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HdG City Council Responds to Connecticut Shootings

Read what happened at the Dec. 17 City Council meeting in City Hall.

The Havre de Grace City Council met at 7 p.m. on Dec. 17 and Patch was there live blogging. The following is the recap of what happened.

8:04 p.m. The meeting adjourned.

7:59 p.m. Mayor Wayne Daugherty swore in Volney Ford as a member of the Planning Commission. He welcomed Ford, who said he was back after a 12-year hiatus.

7:58 p.m. Council President Randolph Craig shared his gratitude to the city. He said he could not speak about the tragedy in Connecticut. 

7:54 p.m. Councilman Bill Martin said his basement is storing the candle bags from the Candlelight Tour, during which it rained. He thanked volunteers and the Lock House Museum for hosting another successful tour, albeit without bagged luminaries. He said that he couldn't bring himself to talk about the tragedy in Connecticut. He reminded people about the New Year's Eve party hosted by the Bicentennial Committee.

7:52 p.m. Councilman David Glenn said he would continue to fight for a new Havre de Grace High School in the new year. He also said that he just put his son on a plane to serve the country, which makes this the third year his son won't spend Christmas with his family. "They fight 24/7 for the freedom that we enjoy today and that’s a freedom we can't put a price tag on," Glenn said.

7:47 p.m. "It's just senseless," Councilman John Correri said in his report, about the elementary school shooting. He expressed sadness about two members of the community passing and also said the Ambulance Corps had an outstanding year in its Toys for Tots Drive.

7:45 p.m. Councilwoman Barbara Wagner said that it was time to have a conversation about mental illness, responding to the Newtown, CT, shootings. She shared two inspiring stories about members of the community volunteering: Cats, an effort to pick up trash on Saturdays at Rochambeau Plaza, starting Jan. 5 at 8 a.m.; and a holiday donation drive at Biller's Bikes for elementary school children in Monmouth County, NJ.

7:39 p.m. Councilman Joseph Smith said he was "all for second amendment rights," but "we can't allow the children of this country to be mowed down." He called for a conversation about ammunition and "rational, logical approaches to managing guns in this society."

7:30 p.m. Mayor Wayne Daugherty said the city has resources for people who may be concerned about a family member and that it is the family's responsibility not to sweep problems under the rug. He also noted that Clovis Bolen, a longtime staffer with the city (1976–92), passed away.

7:25 p.m. Chief of Police Teresa Walter spoke to the recent tragedy in Newtown, CT, letting the public know that the Havre de Grace Police Department regularly does what is called "active shooter" training in which they respond to and eliminate a threat. "In police work we are actually trained to go toward" the perpetrator, Walter said, adding that the teachers in Newtown were not. "Their heroism is unbelievable. I have a lot of sympathy for them and their families and I commend them."

7:21 p.m. Trash will be picked up as normal on Monday, Larry Parks, director of public works, said. No trash will be picked up on Tuesday. The rest of the week will "slide" one day (getting picked up a day later than usual).

7:20 p.m. Joan Scarlato, deputy director of administration, had no report. Neither did Neal Mills, director of planning. Director of Finance Geoge DeHority reminded citizens that their property taxes are due at the end of the month.

7:19 p.m. Adding a footnote to the water-sewer conversation, the mayor noted that the city lost $8 million through the ENR.

7:14 p.m. Fred Cullum gave a report on the Water and Sewer Fund, which he said is $1.2 million in deficit. "A reduction of consumption, the lackluster housing market and the inability to establish an emergency fund are leading us down a road that the commission fears could be a financial failure of the water sewer fund as we now know it," Cullum said. He said the commission, following the footsteps of other commissions before this one, recommended creating an emergency fund for water-sewer needs. "It is imperative that this fund be put in place," Cullum said.

7:12 p.m. A motion to annex part of Old Post Road passed, 6-0.

7:09 p.m. The mayor swore in three new members of the Economic Development Advisory Board.

7:02 p.m. Pastor Ellen Witko of Webster Congregational Church said the opening prayer, also noting those in Connecticut who are in a period of darkness during a season of the year usually known for its joy. She also made an announcement about the nativity contest and holiday church tour.

7:01 p.m. Mayor Wayne Daugherty asked that everyone take a moment of silence for those in Newtown, CT, in "this difficult time" to offer "our heartfelt sympathies."

7 p.m. Roll call was taken; all members of council and city administration are here.

See the meeting agenda attached to this article and follow along as we keep you up to date on the latest developments. Chime in with your thoughts in the comments!

This article was updated at 12:05 p.m. Tuesday to correct the spelling of Clovis Bolen's name.

Biller's Bikes December 18, 2012 at 01:36 AM
Thank you to councilperson Wagner for her plug of our "Jersey Tree" toys drive. Biller's Bikes will accept new and good-used toys and gifts at their shop near the Post Office by Harris Field Wed-Fri 10-6. Christmas Emporium items can also be purchased at deep discount for distribution to 60 "Sandy Kids" by the Monmouth Beach Police Department. Emporium partners are matching all contributions. Call 443-502-2377 for further info.
Curtis Coon December 18, 2012 at 04:31 AM
Tragedy strikes from Hurricane Sandy, and tragedy occurs at Sandy Hook. We all are shocked, sympathetic and ready to help. headline news is made. but we must ask, Are we just as ready to help our neighbors? Most of us are, but some of us who mourn the schoolchildren, wondering how all this could possibly happen do not know the names of their immediate neighbors. We need to be vigilant in caring about our fellow man, whether they are a victim of crime, hurricane or other circumstances. Reach out this Christmas to get to know your neighbors and show that you care.

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