The Calvert County commissioners often set their agenda weeks, if not months, in advance.
On Tuesday, the board set a date for 100 years in the future. July 2104 is when the commissioners declared that their successors should open a time capsule installed on the courthouse grounds.
"They joke about us legislating from the grave," commissioners President David F. Hale (R-Owings) said during Tuesday's ceremony, which was part of Calvert's 350th anniversary celebration.
Items placed inside the capsule included Maryland commemorative quarters, a letter to residents from the county commissioners, copies of local newspapers, a public library card, a county flag and a video of the 350th anniversary pageant.
"We gathered up ideas from the citizenry," said Jenny Plummer-Welker, a county planner who helped coordinate the project.
Also preserved in the time capsule are tobacco leaves and seeds, samples of the crop that long served as the backbone of the county's economy but that has largely been phased out of production in recent years because most growers have enrolled in a state program that supports their transition to other crops.
"I feel a hundred years from now, they won't know what this is," Hale said of the tobacco.
The future leaders of Calvert County should have no trouble finding the time capsule as they celebrate the county's 450th anniversary. Officials have documented its location with space-age technology. But -- depending on how the county manages and adapts to the population growth that has made it Maryland's fastest growing jurisdiction in recent years -- those 22nd-century county residents may be startled by a motto on an item placed in the capsule.
The message: "Keep Calvert Country."
"Hopefully, they don't laugh at us about that," Hale said.
Cardboard boats probably won't work, but any other craft that can be rowed or paddled is welcome to participate in Saturday's 'Round St. George Island Regatta.
Organizers of the event for small-boat enthusiasts said that any human-powered boat can be entered for the 5.5-mile race around St. George Island. The circular course should take one to two hours to complete, they said, and offer participants a "good but not exhausting workout."
Leaders of the Calvert Marine Museum Canoe/Kayak Club are referring to the race as the "first" regatta and say they hope to make it an annual event. Whether that happens depends on the turnout Saturday, they said.
The event is patterned after a similar small boat race that has been staged for 29 years at Gerrish Island off Kittery, Maine.
Charles Nets Digital Honor
Charles County was recognized last week as the most technologically advanced, cutting-edge digital county in its population category by the Center for Digital Government and the National Association of Counties (NACo) in their 2004 Digital Counties Survey.
This is the second consecutive year that Charles has received first-place honors in the class for counties with populations under 150,000.
The survey examines how county governments are evolving in the use of information technology to deliver services to residents.
The top winners in the other three population categories are: San Diego County, Calif. (500,000 or more); Johnson County, Kan., and Prince William County, Va., (tied for first in 250,000-499,999); and Roanoke County, Va., (150,000-249,999).
Rounding out the top-10 ranking behind Charles County in the under-150,000 category are: Nevada County, Calif.; Stearns County, Minn.; Napa County, Calif.; Oconee County, Ga.; Sutter County, Calif.; Olmsted County, Minn.; Albemarle County, Va.; Delaware County, Ohio; and Butler County, Iowa.
Pesticide Disposal Offered
Farmers throughout Southern Maryland, as well as those in Prince George's and Anne Arundel counties, can take advantage of a one-time opportunity to dispose of old, banned, unwanted or unusable pesticides for free through the "Maryland Clean Sweep Pesticide Disposal Program."
Pesticide dealers, commercial applicators and homeowners with household pesticides are not eligible for this state Agriculture Department program.
Those interested in participating must fill out a form that is available from the Charles County Office of the Maryland Cooperative Extension Service, 9395 Chesapeake St., Suite 119, La Plata, 301-934-5283; or by calling the Maryland Department of Agriculture at 410-841-5710.
Only a pesticide with an Environmental Protection Agency or USDA registration number or material that can otherwise be identified as a pesticide will be accepted. Fertilizers, antifreeze, motor oil and other hazardous materials will not be accepted under this program.
Producers needing more information may call the Cooperative Extension Service office at 301-934-5283 or the state Pesticide Regulation Section at 410-841-5710.