The proposed plan to build a solid waste transfer station in Joppa has been widely opposed by the community and Guthrie, who represents the area.

Craig said he is looking for the "most cost effective way to handle this very expensive thing," adding that a two-year extension on the contract with APG to use their waste-to-energy facility has been requested.

The county executive is also reaffirming to the state the county's need for BRAC-related improvements on Route 22 at intersections with Paradise Road, Beards Hill Road and Old Post Road.

Public safety


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Craig said he will be creating a "reformed" executive order that will create a public safety department for the county to present to the county council Dec. 11. (Please see related story, this page.)

It's his plan to create the department then appoint a director by the end of the fiscal year and, eventually, an advisory commission.

When asked if there is a plan to make Harford's all-volunteer fire service at least a partially paid service sometime down the line, Craig said it's not the intent of the department to "create a paid agency," but would like to "lay a foundation" for the next county executive, whomever that may be, to make that decision.

The only additional funding required to create the department would be for the director's salary and benefits package, which, Craig said, will be around $150,000 annually.

All other positions under the department will be, for now, current county employees who will move from one department to another.

Craig plans to first appoint an acting director for two months before officially hiring that person for the position.

As with any position Craig appoints a person to, he said "I always have someone in mind."

Employees

After several years of salary freezes, county employees were recently given 4 percent raises for this fiscal year, retroactive to July 1. But Craig noted that more needs to be done going forward.

Though not discussed during the conference, Craig has proposed a comprehensive pay study for all county employees and employees of the Harford County Sheriff's Office to be done in fiscal year 2014.

A comparable study will done for the school system in fiscal year 2015.

"The pay study is deemed essential for Harford County government to maintain its commitment in keeping its compensation packages competitive," a press release from the county stated.

Although the sheriff's office ultimately decides how to allocate any salary raises — cost of living, percentage, a merit or step increase — Craig said he gives the sheriff's office a certain dollar amount to go toward wages.

Land use

"The county must develop a plan to comply with new state mandates," the press release read.

As a result of the "septic bill," the county will need to amend certain subdivision regulations to include the definition of a "major subdivision" to comply with the new state law.