“This council has had a lot of successes in the last four years to hang its hat on, and there are more that are yet to be realized,” McGrady said Monday night shortly before he and the council members were sworn in for their four-year terms.
“I view my job as the mayor as taking every problem in Aberdeen and making it my problem,” he said.
McGrady sat on the dais, before a City Council chamber filled with friends and family of the elected officials, with the council that was in office between 2015 and 2019 — Melvin Taylor, Sandra Landbeck and Tim Lindecamp, as well as Steve Goodin. The latter was appointed in the spring of 2016 after months of disputes between McGrady and the other three council members about how to fill the fourth seat in the wake of a tie between two candidates in the November 2015 election.
Goodin did not seek another term in the recent city election, which happened Nov. 5, and Taylor ran against McGrady for mayor.
Taylor said, in remarks Monday night, that he does not view the election results as a loss and that he was glad to be part of a council presided over a number of successes in Aberdeen, such as the arrival of new businesses and the completion of new infrastructure projects.
“Like the Bible says, I fought the good fight and I kept the faith,” Taylor said. “I finished my course here.”
He extended his thanks to the mayor and City Council and to Aberdeen citizens, saying “we served [residents] as best we could, as honestly as we could.”
Robertson cited the ethos of the Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico, encouraging Boy Scouts who hike there to “leave it better than you found it,” and said Taylor had done the same during his time on the council.
Honors for Board of Elections, city clerk
City leaders also recognized members of the Aberdeen Board of Elections and City Clerk Monica Correll for their efforts in putting on a successful election.
Robertson read from a proclamation, signed by the mayor and council members, extending their “most sincere thanks and deepest appreciation” to the elections board. Members Angela Johnson and Mark Schlottman were on hand Monday, but board Chair Gina Bantum could not attend.
“Your work has served as a model for how to run a fair, transparent and effective municipal election,” Robertson said, reading from the proclamation. The city manager also extended his personal thanks to the board, saying they have “made a very powerful difference in this community.”
Robertson and McGrady presented a surprise honor to Correll and thanked her for her work in collaborating with the elections board, as well as her support of city government in terms of drafting council meeting agendas, keeping meeting minutes and handling public records requests.
Schlottman thanked Correll for her support, as well as the Harford County Board of Elections, the city police and public works department and election judges.
“We take our job, our responsibility, very seriously, to put on an election for the City of Aberdeen,” he said.
Correll read the official election results, which have been certified following Election Day Nov. 5 and the Nov. 7 canvass of absentee and provisional ballots; 1,782 ballots were cast, including 10 absentee and 12 provisionals. The total voter turnout for 2019 was 16 percent, out of 10,872 active registered voters in Aberdeen, Correll said.
McGrady won the mayoral race with 1,145 votes, compared to 620 for Taylor. The four candidates for council were unopposed — Hiob came in first with 1,287, followed by 1,071 for Landbeck, 1,037 for Lindecamp and 830 for Kolligs.
James Reilly, clerk of the court for Harford County, swore in McGrady as mayor, returning council members Landbeck and Lindecamp and new council members Adam Hiob and Jason Kolligs.
Nearly all had family members with them as they took their oaths of office, and Kolligs’ 3-year-old daughter, Penny, went up to the dais with her father and sat in his lap after he took his seat.
McGrady encouraged the new council members to take the next couple of weeks and “get your feet under [you],” and said he hopes to have rules of procedure for the new council adopted at the next meeting.