The following is the complete text of Harford County Executive David Craig's 2013 State of the County Address delivered at the Harford County Council legislative session on Tuesday, Feb. 5:
"Where there is no vision, the people perish", so it is written in Proverbs 29: 18.
This statement is as true today as it was when it was written centuries ago.
Good evening, President Boniface and members of the Harford County Council. It is my pleasure to come before you tonight to present to you and the people of Harford County, the State of the County.
I am pleased to report that the State of Harford County is sound and stable, that we continue to grow our economy, and that our finances remain strong.
Since taking office in the summer of 2005, this Administration has worked hard to improve the quality of life for the citizens of our great county through a number of initiatives and projects.
This has included the six primary pillars of the Administration: public safety, education, efficiency in government, economic opportunity, environmental stewardship and quality of living.
Among our achievements have been a new state-of-the-art Southern Precinct for the Harford County Sheriff's Office; enhancements to many of our local volunteer fire and EMS companies through a variety of capital improvements, most notably the first fully county-funded volunteer fire station at Patterson Mill Road; plans for a new state-of-the-art Emergency Operations Center in Hickory and if approved, a Department of Emergency Services to provide more support, coordination and assistance to our volunteer fire and EMS service.
Additionally I want to recognize and commend Sheriff Jesse Bane, the Harford County Sheriff's Office and their state and local law enforcement partners for their outstanding efforts in helping to reduce crime in our County, making it the second safest county in the state of Maryland!
With respect to public education, the Administration, working collaboratively with the County Council has provided the much needed funding, with little or no help from Annapolis, to build new schools and renovate and modernize others.
Additionally we have supported enhancements to one of the finest community colleges in the state of Maryland, Harford Community College, with various capital projects. HCC continues to grow and provides outstanding post-secondary education opportunities for learners of all ages.
We have strived to govern smarter by creating efficiencies and economy in our government. We have also worked hard to improve transparency in government and to provide the broadcast of public hearings and special events of interest to our citizens.
The size of the government workforce has been trimmed by approximately 10% since July 2008. Smaller more efficient government, yet performing at high standards for the people we serve.
Harford County prides itself on our concern for and protection of the environment. We are committed to ensuring a quality environment for our children and grandchildren.
The Department of Public Works, Division of Solid Waste Management has worked tirelessly to help make Harford County a leader in recycling both in our state and in the nation.
Additionally, since the inception of the Office of Sustainability in the Department of Administration, County Government has worked in partnership with our business community, HCC, Harford County Public Schools and other stakeholders to create a "Green Team" and enhance sustainability not only in government, but our schools, business community and non-profits as well – providing significant savings for our citizens in terms of dollars used for energy expenditures.
Finally, as mentioned earlier, the Administration has worked hard to safeguard what is important to the citizens of Harford County – an excellent quality of life in our great county.
This past year, like previous years, Harford County Government has done an outstanding job of enhancing and achieving many initiatives in keeping with our vision.
2012 was another successful year for Harford County Government.