City Council: Tax Rate, Budget Set
Havre de Grace City Council met Monday night at City Hall.
Havre de Grace City Council met for three hours and 10 minutes Monday evening, carrying out a variety of tasks.
Appointments were made. Recognitions were presented. Ordinances and resolutions were discussed.
It was the first full meeting with Randy Craig as council president and with new council members Joseph Smith and Dave Glenn on the dais.
Below is a recap of Monday's proceedings from City Hall, as they appeared in the live blog from within council chambers:
10:10 p.m.: The meeting adjourns with council moving into a closed session to discuss land acquisition and code enforcement matters.
10:08 p.m.: Public comment period begins.
Billee Smith, president of Havre de Grace Main Street, thanks the city for their support in helping amid a rainy First Friday.
10:05 p.m.: Council President Craig reads off committee assignments for the upcoming year. Patch will run down those assignments in a later post.
10:04 p.m.: Councilman Martin thanks council for support in getting the War of 1812 commission started. He closed by wishing all fathers a Happy Father’s Day.
9:59 p.m.: Dougherty notes that the Elks are holding Flag Day ceremony at 2 p.m. on June 10 at Tydings Park.
9:56 p.m.: Councilman Glenn made note that the city has started installing crosswalks in the Havre de Hills and Grace Manor neighborhoods.
9:54 p.m.: Councilman Correri saluted those who kept up First Friday despite the rain on Friday. Correri closed by mentioning “an old friend,” Jack McLhinney, who passed away last week.
9:53 p.m.: Councilman Smith sends out congratulations to the Warriors Class of 2012.
9:50 p.m.: Councilwoman Wagner said most of the plots in the community garden have been adopted and planted. It is located on Market Street.
Wagner ends by saying, “Welcome to Gaffney, SC.”
9:45 p.m.: Council approves the liaison appointments to commissions, including:
- Arts Commission: Council President Craig
- Appearance and Preservation: Councilman Martin
- Planning: Councilwoman Wagner
- Economic Development Advisory Board: Councilman Smith
- Tourism Advisor Board: Councilman Correri
"There are several other committees and commissions beyond those. The charter requires these appointments be made in concurrence," Craig said.
Other notable appointments will be outlined in a later post.
9:35 p.m.: Director of Public Works Larry Parks estimates that construction on Lewis Lane will begin next week after a series of delays.
9:34 p.m.: Council votes to approve three special event applications, including:
- The 49th Annual Havre de Grace Arts Show » Aug. 18 and 19 at Tydings Park
- The Sickle Cell Walk A Thon » Sept. 16 at Tydings Park
- House of Cards episode filming » June 6 at old City Hall
9:27 p.m.: Councilwoman Wagner introduces Ordinance 943, pertaining to the mixed office employment (MOE) center. The ordinance is adopted unanimously on first reading.
To adopt on first reading, a public hearing will be required. The hearing will be held at 7 p.m. on June 18.
Mayor Dougherty thanks former Councilman Jim Miller—who is in attendance—for his hours of work on the zoning of the MOE district, which is the property along Interstate 95 to include the proposed new hospital.
9:24 p.m.: Council votes unanimously to approve three ordinances.
Council approved the tax rate and the budget for fiscal year 2012-2013. Council also approved an ordinance providing backflow protection to the city water supply.
In order to adopt the budget ordinance on first reading, a public hearing must be held. The public hearing will be held June 11 at 6 p.m. to discuss the budget.
9:12 p.m.: Council votes unanimously to introduce Resolution 2012-08, which would authorize the city's acquisition of a portion of Old Bay Lane.
Council President Craig moves to adopt the resolution, and after brief discussion, council voted unanimously to adopt the resolution.
9:10 p.m.: Council is discussing the creation of the War of 1812 Committee. With a series of amendments, the council unanimously passes a resolution to introduce the committee.
Councilman Bill Martin introduced the resolution to create the committee, which he said is coming late in the game.
The commemoration will be a big weekend, council members state. Martin said he envisions fireworks with the governor in attendance.
Councilwoman Barbara Wagner moves to include the Skipjack Martha Lewis, the Steppingstone Museum and the Harford County Library to the committee. The amendment is improved by a 5-1 vote.
Councilman Smith moves to add Harford County Tourism to the list. The motion carries, 4-2, with Councilmen John Correri and Martin voting against.
8:55 p.m.: Council welcomes a late arrival to the meeting.
