May 15, 2002
The Honorable Thomas V. Mike Miller, Jr.
President of the Senate
Annapolis MD 21401
Dear Mr. President:
In accordance with Article II, Section 17 of the Maryland Constitution, I have today vetoed Senate Bill 604 - Allegany County - Director of Emergency Management.
Senate Bill 604 would have provided that the Director of Emergency Management in Allegany County is a county employee and must be hired in accordance with the personnel policy and procedures of the county. State law currently sets forth the process for the hiring of a director of emergency management in each local political subdivision in the State. Upon the recommendation of the mayor, the executive or governing body of the respective political subdivision, the director of emergency management is appointed by the Governor.
As we have seen from the events of September 11th and the tornadoes that occurred in College Park and more recently in La Plata, it is essential to have a strong chain-of-command for emergency management response. An effective chain-of-command must begin with the uniform appointment of local directors of emergency management. Senate Bill 604 seeks to restrict the authority of the Governor and establish a bifurcated process for the appointment of local directors of emergency management. In light of recent events, it is not prudent to establish a bifurcated process for the hiring of local directors of emergency management, especially when the bifurcation is only directed at one political subdivision.
For the above reasons, I have vetoed Senate Bill 604.
Parris N. Glendening