Executive Strengthening

In the towns

October 20, 1991

The new mayor of Aberdeen could be elected by voters next year and wield some authority now held by the town's commissioners under a charter amendment proposed last week.

The measure, recommended by a citizen's panel, would move Aberdeen closer to a strong executive system after the May 1992 election.

It would create a mayor with some administrative powers and either eliminate or add one position on the five-member Board of Commissioners.

The board would be reconstituted as a town council.

Aberdeen's elected commissioners currently select from their ranks an honorary mayor whose duties are limited to presiding over town meetings and official ceremonies.

The commissioners serve as both legislature and executive, overseeing the town's administrator.

The mayor position carries no authority independent from the commissioners, who have the power to hire and fire town department chiefs.

The charteramendment would give the mayor power over rank-and-file employees, but the council would keep its advisory authority over top appointments.

The citizen panel recommended changing the number of commissioners to give the mayor power to decide votes in the event of a tie.

If passed by the commissioners, the amendment would become

town law unless challenged by a voter referendum. A public hearing has not been scheduled.


The Aberdeen Commissionershave shelved a bill creating a commercial district authority supported by a mandatory $100 annual fee after protests from town businesses.

The independent commercial district management authority was conceived as a way to unite Aberdeen's 250 or so businesses and spur economic development.

The measure, introduced Sept. 23, was passed onto Aberdeen's economic development commission for further study after protests during the commissioners meeting Monday.

A petition signed by 125 business owners opposed creating any kind of commercial authority.

The annual fee was intended to pay for better lighting, security patrols and snow removal or support borrowing money to finance municipal parking.

The authority would have had separate committees to oversee development of businesses in Aberdeen's downtown and west end sections.

But many business owners opposed the mandatory membership and licensing fee, saying the town and the Aberdeen Chamberof Commerce should be responsible for promoting commerce.


The former Acme supermarket on Revolution street in Havrede Grace will be getting a new look and tenant.

Two eye doctors have formed a partnership for a $1.4 million renovation project to convert the building into an office complex.

Hirsch Eye Group and Vision Associates Inc. plan to open their offices at the building in the800 block of Revolution Street by November 1992, said Charlotte Moler, spokeswoman for the partnership.

The Havre de Grace Council Oct. 7 agreed to contribute money for the project under the state ActionLoan for Target Areas program.

The program combines state, local and private funding sources for commercial and downtown revitalization projects at abandoned buildings.

Under the program, the state and the city will provide the partnership with 10 percent of the cost of the renovation project, Havre de Grace administrators said.

Hirsch Eye Group is operated by Dr. Dahlia Hirsch, daughter of Havre de Grace Mayor Gunther D. Hirsch. The eye group will maintain its officesin Elkton and Fallston after the new facility is opened, Moler said.

Vision Associates, headed by Barry Fuller, also has offices in Bel Air, Edgewood, Rock Springs and Elkton.

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