Despite the talk about saving time, the council spent about 45 minutes on council members' personal remarks.

They marked the 50th anniversary of the Havre de Grace Art Show, which Dougherty called "a wonderful achievement."

The Mardi Gras Parade in February, Women's 5K by the Bay and the Art Show were all approved.

Dougherty said the second annual Duck Dunk, to which he wore a tuxedo, was successful and put together well.


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"Volunteers from Susquehanna Hose Company and Havre de Grace Ambulance Corps couldn't be more ... cordial to those of us coming out of the water, freezing to death, trying to breathe," he said. "I thought it was great."

Martin and Glenn were not available for the Duck Dunk this time, as they were under the weather.

Planning director Neal Mills gave an update on the Upper Chesapeake medical campus complex, for which the planning commission approved the preliminary site plan last month.

He said the planning department still needs final stormwater management approval and the final forest conservation plan for that project.

"There are more challenges for Upper Chesapeake than our planning department because now they have several business and regulatory challenges that they have to meet, beginning with what is called a certificate of need that's granted by the state of Maryland," he said.

Mills said the next window for that is February but Upper Chesapeake cannot meet that, so they are looking toward August.

"The decision on that could take up to a year for the state agency that overlooks that," he said. "If you do the math, probably the earliest that we would start issuing building permits and you'd start to see some construction activity would be next summer, probably late next summer, early fall."

Smith said he was glad to see state Comptroller Peter Franchot visit recently and mentioned Franchot stopped in his business, where he was also welcomed by Dougherty, Wagner and representatives from Havre de Grace Main Street.

Craig made a dig at Smith's recounting of the visit, saying it was "disheartening" that Franchot visited Youth's Benefit Elementary School and not a Havre de Grace School, which perhaps the councilman could have suggested he do instead of just visiting a business.

Todd Cregar, a Havre de Grace native and Marine stationed in Hawaii, was recognized for being selected to carry the U.S. flag during the NFL Pro Bowl in Hawaii. His wife, Stephanie Cregar ,and mother, Samantha Cregar, received a city proclamation on his behalf.

Fond farewells

Several council members recalled Charlie Barker and Tommy Jordan, two prominent Havre de Grace residents who died recently.

Craig noted both "gave much back to our city" and said he knew Barker a lot through his church.

"To have a top-rate physician like that in our community is fantastic," he said about Jordan.

Councilman Dave Glenn also said his thoughts and prayers go out to the Barker and Jordan families. He attended the funeral for Barker and said both are icons of the community.

"What a beautiful service and what a beautiful send-off for a very, very special lady," he said.