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City Council Approves Seafood Festival, Commemorative Flags

Find out what happened when the Havre de Grace City Council met Dec. 3.

The following is a recap of the City Council meeting on Dec. 3, where Patch was live blogging.

9:30 p.m. The meeting adjourned.

9:28 p.m. A representative from St. John's Episcopal Church said the organization is in contact with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar about participating in its reenactment ceremony on May 5.

9:26 p.m. Lori Maslin of the Seafood Festival said tickets go on sale this evening now that the event has been approved for 2013. "We appreciate always the support and open dialogue between the city and us each year...because without you, without Chief Walter and the police, without Will Berry and DPW, we would not be able to put this event on," Maslin said.

9:21 p.m. Billee Smith made a plug for the War of 1812 New Year's Eve party, which will have heavy hors d'eouvres and a silent auction. Tickets are $35 and available at Amanda's Florist, Java by the Bay, Glyph and the Visitors Center. She said she will fly a war of 1812 flag at her business, Distinctive Decor.

9:17 p.m. Billee Smith of Main Street and Brigitte Peters of Tourism thanked the Winter Wonderland Committee and the city for preparing Havre de Grace for the holidays. Peters said that this Friday, Santa will arrive on fire truck for the annual parade. Smith especially thanked the Department of Public Works for helping with the decorations. Mayor Wayne Dougherty thanked Smith and Peters for their collaborative efforts and volunteers for contributing as well.

9:11 p.m. Council President Randy Craig made a point of thanking everyone for celebrating the students, who are the "heartbeat" of the community. He said he has the opportunity to announce the performer at the Seafood Festival. [Drumroll...Editor's emphasis added.] The Oak Ridge Boys will be performing. He said that the Seafood Festival brings people to Havre de Grace for the first time and makes them want to return, and for that, he expressed gratitude to Chuck and Lori Maslin for putting together the festival. 

9:09 p.m. Councilman Bill Martin said he will be assembling more than 1,000 luminaries for the Candlelight Tour this weekend if anyone wants to help. Tickets are being printed for the New Year's Eve bicentennial celebration at the Havre de Grace Community Center.

9:05 p.m. Construction is in full swing at Harris Stadium, Councilman David Glenn said. "On another note on the high school issue, there's been a lot of dialogue," Glenn said. "It's truly our hope that...what the Board of Education does is...get [the planning process] moving forward."

9:03 p.m. Councilman John Correri made a plug for the Toys for Tots campaign in Havre de Grace. "It's been outstanding," Correri said of the donations to the Toys for Tots station at the Havre de Grace Ambulance Corps. He encouraged people to "get an extra toy, drop it off..."

9:01 p.m. Councilwoman Barbara Smith said she just came from a meeting about silting at the Conowingo Dam but she had to leave to come to the City Council meeting. As a business owner, she said: "Please continue to shop downtown, all through the holidays and after that too. We need your support." Wagner co-owns Bahoukas Antique Mall and Beer Museum.

8:58 p.m. Councilman Joseph Smith thanked the city and Office of Economic Development for efforts to promote Small Business Saturday. "People are eager and excited to support businesses in Havre de Grace," said Smith, who co-owns Glyph, a design and stationery store.

8:57 p.m. The mayor welcomed County Executive David Craig to the council chambers. Craig, sitting in the back row, nodded. 

8:55 p.m. Chief of Police Teresa Walter offered some holiday safety tips. Here are a few: lock your doors, put lights on timers when you go out shopping so it looks like there is someone home, put presents somewhere people can't see them in your vehicle, and "use a designated driver or a cab service please," Walter said, if you are drinking. She also advised shopping during daylight hours.

8:53 p.m. Larry Parks, director of public works, said Old Bay Lane has been closed since last month and work to resurface the road will be complete by Dec. 15.

8:52 p.m. Neal Mills, director of planning, submitted plans for review to the Upper Chesapeake regarding plans for a new hospital and is awaiting its response.

8:51 p.m. Deputy Director of Administration Jim Newby said that this year, the city is running approximately 17 projects. All will be finished by the end of this fiscal year.

8:49 p.m. The Duck Dunk event is up for review. It will be on Jan. 19, 2013. The mayor said it's a "very worthwhile" event that supports the Susquehanna Hose Company, allowing them to purchase and update their equipment. The event's introduction passsed unanimously.

8:15 p.m. Council President Randy Craig made a motion to approve the Seafood Festival for 2013. Lori Maslin is in the audience, Craig said. "I had a couple of concerns...which Mrs. Maslin looked to remedy," said Craig.

