County Executive Barry Glassman took the oath of office today for his second term,expressing optimism for Harford’s future and calling on local citizens to help unify the nation. Nearly 1,000 attendees cheered the county executive’s remarks at Harford’s 13th inauguration, which included the swearing-in of County Council members for the next four years. Council President Patrick S. Vincenti took the oath, along with Council Member Andre V.Johnson (District A); Council Member Joseph M. Woods (District B); Council Member Tony “G” Giangiordano (District C); Council Member Chad R. Shrodes (District D); Council Member Robert S. Wagner (District E), and Council Member Curtis L. Beulah (District F). The ceremony was held at the APG Federal Credit Union Arena on the campus of Harford Community College in Bel Air.
Well-known broadcaster and local resident Scott Garceau was the master of ceremonies. Local school and community groups were featured, including the Churchville Elementary School Patriots and uplifting musical performances by the Harford County Recovery Choir, the Havre de Grace High School Symphonic Band, the North Harford High School Choir, The John Carroll School Jazz Band, The John Carroll School Bella Voce and country music artist Dean Crawford. The U.S. Army Aberdeen Proving Ground 20th CBRNE Command served as the color guard; the honor guard was from the Harford County Volunteer Fire & EMS Association. Miriam Tatuem gave a stirring rendition of the national anthem. Leaders from Harford County’s diverse faith-based community provided spiritual support.
Following the oath of office, County Executive Glassman thanked his family and the citizens of the county, and reflected on unprecedented tragedies during his first four years:
“We have seen national violence come to our doorstep for the first time and the loss of our traditional innocence … but we have seen that the light of Harford County’s communities has outshined the darkness.”
He pointed to the county’s fiscal turnaround, achieved without raising tax rates,while nearly all of the county’s new ongoing revenue was directed to education and public safety. He said that bringing county services online had improved efficiency and transparency and helped his administration earn six national awards from the National Association of Counties.
Looking ahead, County Executive Glassman quoted President Abraham Lincoln in saying that he had “high hope for the future.” He cited the state’s first partnership for a 24/7 crisis center for addiction and behavioral health in Bel Air, and Harford’s position as a recognized leader in the opioid battle.
“I also plan to shine a light on mental wellness and fight at the state and national level to have parity of accessibility and coverage,” he said.
County Executive Glassman also cited a new consortium headed by the National Center for Manufacturing Sciences, known as AMMP at the HEAT Center, in Aberdeen:“With our longtime partner, Aberdeen Proving Ground, 30 national defense contractors and universities from around the nation, [AMMP] brings a future of jobs for our young people, new technology to protect our freedom fighters and a host of 3-D printing opportunities with composite materials.”
In the southern part of the county, Mr. Glassman said that he will continue a partnership with Harford Community College to establish workforce and vocational opportunities. In the rural north, he plans to establish a day hub for high-speed internet.
As the incoming president of the Maryland Association of Counties, Mr. Glassman said that he planned to advocate for much needed road and infrastructure improvements, and increased funding for opioid treatment and recovery.
Equally important in the next four years, he said would be efforts to unify and strengthen the fabric of the community: “I challenge you to look for the one who needs a hand up, a job, a meal, a second chance. May our economic success be matched only by our sense of community.”
He warned against the national divisions of party, race, creed and social status,and offered an alternative view:
“With our new Choose Civility program, in partnership with Harford County Public Library, I promise to practice what I have stood for over my entire career … I know that the Lord has knitted us together from the same fleece and we will only succeed together as one … Let us, Harford County, continue to be a leader in this cause.”
Photos from Harford County’s 13th Inauguration Ceremony will be available online at the links below.
Video of the ceremony provided by Harford Cable Network will be available at https://harfordcable.org/ and the HCN Facebook page and below. The full text of County Executive Glassman’s remarks will be available on the county website at http://www.harfordcountymd.gov/2639/2018-Inaugural-Ceremony.