Harford County Executive David Craig

At a press conference Tuesday, Harford County Executive David Craig speaks about his plans for the rest of his term, including funding school construction, the public safety deptartment and his commitment to various agencies in the community. (Nicole Munchel | Aegis Staff, Patuxent Homestead / December 3, 2012)

Harford County Executive David Craig has a lot he wants to accomplish, or at least get started on, in the two years before he leaves office.

A new county executive will be taking office Dec. 1, 2014, and rather than what's going to happen after that, Craig said he's more concerned with "what's going to happen in the next 24 months."

With that, he said during a press conference Tuesday morning in the Harford County Council chambers, he wants to lay a "foundation" for the person who takes his seat and "make sure we get things accomplished."

The county executive addressed multiple topics, including school construction, the water and sewer authority, public safety and county employees


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Dels. Wayne Norman and Glen Glass, Sheriff Jesse Bane, Have de Grace Mayor Wayne Dougherty, Harford Community College President Dennis Golladay, Councilmen Dion Guthrie and Richard Slutzky, along with representatives from various county agencies, attended the conference.

Education

Craig came right out and said the county needs to get rid of the multiple-building schools, such as Youth's Benefit and William Paca/Old Post Road elementary schools and Havre de Grace High School.

The four biggest capital projects are to renovate, modernize or replace those schools, plus Joppatowne High School, which has "structural problems," Craig said.

In addition, Craig will seek support in building the west campus expansion at HCC, as well as a nursing and allied health services building on the campus.

School construction will be funded through bonding, Craig said, as has been done with all previous school construction.

Despite the decision at Monday's Board of Education meeting to postpone a vote on the scope study done on Havre de Grace High School, Craig is confident the board is still with him and his plans for new construction.

"They [the board] realize they are necessary," he said.

Craig noted the issues in Baltimore County and City where there are several old facilities and schools way under capacity that are planned to be shut down in the next decade instead of replacing the buildings.

"We need to be preemptive on that," he said, and not get to that point. "It's an important issue for us."

During his time in office, Craig said, seven new schools have been built and building four more would be a "good thing."

In addition, the county executive plans for improvements for athletic fields at Aberdeen, Joppatowne, Fallston and Patterson Mill high schools.

Public works

"We need to work on a water and sewer authority," Craig said, "that will cover all of Harford County."

While creating that authority may not come to fruition by the end of his term, the county executive wants to have a "good foundation" as it can potentially save money for those who use the county's water and sewer services.

In addition, the county executive hopes to present the county council with a plan on what to do with the county's solid waste management by January or February.