Parran Takes Helm Of Counties Group

Wilson H. Parran
Wilson H. Parran (Courtesy Of Wilson-h. Parran)
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By Christy Goodman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, January 11, 2009

The president of Calvert's Board of County Commissioners was sworn in last week as president of the Maryland Association of Counties.

Wilson H. Parran (D-Huntingtown), formerly the association's first vice president, was elected to a one-year term during a three-day conference in Cambridge.

"One of my objectives is . . . that we continue to partner with legislators and Gov. [Martin] O'Malley's administration to make sure there is an appreciation for issues facing the counties and appreciation for the fact that counties' revenues are also down," Parran said.

"Some of the things the state is experiencing, the county is also experiencing," he said.

Charles County Board of Commissioners President Wayne Cooper (D-At Large), who was elected the association's second vice president, agreed.

"We didn't create this state deficit, and we hate to see it passed down to the counties," Cooper said. "With the economy the way it is, people are hurting. We have carried that message forward to the governor."

Parran replaces James T. Smith Jr. (D), Baltimore County's executive, and Cooper succeeds David R. Craig (R), Harford County's executive.

The new association board has met with O'Malley administration representatives, state Senate President Thomas V. "Mike" Miller Jr. (D-Calvert), state House Speaker Michael E. Busch (D-Anne Arundel) and state House Minority Leader Del. Anthony J. O'Donnell (D-Calvert), Parran said.

A primary function of the association is to advocate for county governments in the General Assembly, and it hosts two annual conferences.

This year, Cooper and Parran said, the association's priorities will be budget problems for local governments, school construction and maintenance, and enacting speed camera legislation and a measure to crack down on the fraudulent sale of scrap metal.

Parran works in information technology with the Department of Natural Resources. He is a former president of Windspeed Technologies, a consulting company. He has a bachelor of science degree from Columbia Union College and a master of science degree in information systems from George Washington University. He is a Vietnam veteran, having served in the U.S. Air Force.

Cooper, who has worked extensively within the association, was first elected to the Charles Board of Commissioners in 2002. Before that, he was a member of the county's Board of Education. He retired in 2005 from Waco, a general and environmental contracting company.

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