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From the Desk of Mayor James McCarran

Wisdom is nothing more than healed pain.

Do your duty in all things. You cannot do more; you should never wish to do less.
   Robert E Lee (Jan.19, 1807-Oct.12, 1870)

(11/2012) I open with two quotes from one of my heroes, Robert E Lee. Regardless of where your sympathies lie, regarding the War Between the States, history records General Lee as a man of integrity, faith and character. I write these words on the 142nd anniversary of his passing. Heroes are important for both children and adults. So often today, our heroes come from Hollywood or professional sports, or the counter culture. We are blessed, here in America to have an abundance of true and substantial heroes. From Patrick Henry or Thomas Jefferson to Ben Carson or Sandra Day O’Connor the list is extensive. Help your children (or grandchildren) find a hero they may emulate. (Here is a site you may check for ideas:

Well, a lot has gone on around town since I last wrote you. Some have had flashbacks of Streetscape, as we install new water lines on York & Frederick Streets. This project indeed was slated for Streetscape, but as it turned out, we were able to save a considerable amount of money (tax dollars) by separating the two projects. Our plan is to have this project completed by the end of November, including the final overlay of the highway. Your patience is appreciated.

I am sure you have noticed our orange headed visitors are back in town. Yes, the "Pumpkin People" have returned for a visit this October, but will soon be venturing to their Thanksgiving duties. Only a few days to select for your favorite! Get the kids in the car and take a drive around town and come up with the family choice. Drop your entry choice off at the City Office, or in one of the voting boxes located around town. BEFORE Nov 1st! I hope you all had a chance to spend the day (or at least part of the day), at our annual Harvest Fest. This event put a fine "cap" on all the activities we have staged throughout the spring, summer and fall. But, don’t worry! We have a lot of activities planned for the coming months. A very successful event that we began last year was the "Elf Hunt" sponsored by our downtown merchants and the Main Street Activities Committee. Come downtown on Saturday, November 11th and help Santa’s Elf find his way back to the North Pole (see separate article). December begins on Saturday this year and the first Saturday in December has always been the evening reserved for the "Lighting of the Christmas Tree" and so it will be again this year. Make sure you mark December 1st on you calendar and bring the family down to our police station parking lot to sing some carols and sip some cider and welcome that jolly old elf, St Nick!

By the time you receive this, Election Day will be only a few days away. One of the greatest privileges we have as Americans is our right to vote. This not only is a privilege, and a right, it is a duty. Remember the words of General Lee that I began with….."Do you duty in all things…." Please make sure that you take time on Election Day (11/6) to do your duty and cast your ballot. Our country has gone through some trying times over the past four or five years, and while there seems to be some light on the horizon, it still seems like it is in far distance for many. The people we elect on November 6th will guide us to this light. Make your vote count!

Wow! The holiday season is almost upon us! In only a few weeks we will celebrate Thanksgiving. Even in trying times, we have so much to be thankful for. What a great holiday, a time to reflect on our blessing, to spend time with our greatest blessings, our families and to give thanks for the blessing we all share as Americans’. In another "few weeks" we will celebrate Christmas or Hanukah, and again the promise of New Light, which has come to our winter darkened world. Since I probably won’t be able to wish each of you a personal "Seasons Greetings" Let me be the first to do so now: Merry Christmas, A Happy Hanukah and a prosperous New Year!

I am going one a bit too long, I fear, but I do want to update you on some upsetting news that occurred since I last wrote in this column. Many have learned that the Taneytown History Museum has closed. This wonderful museum that was a source of pride for me and for many, and has been a special part of our community, especially around Christmas time, closed its doors in response to allegations that the facility was not compliant with the American’s with Disabilities Act (ADA). The Taneytown Chamber of Commerce, who leases the building from the city, that the museum occupies, has elected to terminate the lease. The City wants to provide adequate access to all City owned buildings to all citizens, disabled or otherwise. We have contracted a consulting firm; specializing in ADA access issues, to look at all City owned buildings and determine our compliance. Meanwhile the Taneytown History Museum is regrouping and looking for a new home. I hope they find one soon!

May the blessings of this glorious season before us, be on you and yours!

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