Counties (by date of formation)
Map of Counties & County Seats (color & black & white)
Arundel Center, 44 Calvert St. (from Northwest St.), Annapolis, Maryland, July 2014. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.
For much of Maryland, local government typically is county government. Twenty-three counties and Baltimore City make up the twenty-four main local jurisdictions found in Maryland. Baltimore City, although a municipality, has been considered on a par with county jurisdictions since the adoption of the Maryland Constitution of 1851.
Howard County Council Meeting Room, George Howard Building, 3430 Court House Drive, Ellicott City, Maryland, May 2018. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.
Twelve of Maryland's counties are governed by boards of county commissioners. These include Allegany, Calvert, Caroline, Carroll, Charles, Garrett, Kent, Queen Anne's, St. Mary's, Somerset, Washington and Worcester counties. Among these, six have adopted a code "home rule" form of government: Allegany, Caroline, Charles, Kent, Queen Anne's, and Worcester. "Home rule" empowers the county with broad legislative authority, and limits the General Assembly's local legislative powers.
Wicomico County Government Office Building, 125 North Division St., Salisbury, Maryland, August 2012. Photo by David R. Herron.
Eleven Maryland counties have ratified charter forms of government: Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Cecil, Dorchester, Frederick, Harford, Howard, Montgomery, Prince George's, Talbot, and Wicomico. All of these are governed by county councils; and all (except Dorchester & Talbot) are led by county executives.
Prince George's County Courthouse, Duvall Wing, Upper Marlboro, Maryland, October 2009. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.
Also see: Maryland Association of Counties
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