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Mayor's Message

James McCarron
Taneytown Mayor

Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?'
Martin Luther King, Jr.

(2/1) Well, January is more than half over, the Christmas decorations are stored away until next time and springtime is only 60 days away! A new year always bring hope and promise. Resolutions are made, and some, already broken, and so it goes. I write these words on Martin Luther King Day and look forward to a better year, a better time as Dr. King did, so many years ago. I think about all the possibilities in store for this year, a new county commission, a new governor, and fresh face on the general assembly, signs the economy may finally be improving There’s plenty to reason to be optimistic, right? Well I have lived long enough to realize the year ahead will be filled with lots of challenges and loss too. I do look forward to the possibilities, but the challenges, well, hold your breath, here they come.

Maybe a different approach is in store for this New Year, Perhaps the best resolution is actually to avoid detailing and to look at the year as a blank slate. Some resolutions need to be made, for sure, the need to lose weight, be more patient, to live a healthier life style all important, all necessary. By this same time next year we will have sailed around the sun on this gentle planet of ours. We all will have experienced a myriad of things we cannot now not even envision. Some will be tough, some pure joy! In all of them we will not be alone. Our friends or family our neighbors, our faith will be right there too. We never travel alone.

Maybe this idea of a blank slate will allow me to look with openness to what will unfold. My preconceived notions will be left behind, swept away. The bumps and bruises ahead will be healed by the joys and laughter from the ones we love. I must commit to resolutions, for sure, to leave the old toxins behind, the hurts and even the goals. Only a heart, made blank, ready for a new year, can be a slate upon which new lines may be written.

Enough of that, we are in a new year and the possibilities are bright. I met last week with many of the state’s legislators at the Maryland Municipal Leagues (MML) reception on the opening day of the legislative session (1/14). To say the mood was festive and upbeat would be an understatement. I get a real sense that all the new faces in Annapolis this session (58 new delegates and 12 new senators) are sincere in wanting to work together to address Maryland’s many problems. I only hope that this is true. Maryland’s association of cities and towns, MML, which you have heard me speak of many times before, has a full legislative agenda to help protect the citizens of Maryland’s municipalities. Leading the list again this year, as it has each year during the O’Malley/Brown administration, is the need to restore highway user revenues, HURs (tax collected by the state from vehicle related taxes & fees) . These funds traditionally were returned to the municipalities to help with street related repairs and maintenance, have been sorely lacking. We have positive responses from our delegation when we approach them about this. I hope this is the year we will achieve out former parity.

Soon it will be time to formulate the city’s budget for another year. This is undoubtedly my biggest challenge. Years of economic down turn and unemployment have taken a toll on our finances. We remain financially sound and we have been able to hold the line on any tax increase, and hopefully we will be able to do so again. It is a daunting task. Your City Council is planning a retreat for Jan 24th to begin preliminary discussions on the budget and to plan for the coming year’s projects. If you have suggestions to offer or would like to attend please e mail ( me or contact the City office for details.

One of the things that I enjoy doing the most, as Mayor is visiting, each year the fourth grade classes at Taneytown Elementary School. When I visit with the students I share what the Mayor of Taneytown does and invite them to participate in a contest, sponsored by the Maryland Municipal League (MML) called "If I Where Mayor". This invites fourth graders to write a short essay and give their thoughts how they might run the City, if they were mayor. The contest is open to all fourth grade students (all 4th grade public school, private, parochial or home school students are eligible). There will be winners from all over the state (eleven in all) and if you win you will be invited to spend a day in Annapolis and a visit with the Lt Governor. Let me know if you would like to participate and I will make sure you get all the details. Speaking of MML, another great program available to graduating high school seniors is the MML, Carroll Co Chapter’s Scholarship Award. The Carroll County Chapter of the Maryland Municipal League will offer two $1,000 scholarships to Carroll County high school students who have been accepted into a college or university or, Carroll students currently enrolled in a college or university in a graduate or undergraduate program. An application and full details may be found on our web site or in your guidance counselor’s office

This year is election year in Taneytown. We will elect a Mayor and two City Council members. If you would like to file to run for one of these positions you may pick up an application at City Hall. Simply complete the application and ethics statement that will accompany it and return it and you name will be placed on the ballot. Our City website ( has complete details. The Election will be held the first Monday in May (5/4).

Now it’s time for the Taneytown History Quiz! Each issue I ask a question about Taneytown’s History. The first school age student who responds to my e-mail address with the correct answer will win a gift card from a local business and get his/her picture in the next issue of the Taneytown Record.

Congratulations to Nathan Perry, who answered the last question correctly and to all who sent in answers: Taneytown native, Congressman Joseph Goulden represented New York in the US Congress. Now for this issue’s question:

Early in Taneytown’s history, a Russian Prince was the pastor of a Taneytown church. Q) What was the pastor/prince’s name and what church was he the pastor of?

GOOD LUCK- respond to:

PS: If anyone would like to send a history question to be asked in future issues, please send it to my attention

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