Lt. Gov. Rutherford stresses development focus
CAMBRIDGE — The Maryland Association of Counties, a nonprofit, nonpartisan group of elected officials from Maryland’s 23 counties and Baltimore City, hosted Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford Thursday, Jan. 3, at its installation of the 2019 board of directors ceremony.
The event was part of MACo’s two-day winter conference, hosted at the Hyatt Regency resort.
Rutherford thanked leadership from MACo, saying he and Gov. Larry Hogan valued the organization greatly as partners.
“Maryland Association of Counties has been an amicable partner with our administration,” Rutherford said. “We will continue to do everything that we can to foster that partnership.”
Rutherford spoke briefly on the administration’s focus from the previous four years and the areas staff planned to focus on for the upcoming term.
“Over the last four years, you all know, our primary focus has been on economic development, growing our private sector and creating more jobs in our state,” Rutherford said. “It probably won’t surprise you, or anyone in this room, that’s exactly what we’ve been doing, and we expect to continue that over the next four years, as well.”
Rutherford said earlier Thursday, he and Hogan had announced a “plan for even more growth and economic development, job creation,” in areas of the state that needed it most. Rutherford said he was looking forward to chairing a newly announced task force, focused on bolstering the state’s opportunity zones.
“By doing more to take advantage of the federal government’s opportunity to improve, I’m looking forward to chairing the just-announced Maryland Opportunity Zone Leadership Taskforce, which will bring together state and local stakeholders in both the private and public sectors to identify goals for our opportunity zones,” Rutherford said.
Rutherford said the task force will be assigned to brainstorm incentives for opportunity zones, along with creating a way of better collaborating with MACo, for better investment in the zones, he said.
“Just a reminder, every jurisdiction has at least one opportunity zone. Many jurisdictions — most — have more than one,” Rutherford said. “Additionally in this upcoming session, we will be proposing legislation to expand our More Jobs for Marylanders Act, and we will be providing funding to establish Opportunity Works, an exciting workforce development and job training program, specifically for the businesses in the opportunity zones.”
Rutherford said he and Hogan looked forward to continuing the relationship between MACo and the administration.
“No administration can be affective in governing this state without the strong partnership between state and all of our local partners,” Rutherford said. “You have my commitment that under our administration ... We will continue to fight on behalf of you and your citizens everyday.”
Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford, left, speaks during the 2019 Maryland Association of Counties installation of directors Thursday, Jan. 3, at the Hyatt Regency resort. Also pictured is Barry Glassman, Harford County executive and Maryland Association of Counties second vice president.