Annapolis Notes - Jan. 16

January 15, 2012

Don't forget the West

Horse trading is a part of the Annapolis political culture, even on opening day of the Maryland General Assembly session.

Shortly after he was sworn in again as state Senate president on Wednesday, Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. promised to press for a new Dover Bridge for the Eastern Shore, connecting Caroline and Talbot counties. He called it his first priority.

"You can sit there and vote red (against bills)," Miller, D-Calvert/Prince George's, told the Senate, "and I'm still gonna get that damn bridge built, OK?"

"Because it's not a war on rural Maryland," Miller continued. "It's about one Maryland, one Maryland. Frederick, Maryland, southern Maryland, the Eastern Shore. We're gonna make it all happen in a very positive way."

Several minutes later, Sen. George C. Edwards, R-Garrett/Allegany/Washington, challenged Miller's geographic inclusiveness, noting that his Western Maryland district wasn't mentioned.

"You left three counties off," Edwards teased Miller. "So, I wonder are we allowed to move around in the wilderness then?"

"You're gonna get past consideration," Miller replied. "You've helped in the past and I think that you're due some consideration for bills that you voted for in the past. Maybe you haven't seen the fruition of the fruits of your labor. So, that'll be the second thing we take care of after the Dover Bridge, OK?"

On the MACo ladder

Washington County Commissioner John F. Barr, a Republican, was chosen as the treasurer of the nonprofit Maryland Association of Counties at the association's winter conference this month.

Barr, who joined the MACo board a year ago, is now on the organization's leadership ladder. Each year, he would move up one slot — to secretary, then second vice president, then first vice president, then president.

Having a MACo president would be good for Washington County, Barr said — adding, "If I stick around."

Only elected officials may serve on the MACo board.

Barr is in the second year of his second term as a Washington County commissioner. The term ends in 2014, meaning Barr would have to be re-elected to reach the MACo plateau.

Learning leadership

Nancy Allen of Roger Fairbourn Real Estate in Hagerstown was at the State House in Annapolis on Thursday for a Maryland Association of Realtors leadership academy.

Allen said the association heard from Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr., D-Calvert/Prince George's, but she and Miller didn't see eye to eye on some issues.

She visited the State House while she was growing up in College Park, Md., she said, but it means more as an adult who understands the legislative process.

— Andrew Schotz

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