Harford County Executive Craig to Host FY 15 Public Budget Hearing Nov. 25 at Fallston High School

From Harford County government:

Harford County Executive David R. Craig will host a public hearing on the FY 15 budget on Monday, November 25, 2013. The budget hearing will be held at Fallston High School located at 2301 Carrs Mill Road, Fallston, Maryland 21047. It will begin at 6:00pm in the school auditorium.

“It is important to hear from the taxpayers when developing a budget,” said County Executive Craig. “This is a chance for citizens to express what they would like to see funded, and we always value the input provided.”

Members of the County Executive’s Cabinet and budget officials will also attend the hearing. The FY 15 budget will be prepared between January and late March of 2014. The proposed budget will be presented to the Harford County Council on April 15, 2014.

Citizens who want to speak during the budget hearing should arrive at least 30 minutes prior to the start of the session to sign in. Speakers will be given three minutes to comment unless they are representing a group in order to allow everyone an opportunity to address the Administration. Those speaking on behalf of an organization will be given five minutes to speak.


  1. The Money Tree says

    That rotten SOB should keep his anti-education backside out of the schools. Hold his farce of a meeting at his house…

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 13 Thumb down 9
    • The Money Tree says

      Please refrain from being foul mouthed when impersonating others. I may even agree in this case but would never use that tone. Look it’s the “…” guy. I know who you are now.

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      • The Money Tree says

        I actually didn’t use any profane language, that was your inferring the letters. Good job of figuring out the meaning however! Wow you figured out that I tend to use… in my comments, kudos to you. Now if you could just figure out how to not be a buttmonkey and be disrespectful to educators perhaps we could get along.

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        • The Money Tree says

          My goodness if there never was a better testament to what has happened to the sorts of people that end up teaching kids not sure what’d be.

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  2. Fall on Deaf Ears says

    Agreed Money Tree. Hundreds appear last year and Craig was not swayed in the least bit.

    Well-loved. Thumb up 11 Thumb down 3
    • Falling in Death Ears says

      Strange how 7 (thumbs up) and 3 (thumbs down) on other articles is awarded with yellow highlighting, but for this article I’m awarded with red highlighting.

      Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1
  3. ALEX R says

    At Fallston? Why Fallston?

    Maybe because they got the school they were clamoring for.

    Maybe because Fallston residents feel like they already pay enough for a top heavy HCPS that only ever wants more, more, more but refuses to cut the waste so their in classroom staff get a proper raise while administrators and other staff abound helping to suck up funds for getting in the way of education as much or more than adding to delivery of a quality product.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 3 Thumb down 10
    • Citizen says

      I ask this every year and NEVER does anyone say specifically how hcps is top heavy. Name specific positions that make this system too heavy.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2
      • HCPS top heavy says

        HCPS is top heavy in the fact that we have Instructional Fac. making over 100,000 a year to be a personal assistant to the principals. No other counties around us have these wasted positions. Our IF shows up once a week to help our Principal. Once a week….really!?!?! How come our principal can survive the other 4 days without the IF but desperately need him/her on that one day??

        Well-loved. Thumb up 12 Thumb down 4
        • Experienced Educator says

          Many of you are missing the point here. If the Principal can’t do his/her job without the EXPERTISE of an Instructional Facilitator, then the positions to re-examine are those of Principals and Assistant Principals. Are the right people in those jobs? The IFs I have worked with (and I’ve worked with four) run instructional circles around other administrators, even when IFs are only in the building 1-2 days each week. And if an IF cant run circles, she doesnt belong in the position. It is a specialized position. I think teachers who complain just don’t like the results of their observations and evaluations! APs don’t get slack because teachers like that someone will handle their discipline issues for them. Just send the kids out and then you can teach “the class.” Better yet, talk about how “these kids can’t ____” and you’ll get no argument from them. IFs challenge teacher’s to think about how they could plan lessons that engage students and prevent misbehaviors. They call teachers on stuff and teachers don’t like it. No wonder they get slaughtered on here. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, my IF makes me want to be a better teacher. Before wondering if your IF is valuable, look at all of your leaders. Before deciding if your colleague is a “great teacher” be sure to spend a few periods watching him teach. Eye opening. And before cutting jobs and deciding who amoung US is expendable, shake down your politicians and INSIST on FULL funding of the education budget. YOUR children are worth it.

