Cumberland Times-News

Local News

January 4, 2013

Allegany at MACo forum

Local commissioners join others in Cambridge to deliberate about watershed plans, budget challenges

CUMBERLAND — Allegany County commissioners have been participating in this week’s Maryland Association of Counties Annual Winter Conference in Cambridge and a former county commissioner was honored for his years of public service.

“I came away with a more consistent feeling about the unity of the counties. We were asking the state for a break ... an opportunity to digest the legislation that’s already been passed regarding watershed implementation plans and TMDL’s (total maximum daily loads),” Commission President Michael McKay said. TMDLs are a measure of pollution entering the Chesapeake Bay.

During the conference, a meeting of the Maryland Rural Counties Coalition was planned.

The coalition recently gained its 10th member county. Kent County is the latest member of the coalition.

McKay is the chairman of the Maryland Rural Counties Coalition.

The organization is not meant as a rival to the Maryland Association of Counties, McKay has said. He said there is a need for the rural coalition as an independent organization.

Allegany County Commissioner Bill Valentine was the moderator for the “The Nuts and Bolts of School Budgeting” session.

Recent Maintenance of Effort changes and the transfer of a portion of teacher pension costs have presented budget challenges for counties, officials said.

During the session, the Maryland State Department of Education provided guidance for the completion of budget documents, and a county budget officer and a school system financial officer provided their perspectives on budgeting for education at the local level.

Robert M. Hutcheson, an Allegany County commissioner from 2000 to 2010, was given the 2013 Marilyn J. Praisner Public Service Award.

Hutcheson was nominated for the award by the current Allegany County commissioners, county officials said. Hutcheson received the award at the MACo Inaugural Ceremony/Awards Banquet on Thursday.

McKay said the award to Hutcheson was his personal highlight from the conference. Hutcheson was very active in MACo, McKay said.

“He was a prince as a principal, certainly a prince in his family life and his activities in the Shrine. He is a true gentleman,” McKay said.

Hutcheson is the past potentate of the Ali Ghan Shrine. “It was good to have Allegany County showcased,” McKay said. Jim Staken, another former commissioner, was among past county officials and county staff present for Hutcheson’s award.

Established in 1951, MACo is a nonprofit and non-partisan organization that serves Maryland county governments by articulating its needs and ideas to the Maryland General Assembly and State Government, according to an Allegany County press release. MACo’s members are the elected officials of the 23 counties in the state and Baltimore City.

For additional information about the Maryland Association of Counties visit

Contact Matthew Bieniek at

Text Only
Local News
  • Cemetery group’s efforts revive Oak Hill grounds Cemetery group’s efforts revive Oak Hill grounds

    After you drive Alexander and Furnace streets then navigate a couple of switchbacks on Cemetery Road, you’d figure there would be no more uphill.

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • Proposed county budget holds most agencies flat

    After taking into account an income tax shortfall, Allegany County Finance Director Jason Bennett said he’ll propose a budget that holds most outside agencies to flat funding and funds the Board of Education at what county officials say are maintenence of effort levels for 2015.

    April 17, 2014

  • RYAN WOLF Wolf named 2014-15 Garrett Teacher of the Year

    Southern Garrett High School teacher Ryan Wolf has been named the 2014-15 Garrett County Teacher of the Year.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Rep. Delaney discusses congressional gridlock Rep. Delaney discusses congressional gridlock

    While giving a civics lesson at Frostburg State University on Thursday, U.S. Rep. John Delaney, congressman from Maryland’s sixth district, told students that the polarization in Congress is due primarily to redistricting and a poorly designed Congressional schedule.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Fourmile Ridge wind project approved, moves forward

    The Federal Aviation Administration has approved the Fourmile Ridge wind project in eastern Garrett County and site preparation started April 7, according to Frank Maisano, a wind industry spokesman. The current notice listed on the FAA website for the project is for a small change in turbine location.

    April 17, 2014

  • Oakland back to normal after toppled tanker closes business district

    The town of Oakland returned to normal activities Thursday, one day after a tanker full of liquid propane overturned in the heart of the business district.
    Shortly after 8 p.m. Wednesday the toppled tanker was removed and its 10,000-gallon load transferred to another tanker.

    April 17, 2014

  • Students back Southern Middle School renovation

    Students from both Southern and Northern middle schools presented a list of reasons why Southern Middle needs to be renovated during the Garrett County Commission meeting Tuesday.

    April 17, 2014

  • Trial run Trial run

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 72nd anniversary of Doolittle Raid on Tokyo 72nd anniversary of Doolittle Raid on Tokyo

    Friday, April 18, has another special meaning for me besides Good Friday.
    April 18, 1942, proved to be a pivotal day for American morale, following the deadly air attack and destruction conceived and executed by Japanese Adm. Isoroku Yamamoto.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lara Courrier seeks re-appointment to Mineral school board

    I, Lara Courrier, am seeking re-election to the Mineral County Board of Education to continue the work I’ve done the last four years. Having served as a school counselor at the Burlington Center School and the Chick Buckbee Juvenile Center for nearly six years, as well as approximately 20 years total working with children, I have insight into the needs of kids and the importance of the actions of the school board. Having three sons and several nieces and nephews in Mineral County schools, I have an added incentive to continue to work hard to ensure the efficient running of our school system. 

    April 17, 2014