"Weakening," Guthrie finished, smiling.

Actually, the county executive may have already done so. The next day, during a press conference on his priorities for the final two years of his administration, Craig said he is looking for the "most effective way to handle this very expensive thing," but also revealed he had asked the Army to extend by two years the county's contract to dispose of the bulk of its trash at the waste-to-energy incinerator at Aberdeen Proving Ground that had been due to close in 2016.

Moon added that the mid-January County Council meeting would be a "big one."

"We will have to fill it up," Moon said. She said the council planned to send out notices and distribute T-shirts to show opposition to the station.


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County fire department

Joppa council member Ron Sollod, who is secretary of the Joppa-Magnolia Volunteer Fire Company, said that fire company members have been opposed to Craig's plan for a county department to oversee operations of the independent volunteer fire companies.

The plan, according to Guthrie, is to create a cabinet-level position, or czar to run fire services.

"Command and control cannot be run by someone who doesn't how the fire service runs," Sollod said.

"There are some things that need to be tweaked; some things that need to be changed," Sollod acknowledged regarding fire department operations, but added: "If you think that your taxes are not going to go up if they take it over, think again."

"It will cost $45 million to take over the fire department," Sollod said. He said fire service members planned to "come out in force" to the county council meeting where the executive order creating the new department will be discussed. The hearing date has been pushed back to Dec. 18 to give fire service leaders the opportunity to review a revised plan drafted by Craig.

Education funding

Also at the community council meeting, Tom Fare, a second grade teacher at Halls Cross Roads Elementary School and a member of the Board of Directors for the Harford County Education Association, spoke about the need for more education funding in Harford County.

"Joppatowne High School doesn't have a magnet program, and repairs are needed at many schools," including Joppatowne High, Fare said.

"We're trying to change funding priorities in Harford County," Fare said. "We ask that you come out and take a stand at the January [Harford County Budget Meeting] at Aberdeen High School."

Larry Ginsburg, also a member of the teachers union, likewise asked for community support for education funding.

"We're the sixth richest county, per capita in the state and we're 18th in education funding," Ginsburg said. "Something's wrong."

In community council news, member Yvonne Baldwin announced that she had tendered her resignation. Moon explained Chairperson Paula Mullis' absence from the meeting was because of health reasons.