"My primary concern was that last year during the festival, the recycling and refuse [bins] were on Commerce Street," Craig said. "I felt it was more appropriate that we take some of that seafood trash and move it down into the yacht basin." He proposed closing Commerce Street from Union Avenue to the yacht basin entrance, for dumpsters to go in the yacht basin area and for fencing to be removed Saturday morning by 10 a.m.

Councilman David Glenn said he had concerns about the portable restrooms. Craig restated Glenn's concerns for clarification, that it would be better to have the portable restrooms dispersed throughout the festival or placed away from the residences. Maslin said that moving the restrooms was an easy fix and proposed siting them near the empty Hatem lot.

The mayor said there were several amendments and asked for clarification.

Maslin said portable restrooms would remain on Commerce Street. "It's very difficult to put the portable restrooms in two different places when you need a truck to pump, refill and clean those portable units," Maslin said. She added that she didn't set out to upset the neighbors, but logistically, placing the portable restrooms where they were was what made sense: having a flat space in a spot that is accessible.

More discussion about police patrols ensued.

The motion to approve the Seafood Festival's application for an event Aug. 9, 10 and 11 carried 6-0.

8:13 p.m. Councilwoman Barbara Wagner presented new business. On 182 Revolution St., an original farmhouse that has undergone renovation is seeking a front porch replacement.

8 p.m. Councilman Bill Martin proposed a resolution that would allow for the display of the War of 1812 flags in municipal locations in commemoration of the bicentennial of the British attack on the City of Havre de Grace, with the exception of the war memorial in Tydings Park. The flags would fly from Jan. 1, 2013, to Dec. 24, 2013. Christmas eve marked the end of the attack, Martin said, of the significance of the end date. Martin also credited John Van Gilder, of Inter Governmental Affairs for the City of Havre de Grace, with the idea of flying the War of 1812 flag in municipal spaces.

Councilman Joseph Smith proposed amending some of the language and Councilwoman Barbara Wagner seconded. Councilman David Glenn said he would support the flag flying in Tydings Park. "Having the flag flying in that park would be a tremendous addition," Wagner said in agreement, citing the high visibility of Tydings Park. The resolution as amended passed, 6-0. 

7:59 p.m. No citizens came forward to testify on agenda items.

7:59 p.m. Three appointments were unanimously approved: Robert Lockard was reappointed to the Board of Elections, Wardell Stansbury was reappointed to the Planning Commission and Joe Kochenderfer was reappointed to the Water and Sewer Commission. Mayor Wayne Dougherty thanked them for their service to the citizens and the city.

7:50 p.m. Jim Reynolds and Brian Eberhardt were recognized for their service as leaders of the Havre de Grace Recreation Committee Council. They make Havre de Grace "a better place to live, work and play," Mayor Wayne Dougherty said. Council President Randy Craig said it was a joy to see children playing on the fields from Lewis Lane or Juniata Street, and he was grateful for the efforts the Recreation Committee put forth.

7:40 p.m. The girls cross-country team was recognized for making it to the state level for the first time in 30 years.

7:29 p.m. The varsity boys soccer team was recognized for making it to the state semifinals for the second consecutive year.

7:28 p.m. Dylan Schantz, a senior at Havre de Grace High School, is recognized as student of the month for being the "quintessential student-athlete," according to his school administrators. He takes six advanced placement courses and plays on the boys soccer team.

7:23 p.m. Natalie Gorham was recognized for being student of the month at Havre de Grace Middle School. She has a 4.0 GPA, according to one of the assistant principals, and has been recognized repeatedly for her many accomplishments including clarinet and volunteer work at the library and Jewish center. "She is a well-rounded individual who brings a positive attitude to everything she does," Mayor Wayne Dougherty said.

7:15 p.m. Sydney Young of Meadowvale Elementary was recognized as student of the month for her generosity. The fifth grader has made posters to promote giving to Hurricane Sandy victims. She is "amazing," according to the assistant principal.

7:11 p.m. Sidra Wheeler of Havre de Grace Elementary is recognized for being student of the month. She is a "quiet leader" who is "the first to high-five" her peers when they do something excellent and who offers her free time to helping kindergartners.

7:05 p.m. Mary Whitehead of the Healing House began the meeting with a prayer.

7 p.m. Meeting begins. It's standing-room only. There are lots of young students here who are awaiting recognition. (See why on the agenda.)

The Havre de Grace City Council meeting is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. Patch will be there live blogging.

Here's the agenda, which includes a resolution about War of 1812 flags and a public hearing on the proposal to annex part of Old Post Road.

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