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Governor’s Office on Service and Volunteerism Opens Nominations for 2022 Black History Month Leadership & Service Awards
Deadline to Submit is Jan. 26

By JOANNA CHEN
Governor’s Office on Service and Volunteerism

Annapolis, Md. (Jan. 12, 2022)—The Governor’s Office on Service and Volunteerism today opened nominations for the 5th Annual Black History Month Leadership & Service Awards.

“Black History Month offers an opportunity to recognize African Americans in Maryland who go above and beyond in the name of service,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “I encourage all Marylanders to take time to reflect on the invaluable contributions of African American leaders and citizens to our state and our nation.”

The awards ceremony recognizes Maryland-based, African American (or of the African diaspora) individuals or organizations that are founded upon and exemplify exceptional service to Maryland communities. Recipients will be announced during an awards ceremony next month at the Banneker-Douglass Museum in Annapolis.

“This year, we will mark the 200th birthday of abolitionist and former slave Harriet Tubman,” said Lieutenant Governor Boyd K. Rutherford. “Her tenacity and spirit of selflessness live on through individuals and groups who dedicate themselves to acts of service and work to uplift and unite our communities. The Black History Month Leadership & Service Awards is a great opportunity to recognize them and highlight how they are making a difference in Maryland."

Selection for the awards is based on nominations from the public reflecting the highest degree of volunteer commitment, service, and transformative impact in the community.

For more information about the Black History Month Leadership & Service Awards and to submit a nomination, visit gosv.maryland.gov/blackhistorymonth. The deadline for nominations is January 26, 2022. The event will be held on February 25, 2022.

 

 

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Governor Hogan Announces Three Judicial Appointments
Fills Vacancies in Montgomery County, Charles County

By SHAREESE CHURCHILL
Office of the Governor

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (Jan. 12, 2022)—Governor Larry Hogan today announced that he has appointed Patrick Jeffrey Mays and Michael Ormond Glynn III to the Montgomery County District Court and Magistrate Monise Alexis Brown to Charles County Circuit Court.

“It is my pleasure to appoint these distinguished individuals to serve in our state’s judicial system,” said Governor Hogan. “I am confident that Mr. Mays, Mr. Glynn, and Magistrate Brown will bring valuable experience and knowledge to the bench and honorably serve the citizens of their respective counties in the years to come.”

Patrick Mays has spent his entire career as a prosecutor with the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office. For the past 17 years, he served as the assistant state’s attorney, also serving as the chief of the gang division for the past five years. He received his B.S. from Tulane University and his J.D. from the College of William and Mary Marshall-Wythe School of Law.

Michael Glynn has spent the majority of his career in the Prince George’s County State’s Attorney’s Office. For the past seven years, he has served as the chief of the charging unit providing representation at initial bail hearings. Prior to that position he worked in various other roles and divisions, including the chief and assistant chief for the district court division and the assistant chief for the major crimes division. Glynn also worked as an assistant U.S. attorney in Washington D.C., an assistant staff counsel for GEICO, an associate at McCarthy Bacon & Costello, and an assistant public defender. He holds a B.A. from Boston College and a J.D. from the University of Maryland School of Law. 

Magistrate Monise Alexis Brown has been a family law magistrate for the past eight years. Prior to her appointment as magistrate, she served as the executive director of the Maryland Professional Center, Inc., which organizes mandatory courses and programs for state lawyers. She also served as a prosecutor in Charles County, representing the state in paternity establishment and child support cases. Previously, Magistrate Brown worked in private practice for four years, concentrating on family law and the planning and administration of estate and trust matters. She received her B.A. from the University of Maryland, College Park and her J.D. from George Washington University Law School.

 

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New Builder Contract Slates Purple Line to Open Fall 2026

By PRESS OFFICER
Purple Line NOW

SILVER SPRING, Md. (Jan. 13, 2021)—Since the departure of the previous builder, one of the most persistent and critical questions from the public has been when the Purple Line will open. Maryland Transit Administration was not comfortable providing estimates until a new builder was selected as that would be part of the competition and negotiation. In November, we learned that the new builder would be Maryland Transit Solutions, made up of the U.S. subsidiaries Dragados USA, Inc. (Dragados) and OHLA Group, Inc. (OHLA).