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      • Citizen is answered says

        HCPS top heavy has provided an answer we have heard many times before, usually from someone connected to the school system that has first hand knowledge of what IF’s do. The IF position has been debated at the BOE during past budget meetings. When the next round of unpleasant budget decisions are made because of county underfunding the Superintendent and BOE will need to justify why these positions (and the cost in salary and benefits) are more important than what else gets cut or what additional fees will be charged.

        Well-loved. Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2
        • enough is enough says

          HCPS top heavy is sooo correct. At all the schools in Harford County, the teachers had to propose what cuts they would want in the school system. Everyone’s first response is the IF’s position. When the teachers had to share the results with their administrators, the administrators went on the defensive and said, “We need them”. If I had a “personal assistant” like HCPS top heavy said…I wouldn’t want them to go either. The propose cuts ended up being what the principals seemed appropriate and not what the teachers wanted in the first place. This happened in several schools that I am personally aware of…and probably in a lot more. Next time you want the teachers to propose cuts, don’t let the principals have the final say as to what goes in the final draft.

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          • Input says

            Yes, that’s right. They sought input from the teachers. And then they cut whatever they darn well please. They never said they were going to USE the input, just that they asked for and received it. But they can now say “we received input from the teachers and have decided to cut (fill in the blank)”, and create the illusion that the decision was based on the collective ideas of people other than themselves while doing exactly what is in their own best interest.

            Well-loved. Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1
          • Experienced Educator says

            IF was a response for some. It was not “everyone’s first response.” It’s sad that we have created a cliamte in our school system that encourages educators of all levels to throw one another under the bus. So glad to see it shifting under new, experienced, and connected leadership.

            Harford County: VOTE wisely and use your voices to get funding, not to cut oneanother down.

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  4. J says

    Has anyone else noticed that Mr. Craig always schedules his public budget input meetings on the same night the school board has their regular meetings? This is just a coincidence – right?

    Well-loved. Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1
    • Keesha Jackson says

      Well, it appears that the public is way more interested in what Mr. Craig has to say than what the BOE does.

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      • Keesha is one sided says

        Graig only holds one public session per year. It wouldn’t be too difficult to hold his session on one of the other twenty eight days in the month when the BOE is not meeting.

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2
  5. Bill says

    I would like him to to just freeze his lame duck spending spree to buy land from his political cronies and hiring from his friends and family network. If only the Baltimore press could report on this corruption as the local press is pathetic.

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      • ALEX R says

        I know. And whether it is owned by The Sun or a moderate or even conservative parent it is still a very poor imitation of a newspaper. And I’m not talking about liberal or conservative bias, I am talking about quality. It’s a joke.

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  6. Reggie says

    I said it last year and was correct, and I will say it again. “No money, no money.” Fast forward to the end of the fiscal year after education has been shortchanged – “Hey, we have a surplus!” Those who want to blast this comment can, but make sure you apologize next year when the fiscal year comes to a close and I am correct….again.

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    • Reggie is one sided says

      Why don’t you say the same about the county government side of the budget ledger? The surplus on their side is always much larger than what is found on the school system side at the conclusion on the fiscal year?

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      • Reggie is one sided is really one sided says

        I think you are missing Reggie’s point, or at least how I took his point. When this county exec is creating his budget, he cries poverty when the teachers ask for raises. Sure there is money for turf fields and new buildings, but none for the people who actually do the grunt work. Once the teachers have bent over and taken it again from this exec, we will find at the end of the fiscal year that there was indeed money that could have went to them all along. It happens every year.

