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Aberdeen council members recall Dr. Hatem, pass city master plan

Aberdeen's city council remembered the late Dr. Frederick Hatem at Monday's meeting, demonstrating how many lives in Harford County he touched during his 84 years.

Although he spent most of his time at Harford Memorial Hospital in Havre de Grace, Councilwoman Ruth Elliott pointed out, Dr. Hatem, who died last week, started his practice in Aberdeen in the 1950s.

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"He delivered our four children and some of our grandchildren, but he had such a manner about him that just made you feel so easy," Elliott said. "He was never a doctor that rushed you. He just took his time, told you everything you would want to hear."

She said the whole area will miss him.

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"He had a terrific smile. I can't say enough good things about him," she said.

Councilwoman Sandra Landbeck also said she was "very saddened" to learn about Dr. Hatem's death.

"It was something that was unexpected and the family is certainly feeling grief," she said. "Probably all of Harford County could tell you a story about Dr. Hatem."

Councilwoman Ruth Ann Young and Councilman Bruce Garner noted that Dr. Hatem's sister, Rose Mary Hatem Bonsack, is an Aberdeen resident and a good friend of the city.

Mayor Mike Bennett also added his condolences.

"Dr. Hatem was a very trusted member of my family and delivered our daughter," he said. "He will be sorely missed in this community, and did a lot for the community."

Also at the meeting, the council passed the city's 2011 comprehensive plan and approved budget amendments totaling $198,42, including $33,000 in unexpected repairs to the city swim club, finance director Opiribo Jack said.

The council approved a revised final plat for a re-subdivision of Lot 9 at Beards Hill Plaza and a final plat for Aberdeen Exchange, a four-lot project on Route 7 that includes a portion deeded to Maryland State Highway Administration for a right-of-way.

The council agreed to use its entire Community Development Block Grant, $110,700, to resurface part of Mount Royal Avenue between West Bel Air Avenue and St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church, and the 500 block of Baltimore Street.

Council members unanimously approved declaring 10 police vehicles as surplus. The vehicles' dates range from 1993 to 1996.

Resident Patrick McGrady, of Holly Drive, offered to replace the city's contract with Harford Cable Network, for which he said the government pays $300,000.

"I would like to offer my services to open an Aberdeen YouTube account and stick them [meetings] on YouTube at no cost to the city," he said.

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