EMS Division to Take on Additional Service Areas Amid Rising Need
African-American Heritage Preservation Program Planned
Harford County Executive Barry Glassman on Tuesday delivered his final State of the County address in a video from the student-run TV studio at his alma mater, Havre de Grace High School. The county executive is term-limited and was first elected in 2014.
Citing increased demand for services and staffing shortages, the county executive, who is also a former volunteer EMT, announced that additional response areas in some regions of the county would be transferred to his administration’s EMS Division. The Division’s paramedic units have been providing supplemental EMS services while volunteer fire companies and their EMS Foundation provide the majority. The move is intended to relieve stress on VFCs while providing needed services countywide in high volume areas. The county executive signed an executive order directing the Harford County EMS Standards Board to coordinate the transition.
The county executive also announced plans for an African-American heritage preservation program modeled after the state program and declared that Juneteenth would become a county holiday.
In his address, County Executive Glassman also highlighted the county’s fiscal turnaround.
“When I came into office the fund balance was drained, our debt levels were up, the water and sewer fund was in distress, there was no plan to meet stormwater requirements and investments in both our infrastructure and our people were woefully inadequate,” he said.
The county executive said all of these have been reversed.
The Glassman administration provided full funding in the past two years for public school operations and the sheriff’s office pay plan, and funded salary increases in every year of his tenure totaling 18 – 22% for teachers, law enforcement and county employees.
County Executive Glassman also cited more than 7,000 new private sector jobs and $1 billion in capital investment in the county during his two terms and more than $25 million in procurement savings, while sounding a note of caution due to rising inflation.
Nonetheless, with the county’s debt levels declining and the fund balance restored and strengthened, the county executive said he hopes to be in a position to reduce property taxes in his final budget, which will be announced in April.
In closing, the county executive thanked county employees, first responders, frontline hospital workers and community members. “No matter what the future holds, I truly have been blessed with an incredible run,” County Executive Glassman, an avid runner, concluded, “and together we will finish the coming year ‘Harford Strong.’”
State of the County address video https://youtu.be/74NP_gSyfeQ
Year in Review video https://youtu.be/Fk5yR57SXOg