        Now before you go off, I am not in favor of Harford County paying their teachers the highest salary in the state. The richest counties should always be the ones paying top salaries. But when you have Cecil and Harford teachers with much more lucrative pay scales, I think we should at least be competitive.

        Craig is trying to win a governorship on a far right platform…public education sucks and we should fund it at bare bones levels. I get that. However, he cannot possibly hope to win Maryland’s top job with that mentality. Ehrlich won because he ran to the middle-right, not the far-right.

        Oh well, you’ll disagree with everything posted. Enjoy your day!

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          • Oh well says

            I fully intended to crush your argument. I found Harford and Cecil pay scales online. The scales are completely competitive, until I was reminded that Harford’s scale is no longer a “step = years of service” scale. When you take into account that Harford’s teachers are 4 steps back, I see your point. Damn.

            Well-loved. Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1
          • Oh well says

            Here is what I mean for those who doubt me. Let’s take a 14 year vet. In Harford, on step 10. In Cecil, on step 14. Bachelors Degree: 54K vs. 63K. Masters Degree: 58K vs. 66K. Masters plus 30: 62K vs. 68K. Of course, I rounded up…but dang.

            Well-loved. Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0
          • Compound says

            Consider too how that money adds and compounds over years. When they froze a step 25 years ago, a teacher going into their second year made about 1500 less not only that year, but for EVERY YEAR THAT FOLLOWED. That’s $37,500 less over the course of their career, and that’s for ONE frozen step. These four years of step freezes will cost a young teacher about $148,00 over their careers (minus taxes, plus compound interest).

            Well-loved. Thumb up 12 Thumb down 1
          • Mr Pilkington says

            Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

            Poorly-rated. Thumb up 3 Thumb down 20
          • Cdev says

            MR. P. speak for your self. My private sector employer has provided me a raise every year either as a result of Cost of Living, preformance, longevity or all three. Secpondly the reality is if we pay teachers like we are and get rid of those that need to be gone (you are correct there) we will unfortunately not have many if any good candidates to select from.

            Well-loved. Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2
          • Performance? says

            Mr. Pilkington,

            Please reference the following articles on The Dagger, dating back to January of this year:
            “Harford Graduation Rate Continues Upward Trend; Students Remain on Track with New Accountability Requirements”
            “Harford County Public Schools Achieves Significant Gains in Advanced Placement Participation and SAT Scores”
            “Harford County Public High School Drama Companies Unveil Fall 2013 Calendar”
            “Aberdeen High School Student Named Semi-Finalist in 2014 National Merit Scholarship Program”
            “Harford Elementary and Middle Schools Continue to Progress on State Tests Through Transition”
            “Seven Harford County Public High Schools Among Most Rigorous in Nation”
            “Bel Air Middle School 6th Grade Teacher Rebecca Gault to be Inducted into The National Teachers Hall of Fame; 1 of Top 5 Teachers in America”
            “Harford County Public Schools Named One of America’s Best Communities for Music Education”
            “Patterson Mill High School DECA Chapter Earns Six Medals at Statewide Career Development and Leadership Conference”
            “Havre de Grace High School Robotics Team Participates in Maryland FIRST Tech Challenge Championship”
            “Roye-Williams Elementary School Students Get Hands-On Experience at STEM Outreach Night”
            “Patterson Mill, C.Milton Wright Ranked Among “2012 America’s Top High Schools” by Washington Post”
            “Hickory Elementary Qualifies for Excellence in Gifted and Talented Education School Award; 1 of Only 8 Maryland Schools to Receive Designation”

            Keep in mind, all the above articles were written during a time that the teachers responsible for these successes had not had a raise in many years, and were in the midst of facing yet another year where they would see no increases, even as their counterparts in surrounding counties continued to see their salaries increase. Furthermore, as far as I know, HCPS has not had to cancel, eliminate, or do away with any extracurricular activities, sports, or clubs due to the refusal of teachers to work as sponsors. Now, perhaps I’m not seeing it, but can you please explain what aspect of “performance” you feel Harford County teachers are lacking in?