[Last week], Maryland announced the new schedule—opening day is to come in late 2026 (Shaver, K. “Purple Line Will Open Late.” Washington Post, 12 January 2021.) The new opening timeframe would be the date in which the entire line is set to open. As part of the competitive process for attracting a new builder, Maryland moved away from the plan to open the project in stages.

The cost of construction increases by $1.4 billion, bringing the total cost, including 30 years of operations, from $5.6 to $9.3 billion. The new contract will go to the Board of Public Works at the January 26 meeting for approval by Maryland’s governor, treasurer, and comptroller.

Purple Line NOW Board President Ralph Bennett reacted to the news by saying, “The delay that has resulted in pushing the project to 2026 along with the cost increases are a huge disappointment, but one influenced by economy-wide conditions.” In their transportation road show late last fall, Secretary Slater reported that pandemic disruptions, including material costs and supply chain challenges, as well as labor pool shortages have contributed to both cost and time increases.

Bennett emphasized that the fundamental strengths of the line remain. “It is filling the missing east-west connection that brings together four Metro branches and three MARC lines from Bethesda to New Carrollton. Its role as a jobs line, bringing an estimated $2.2 billion in annual growth to our region can be seen in developments occurring and planned throughout the corridor. The Purple Line will help address the mounting cost of transit-accessible housing, and its environmental benefits in taking 17,000 cars off the road have only grown more urgent. Finally, it will complete the Capital Crescent Trail extension between Bethesda and Silver Spring.”

Local officials noted the pain of the delay, but pointed to the criticality of completing the project to attain the benefits and end the disruption. This sentiment was echoed by Purple Line NOW Vice President Greg Sanders, “I think it’s safe to say Maryland wants more certainty and they are willing to pay a premium to get it.” Addressing the cost increases, Sanders continued, “The numbers are bigger than we’d like and it’s later than we’d like, but the key thing is getting to that opening day.”

Critically, as Maryland officials explained, key risks and sources of conflict are now behind the project. There were four causes of the delays that the builder raised in the $850 million dispute with Maryland: the costs added by the lawsuit inflicted delay, the pace of property acquisition, the freight company CSX demanding a separation wall for a portion of the right of way, and environmental permits.  MDOT MTA Purple Line Project Manager Matthew Pollack told reporters that the State has resolved the design of the wall, has the permits in hand, and full “legal control” of all the needed properties.

In a recap of the status of the project earlier this week, Mr. Sanders cited the massive task of relocating utilities as another regular source of problems for infrastructure projects. Maryland used the downtime while searching for a new builder to take over the 150 contracts and has made significant progress, according to the State’s year end compilation, utility relocations are now 66 percent complete and design is 95 percent complete. Finally, Sanders notes, “A frivolous lawsuit cost the state precious time and by directly causing nearly a year of delay, managed to seed conflict and cost Maryland leverage in the original agreement. Vitally, the last of the suits have been dismissed and the higher courts have been consistent in finding them without merit.”

Purple Line NOW Treasurer Tina Slater noted one piece of good news that emerged last fall at the Maryland Transportation Roadshow,  “As part of this new contract, Maryland is buying additional light rail trains. This was always planned, but with huge progress completed on the initial set of light rail cars, this was an opportunity to reduce headways at rush hour from the initial time of 7.5 minutes. This is one of the most important factors for the quality of transit and a practical demonstration that Maryland was looking for best value when bringing on a new builder. It will have been some 40 years from the initial idea of a trolley on the Georgetown Branch to the complete on the Purple Line, and it could have been completed much more cheaply without a series of unnecessary delays. However, what matters now is ending the disruption and gaining the benefits of the line, and that end is now in sight.”

 

Purple Line NOW, a non-profit organization formed in 2002, advocates for the Purple Line on behalf of citizen, business, environmental, civic, minority and labor organizations.  Purple Line NOW's mission is to expand the mobility choices for the residents of the Washington Metropolitan area.  The organization has been instrumental moving the project forward by engaging elected officials and defending the project against detractors.  More than 100 organizations have gone on record in support of the Purple Line through Purple Line NOW! More information at the Purple Line NOW! website: www.purplelinenow.com

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