the State Board of Education yesterday.

"Overall, I think it's been a real nice conference," Mrs. Gouge said.

Mr. Dell said he especially liked a session called "The Challenge of Streamlining Development: Implementing the Growth Management Act."

"They said bureaucratic red tape has gone too far over center," he said.

Mr. Lippy said he liked a session called "Bond Ratings: What Do They Mean? Are They Worth It?"

"It cleared up a lot of my ignorance on the mysteries of bond ratings," he said.

The county sponsored a booth at the conference advertising the anniversary of the Maryland Wine Festival. The event is Sept. 18 and 19 at the Carroll County Farm Museum.

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