MPCA Adds New Peer Leaders

MPCA Corner

by Joseph Griffiths, AICP, Local Assistance and Training Manager

 As a follow up to last month’s launching of the Peer Leadership Network, the Maryland Planning Commissioners Association (MPCA) is excited to introduce three new peer leaders – Bill Butts, Kathleen Seay, and Michael Pellegrino.  

Bills Butts, MPCA Vice President and Mt. Airy Planning Commissioner 

Bill joined the MPCA Board in early 2018 and currently serves as vice-president. He has also been a member of the Mt. Airy Planning Commission since 2010, was the chair from 2011-16, and directed an update to town’s master plan.  

In his professional capacity as a Registered Financial Advisor and Licensed Insurance Broker, Bill designs and develops financial programs and plans for individuals and small companies responsive to their financial goals and needs. Bill is very active in civic and youth programs in his community. 

Bill says that he looks forward to supporting the Peer Leadership network and learning and understanding the perspectives of newer citizen planners and the benefits that understanding brings to both the peer and peer leader. 

Kathleen Seay, Charles County, Board of Appeals Member 

Kathleen Seay is both on the Charles County Board of Appeals and a professional planner, specializing in cultural resources and land preservation.

Kathleen believes both are equally important roles and stresses the importance of citizens participating in local government so they can speak their truth. Better community engagement and encouraging child and youth participation in community planning are some of Kathleen’s passions and served as the focus of her master’s thesis. 

She has served on the Charles County Board of Appeals from 2018-2022 and since 2018 has been a board member of the Maryland Association of Historic District Commissions. 

Kathleen looks forward to being a peer leader because she thinks, “Civic service and our ability to serve our communities is a privilege that everyone should be able to partake in and help craft, thus best reflecting the people to which our local governments serve.” 

Michael Pellegrino, Indian Head, Board of Zoning Appeals Member 

Michael Pellegrino is an architect, registered in Kentucky, Maryland, Virginia, and Delaware and is also a certified planner.  

As president of PAS Architecture/Planning, LLC, Pellegrino has more than 30 years of professional practice in architecture and community planning. He has helped craft many comprehensive plans and zoning ordinances in Maryland, Virginia, and Kentucky. 

He is currently on the Indian Head Board of Zoning Appeals, is the past chair of its planning commission and has also served on the historic preservation commission and the green building committee in La Plata.  

His interest in being a peer leader is driven by his belief that to successfully implement plan or ordinance requires a citizen planner to clearly understand the relationship between the public and private sectors, as they relate to managing growth.  

The MPCA, in partnership with the Maryland Department of Planning, will be contacting appointed members of planning commissions and boards who complete the Planning Commissioner Training Course to invite them to participate in the program. To learn more about the MPCA, the Peer Leadership Network and how to become involved, contact Joe Griffiths, Local Assistance and Training Manager, at 

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