As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the
highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.
John F. Kennedy
I write these words just five days before the fiftieth anniversary of the assassination of John F Kennedy. I think back to those days, so long ago and think what a different world we lived in. Even as a young boy, I remember the shock of a nation as we stopped everything to morn a man so quickly taken from us. A man who many thought would bring us “Camelot”. Those were heady days, full of
promise and optimism, but truly not all was so. Our world was badly divided. The communist block we knew as the destroyers of everything we held sacred. They had built an “iron curtain” around Eastern Europe. Would South East Asia or Latin America be next? They were knocking at our door, with nuclear missiles just ninety mile from our shores. The threat of global inhalation was very real. Somehow
we were able to survive those days. Somehow, fifty years in the future we look around and see that communism as all but collapsed in its own untruth. Black and white are able to walk side by side and the internet has made us one with the world.
Surly we have new enemies; surly our big city streets sometimes appear as battle grounds, crazies of every ilk are in our daily news. We still have the homeless and the hungry in our midst. Maybe the adage, “The more things change, the more things stay the same” is true after all but maybe not. We are beginning the Holiday Season and a time for thanksgiving and a time of light, for joy and
peace to all people of good will. I think it is especially important today to not just think about our world and all its problems but to do something about them. I am certain the each of us, in our own way, in our own place can reach out with the Spirit of the season and touch someone’s life. Together, we can make a difference, you make a difference. We all do that and that is why we, in
Taneytown, are so blest and why we particularly need to stop and thank the Creator for all that is good in our lives. Let us commit to take the Spirit of the season and carry it forth for the entire year.
It is truly a special time of year. Winter time is a time of promise, a time of shorter days and longer nights. A time of snowfall and frosted windows, a time of enchanting beauty but the days of winter will soon give way to the newness of spring. The beauty of each season is truly a gift. One of the special events that I have come to look forward to each year is the lighting of the City’s
Christmas tree. Each year the town’s folk gather in front of the police station to officially kick of the holiday season. Many downtown businesses will be open after the ceremony. What a better time to begin (or finish) your Christmas shopping. When you come you will find singing and merriment, hot chocolate and coffee and often a visit from a special guest can be expected. I have it from a good
source that Ole St Nick, is planning a stop by Taneytown this year too!. SO if you have never attended this grand event, or even if you never miss it, mark on your calendar Saturday December 6th a t 6 PM and come celebrate with us!
The season offers many opportunities to “get together”. There are Christmas parties with friends, Christmas dinners with work, and banquets of every kind. One in particular I would like to mention is the Taneytown Volunteer Fire Company’s (Company #5) annual banquet. This is another time I look forward to each year for it is the time that recognizes the hard work and many hours put in by the
members of our volunteer fire company and EMS team. The gift our first responders give to each of us in the Taneytown area is amazing. Make sure, when you plan your year-end giving, you remember our Taneytown Volunteer’s with an appropriate gift of your own.
As a take a quick look back on 2103 I look at a year with many blessings and some challenges. We have accomplished at lot. We have welcomed new businesses to town and once again seen new housing development occur. We welcome all those new members to our community. We are glad you are here! We are proud of the new Lorien Health Care Facility and soon a new Sheetz will be complete. This year has
not been without challenges, though. Most of these challenges seem to come from Annapolis. Facing us are (mandated) renovations to our waste water treatment plant, which is only partially state funded. A new tax looms, to control storm water (“rain tax”) . Directives from Washington and the continuing economic slump have put challenges before our City Council that are unprecedented during my time
in city government. Your Mayor and Council will be meeting in early February to plan for these challenges. Please make your suggestions and ideas known. Make sure you speak to me or a Councilmember and let us know your ideas and concerns. We need you. I encourage you to attend a council meeting (held 2nd Monday of each month with a workshop meeting the Wednesday before). Let us know what you
think. I promise we will listen!
I closing, I want to wish the best of this season to you and yours and to say how thankful I am to be able to serve you as your mayor. I also want to say how grateful I am to be blessed with such a dedicated and professional staff of City employees. I hope you all appreciate the sincere desire to serve each one of them brings, each day, to their jobs. When you see a member of the City’s team,
around town, say THANKS, they’ll appreciate it!