"A Great First Meeting Back," Jacob Bennett Returns To Harford County Council


Credit: Jacob Bennett/ Facebook

HAVRE DE GRACE - Harford County Council member Jacob Bennett returned to his seat on Tuesday for the first time in almost two months.

Bennett was reinstated after the Supreme Court of Maryland decided last week that his position as a public school teacher does not prohibit him from simultaneously serving on the county council.

He said it was "a great first meeting back," joked about his chair being dusty, and told the Aegis that he had watched every council meeting he missed from home.

The District F council member was welcomed back to the chamber by Council President Patrick Vincenti and was greeted with light applause. He took his seat behind a restored name tag that had been removed during his absence.

Tuesday's session was also the first to include closed captioning on the live stream, an addition that residents (and reporters) have been calling for.

A public hearing on a resolution that would increase fees for calling 911 from 75 cents to $1.50 was held during the meeting. The increased fee would generate an additional $2.7 million in revenue that would be used to improve 911 accuracy and response times.

County Public Safety Dispatcher Joy Clark told the council that the additional revenue would help recruit and maintain 911 dispatchers.

"Hiring is difficult because retention is a problem," Clark said. "It is very hard to do this job, and not everybody is cut out for it."

A date has yet to be set for a vote on the 911 fee increase resolution.

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