Harford County Executive Barry Glassman on Tuesday announced, as expected, that he will seek a second four-year term.
“I am proud of the amazing story that we have to tell,” Glassman told the crowd gathered for his annual business breakfast fundraiser at Level Volunteer Fire Company. “It’s hard to believe it’s been three years already and hard to believe I’m returning today to announce officially that indeed I am filing for re-election as Harford County executive for four more years.”
Glassman was joined at Tuesday’s breakfast by his wife, Debi, their son, Jordan, Glassman’s father, Charlie, and sister, Vicky.
Harford has made great strides in the three years since he was elected, Glassman said, and he looks forward to making even greater strides in his next term.
As Glassman, who breeds sheep, said during the kickoff for his first campaign for county executive: “A good shepherd, like a public servant, should keep his flock first in mind, guide it, let it prosper and multiply.”
“I plan to continue to be a good shepherd for Harford County to guide it toward prosperity,” Glassman said Tuesday. “God bless you and thank you for your support for another four years.”
Among Glassman’s supporters at Tuesday’s breakfast was Gov. Larry Hogan, whom Glassman called a “good friend” to Harford County.
Hogan returned accolades saying Glassman has done an “amazing” job representing the people of Harford County. Hogan said.
“He’s a great county executive and we deserve to have him as a county executive for another four years,” Hogan said. “If you spend the next year working as hard as you can to get Barry Glassman elected as your county executive, then he’s going to spend the next four years working as hard as he possibly can to represent all of you, and to continue to do the great job he’s been doing for all of you.”
Glassman pointed to a more efficient local government now than it was when he took over, as well as county savings that have been funneled to teachers, law enforcement and other public servants in the county.
During his first campaign, he promised to make Harford government smaller, faster and more efficient.
“With a lot of ingenuity, my team has done just that,” he said. “My fiscal plan has paid great dividends.”
In three years, the county has upgraded its website and developed 11 new online programs and apps for residents and businesses; eliminated 122 full-time positions; and outsourced several operations, he said. Expenses have been cut every year with modest increases in revenue, while the county has maintained its AAA bond rating.
The project fund balance is projected to be $18 million, double what it was three years ago “to make us even stronger,” he said.
Also over three years, $11.6 million has gone toward salary increases for teachers and $5.2 million for salary increase for law enforcement and correctional deputies.
“Our investment to all our allied employees and agencies for new wages totaled $24.2 million,” he said.
Capital programs have continued while reducing long-term debt — which tripled in the previous administration, he said. The county has invested in roads, bridges and other infrastructure. But most importantly, after many delays, the county has committed to building a new Havre de Grace Middle/High School, “my alma mater,” he said. Ground will be broken in the spring for the new school, Glassman said.
“Just like the governor, we’ve done it without a single increase in property tax or income tax rate, but [rather] through efficiency and economic development,” Glassman said.
Just as important as what he called the “technical achievements” are the “spiritual” ones, of which he’s just as proud.
Harford has been recognized nationally for its initiatives in the fight against the heroin epidemic that is gripping the county, state and nation, Glassman said.
Harford has provided haircuts for back to school, warms coats and socks to the homeless and shaving supplies for veterans.
“I wanted my administration to reflect the giving nature of Harford County’s families,” he said.
He referred to a letter he received last week from a mother whose son was one of the participants in the “I Can Bike Campaign,” through which children with disabilities were taught to ride two-wheelers.
She said it was the most important thing she had seen in her life and it made a difference in her son’s life.
“I’m as proud of those types of things as I am of our balance sheet,” Glassman said. “I might run a tight ship fiscally and in policy, but on the other side of that, we are as giving as the people we represent.”
Glassman thanked his dad, “who has the grace of an angel,” for showing him how to work hard and also thanked his wife and son.
“Thank you for sharing me these past four years, the missed dinners, games, appointments, for loving me no mater how late I showed up. It means a lot to me,” he said.
Glassman recalled his roots at the Level Volunteer Fire Company — growing up just down the road from the firehouse where Tuesday’s announcement was made — and how special the small town is.
“It’s part of my foundation. It’s not real fancy here, and growing up we didn’t have a whole lot but the fire company — but I learned service there,” he said. “As long as I forever run for anything, I’ll always come home to Level because the Level Road always brings you home.”
Original Source: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/harford/aegis/ph-ag-glassman-campaign-kickoff-1018-story.html
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