From Harford County government:
County Executive David R. Craig and Director of Parks & Recreation Arden C. McClune will formally open the Veronica “Roni” Chenowith Activity Center with a ribbon cutting on Tuesday, July 13 at 10:00am.
Various dignitaries will be in attendance to celebrate the opening of the center and to pay tribute to Mrs. Chenowith’s life and work. A portrait will also be unveiled of Mrs. Chenowith that has been provided by Harford United Charities.
The ribbon cutting will be held Tuesday, July 13 at 10:00 a.m. at the The Veronica “Roni” Chenowith Activity Center at 1707 Fallston Road, Fallston, Maryland 21047
Mrs. Chenowith represented the Fallston, Upper Crossroads, and Emmorton areas on the Harford County Council from 1994 until 2009, when she passed away after a hard-fought battle with leukemia. Gloria Lawlah, Maryland Secretary of Aging; David R. Craig, Harford County Executive; Arden C. McClune, Director of Parks & Recreation; Mary Chance, Director of Community Services; Joseph Pfaff, Former Director of Parks & Recreation; Joseph Chenowith, Husband of the late Mrs. Chenowith; members of the Harford County Council; and various other local elected officials and dignitaries will be in attendance.
I am deeply saddened that Harford County would choose to honor such a fine public servant as Roni Chenowith with this albatross of a facility. Her memory deserves better.
The facility was built with money the County doesn’t have at the worst possible time. The capital required to cover the development, engineering and construction costs was borrowed and merely increases the County’s obligations. The payments for those obligations come from the citizens in the form of taxes. Tax revenues are declining thanks to this lovely economy and it is just a matter of time before our political leaders find ways to pass the bill on to us.
In addition, the operating costs for this new facility will far exceed the operating costs for the previous facilities. Due to its size, utility costs will increase, maintenance costs will increase and, of course the government payroll will swell with new positions that we didn’t know we needed. These are but a few of the many ways the taxpayers will be fleeced.
It is true that Parks & Rec had outgrown the previous facilities and will be excellent caretakers of this new facility but what about the Harford County Office on Aging? Harford County had actually become recognized as a leader in programs for senior citizens and many other counties flocked to Bel Air to learn how they too could offer similar programs. That was long ago.
Now, Harford seniors feel alienated by the very people who have been entrusted by the Administration with their care. Once vibrant learning programs have been gutted. Volunteers have bailed out in droves. And the remaining beleaguered front line staff are wondering what they did to deserve the hell that that experience daily while their incompetent superiors attend luncheons and conferences each day. Harford’s seniors have been suffering but their complaints have fallen on deaf ears. How long before all of Harford’s citizens are suffering the consequences of this mismanagement?
Did anyone ever study whether this facility, as it now stands, was really needed? Would something less grand have sufficed? Seniors once flocked to the McFaul Activities Center in amazing numbers. The geniuses in charge thought that this was a signal to build centers in every region of Harford County. Have you ever been to the Havre de Grace Center during the day? It’s nearly deserted and has been since its opening about three or four years ago. Only Parks and Rec has vibrant programs in Havre de Grace Otherwise the building is largely unused except for County luncheons and conferences.
Is this the best way to honor one of the County’s beloved friends? Is this the way to manage our future?
Fallston Res says
You sir, or mam make now sense whatsoever. Roni worked hard to make that building a reality. That building was one of her last wishes before she died. How dare you suggest otherwise. Shows how much you knew her and what she worked for. To suggest the county can not afford such a facility is a fallacy. This building has been years in the planning and making, and therefore a planned expense.
Nonetheless it’s still another hideous looking building deisgned by the Edmeades & Stromdahl. Like most of their projects it hardly meshes with the surrounding community and stems from the good-ole boy network. That project could have been designed in a much more cost effective and user friendly manner by a firm who has expertise in recreational and community centers.
Fallston Resident says
Shame on you for saying the building doesn’t look good in our community! Would you rather have the ugly building that Baltimore County placed on Sweet Air Rd? I was told the money for this building came from other sources and not the budget……….regardless, it will be used by not only us “seniors” but also by the youth of our community. Don’t like it, move away!