The following is the 2014 Legislative Address delived by Harford County Council President Billy Boniface on Feb. 4, 2014:
This Council has celebrated many accomplishments during the past seven years but tonight, rather than reminiscing about the past, I am thinking about the greatest challenge, as I see it, for the foreseeable future.
With minor increases in revenue projections, and fund balances at their lowest in a decade, we are in for another lean budget ahead for Fiscal Year 2015. Meeting the needs of the County will be difficult to achieve without the cooperation among all the entities providing services to its citizens. We must all look for ways to improve operational efficiencies and we must consistently re-prioritize our capital program. It is a delicate balance to choose what the County should invest in today while also understanding the burden it will place on those who govern in the future. While this may seem a dauntless task, I have faith in the ability of this Council to achieve this balance, as they have demonstrated time and time again to put the best interest of the County first at hand.
I want to acknowledge our Council Administrator, Pamela Meister, Council Attorney, Melissa Lambert, County Auditor Chrystal Moore and all the hard working staff of the County Council and the Harford Cable Network. I speak for the entire Council in saying thank you for your service and support.
Since this is my last legislative address I thought it would be appropriate this evening to share with everyone one word I have chosen to best describe each of my colleagues from the years I have served with them.
• While I have several words for Mr. Guthrie, irritating, aggravating, and infuriating to name a few, I’m going to go with ADVOCATE. He puts the people of Joppatowne and Edgewood first and relentlessly lobbies on their behalf. No is not an acceptable answer for him when it comes to the needs of District A.
• Mr. Woods is an ENTHUSIAST. He is always eager to learn in order to better serve the businesses and residents of District B.
• I would describe Mr. McMahan as RELIABLE. I can count on the “Capitan” to handle any task he is given for the good of the Council and the citizens of District C.
• The first word that comes to my mind every time I think of Mr. Shrodes is PASSIONATE. He truly cares about the issues that affect his constituents from Northern Harford County and works tirelessly to find effective solutions to their problems.
• Without a doubt Mr. Slutzky is STABLE. Coach possesses a strong foundation of knowledge and experience that empowers him to consistently do what is best for the County. These qualities have made him an outstanding Vice-President for me these last seven years.
• Last, but not least, the word that best describes Ms. Lisanti for me is THOUGHTFUL. Every request is given considerate attention and careful deliberation before reaching any decision.
Advocate, Enthusiast, Reliable, Passionate, Stable, and Thoughtful. It is the blending of these qualities and the understanding that we must always respect each other that has made ours a successful Council.
While I still have the responsibility to steer this ship for another ten months, I wanted to take the opportunity tonight to say thank you to all those who have helped me on this journey. I firmly believe that the path we choose in life is by a greater design. I know we are meant to learn from the people we meet, good and bad, as well as from our successes and failures and the many challenges we face each day.
Hopefully through it all we will grow as individuals but more importantly, help each other to do the same along the way. I am a better person for having served as your Council President. Thank you again, and God bless.