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Date: Jun 7, 2017

Baltimore County’s unemployment rate has dropped to 4.2%, a full .2% below the national rate. The April jobs report brings total County employment to 433,399, continuing the positive employment trend in Maryland’s third largest jurisdiction.

“We all benefit when more people bring home a paycheck,” said Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz.

The Baltimore County unemployment rate has been almost cut in half since County Executive Kamenetz came into office, dropping from 8.1% in December 2010 to 4.2% in April 2017.

Visits are Part of Statewide Maryland Association of Counties Tour

Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, President of the Maryland Association of Counties (MACo), traversed a large swath of Maryland yesterday in his effort to meet personally with local leaders in all 24 of the state’s major subdivisions. He attended meetings of the Commissioners of St. Mary’s County, the Board of Commissioners of Calvert County and the Frederick County Council to discuss MACo’s advocacy for Maryland counties in this year’s General Assembly session and other issues of statewide concern.

Kamenetz and MACo Executive Director Michael Sanderson met with the three groups of legislators, discussing a number of topics including an overview of MACo’s positive influence in Annapolis during this year’s General Assembly session and how statewide MACo conferences and programs offer local officials a valuable opportunity to learn from each other and share best practices.

“The more that I meet with local legislators from around the state, the more it becomes clear that we are all dealing with similar challenges and constraints and that it is valuable to take the time to compare notes and find common solutions through MACo and other collaborative groups,” said Kamenetz.   

“I was pleased to welcome MACo to Frederick County,” said Frederick County Executive Jan H. Gardner. “As a past president, I’ve always enjoyed working with the organization. They do a great job of advocating for the common needs of all Maryland counties, such as funding for roads.”

MACo, founded in 1939, is a non-partisan collaborative organization that advocates for the needs of local government to the Maryland General Assembly, representing all of Maryland’s 23 counties and Baltimore City. Kamenetz is the fifth Baltimore County Executive to serve as President in the history of MACo, succeeding Christian Kahl, Dale Anderson, Dutch Ruppersberger and Jim Smith. With this new term, Kamenetz also becomes the longest serving current member of MACo, first joining in 1994 as a member of the Baltimore County Council. 

Calls on Governor Hogan to Commit Maryland as Well 

Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz today joined government and business leaders as a signatory in support of the global commitment to fight climate change, known as the 2016 Paris Agreement. Last week, in defiance of the reality of climate change, President Trump announced withdrawal from the accord previously committed by President Obama. Under the agreement the United States would cut greenhouse gas emissions up to 28 percent by 2025.

"Climate change poses one of the most significant threats to our state’s longterm health and prosperity," said County Executive Kamenetz. "Unfortunately, President Trump would rather cut the Environmental Protection Agency budget than cut our country’s toxic emissions."

Kamenetz also urged Governor Hogan to commit Maryland to the climate accord standards, by joining the U.S. Climate Alliance, a bipartisan climate advocacy coalition of state governors throughout the country. The Alliance agreement would commit Maryland to further develop and strengthen Maryland's current Climate Action Plan, and require sharing of information and best practices.

"Marylanders have long considered protection of the environment a sacred trust," continued Kamenetz. "While President Trump endangers our state, our country and our planet, Governor Hogan refuses to take further action."

Kamenetz officially signed on the petition and urged Hogan to do the same.

Under Kamenetz's leadership, Baltimore County has made significant efforts to reduce the County's "carbon footprint." In 2016, Kamenetz signed an Executive Order establishing a goal to reduce County electricity consumption by 15 percent within five years in County government buildings, pumping stations and streetlights. The Order also sets the goal of utilizing renewable energy sources to generate or displace at least 20 percent of the County’s electric demand by 2022.

As part of that initiative, the County will install solar panel fields at closed landfills and other unusable land that will generate 21 megawatts of power and save taxpayers $20 million in avoided costs over 25 years.

Baltimore County’s Department of Public Works has already made significant strides in lowering the County’s electricity usage through a number of initiatives including converting traffic signals to LED bulbs, requiring all new developments to use LED streetlights and requesting that BGE systematically convert leased streetlights to LED bulb. The County has also installed variable speed drives on sewer pump station motors to reduce energy consumption and save money. In addition, a Countywide GPS routing program for fleet vehicles is saving gas and reducing carbon emissions.

Revised September 11, 2017