From the New Harford Democratic Club:
MONTHLY MEETING MINUTES
New Harford Democratic Club
Sept 2, 2015,
Aberdeen Holiday Inn Express
President Steve Johnson called the meeting to order at 7:01pm
First order of business, the pledge of allegiance.
President Johnson welcomed everyone to the night’s meeting and introduced elected officials attending meeting: Mayor of Aberdeen, Michael Bennett, and Tracy Robertson, Jean Salvatore and Pam Dehmer, members of the Harford County Democratic Central Committee.
President Johnson then asked those present to stand and introduce themselves.
President Johnson asked Ms Robertson to report for the Central Committee:
~ She announced details for the Democratic Party Unity Breakfast on Oct. 6 at the Richlin Ballroom, beginning at 8am. Tickets are $35. The speaker will be Congresswoman Donna Edwards, one of the two Democratic candidates for Senate. Congressman Van Hollen, the other candidate, will be speaker at a future breakfast.
Treasurer George Harrison provided the financial report: The current balance in the club’s operating account is $12,978.18. Motion to approve and seconded, and the vote was unanimous.
Member Art Helton moved to approve the minutes that had been distributed via email to the membership. It was seconded and approved unanimously.
President Johnson asked for committee reports.
Voter Registration–Art Helton noted that he was waiting for the handouts to be printed and as soon as they are received he will announce schedules for voting drive events.
Fund Raising-President Johnson, speaking on behalf of fundraising chair Andy who is still on assignment with his job, stated that a bull roast and shrimp feast is being prepared for the American Legion Hall and members will be advised of the date as soon as it is established.
Membership- Chair Rose Marie O’Brien said bids have been received for materials that will be used in membership recruitment and during registration drives. She asked for more volunteers to help in calling members and prospective members urging them to renew or join.
Issues and Legislation-George Harrison, reported that a list of issues has been placed on the club’s website under the heading “Elections Have Consequences,” and includes current and future topics that will be addressed in detail over the next few months:
Website-Jack Barham said the website, newharforddemocraticclub.org is up and running with links to the club’s Facebook page. It is updated several times a week. Recent postings include Governor Hogan’s closing of the Baltimore City Jail. He urged members to visit the website.
President Johnson introduced the night’s speaker, Delegate Steven Lafferty, representing Baltimore County’s district 42A.He is also deputy majority whip and is a member of the Transportation and Environment committee.
Delegate Lafferty thanked the club for inviting him and brought greetings from state chair Bruce Poole and Pat Murray, Executive Director of the state Democratic Party.
He said he is especially interested in environmental issues and the efforts to protect Chesapeake Bay. He believes future efforts will be a big challenge under the current Republican governor, as will efforts to improve funding for education. He was particularly concerned that Hogan ignored Democratic efforts to put more funding in K-12 programs. He said the governor’s original budget proposal was reworked in committee with the approval of the governor’s liaisons and gave more funding to education than the original Hogan plan. But later in the session, the governor made changes to the agreed upon budget that eliminated much of the education funding. The legislature revised the budget and it passed without Republican support. The governor signed the bill but said he would not make the additional funds available to education.
Del. Lafferty said that under Maryland law, the governor controls the budget. The legislature can cut the budget but it cannot add to it or make the governor spend funds he doesn’t want to spend.
Del Lafferty said the upcoming session in January should be very interesting and what may come out of it is anybody’s guess. “Don’t expect it to be any better this time,” he said. Some other major issues sure to be on the agenda are mass transit for the Baltimore area and a Death with Dignity bill.
President Johnson opened the meeting for questions.
President Johnson noted that the Aberdeen City election will be held in November and that the club will be interviewing candidates.
There being no additional business, President Johnson adjourned the meeting at 8:22pm
Submitted by George Harrison, acting Secretary