Harford County Council offices

The Harford County Council, which moved its offices at the beginning of 2011 because of potential structural damages, is considering moving back for good to the "Black Box" on Bond Street. After the building was repaired, council members decided to keep their offices and staff at 18 Office Street. (MATT BUTTON | AEGIS STAFF, Patuxent Homestead / May 31, 2012)

The Harford County Council is getting set to move back to its original "Black Box" location sometime this summer.

Council members approved a letter to Harford County Executive David Craig at their Tuesday meeting, requesting that he allow the council to return to the building at 212 S. Bond St.

The council has not set a date, but hopes to return around the start of summer, to the second floor, Councilman Dion Guthrie said.

Not all of the council members are enthusiastic about the decision. Council President Billy Boniface abstained from the vote, saying he would leave it up to the council.

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"It really doesn't matter to me whether we remain where we are or we move back here, as long as the legislative needs are being met," he said.

Boniface explained that when discussions of the move began, the council was in the middle of its budget season and working on other issues.

"I had enough on my plate, and the council administrator, also," he said.

Two other council members, Mary Ann Lisanti and Dick Slutzky, defended the planned move.

"I really do believe we moved over to our temporary headquarters literally overnight," Lisanti said. "We've made do with the situation and I don't think any of us really care about our personal space."

Lisanti said the space they're in is not handicap-accessible and has no parking at all.

"We've had a lot of concerns as far as our elderly and handicapped visitors," she said, adding that it has been challenging to move the council's items and equipment around.

"It takes a tremendous time and effort just to physically move us," she said.

Slutzky, meanwhile, said it is crucial for the council offices to look impressive, citing the example of the Port Authority building on the water in New York City.

"You're looking at a building that is absolutely magnificent. It is one of the premier buildings in the United States. The architecture, the design, is just phenomenal," Slutzky said, explaining that everyone who came to New York in older generations came by ship.

"The grandeur and magnificence of that building set their expectations at that time for America," Slutzky said. "This council has an opportunity to be back in a facility that I think will provide the appropriate presentation of a professional and adroit council organization."

"I believe it's very difficult for us to operate as a professional council in a building that's hard to get to, hard to park at and doesn't have the presentation that this is a class operation," he said.

Tornado help

Some council members noted the impressive work fire and emergency service providers did during Friday's tornado around Route 1 in Fallston.

Joe Woods said: "Six and a half hours we cleaned up a major disaster in the Fallston area - pretty impressive."

Jim McMahan also applauded Woods for representing "firefighters over the entire U.S." inWashington, D.C.Tuesday.