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Havre de Grace Mayor: 'The Biggest Thing is to Vote'

The City Council discussed annexation, auditing, bonds, voting and 'Superstorm Sandy' at its Nov. 5 meeting.

The Havre de Grace City Council adopted two resolutions during Monday's regular meeting at City Hall: one to annex a portion of Old Post Road and another to amend the terms of the city's water bonds. A public hearing will take place Dec. 3 so citizens can comment on the proposed annexation.

The following is the sequence of events from the meeting as covered in a live blog from City Hall Monday:

8:30 p.m. The meeting adjourned.

8:25 p.m. "Get out there and vote. It's your duty and it's your future," said one citizen during the comment period. Billee Smith from Main Street LLC shared about Mob the Merchant, an initiative that encourages people to shop downtown. The most recent event was Saturday, Nov. 2, at Wonder Toys. "They were very appreciative," Smith said.

8:23 p.m. The council passed a motion 6-0 to go into closed session to discuss land acquisition and other matters.

8:20 p.m. Council President Randy Craig emphasized preparation because there were two storms last year, there was this one this year and who knows what the winter will bring. He added that the department of public works performs a tree maintenance program, which helps before storms hit.

8:16 p.m. Councilman Bill Martin thanked the mayor and all of those who helped protect the city during last week's storm. "The weather didn't stop them," Martin said. He added that he was very proud that Halloween took place as planned, and he gave a shout out to veterans in advance of Veterans Day.

8:12 p.m. Councilman David Glenn encouraged people to attend upcoming County Council meetings this month about the future of Havre de Grace High School. He also congratulated the Warriors boys soccer team for making it to regionals on Tuesday night against Perryville. He commended all those who helped to keep the city safe last week in the storm. "When a natural disaster does strike, the city of Havre de Grace is in good hands," Glenn said.

8:10 p.m. Councilman John Correri Jr. said that "it's phenomenal, the response coming from" all over to help others as a result of the "Superstorm Sandy." He noted Maryland State Police sending troopers from Perryville and the convoys of utility trucks that he said spanned the length of Harford County on I-95. "It's good to see these neighborly deeds." He said he had family in Long Island that was having "some problems...it's been quite a tragedy."

8:05 p.m. Councilwoman Barbara Wagner said she and her husband were in Montana during last week's storm but she stayed informed through the telephone alerts from the city and her heart goes out to the people in New Jersey and New York. "Thank you to everyone for keeping our city safe," Wagner said.

7:58 p.m. Councilman Joseph Smith said he is on a committee that will consult officials from Frederick on how to make subtle improvements to "enhance the attractiveness of downtown and other areas" in the city of Havre de Grace. He said that in light of the recent storm, we need to consider how we build and where we build along the coastline.

7:50 p.m. "The most important thing that we have as citizens in this country is the right to vote," Mayor Wayne Dougherty said. "I don't care who you vote for or how you vote when you go in. The biggest thing is to vote.....I will exercise my right as a citizen of the United States," voting Tuesday morning, something he encouraged everyone to do. He didn't advocate for any one cause, just that citizens should be voting in general. Dougherty also provided an update on the storm coming Wednesday, saying that information he was given indicated Havre de Grace may get some wet snow, winds of 30 to 40 mph and an inch of rain. He discussed last week's storm and commended the citizens and the city on the response.

7:45 p.m. Larry Parks, director of public works, announced that road work on Old Bay Lane would begin soon. Flagging will be in place during the resurfacing project, he said. "It may be reduced to a single lane but at no time will traffic be completely blocked," Parks said.

7:42 p.m. Neal Mills, director of planning, said: "I have some disappointing news.... We have a continual slowdown in building permits." There were three building permits issued in October.

7:40 p.m. Carol Mathis, director of the administration, announced that 30 percent of the city's staff was now trained in CPR. In addition, an automated external defibrillator was installed at the visitors center. The City Council's new photo was recently hung in City Hall.

7:35 p.m. The council approved nine special events. See them on the agenda.

7:31 p.m. The resolution to amend the county's charter to annex .85 acres on Old Post Road passed on first reading, 6-0. There will be a public hearing Dec. 3 when citizens can weigh in on the issue, and then the council will vote again Dec. 17.

7:28 p.m. The resolution to change the water and sewer bond payment schedule passed, 6-0, with amendments.

7:20 p.m. Two citizens testified during the comment period. One was a man from North East who said he would like to host a fundraiser for multiple sclerosis in the city. Another was a representative from the Water and Sewer Commission who said that his group voted unanimously in support of a resolution to amend the city's payment schedule for its water and sewer bonds.

7:05 p.m. A representative from the Cohn Reznick Group, which recently audited the city of Havre de Grace, presented a report. The city's overall revenue increased by $1.7 million, according to the Cohn Reznick representative. "This is primarily due to federal, state and county grants increasing by $1.1 million in 2011," he said. "We saw a significant increase" in FEMA grants, he added, mentioning Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee.

7:02 a.m. The mayor presented Council President Randy Craig with the Proclamation of Municipal Government Works Month, which both elected officials agreed was timely given the recent storm recovery efforts.

7 a.m. Mayor Wayne Daugherty called the meeting to order. It commenced with a prayer that included special attention to those impacted by Superstorm Sandy in New York and New Jersey.

The City Council is meeting at 7 p.m. in City Hall. See the agenda here.

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