Book offers a glimpse of Maryland cities, towns

Municipal League project part of 2000 celebration

May 07, 2000|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,SUN STAFF

The Maryland Municipal League, which represents the state's municipalities, unveiled in Annapolis on Friday "Maryland's 157: The Incorporated Cities and Towns," a new publication that celebrates the millennium by showcasing all 157 member towns and cities and serves as a resource for students of government.

With a 12-foot-tall replica of the book in the background, league President Jack A. Gullo Jr. presented Gov. Parris N. Glendening with the official first copy.

"It is a millennium gift from the cities and towns," said Linda M. Burrell, editor and league manager of education and member relations. "The whole reason for it is education about a level of government that is closest to the people."

The book is more than a pictorial review or tourism guide, said Gullo, New Windsor's mayor. It was written as a civics lesson and learning tool for Maryland students, he said.

"This book illustrates examples of Maryland government," said Gullo. "It is an easy-to-read synopsis of municipal government in Maryland." The league will donate nearly 3,000 copies to schools and libraries in the state and hopes the book will become a well-used resource.

Municipalities submitted sepia-toned photos from their archives along with glossy color pictures. Many selected aerial shots, depicting an entire vista, or a map that shows readers how to get to the town or city.

"For all of us in municipal government, this book gives us a look at what everyone else says is special about where they live," said Gullo. "It can be an educational platform or a weekend planning guide."

Burrell said the book is meant to fill a gap not addressed by civics books. Readers of "Maryland's 157" will find information on creating a municipality, a description of local powers and information about taxes. Color-coded graphs describe the budget process, which every town must undergo annually.

"There is very little taught about municipal government in our schools and most of it is generic," Burrell said. "The text portion is all about municipal government, its nature and role."

More than two years in the making, the book offers images of every city and town throughout the state, with photographs and text submitted by local officials.

"Every town was encouraged to focus on what was important to it," said Gullo. "It truly highlights cities and towns."

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