From the New Harford Democratic Club:
NEW HARFORD DEMOCRATIC CLUB
August 03, 2016
MINUTES OF THE Aug. 3, 2016, MEETING AT THE ABERDEEN HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS.
Board member Art Helton called the meeting to order at 7:04 p.m.
Helton led the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.
Helton explained that President Steve Johnson was out of town tonight and couldn’t participate in the meeting. He then asked those present to introduce themselves.
Helton noted the minutes of the previous meeting had been circulated via email and asked for approval from those present. A motion was made, seconded and approved unanimously by voice vote.
Helton asked George Harrison to present a treasures report. Harrison stated that the current operating account has $12,035.24 as of this date. A motion was made and seconded to approve the report. The approval was unanimous by voice vote.
Helton introduce member Lenora Robinson who had been selected by the board to be a member of the board. He asked for a motion to accept her membership. The motion was seconded and approved unanimously by voice vote.
Voter registration: Art Helton stated that registration efforts are on hold until after the conventions.
Fund raising: Helton noted that we are still waiting for confirmed dates for a speaker.
Issues and Legislation: George Harrison and Art Helton noted that there are several issues the club is concentrating on locally, including the school system budget and the land use plan recently approved by the council.
Website: Helton noted that Jack Barham is out of town due to a death in the family and would not have a report.
Helton introduced the night’s speaker: Aaron Penman, Vice President of the Harford County Deputy Sheriff’s Union, who was accompanied by union treasurer, Scott Johnson.
Penman spoke on the recent efforts by the union to seek a referendum on their proposal to be able to negotiate with binding arbitration with the county government on pay scales. Penman stated that the Deputies were forced to stop collection of signatures from the citizen when the Attorney General’s office ruled that the county does not have the authority to negotiate with the Deputy Sheriff’s because the deputies are considered state employees, even though it is the county that funds the Sheriff’s Office.
He said their only path forward would be to have legislation passed in the state legislature authorizing such negotiations.
Penman stated that pay scales for most Sheriff’s deputies have been static for the past nine years and many have had difficulties paying their mortgages and properly providing for their families. He said the union has no leverage with county government as it now stands. He asked the club to support their efforts in the next legislative session. There was much discussion of the issue from club members and a motion was offered from the floor and seconded. It stated:
“The New Harford Democratic Club supports the Harford County Deputy Sheriff’s Union in their efforts to achieve an equitable pay plan for our underpaid Deputy Sheriffs that would put them on par with other jurisdictions, including whatever legislation is needed to achieve their goals.”
The motion was approved unanimously by voice vote.
There being no further business, Helton adjourned the meeting at 8:36p
Submitted by George Harrison, acting secretary.