The following is the text of County Executive Eileen M. Rehrmann's inaugural speech. Dec. 3
Governor Schaefer, Senator Mikulski honored guests, family friends, and fellow citizens of Harford County.
I would like to express my appreciation to Harford Community College for graciously hosting this inauguration and I want to thank those individuals responsible for organizing this significant event.
I would like to introduce members of my family who are with me today for this special occasion: my mother and father, my husband, Joe, and my children, Bill, Mary Anne, Kris and Rob, and Aunt Rose and Uncle Sam.
I introduced my family, because, above all else they understand the meaning of personal commitment and responsibility. There were many family meals that were missed during the campaign, but my family understood and were supportive, and I want to publicly say thank you.
Today, I make a personal commitment to the citizens of our county by taking the formal oath of office as Harford County executive. It is a commitment taken seriously. A commitment for open, responsive accountable government, to be the best that we can be.
Today, Harford County begins a new administration. An administration vitalized by new energy, new hopes and high expectations of government. It is an exciting time, an opportunity and clearly a challenge. What happens in the next four years will impact the rest of the century and steer the course for the year 2000 and beyond.
Clearly our challenge will be to improve our quality of life so that, today, tomorrow, and in the year 2000, Harford County continues to be a special place we call home.
To be that special place we call home we need to make sure that tax dollars are used efficiently, that those tax dollars are put to use in providing the services needed by our diverse citizens, making sure that we provide the education our, children need to compete in tomorrow's job market, addressing the needs of our senior citizens and people with special needs ... working together ... government at all levels ... for our citizens.
On Nov. 6, voters went to the polls in unprecedented numbers for a gubernatorial election-year. Voters weren't happy with government and they sent a clear message: We want a change.
They made a statement and issued a challenge. A challenge that Harford County government will meet. A government that will focus on people, on neighborhoods, on communities; a government that produces a dollar's worth of service for a dollar's worth of taxes.
To meet this challenge we need a continuing commitment to our communities.
Our citizens and communities have made a commitment that has made the quality of life in Harford County special. It is this commitment that has kept the Susquehannock Center open for all these years. It is now the oldest recycling center in the United States. It is this citizen commitment that has made the Harford county Farm Fair, the Decoy Museum, The Locke House, Liriodendron, The March of Dimes, Community Service Day, S.M.I.L.E.S, The United Way and so much more continuing successes that have made a difference.
We need to continue that commitment. We need citizens willing to commit their energy and talents to serve on boards and commissions that will make a difference in our quality of life. Our libraries, town halls, chamber of commerce, court house and other public places will have information on these boards as well as volunteer forms. We need you to give our county your time, your commitment and your talent to make a difference and meet the challenge.
The 1990s is the decade of challenge, opportunity, and accountability. A challenge to match the needs and concerns of the citizens with the available resources. The citizens expect and should receive the most efficient and effective use of their tax dollars.
Harford County citizens expect to see a local government that anticipates potential problems and moves with deliberate speed to address the issues. There will be an increase in governmental responsiveness, efficiency and effectiveness. Government must not lose sight that our taxpayers have the right to expect quality service. This includes how a phone is answered when you call 838-6000, how your complaint is handled, how you are treated when you come to get a license or permit, how your concerns are responded to. In the Immediate weeks ahead, I will be meeting county employees in the job place, working with them to improve our services.
Our county must manage its growth more effectively. In the weeks ahead, my administration will develop and begin to present the program for an adequate public facilities ordinance. Our quality of life is impacted by overcrowded schools, road congestion, lack of open space, water and sewer. Our challenge is to put the tools in place to effectively manage growth. The time is now and long overdue to address this problem.