Sen. Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert, Prince George’s) was presented the Maryland Municipal League’s highest honor during the league’s annual convention June 10: the Distinguished Legislator Award.
The Maryland Municipal League is a nonpartisan organization that represents 157 Maryland cities and towns in the state’s General Assembly, said Scott Hancock, executive director of the league.
Miller was chosen for the honor of distinguished legislator because of his work to restore highway user revenue funding to municipalities after they were cut during the economic decline of 2008, according to a press release.
“He’s very helpful and influential in Annapolis,” Hancock said. “He never wavered in his efforts.”
Additionally, Chesapeake Beach Mayor Bruce Wahl was inaugurated as the president of the MML at the convention, after being elected last year.
“Senator Miller helped greatly to restore some of the funding to the municipalities,” Wahl said in an interview June 18.
Wahl said before 2008, Chesapeake Beach received about $350,000 per year from highway user revenues to fund road maintenance and repair projects. The funding source was cut, and at its lowest point, Chesapeake Beach only received $30,000 per year — a 90 percent cut, he said.
Because of Miller’s efforts in the state legislature, a portion of highway user revenue funding has been restored to Maryland’s municipalities, Wahl said. Although this year Chesapeake Beach will receive about half of the original $350,000 it received, Wahl said it is still significant.
“We wanted to acknowledge that effort he led to restore that funding,” Wahl said of Miller.
“It was an honor to receive the Distinguished Legislator Award from the Maryland Municipal League,” Miller said in a statement. “Our mayors and city council people represent the most basic level of government, and our municipal officials work constantly to provide strong services to citizens across this state. I am especially proud of my friendship and close working relationship with the mayors and council of North Beach and Chesapeake Beach in Calvert County and the mayors and county council in Upper Marlboro and Eagle Harbor in Prince George’s County. These jurisdictions are very diverse and come well represented, and it’s a pleasure both working and serving with them.”