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Casi Tomarchio sworn in to Havre de Grace City Council

Casi Tomarchio, center, is sworn in to the Havre de Grace City Council Monday by Mayor William Martin as her daughter, Alexandra, holds the Bible.
Casi Tomarchio, center, is sworn in to the Havre de Grace City Council Monday by Mayor William Martin as her daughter, Alexandra, holds the Bible. (ERIKA BUTLER / The Aegis)

The newest member of the Havre de Grace City Council took her seat on the dais Monday night.

The appointment of Casi Tomarchio, to fill the seat vacated by the resignation of Steve Gammatoria to become Mayor William Martin’s chief of staff, was approved 4-0 by the council at its meeting. Councilman Jason Robinson was ill and could not attend.

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Following her confirmation, Tomarchio, 48, was sworn in by Martin. Her daughter, Alexandra, held the Bible as Tomarchio took the oath.

Besides her daughter and mother, Paula Yutzy, among those in the audience for Tomarchio’s swearing in were Wil and Ellen Sauerbrey, Tomarchio’s daughter’s godparents.

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“I don’t live in Havre de Grace,” Sauerbrey said as she began her comments during the public comment portion of the meeting, “but I think I’d like to move here. After hearing all the wonderful things that are happening here, it really warms my heart.”

Sauerbrey was elected to the Maryland General Assembly in 1978, served in the House of Delegates for 16 years and was the 1994 and 1998 Republican nominee for governor of Maryland.

The sitting council members enthusiastically supported Tomarchio’s appointment and welcomed her to the dais as their colleague.

Tomarchio is the former wife of Aaron Tomarchio, who was chief of staff under Harford County Executive David Craig. The couple had lived in the Bel Air area.

After her divorce, she needed to “hit the reset button” for her life, Tomarchio said after taking her seat. She found Havre de Grace to be the perfect place to start over.

“It was the perfect place for us to come,” she said. “As soon as we moved here, we knew it was home because we felt safe, and that was the biggest thing for us.”

The Havre de Grace community welcomed Tomarchio and her daughter, a student at Havre de Grace High School, with open arms, she said.

She became actively involved in the community in things like the PTSA, she said.

As the stress of building her new house in Havre de Grace grew, the community wrapped its arms around her and helped her.

The day she moved in, she knew she was in her “forever home.”

“The city is a treasure, not because of the beautiful lighthouse, or the festivals or anything else that attracts people here,” Tomarchio said. “What makes it so special is the people who call it home, because everybody cares. Everybody cares and respects each other and looks out for each other. You can’t replicate this anywhere.”

Havre de Grace is on the verge of a boom of opportunity, she said. Her goal as a council member is to make sure everyone is included in the city’s success and to make more great things happen.

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“I see so many wonderful things happening and I’m excited to see what’s on the horizon,” she said. “Because this community deserved it. Thank you so much and I hope to make you all proud.”

Before asking for a motion to approve her appointment, Martin said he knows Tomarchio is a “doer.”

At the city’s recent Oktoberfest, Tomarchio was walking around with a wagon selling 800 pretzels to raise money for the Havre de Grace High School PTSA.

“This lady is a doer,” Martin said. “Many people can talk the talk, but Casi Tomarchio walks the walk.”

Tomarchio is respected in her career and her community and is “a great mom to an awesome daughter at Havre de Grace High School,” the mayor said. She’s never held political office, but she knows how the world works when it comes to government.

Tomarchio, who has a bachelor’s degree in politics and works for the U.S. Army CECOM Software Engineering Center at Aberdeen Proving Ground, said she has witnessed government in action through her daughter’s godmother, Sauerbrey.

Sauerbrey stood at the meeting’s end and said the evening’s proceedings had reminded her of something the country’s founding fathers said that the government closest to home governs best.

“You could see it here tonight,” Sauerbrey said.

She said she often sees people who feel so disconnected from their government. If they have a problem, they don’t know who to talk to and they feel like if they say something, they’ll be ignored.

“It was just wonderful to see that citizens could some up and talk to your local representatives and know that they were being heard and that you were going to be responsive,” Sauerbrey said. “It was a pleasure to sit through your meeting tonight and be reminded of the importance of local government.”

Casi Tomarchio, second from right, stands with family and Mayor Bill Martin, left, after she is sworn in Monday to the Havre de Grace City Council.
Casi Tomarchio, second from right, stands with family and Mayor Bill Martin, left, after she is sworn in Monday to the Havre de Grace City Council. (Erika Butler / Baltimore Sun)

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