Bel Air Town Commissioner Terrence O. Hanley has told The Dagger he will run for Harford County Executive if incumbent David R. Craig does not seek re-election in 2010.
David Craig has not made his plans known, but speculation that Craig might become the next Superintendent of Harford County Public Schools prompted Hanley’s announcement at this time. A top aide to Craig has denied Craig’s interest in the superintendent position, but Hanley said he believed Craig would be a good fit and that if there is support from the public and from the school board, it could encourage Craig, who is a former teacher and assistant principal, to fill the position left vacant by the sudden passing of Superintendent Jacqueline C. Haas. The Board of Education has appointed an interim superintendent and is conducting a nation-wide search to be concluded by July 1, 2009.
A move by County Executive Craig before his term expires in 2010 would create a vacancy to be filled through appointment by the Harford County Council. Hanley said if such a vacancy occurred he would seek the appointment, but would run in 2010 whether or not he was the Council’s choice to succeed Craig. Hanley also said he would run if David Craig served out his term, but did not run for re-election.
Hanley, who has been a Bel Air Town Commissioner since 2003, pointed to his experiences as a Harford County resident, small business owner and elected official in explaining his interest in higher office.
“I’ve gone from milking cows to owning a car dealership and seen the county change drastically. My philosophy of government is to put the citizens and the taxpayers first and to ensure good, solid, open government and to focus on the future and the growth of our county,” he said.
Hanley said he supported a salary freeze for department heads in the Town of Bel Air and opposed a planned $5 million renovation of Town Hall. He added, “I am one of the most fiscally conservative elected officials in the county.”
In planning his potential run for county executive, Hanley said he has met with a former elected official, who has deep ties in the northern end of the county, about signing on as Hanley’s chief of staff.
Hanley said as county executive he would hold weekly press conferences and would lead ”the most transparent administration you would ever see.”