From the New Harford Democratic Club:
August 05, 2015 Meeting Minutes
Held at the Aberdeen Holiday Inn Express
President Steve Johnson called the meeting to order at 7:04 pm
George Harrison led the meeting in the pledge of allegiance.
President Johnson introduced guests at tonight’s meeting: Mayor of Aberdeen, Michael Bennett, City councilperson Sandy Lanbeck, City councilperson Steve Smith, and Democratic candidate for city council, Melvin Taylor.
President Johnson then asked those present to stand and introduce themselves.
Treasurer George Harrison provided the financial report: The current balance in the club’s operating account is $13,569.42. 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.
Art Helton noted that several pieces are being put together to begin voter registration, including handouts and a new website. Currently too hot to go door but that will begin in early fall.
President Johnson, speaking on behalf of fundraising chair Andy who was unable to be present tonight, 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 exhibited a sample of the literature that will be used In membership recruitment. It will be used during registration drives. Asked for more volunteers to help in calling members and prospective members urging them to renew or join.
George Harrison, chair of legislation and issues, 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:
~ Land Use & Zoning
~ 924 Traffic Study
~ Expansion of the development envelope
~ Environment, waste management, water quality
~ Transportation funding, including public transportation
Harrison said these are just a few of the issues we will be discussing over the next year and if anyone has issues they would like to see discussed or acted upon please email Harrison at firstname.lastname@example.org, or go to the website, newharforddemocraticclub.org.
Jack Barham, in charge of website content, urged members to visit the website. Art Helton urged members to use the website, which links to Facebook, to learn about Democratic issues, both local and national, and reach out to other Democrats.
President Johnson announced that the club is open to all viewpoints and allows visitors other than members to be involved that they must respect those who are invited to speak and refrain from making unfriendly remarks during the meeting. Mr Helton noted that at the last meeting there were several guests who he believed abused the privilege, noting that the by-laws do not allow participation in discussions from non-members.
President Johnson asked Harford County Democratic Central Committee Chair, Russ Kovach, to report on their activities. Russ said there will be a fundraiser breakfast in the fall and another in the spring. Speakers will be Chris Van Hollen and Donna Edwards, candidates for U.S. Senate. Details to be announced. There will be a Harford County Democrats Night at an Ironbirds game at Ripken Stadium August 21, with a meet and greet with Del. Mary An Lisanti. He also noted that the HCDCC also would hold a Republican Debate party at Bill Bateman’s in Havre de Grace. Friday Aug 21.
President Johnson then introduced Major Mike Bennett, who is running for re-election in November. He made an audio visual report on the state of the City of Aberdeen and outline the many positive things that have happened during his tenure. He said his goal has always been to make Aberdeen a better place to live and work. He noted that two weeks ago the police department has received a full certification from a national certifying organization. He thanked the council for their support in this effort.
Bennett then introduced council persons Sandy Lanbeck and Steve Smith. Landbeck said that when she first decided to run for office, she really didn’t know what she was getting into. She had been on the planning commission but was frustrated by a lack of support from some of the council persons. She decided she needed to become more involved. She said we need to protect our city, our citizens and our city employees. It’s not just what I want, but what is best for the city. You have to have a vision, a plan. There are many things we are working on that I will never see them to completion but my grandchildren will see it.
Councilman Smith then stepped up, noting that he is the new guy on the block, taking an appointment after the death of councilman Garner. He said there is a plan for the city and he buys into that vision. This is all new to him, running for office, but he feels confident of the future for the city and would like to continue to part of it.
The candidates then took questions from the audience.
Submitted by George Harrison, acting Secretary