When a dignitary drops by or a City Council member retires or a longtime member of the local board of zoning appeals steps down, he or she usually can expect a token of appreciation.
Some towns give pens; some give mugs or other souvenirs.
Westminster has lapel pins bearing the city seal, commemorative coins and a plate showing Emerald Hill, the historic mansion that became City Hall. It also has, thanks to former City Council woman Rebecca A. Orenstein, "I Love Westminster" buttons.
Manchester officials offer "our profound thanks," in the words of Mayor Elmer C. Lippy, and lapel pins depicting the centuries-old oak tree on York Street.
Hampstead presents a plaque with the town logo to retiring council members.
But Taneytown never had any tangible tokens to offer, a situation the City Council is about to rectify. It has ordered 250 lapel pins at $2 apiece from a Baltimore supplier of promotional items.
The pins will show the city logo, the former Taneytown fire station on Baltimore Street, bordered in blue.
Impetus for the purchase came from Councilman John M. Contestabile, although he said he didn't originate the idea. "It's something they'd been talking about for years, but no one ever did the legwork to find out what the costs were," Mr. Contestabile said.
Taneytown officials plan to use the pins to recognize city employees and volunteers or, "When you're entertaining clients or prospects, you might like to give them something from the city," the councilman suggested.
The souvenirs are useful, said Westminster Mayor Kenneth A. Yowan. "You need some of these things from time to time, people leaving, people visiting."
Taneytown City Manager Charles P. Boyles II said the pins that go to volunteers who serve on boards and commissions will be "another way for the city to say thank you for putting in the hours you do without any compensation."