            Well-loved. Thumb up 11 Thumb down 3
          • Socrates says

            I used to complain about how much I paid to the schools and teachers until I realized:

            I pay about 4k a year in property tax. Assuming that every dime of the 4k goes straight into the teachers pockets: $4000 divided by 180 days = $22.22 per DAY, or about three bucks an hour. I have two kids, so that amount would be split between two teachers…a buck and a half an hour!

            Like everyone else, I hate to see my taxes go up, but let’s get real here…the money coming out of our pockets to educate our kids is really not an oppressive amount. Gripe and moan about “quality” all you want, but three bucks an hour is a paltry amount even to pay someone to dog sit!

            Well-loved. Thumb up 11 Thumb down 2
          • Mr Pilkington says

            Socrates – What a foolish rationalization? By your standards we should double maybe triple taxes.

            Cdev – Congratulations on your salary increases. Not everyone in Harford County can say the same.

            Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 1 Thumb down 10
          • Performance? says

            Kind of interesting that people would give a “thumbs down” to the list of good-news-about-HCPS articles I listed above. I think it goes to show that some people would actually PREFER a failing school system, simply because it suits their personal agenda. I can see no other reason for someone to dislike all the positive things that are reported about our schools, our teachers, and our kids. It’s a very telling commentary.

            Well-loved. Thumb up 11 Thumb down 2
          • Socrates says

            Mr. Pilkington,

            No, I don’t see it as a foolish rationalization. The fact is, if I was paying straight out of my pocket into the hands of the people who teach my kids every day, I would be paying them each $1.11 per hour. And that amount would add up to the full amount that I pay in property taxes each year. Maybe it bothers you to see that the amount is so low, but your dislike doesn’t change the fact. But then again, if it bothers you to see that the amount is so low, maybe that’s your conscience telling you something. In fact, here’s another mathmatical fact for you: a one percent increase in a $4000 property tax bill would be $40. That’s an increase of 77 cents per week. Eleven cents per day.

            Now, if you want to blow it out of proportion by suggesting that my observations mean that I want to “double maybe triple taxes”, well, ok, go ahead. But that’s clearly not what I’m suggesting. A one percent increase does not a doubling or tripling of taxes make. A $40 or $80 annual increase is not a $4000 or $8000 increase.

            As I said in my original statement, my realization of the dollars and cents of the matter made ME take a step back and revisit my own way of thinking and my own opinions on the matter. You can take it however you’d like, but I think I was perfectly clear, and really don’t need you or anyone else to translate what I wrote and/or meant by what I wrote.

            Well-loved. Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0
          • Mr Pilkington says

            Socrates -

            Your rationalizations and comments are foolish.

            1. You paid before your children went to school and you’ll pay long after your children finish, taxes are not cheap tuition.

            2. Not everyone has children in school so we pay for yours.

            3. Harford County spends more than $12,000 per pupil per year and you shouldn’t trivialize the cost by comparing it to the cost cheap cup of coffee per day.

            So get your head out of your butt and use your noggin and think before you write your foolishness.

            Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 0 Thumb down 9
    • Socrates says

      Mr. Pilkington,

      If you recall, I based my equation on the assumption that every dollar of my property tax bill paid for nothing but my kid’s teacher’s salaries. That is certainly not the case. My taxes are paying for many other things in addition to my kid’s teacher’s salaries. Which means, of course, I’m actually paying LESS than $1.11 per day per child (2) to attend school in HCPS. The same was true of the taxes I paid prior to having kids and will pay after my kids graduate.

      As far as people who don’t have kids? Well, I guess I would hope they would recognize that we all benefit from having an educated society, which they are certainly a part. And if that idea doesn’t suit them, I hope they recognize that only part of their tax dollars is “wasted” on educating other people’s children.