Hailey Emerson of Havre de Grace Middle School is honored with a student of the month award.
Hailey was unable to attend the earlier portion of the meeting because she was participating in a softball game. The game was tied after seven innings and will be continued Tuesday.
She maintains a 3.3 GPA and is a member of the Friends of Rachel Group and the drama club. She's also an accomplished athlete.
8:33 p.m.: Council comes out of recess and is discussing a proposed sub-committee within the street and traffic safety board.
Councilman Joseph Smith suggests the sub-committee would simply provide an added layer of bureaucracy.
Council votes in favor of the introduction, 5-1. Smith is the lone vote against.
8:20 p.m.: Council moves into a brief recess.
8:15 p.m.: Public comment period for agenda items opens.
Crew from the Netflix program "House of Cards" is in attendance to explain the procedure for filming scenes in the city Tuesday and Wednesday.
Patch will have comments from the film crew in a Tuesday post.
8:10 p.m.: A series of appointments to committees are approved by council.
Susan Deeney, Bharat Patel and Bill Watson are reappointed for the tourism advisory board. Emma Baker is reappointed to the board of elections.
Former City Councilman Fred Cullum is sworn in as a temporary member of the water & sewer commission.
"I want to say on behalf of the City Council how appreciative we are of Mr. Cullum for his willingness to serve," Council President Randy Craig said.
8 p.m.: Brigitte Peters, manager of the city's office of tourism, gives a presentation on the War of 1812 commemoration. Havre de Grace will commemorate the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812 in May 1813, when the city was attacked.
Patch will provide the presentation in a later post.
7:50 p.m.: Camay Murphy, a part-time Havre de Grace resident, is on hand representing the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum of Maryland.
Murphy, the recipient of a citation from the city on May 12, speaks about former Havre de Grace resident Ernest Burke, a Negro League star, who passed away in 2004 at the age of 79.
Murphy presents a proposal to the city to give a permanent solute to Burke. His memorabilia resides in the Babe Ruth Museum in Baltimore and the Ripken Stadium museum in Aberdeen.
The proposal includes:
- A stainless steel bat, ball and home plate replica of Burke embedded in home plate, she hopes to be erected in a park in the city. The display would include a plaque recognizing the accomplishments of Burke’s career.
The cost of the project would be approximately $5,000.
Murphy asks for a committee to help with fundraising, design, site recommendation, timeline development and event planning for the site’s opening. She also offered a list of eight names of individuals interested in serving as committee members.
7:35 p.m.: City Director of Administration Carol Mathis introduces Donna Geiger of the city’s department of public works, who recognized three members of the staff of 11 at the city’s wastewater facility.
The Maryland Rural Water Association recognized the facility as the wastewater treatment plant of the year.
The plant was responsible for a significant reduction in nutrients released into the bay.
7:30 p.m.: Alyxandrya McClelland, a senior at Havre de Grace High School, is recognized with a student of the month award.
Alyx has been a member of many drama programs. She’s also a member of the French National Honor Society and the Buddy Program.
She is ranked 15th in her class and will graduate Thursday.
7:25 p.m.: Anthony Johnson, a fifth-grader at Havre de Grace Elementary School, is recognized with a student of the month award.
Anthony’s teachers applaud him for his leadership, and added that he will receive the Academic Achievement Award next week.
He reads to a second-grader once a month. He plays the trumpet and also plays baseball and football.
7:20 p.m.: Autumn Twombly, a fourth-grader Havre de Grace Elementary School, is recognized with a student of the month award.
She is a member of the school chorus, band and musical. She’s also active with the Girl Scouts.
She has been recognized as an honor student every quarter for the past two years.
7:10 p.m.: Jamie Gorham, a fifth-grader at Meadowvale Elementary School, is recognized with a student of the month award.
Jamie, whose older sister, Natalie, has been recognized twice with student of the month awards, plays trumpet and performs with the chorus and school morning show.
She's also finished in the top 10 percent in an after-school mathematics program, Math Olympians, in which she competes with 40,000 other students worldwide.
She also finds time to play soccer and lacrosse.
7:05 p.m.: The City Council and Mayor Wayne Dougherty begin to recognize five students from local schools with student of the month awards.
7 p.m.: The meeting begins with all officials in attendance.
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For the full agenda—including a printable PDF file—for tonight's meeting, see our preview.
NOTE: Lulls in reporting are a result of a lack of wireless internet connection inside council chambers.