The Aegis
Harford County

Harford County Council approves Cassilly appointments, McComas Village Historic District

The Harford County Council approved the fifth ethics board member and a new county economic development director at its Tuesday legislative session.


David Woods was appointed to the county ethics board, after Cassilly’s brother and former Harford County state’s attorney Joseph Cassilly withdrew from consideration. Woods, a Republican from Edgewood, ran against council member Dion Guthrie for the District A seat in 2022.

The other four members of the ethics board were approved at the Feb. 14 council meeting. Those members are Dea S. Galloway, Deanne Snodgrass, Kirk Vollmecke and Allyson Whitacre.


Karen Holt was approved as Harford County Executive Bob Cassilly’s pick for director of economic development. She’s served various roles in the department, including as director from 2014 to 2018.

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Robbie Sandlass, county treasurer, provided a revenue outlook to the council as the county budget for the upcoming fiscal year is being prepared. Sandlass said Harford is one of a handful of counties in the country to have AAA credit ratings from the top three credit agencies, Standard & Poor’s (S&P), Fitch Ratings and Moody’s.

“Not only does it provide the county with the lowest possible borrowing rates,” Sandlass said, “but I think it also communicates to our citizens, to our businesses, [and] to the investment community, that Harford County has its fiscal act in order, that this is a place you can do business in.”

In other council news, a resolution was adopted designating the McComas Institute, the Mt. Zion Church Cemetery and the Mt. Zion United Methodist Church in Joppatowne as the McComas Village Historic District.

Shane Grimm, the county’s director of planning and zoning, said the district, which was nominated by Hosanna Community House Inc., “provides a window into the history and culture of Harford County during Reconstruction through the lens of the African American experience.”

“As a center for worship, community and education,” Grimm said, “the properties have served a vital role in the lives of African American Harford Countians.”

The council also adopted an amendment to a resolution that would allow the City of Havre de Grace to rezone an annexed city property. It removed council member Jacob Bennett’s name from the resolution.

This meeting was the second Bennett was unable to attend amid his ongoing lawsuit with the county over his ability to serve on the council while employed as a Harford County Public Schools teacher.