Two on Harford council plan to seek 10-cent tax rate cut

From The Aegis dated May 12, 1988:

Two members of the Harford County Council wanted to give Harford residents a tax break 25 years ago, and were proposing amendments to the executive's budget that would reduce the property tax rate by 10 cents per $100 of assessed value.

Councilmen Ed Fielder and Robert Hooper had to wait until after the second of two public hearings before they could introduce their amendment, but said the 10-cent reduction would decrease county revenues by $2,213,500, which would be offset by eliminating $800,000 in the capital budget for a proposed multi-deck parking garage in Bel Air and $1,423,500 for a building in the Riverside industrial park to house the administrative offices for the county's public library system.

The proposed budget for fiscal year 1988-1989 was $169 million, which included a $115.9 general operating budget with a tax rate of $2.73 per $100 of assessed value.

A Harford County jury found a 20-year-old man guilty 25 years ago this week of killing two people and injuring two others with a shotgun blast in March 1987 in Joppa.

The jury determined the man's judgment was impaired by his drinking before the shooting and he was convicted of second-degree murder.

Killed by the blast from the 12-guage shotgun were Dennis Comer, 21, of Abingdon, and Dewey "Cap" Martin, 55, of Baltimore.

The Maryland Attorney General said it was staying out of the debate over Harford County Executive Habern Freeman's moonlighting as a physical therapist a few days a week in Towson.

"While we do have a policy of providing legal opinions to local governments, one of the prerequisites is that there be a significant issue of state law," the AG's chief counsel for opinions, Jack Schwartz, said.

The Harford County Council wanted defined the term "full-time," as it applied to the county charter's requirement that the exec devote full-time to his duties.

Police acted on two anonymous tips this week 25 years ago but came up empty in their searches for missing 28-year-old mother of two, Mary Frances Kelly of Churchville.

Maryland State Police troopers searched Bynum Pond in Bel Air after getting a call that a body had been dumped there.

"...We were just acting on a tip; you have to check everything out," Sgt. B.J. Caudill said.

Another anonymous tip had two deputies searching a field behind the Bel Air Roller Rink, where someone said her body had been hidden. Nothing was found there, either.

Ms. Kelly had been out at a bar with an acquaintance 18 days earlier and hadn't been heard from since she dropped him off at his house. Her abandoned, blood-stained car was found several miles from her home, with her purse and keys inside.

The long-discussed new elementary school in the Emmorton area was planned to be built along Route 924, on a corner of the 35-acre property adjacent to the West Riding community.

School officials announced this week 25 years ago where the 59,000-square-foot, 600-student school would be screened form the neighborhood by land berms and heavy landscaping.

The school was set to open in September 1990.

The Students Against Driving Drunk at Harford Vocational-Technical High School was pleased that its prom night ended this week a quarter century ago without any alcohol-related accidents.

Leading up to the big dance, the SADD chapter had planned a week of events intended to bring awareness to the students that one careless night of drinking and driving could end the life of a family or loved one. Their activities included a car that had been demolished in a drinking-related crash, skeletons dressed to the nines with drinks in their hands and a Ghost Day, when students simulated what it would be like to lose a classmate.

Bel Air Athletic Club wanted people to "Swim, Smile and Save!" 25 years ago and was offering a free summer for people who joined the fitness center in May. Monthly membership dues wouldn't begin until September 1988.

"Enjoy our pool, work out with friends and get into the best shape of your life," the ad read.

Getz Jewelers at Harford Mall in Bel Air was getting ready for graduation season, advertising Bulova watches for the soon-to-be grads. "A Bulova for Graduation, They've Earned It!" the ad proclaimed. A ladies diamond case watch regularly $180 was on sale for $144 and a men's quartz regularly $150 was on sale for $120.

A 14-year-old Essex boy was charged this week 25 years ago with the stabbing death of Hank Earl Hoffman, 23, of Street. The stabbing stemmed from an argument over a woman.

One of the county's best-known restaurants, The Red Fox, was being sold to a Baltimore man, Alan Edelstein, and his son, Robert, who was formerly a chef with the Marriott Corporation.

The younger Edelstein had been working at the restaurant for the previous two weeks in preparation for the takeover, which wouldn't be complete until the liquor license was transferred. He had also introduced himself to a regular patron as the new owner. The reported selling price was $1.2 million

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