Governor Larry Hogan Hosts Regional Cabinet Meeting, Kicks Off Western Maryland Visit
Bringing Government to Local Communities, Administration to Hold Over 40 Events, Meetings, Tours, and Visits with Local Leaders and Organizations
HAGERSTOWN, MD – Governor Larry Hogan today joined with his Cabinet and leadership team in hosting a Regional Cabinet Meeting in Hagerstown, Md., delivering on an administration promise to directly connect local communities and citizens with state government. The meeting, held at the Maryland Theatre and attended by students, local leaders, and members of the community, began with a presentation of the color guard by the Washington County Sheriff’s Office and a performance of the national anthem by students from the Barbara Ingram School for the Arts.
The governor’s chief legislative officer, Chris Shank, a former state senator from Washington County, served as moderator for the event.
Governor Hogan opened the meeting by detailing the progress the administration has made in the Western Maryland region, including investing nearly $700 million in local aid, $600 million in education funding, and more than $30 million invested in Washington County through companies directly supported by the Maryland Department of Commerce.
“Today we are bringing your state government directly to you, because there should not be a disconnect between Western Maryland and Annapolis,” said Governor Hogan. “We have made it a priority that Marylanders here in Washington County, and from one end of the state to the other, know that they have a voice in Annapolis, a seat at the table, a true friend in the governor’s office, and an administration that is working and fighting on their behalf each and every day.”
Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford gave an update to the community on the administration’s efforts to fight opioid addiction, and his leadership on working to enact regulatory reform.
“It is essential that the people of Maryland know that we are working for them, and not the other way around,” said Lt. Governor Rutherford. “Through the Regulatory Reform Commission, we’re committed to reforming onerous regulations to get burdensome government bureaucracy out of Marylanders’ everyday lives. In addition, we formed the Heroin and Opioid Emergency Task Force to directly address the grave threat of addiction facing our state. This crisis, which has taken the lives of so many of our citizens from all walks of life, will continue to be aggressively addressed by this administration.”
Following the lieutenant governor, Department of Transportation Deputy Secretary Jim Ports gave a presentation on road and transit projects moving forward in the region. Appointments Secretary Dennis Schrader then provided information on the appointments process and encouraged citizens to apply for open positions in the administration. Commerce Secretary Mike Gill and Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation Secretary Kelly Schulz also gave presentations on their respective agencies’ work in the region to create jobs and connect citizens with employment opportunities.
Finally, Senator Andrew Serafini, Delegate Brett Wilson, and County Administrator Greg Murray gave a presentation on the downtown Hagerstown revitalization project involving the Maryland Theatre, Washington County Public Schools, county government, and the University of Maryland System at Hagerstown.
Throughout the duration of the meeting, the governor and lieutenant governor presented citations to local leaders and individuals, recognizing them for contributions to the community:
Kevin Zeigler, Department of Natural Resources
Ms. B.J. Dunn, Department of Human Resources
Ronnie Hooten-Santiago, Department of Veterans Affairs
Elwood “Woody” Carpenter, Department of Transportation
Patrick Speaker, Special Olympics World Games Athlete
Dr. Mitesh Kothari, Healthy Eating and Active Lifestyles (H.E.A.L.)
Michael Fitzgerald, Downtown Hagerstown Development
Charles Sekula, Schmankerl Stube Bavarian Restaurant
Brian Grosh, Delicatessen & Clear Spring Creamery
Clarence Horst, The Hub Network
Senior Trooper Samuel Hess, Maryland State Police
Officer Richard Hague COII
Officer Shawn Pendergast COII
Following the regional meeting, the governor, lieutenant governor, first lady, and Cabinet secretaries dispersed across the local community, holding over 40 events, meetings, tours, and visits with local leaders and organizations.
Governor Hogan will visit nearby Bester Elementary School and attend a ceremony at Rose Hill Cemetery, and Lt. Governor Rutherford will tour and hold a roundtable discussion at the Washington County Day Reporting Center, and present a grant to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office. Governor Hogan will visit Allegany County on Friday and Garrett County on Saturday.