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Rural Counties Coalition Continuing Progress

August 23rd, 2013 by WCBC Radio

While it has enjoyed early success and membership is expected to grow, the 10-county partnership known as the Maryland Rural Counties Coalition shouldn’t expect Garrett County to sign up anytime soon. Founded with the help of Allegany County Commissioner Mike McKay and Frederick County Commissioner Blaine Young- the fledgling group boasted a 44 percent success rate in its recent state lobbying efforts. Young said the alliance's efforts, combined with the fact that almost 1 million Marylanders live in member counties, have gotten the attention of state leaders.  During a recent public meeting, Commissioner McKay said he believes Garrett, Harford, Queen Anne's and Talbot counties could potentially join its ranks- however Garrett County Administrator Monty Pagenhart immediately shot down that notion, saying that the commissioners in Garrett are not interested.  Young said that he and Mckay recognized early on the concept of a rural coalition would not be welcomed in all circles- most notably he said from the Maryland Association of Counties. MACO is the state’s primary lobbyist representing all of Maryland. Young said some MACO board members questioned the need for separate,  rural lobbying efforts…


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