      By the way…the dramatics, the histrionics…you know, the “head out of your butt” and the name calling…you could leave that out from now on. I assure you, it’s not going to hurt my feelings, and it’s making you come across as angry, childish, and rude. I tend to be a very grateful and positive person, which I have no doubt influences the nature of my thoughts. Disagree with me? Fine. Want to have a dialog? All for it. Start throwing insults? Now you are showing a character flaw. If a grown man can’t have a civil discourse, his thoughts are rendered useless.

      Well-loved. Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1
      • Mr Pilkington says

        Scocrates -

        So you now agree that the $1.11 per day is foolish and meaningless comparison. Good for you, we’re making progress.

        I think you’ve cornered the market on histrionics.

        And its clear your head is firmly fixed up your behind.

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 0 Thumb down 8
        • Socrates says

          Mr. Pilkington,

          In a sense it is a meaningless comparison. Because the original assumption was that my entire property tax payment went directly into my kid’s teacher’s pockets. Since much less than my entire tax bill goes directly to the teachers, or even the school system for that matter, I would actually be paying much less than the aforementioned $1.11 per hour. So yes, we are making progress now that you seem to have a better grasp of how the math works out.

          And since you are clearly can not have a dialog without spewing insults, I will bring it to a close.

          Well-loved. Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0
          • Mr Pilkington says

            Socrates –

            It’s meaningless since it doesn’t take into account all taxes paid on real property, the portion that goes to HCPS and the per pupil cost.

            You are making a faulty argument and it’s a bit nauseating that you lack judgement and logic.

            Your rationalization is silly.

            Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 0 Thumb down 8
        • Performance? says

          Hey Pilkington…ever hear the expression “when you are in a hole, stop digging”?

          You have been owned. Give it up.

          Well-loved. Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0
  7. who dat says

    HCPS, “I want a hamburger, a cheeseburger, a hot dog……………..”
    ME, “you’ll get nothing and like it”

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 8 Thumb down 7
  8. concerned citizen says

    If you believe education and other government agencies who have been drastically underfunded are important, then please encourage all of your neighbors, local organizations, family members and friends to attend this meeting and hold Mr. Craig accountable for the terrible job he has been doing. Cutting taxes below the constant yield line during a great recession was a bad idea and he has made democrats and conservative republicans furious with his uncaring like mentality. He says he is willing to work with the BOE, but he does not actually means this. It is just his way to make people believe his untruthfulness. I know people are busy, but if we do not get our citizens out to this meeting they are going to get more of the same. You must believe that CHANGE is possible and make the effort to show up. I too believe that we should be reasonable about our taxes and the size of government, however, I do not agree with starving the government agencies and then blaming the state as the sole reason for many people losing their jobs or having frozen salaries for 5 or more years. Mr. Craig is hurting the citizens of Harford County and he truly does not seem to care.

    Well-loved. Thumb up 15 Thumb down 3
    • You wont be happy till the piggy bank is empty, then blame everyone else says

      SOrry ass hole. You all went around and begged David Craig to build new schools. You got them, now you all cry there is not money for the teachers. You people are truly dipshits.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 6 Thumb down 14
      • concerned citizen says

        I think you forget how David Craig himself has been asking for 80 million dollars to build his Havre de Grace high school as well as asking for a magnet program to go along with it. You say it is the people whom are begging, but we forget that our government officials beg for this same thing and then claim the BOE is irresponsible about managing its money. This is clearly all about politics with David Craig. He is forgetting about the people he is supposed to serve for the greater good. Politics before the good of the people is never a good idea.

        Well-loved. Thumb up 12 Thumb down 2
    • Mr Pilkington says

      Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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  9. Supportive Parent says

    As many have said, the holding of this meeting on a night of a School Board meeting flies in the face of the spirit of cooperation among governmental agencies he has been touting.

    Well-loved. Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1
  10. says

    “The next Board of Education business meeting which was scheduled to be held on Monday, November 25, has been cancelled to allow Board members and the community the opportunity to attend the County Executive’s budget meeting at Fallston High School at 6:00 p.m.”


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