Two new leaders at Aberdeen Proving Ground formally introduced themselves to the Havre de Grace City Council and said they hope to continue the positive relationship APG has had with the city.
Major Gen. Robert Ferrell, commanding general for Army communications, thanked the city for helping with APG's Oktoberfest and said the post plans to do it again, as well as have a Jazz Fest in the spring.
"We fully intend to give the city of New Orleans a run for their money," Ferrell said of the event.
He thanked the city for standing by with BRAC and called Havre de Grace "one of the finest and most supportive" communities he has known.
"[APG] is creating the most advanced communications network in the world," he said. "Our army will get smaller but we will also become leaner, more agile and more flexible."
"There may be a gate at APG, but it's only a gate. It's not a barrier to our partnership," he also said.
Col. Gregory McClinton, the new garrison commander of APG, also introduced himself and said his door is always open.
Also at the meeting, the council:
-The council recognized Joe Kochenderfer and Rene Lambert for serving years on the planning commission, among other services to the city. Kochenderfer recalled when the state of the city's planning and zoning was quite different.
"I can tell you that back when I first started, I was appointed by Mayor Hutchins in 1978, there was no planning department, there was no zoning ordinance," he said, adding he spent several years trying to get a zoning ordinance in place.
At the time, he said, "it was a brave thing for them to do because the idea of zoning was probably the second most controversial thing that's happened to Havre de Grace since I've been here. The first was the … water and sewage treatment plant," he said.
-Approved fencing at 800 S. Stokes St. in a city right-of-way.
-Recognized Sydney James, of Havre de Grace Elementary School, Madeline Ransford, of Meadowvale Elementary School, Joel Martin, of Havre de Grace Middle School, and Dylan Schantz, of Havre de Grace High School, as Students of the Month for October.
-Approved the Halloween parade for Oct. 30 and the Independence Day Celebration in July.
-Planning and zoning director Neal Mills said only 11 building permits were approved in the first quarter of the year, compared to 19 in the first quarter of last year.
"Unfortunately, we seem to be in decline again," Mills said.
-Public works director Larry Parks said Old Bay Lane is scheduled to be repaved. Work is also set to go to bid for improvement on James Run at Tydings Road.
-Paul Ishak said Old Bay Lane has been transferred to city use from the state after years of waiting, similar to what happened with Lewis Lane.
-Introduced resolutions to approve a lease extension for the Chamber of Commerce, as the chamber uses a portion of the visitor center, and to approve a memo of understanding between the city and the National Park Service in support of the Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail, which would feature the city's role in the War of 1812.
-Mayor Wayne Dougherty said last Friday night was "very moving" as the Concord Point lighthouse was again lit in pink in support of breast cancer awareness.
-Councilman Joe Smith said he was glad to see the mayor meet with Bulle Rock residents and more of those from Bulle Rock understand how the city works.
-Councilwoman Barbara Wagner said it was a "huge step" forward that the city now has supporting documents for its legislation available to everyone online, at havredegracemd.com.
She also noted Havre de Grace's highest rate of recycling is about 22 percent, still below the national average of 34 percent, which she said directly "hurts your pocket" because the cost of waste disposal is going up.
-Councilman David Glenn thanked all those who "went to bat" in support of a new Havre de Grace High School, as well as the mayor and city council.
Although the project got approval from the board of education, Glenn said it still has a long way to go.
"The county executive told me the other night, he said, 'Dave, I've got to tell you this, you're a longtime baseball coach - all you got through was the pre-season. You've got a long way to go to the World Series,'" Glenn said. "We've got to get the message out, and it's not going to be an easy task."
-Smith said he hoped people would be respectful of "all elements of government" and he also planned to speak about some legislation, including referendum items that will be on the ballot, at the next council meeting.
"One of the problems I see is people are down on government. We are the government, so when we are making light of our elected officials… I think we are not doing ourselves a service," Smith said, mentioning the new moped law as one that makes sense for a number of safety reasons.
Councilman Bill Martin, meanwhile, disagreed, saying as a moped rider, the law is another example of the government being too involved in people's lives.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun