From the Harford County Community Mediation Program:
Community Mediation Maryland (CMM) held its 6th Annual Gala Saturday night, May 14th, at St. Mary’s High School in Annapolis. The Annual Gala honors Maryland’s volunteer mediators and celebrates achievements made over the past year.
CMM is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to increase access to collaborative conflict resolution, and which provides training, support, and program development for 17 programs across the state, including the Harford County Community Mediation Program. These programs mediated over 2000 conflicts in FY2010.
At the annual gala, Ron Basener was honored for his commitment and dedication to community mediation. Mr. Basener was presented with a Certificate of Appreciation by Lorig Charkoudian, Executive Director of CMM. Mr. Basener was chosen from among many volunteers at the center for his consistent presence and a “can do” attitude that has helped propel the program forward. He has mediated, worked outreach events, and attended volunteer trainings and meetings. Just this past year, he has mediated over 10 cases, serving 40 citizens for a total of over 60 hours. Mr. Basener did all of this quietly and without fanfare during the first year of his retirement. Prior to retirement, Ron was the Assistant Director of Human Resources for the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
“Ron has brought his straight-forward demeanor to complex cases that were in need of a calm guiding force,” commented Susan Fisher, Coordinator of the Harford County Community Mediation Program. “Each time a mediator conducts mediation they have the opportunity to not only help the participants, but to educate the public about the process and skills that can be used in everyday life.”
The Harford County Community Mediation Program (HCCMP), a program within the Department of Community Services, offers mediation and facilitation services at no charge to the citizens of Harford County. The mediators are volunteers from the community who have been professionally trained by the HCCMP. Volunteer mediators work in teams of two, following a co-mediation model. Mediation is a confidential process that allows the participant to freely disclose information at the table. The intake process is handled directly by the coordinator of the program, which is also in a confidential setting. HCCMP also provides community education and outreach regarding mediation.
HCCMP helps individuals resolve their conflict in a safe, neutral setting where they have the opportunity to talk without the fear of being judged. Because the mediation process encourages participants to develop their own solutions, the results are more creative and longer lasting. Mediation is an alternative to court which can be time consuming, costly, and oftentimes the result does not actually resolve the underlying reasons for the conflict.
In FY10, Harford County Community Mediation Program (HCCMP) served 518 people through Intakes and opened 255 cases, of which 67 cases were resolved assisting over 270 individuals. Referrals were received from 28 different sources, the top five referral sources being the State’s Attorney’s Office (69 cases), Outreach (44 cases), Law Enforcement (35 cases), Schools (28 cases), and Government Agencies (25 cases). Mediation participants’ ages ranged from 12 to 81, mediations took place in 30 different locations throughout the county, and over 15,000 people learned about mediation through outreach events.
Additionally, noting the importance of mediation, the Harford County Sheriff’s Office Police Academy took a day-long class on Mediation and Conflict Resolution Skills. Overall, the Harford County Community Mediation Program (HCCMP) presented information at over 50 events.
For more information about the Harford County Community Mediation Program, contact the Harford County Department of Community Services at 410-638-4807.