As the temperature continues to rise this spring, so too does Carroll County’s interest in moving forward with the Governor Frank Brown Trail, an ongoing project that would connect Eldersburg to Sykesville via a pedestrian/bicycle pathway. The trail would begin on MacBeth Way and connect to the Md. 32 Park & Ride before ending at the Springfield Hospital Center.
The name of the trail was selected by the county because Frank Brown, governor of Maryland from 1892 to 1896, is the only governor in Maryland’s history who was from Carroll County. The county has asked for a letter of support from the Town Council. Dawn Ashbacher, town manager of Sykesville, said the town has always been in support of such a trail.
At the Town Council meeting May 27, Councilman Al Grasley asked if the question of security had been brought up in past correspondences with the county. Ashbacher said to her recollection that issue had not been addressed. The responsibility of patrolling the pathway could be a potential problem, Grasley said.
Despite his concern, the council passed a motion to authorize Ashbacher to sign a letter of support for the trail at the meeting.
Concerning another ongoing project, the Warfield Collaborative has asked permission to demolish the porch of building F on the Warfield complex and to remove damaged trees. The collaborative is a group of local business people and investors who entered into a contract to purchase the Warfield complex. However, since the town of Sykesville is the owner of the property for the time being, the collaborative is required to request permission to alter the landscape.
Ashbacher said the Town Council needs to decide how to handle not just this situation but others like it. She added that, as the owner, the council must approach every situation as if the town had to make the changes itself, even though the cost to make any alterations would be paid by the collaborative.
A motion to authorize the mayor and town manager to review and approve a request on behalf of the Warfield Collaborative with respect to change of conditions of the property prior to closing costs was approved by the council.
In other news, Grasley said he would like to add a brief prayer prior to the moment of silence before commencement of council meetings. On May 5, the Supreme Court upheld the right of municipalities to open their meetings with a prayer. The prayer would be a basic request for guidance for the council.
Councilwoman Stacy Link said she has no issues with the content of the proposed prayer but believes the moment of silence the council already has is enough for individuals to conduct silent prayer.
Councilwoman Julie Betz said just because the Supreme Court reached the decision that prayer at town meetings does not violate the Constitution doesn’t mean the council should incorporate it into its call to order.
“It’s not like this is something we’ve been fighting for,” Betz said.
Mayor Ian Shaw and the majority of the council agreed with Betz. Councilman Leo Keenan said the language of the court’s decision is clear, and any prayer, regardless of content, would have to be accepted. To incorporate a Christian-themed prayer would open the door to all creeds and religions, he said.
Reach Staff Writer Wiley Hayes at 410-857-3315 or firstname.lastname@example.org.