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City Council Recap: Main Street, War of 1812, Route 40 Traffic

Graw Days, the War of 1812 bicentennial celebration, a Route 40 traffic study and the new high school were all topics of discussion at the Oct. 15 City Council meeting.

The following is a recap and was posted as a live blog from the Oct. 15 council meeting at City Hall.

8:40 p.m. The meeting adjourned.

8:39 p.m. A board member from the Havre de Grace Chamber of Commerce thanked people for attending the bull and oyster roast and invited everyone to return next year and bring their friends.

8:38 p.m. Billee Smith of Main Street thanked the city for its support of Graw Days. "We have a passion for the downtown businesses as well as the historic preservation of the city," Smith said. The mayor expressed his gratitude for Smith and Main Street.

8:35 p.m. One citizen spoke during the open forum to say he opposed questions A and B on this year's ballot to change the Harford County Charter. The changes "are not in the best interest of the citizens of Harford county," he said. 

8:31 p.m. Council President Randolph Craig thanked Police Chief Teresa Walter for making Havre de Grace a safer place. He said that it wasn't long ago that the city wasn't sure it could handle having special events like Graw Days due to public safety concerns. The police "really do a fantastic job," Craig said. "They look sharp...and I know it's not easy." A motion to have a closed session following the meeting to discuss land acquisition and personnel passed unanimously.

8:30 p.m. Councilman Bill Martin commended the Havre de Grace Police Department on its professionalism this morning on notifying him that his truck had been broken into because he left it unlocked.

8:25 p.m. Councilman David Glenn said that the Route 40 study would be coming in the next few weeks so "stay tuned for that." State Highway Administration is reviewing traffic at Route 40 and Lewis Lane. Glenn said: "We're looking forward to those findings because really something needs to be done there."

8:24 p.m. Councilman John Correri had no report.

8:20 p.m. Councilwoman Barbara Wagner said the community garden on Market Street is coming along and that volunteers welcomed additional participation.

8:15 p.m. Councilman Joseph Smith made a plug for the Department of Public Works, the turkey trot in Bulle Rock and thanked Main Street for putting on Graw Days. Then he read a letter with his personal statements on same-sex marriage. He noted that some said it was not appropriate to discuss the issue from the dias but he knew other issues from Annapolis had been addressed there and he believed it was of importance to citizens.

8:12 p.m. Mayor Emily Caron advocated for Havre de Grace's new high school and said even though she wasn't going to attend, as she's graduating this year, "I plan to live in Havre de Grace after college" and it's important for students to have a new facility.

8:04 p.m. Mayor Wayne Daugherty said it was a busy and productive weekend for the city, mentioning the Chamber of Commerce's bull and oyster roast, the Susquehanna Hose Company's open house and Graw Days. "Main Street showed their stuff," said Daugherty. "Graw Days in Havre de Grace was the bomb."

8:01 p.m. Police Chief Teresa Walter said that on Sunday night, several vehicles were broken into in Havre de Grace. "Make sure you lock your vehicles," said Walter. "It’s a matter of opportunity for [criminals], so if they see it there, they are going to take the opportunity if they can."

7:52 p.m. A motion from Councilman Bill Martin to transfer $43,000 to the bicentennial fund for the War of 1812 celebration passed 6-0. "The city needs to come up with about $72,000. This transfer of $43,000 would be seed money to get the ball rolling," Martin said. Council President Randolph Craig noted that all budget transfers are actions in which money is moved from one line item to another and do not result in additional costs to taxpayers.

7:47 p.m. Council President Randolph Craig presented a budget amendment request in the amount of $1,053,100, which passed 6-0.

7:45 p.m. A motion to extend the right of way for a wood picket fence on 407 S. Juniata St. failed. It went before the planning commission Sept. 25, where members were not in favor, said Councilwoman Barbara Wagner.

7:40 p.m. The council discussed an ordinance about building code which mainly had typographical suggestions, according to Councilwoman Barbara Wagner, who made a motion for ten separate amendments that would correct the errors. Council President Randolph Craig noted there was an Oct. 5 letter from a Harford County planning official bringing the need for updates to the council's attention. The motion to adopt the ordinance about building code passed as amended. The vote was unanimous.

7:23 p.m. Mayor Wayne Daugherty and the City Council designated Elaine Bennett as an outstanding person of the year. "As you know, my family has been rocked by cancer," Bennett, chairperson for Relay for Life, said. Her brother was diagnosed with cancer one year ago and he passed away this September. "He was able to come to the relay. It was his first one and it was his last one," she said. Before his death, Bennett's brother emphasized the importance of continuing to fight cancer by participating in the relay event, Bennett said. In this year's relay, Havre de Grace received a fund-raising award for reaching $100,000.

Jennifer Brown of S.M.I.L.E.S. from Havre de Grace High School thanked the town for its $1,000 donation, which it will use for a Thanksgiving dinner and children's Christmas party. "Last year we served 782 meals in Havre de Grace and surrounding communities," Brown said.

7:15 p.m. Mayor Wayne Dougherty declared it Economic Development Week in Havre de Grace, presenting a proclamation to the city's economic development office. "Economic development is extremely important in the city of Havre de Grace," Dougherty said. "The Maryland Economic Development Association [Oct. 15-19] kicked off the week this morning," Meghan Simmons, manager of economic development in Havre de Grace, said.

Mayor Daugherty presented a proclamation recognizing the Havre de Grace Housing Authority, which is hosting its first annual event on Nov. 2 at the Vandiver Inn.

7:10 p.m. Mayor Wayne Dougherty appointed Emily Caron, a senior selected by Havre de Grace High School, to be mayor for a day. She is "quite an individual," Dougherty said. Caron is valedictorian of her class so far, which includes 170 students. Her accolades also include her excellence in activities like swimming, volleyball and marching band.

6:45 p.m.: Welcome to our City Council live blog, where we will be updating the news coming from City Hall at it happens. The Oct. 15 meeting begins at 7 p.m.

Check out our council meeting preview, which includes a PDF of the agenda.

SHAWN HURST October 16, 2012 at 12:28 AM
I see Joe Smith had NO class tonight....
Paula Casagrande / Big House Signs October 16, 2012 at 01:55 AM
Really? I was very proud of him but then I again I believe in free speech and equality for everyone.
Hollee Sifford October 16, 2012 at 04:18 AM
Emily....Oh excuse me "MAYOR CARON"..:) I was so proud of u tonite u sat on the dias and u def. looked right at home...Congrads to Relay for Life on their VERY SUCCESSFUL rely...Now its time to fire up for the next one:)
Paula Casagrande / Big House Signs October 16, 2012 at 04:23 AM
They did a great job! Hollee I was looking for the "like" button.

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