Bel Air honors Ravens cheerleader, hears from residents on land swap

A local Baltimore Ravens cheerleader was honored by the Bel Air Board of Town Commissioners Tuesday for her work with the community and with U.S. troops stationed overseas.

Angel P. – she requested that her last name be withheld for security purposes – a 25-year-old Bel Air resident, received a proclamation from the town commissioners.

She traveled to Bahrain and Djibouti in 2010 with the USO to entertain American troops, and closer to home, works with the Ronald McDonald House, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Harford County and promotes breast cancer awareness.

"I'm honored," Angel said after receiving the proclamation. "I'm extremely honored; it's great to be part of a town that does recognize efforts of community service. I'm proud and grateful."

Angel, who grew up in Parkville, resides in Bel Air with her family. She is a 2005 graduate of Mercy High School.

Angel is one of several Ravens cheerleaders who hail from Harford County and traveled with the team to New Orleans; she was on the field when the Ravens pulled off their Super Bowl victory earlier this month.

"It's indescribable, that feeling of pride and accomplishment in the Ravens, and just representing Baltimore, representing Maryland," she said.

Land swap

The town commissioners also heard from residents about the pending swap of a small portion of Shamrock Park for property owned by Matthew Felton, a neighbor of the park.

The 900-square-foot parcel in question is along a grove where town residents can plant trees in honor of lost loved ones.

Town officials have negotiated a swap with Felton for 4,200 square feet he owns north of the memorial grove. Felton has requested the smaller parcel in order to build a driveway to allow access to a portion of his property where he would build a home for a family member.

A group of neighbors of the parcel, including the New Life Charismatic Christian Community, were notified by the town of the pending land swap.

The town commissioners unanimously voted in favor of a resolution Tuesday to declare the 900-square-foot parcel surplus property, which would allow the town to dispose of it.

A public hearing on the land swap, followed by a vote, was scheduled for March 4, but town officials decided Tuesday to postpone the hearing until a later date after learning some commissioners and town administrators would not be at the March 4 hearing, or during the subsequent town meeting on March 18.

The town commissioners will set a new hearing date when they meet March 4.

"We'll just postpone it until we have a full panel," Michael Krantz, director of human resources and administration, said after Tuesday's meeting. "That way, everyone's voice can be heard."

Resident Lou Juliana, a neighbor of the parcel in question, told the commissioners during the public comment period that he considered the swap "almost like trading off a pound of dirt for an ounce of gold."

Town leaders voted a decade ago against a proposal to sell the parcel to Felton for $10,000, after a massive public outcry.

Resident Tom Hopkins reminded the commissioners of their predecessors' promise to never sell the land.

"All the town commissioners told us that it will never come up again," he said. "It will always stay the way it is."

Hopkins said he has no faith in the federal or state government, and "hardly" any faith in the county government.

His faith in Bel Air's government remains strong, though.

"I have faith in you guys," he told the commissioners. "Follow through."

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