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Mayors Comments

December 2017

But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger." (Lk 1:10-12) NIV

I am writing these comments a little more than a week before Thanksgiving. This year Myra and I will be experiencing a change for the holiday. Traditionally, we have a house full of feasting family and friends celebrating the joy that is Thanksgiving Day. Most years we gather at the beach. This year will be different. We’ll all be gathering at our home here in Taneytown. Myra will "cook the bird" and my daughter in law will provide the crackers & gravy and the fried oysters, my daughters will provide all the trimmings and my son in law, Tony, I know will have something special and there still will be plenty of "feasting". I can hardly wait! By the time you read this though, Thanksgiving will have come and gone. Only a few weeks will remain until the Big Day. What joy this season brings to our tired old world…..If we will only let it. I guess that is quite a statement. Life is full of choices. We choose our happiness and I know of no other time, better than Christmas time, to choose happiness. The starkness of winter begins to yield to the promise of spring. Days begin, ever so slowly to lengthen. Amid the winter bleakness we discover hope. My wishes to you and your family this Christmas season is that you’ll find happiness in your friends; your family, your neighbors and all those you may meet in this time of joy!

As is our tradition, the town will "kick off" the Holiday Season with the annual Lighting of the Christmas Tree. The event will take place in front of the police station on Saturday, December 2nd, beginning at 5:30. This year’s program will begin with a moving "luminary" celebration remembering all those who are struggling with cancer. We will follow with the TREE LIGHTING with the children’s choirs from Runnymede & Taneytown Elementary schools singing your favorite holiday carols. There will be free hot chocolate, candy canes and maybe a special visitor from the North Pole! You don’t want to miss this special event. I hope to see you all there!

Your Mayor and City Council have had a busy fall. The business of running the City never stops. When I look back over the past few months, since I last wrote you, I can see we have made some real progress on things that will affect us all. Back in October several members of the City Council and staff attended Maryland Municipal League’s (MML) Fall Conference. I can testify it was one of the best I can remember. The topics were timely and the networking unbeatable. One of the main things Maryland’s municipalities do at this conference is to outline our legislative agenda for the coming General Assembly session (beginning in January). You have heard me go on for years about the need to have the legislature restore the highway user revenues (HURs) the previous administration took away in order to balance the State’s budget. These are the funds earmarked to fix our roads. We have made progress but we seek to restore a reliable formula of expected funds. Without this, the benefit we receive from the transportation tax fund is just a guess. It’s hard to make plans (& budgets) on just a guess. Restoration of these funds is our priority legislative item once again. Please, as you see and talk with your delegates/senator during the holiday season, let them know how important these funds are to you City. Another issue adopted by the MML membership addresses a new situation, small cell (phone) towers. Technology has changed and now cell phone carriers are planning to construct individual cell phone poles/towers along city streets. Without regulation from the City this could turn into quite a mess. Our City has already begun to address this, prior to the MML proposed legislation. I will keep you informed about this issue. In a special meeting, on November 1st, Council gathered to discuss "capital projects" the City will require in the future. The needs are overwhelming. We will continue to evaluate and prioritize.

Well, I promised to keep my comments this month, short. So I had better try to wind things up. I want to congratulate the winners (yes, we had two) of last issue’s history contest. I asked "….. What famous Marylander did Francis Scott Key’s only sister marry and where?" Congratulations to Austin Field (Chief Justice Roger B. Taney @ St Joseph’s Church in Taneytown) and James Thompson (Chief Justice Taney and Terra Rubra, Francis Scot Key’s estate near Keymar). The reason I awarded two prizes was because technically the actual wedding took place at the estate but the records are kept at St Joseph’s.

Now, for this issue’s question: Since we have just celebrated Veteran’s Day I thought a question about veterans would be appropriate.

QUESTION: During the war of 1812 a company of volunteers was organized in Taneytown. Who was/were the commander(s) of these volunteers?

Be the first person of school age to answer the question correctly, by responding to my e mail address ( and receive a gift card (just in time for Christmas). Good Luck to all! Remember to give you name age and where you go to school.

Merry Christmas! Happy Hanukah! And a most prosperous New Year from: Your Mayor and City Council and the entire City’s Staff. We are proud to serve you!

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