From Friends of Barry Glassman:
Harford County native son Barry Glassman became the seventh Harford County executive Monday at an inclusive inaugural ceremony with over 1,500 supporters at Harford Community College’s APG Federal Credit Union Arena.
Voters in November overwhelmingly elected the accomplished legislator who took the oath of office along with incoming Council President Richard C. Slutzky and council members Mike Perrone Jr. (Dist. A), Joseph M. Woods (Dist. B) , James V. McMahan Jr.(Dist. C), Chad R. Shrodes (Dist. D), Patrick Vincenti (Dist. E) and Curtis L. Beulah (Dist. F).
Following warm remarks from fellow Republican, Gov.-elect Larry Hogan, County Executive Glassman outlined his plans to improve service to citizens, rightsize local government and repeal the rain tax.
Mr. Glassman began with heartfelt thanks to his family and supporters throughout his 30 years of public service. Citing ceremony participants as representing the” tapestry” of his journey to inauguration day, he recalled a special moment of inspiration:
“…And the Rev. Violet Hopkins-Tann, who grabbed my hand 26 years ago in the sanctuary of that little church atop Gravel Hill, and said, ‘It is time for you to step forth.’
To everyone who helped me step forth: I will not squander this chance to make a difference.”
Pledging to hit the ground running on December 2, the new county executive outlined the need for executive action in partnership with the county council:
“The reality of prior state policy and our slow economic recovery have produced treacherous waters for local governments and for our citizens who still feel like they’re swimming upstream.”
…Tomorrow evening we will introduce executive orders to begin a reorganization of our local government based on the recommendations from my transition teams. The goal of this reorganization is to make our government structure more efficient and customer service driven.
We will also introduce a retirement incentive package to save money by reducing the county workforce, with a desire to re-invest a portion of the savings to help our employees get back on their pay scales.”
Outlining further action planned for December 9, Mr. Glassman continued:
“The following week, my administration will introduce legislation allowing Harford County to join every other Maryland jurisdiction in capturing revenue from folks who travel through our county. We will use the revenue from a proposed hotel/lodging fee to assist our municipalities, our non-profits and museums, and to fund the privatization of tourism in Harford County.
Accompanying this bill will be my repeal of the state-mandated storm water fee. In other words, rain will no longer be taxed in Harford County. I, like most Harford farmers and landowners, have always been committed to our land and water resources. We will not abandon that commitment. Rather, the county will continue working on our goals as dictated by the EPA, with flexible planning and using existing capital funds.”
Citing heroin addiction as a growing epidemic, Mr. Glassman also announced a new collaboration:
“Sheriff Gahler and State’s Attorney Cassilly have agreed to join me in immediately appointing a joint task force to strike at the spreading heroin epidemic growing in our communities. I am sad to report that we are number four in the state in heroin overdoses. That is a number that I will not let stand at the end of my four years. We will reach out to the Health Department, clergy, the school system, advocates and families to turn back this scourge.”
Outlining overall goals identified throughout his campaign, Mr. Glassman continued:
“These are the beginning steps allowing our county employees, local leaders, businesses, community groups and citizens to help my administration achieve our goals.
Together we will:
Make Harford County a leader in economic development and job creation
Assist our public schools in providing a quality education for our children, and competitive salaries for school employees
Provide solid support for our law enforcement and fire/EMS system
Protect and build upon our agricultural heritage as an economic engine, with a long term goal of developing a cutting edge agricultural research center that will attract good paying jobs for our young people with advanced degrees in agriculture and science. I like to call it ‘STEM for farmers.’
In all this, we will be transparent and make government accessible to all.”
In a symbolic first step, County Executive Glassman said that formerly reserved parking spots at the county administration building would now be open to the public.
Cautioning that it would take time and hard work, Mr. Glassman asked for support in achieving his goals on behalf of the public he serves:
“Almost eighteen months ago when I began this campaign in my home village of Level, I reminded those gathered that day that a good shepherd, like a public servant, should keep his flock first in mind; protect it, guide it and let it prosper and multiply. Today, I begin that task.
Collectively, I ask you to join me as we bring a new generation of leadership to build a stronger, more prosperous Harford County for the next generation, one where our shared heritage walks hand-in-hand with the nation’s new technology and knowledge-based economy. Let us make sure our children’s children live the American dream here in Harford County.”
County Executive Glassman concluded with a personal request:
“As a man of faith, I ask you not to worry about me too much during those lonely times that leadership brings and controversy breeds. Even in those loneliest moments, rest assured I am not alone.
Pray for me and my family as I pray for the people of Harford County as we begin tomorrow.
May God bless you and Harford County.”