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Members of the Calvert County community are remembering Calvert County Planning Commissioner Laben Jackson “Mac” McCartney, 73, of Huntingtown after he died Aug. 31 in Prince Frederick.

McCartney, raised in West Virginia, moved to Calvert in the mid-1970s, where he operated several businesses, including Penn Auto in Prince Frederick, Jerry’s Subs and Pizza in Dunkirk and 2&4 Liquors in Sunderland.

He retired in 2003 and previously served on the board of the Arc of Southern Maryland, and was currently serving his eighth year on the planning commission as a representative of District 2.

“One of Mac’s real strong suits was that he was a businessman,” said Planning Commission Chairman Maurice Lusby.

McCartney’s former construction and remodeling business partner, Calvert County Board of County Commissioners’ President Gerald W. “Jerry” Clark (R), echoed Lusby’s sentiments, saying that McCartney was an “all-around great business person.”

Clark said he and McCartney met in 1977 when Clark was running a small restaurant and the two became friends.

“He was an all-around great guy, who was a really tough Irishman,” Clark said. “It’s personally a tremendous loss to me, and to the community.”

McCartney ran for a position on the BOCC in 1982 as a Republican, which was a “monumental task back then,” Clark said.

“... He’s going to be very hard to replace in the community,” Clark said.

On the planning commission, Lusby said, McCartney would confer with other planning commissioners to get their thoughts on issues and “when the agenda was given out, which happens about a week before the meeting, he was always very well-versed about what was in it.”

Lusby added that McCartney was “very steadfast in his beliefs” and was a “very, very strong advocate of nitrogen removing septic systems,” which Lusby said McCartney tried to get the county to adopt about two years ago.

Clark said McCartney brought a “unique perspective” to the planning commission with his “real down-to-earth approach and arguments.”

“He will be very sorely missed,” Lusby said.

Moving forward, the now vacant position on the planning commission will need to be filled.

At some point in the near future, the Department of Community Planning and Building will begin advertising the position and accepting applications. It will then be up to the BOCC to appoint the best candidate to the vacant position.

Currently, there are two representatives from each of the three districts on the commission. McCartney served as a third representative of the second district.