Either Harford residents are "all happy and satisfied with county government or everybody's apathetic." Or maybe they went to the Orioles game instead.
Those were the only explanations that occurred to Havre de Grace Mayor Gunther Hirsch about why fewer than 30 people showed up for County Executive Eileen M. Rehrmann's town meeting Thursday night at Havre de Grace High School, and why only eight people spoke.
"Shucks, I'm impressed at your bringing your whole staff to Havre de Grace, and I think the format's good," Mr. Hirsch said. "But if the people don't come when you have your whole team here, they shouldn't be upset later when you make decisions."
The comments from those who spoke Thursday were pretty evenly divided among criticisms, suggestions and compliments.
Citizens will again have a chance to speak to the county executive 7:30 p.m. Oct. 15 at North Bend Elementary School and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 10 at Joppatowne High School.
Salvatore Glorioso, a Fallston resident, told Mrs. Rehrmann Thursday that he was upset about the county Health Department's response to his neighborhood's recent concerns over possible pollution in their wells.
The Health Department has affirmed the safety of the Beechwood Lane wells despite chloroform traces.
But Mr. Glorioso, president of the Fallston Meadows Homeowners Association, said his neighbors still have concerns.
"I want to know why the Health Department has not been -- how can I say this nicely? -- diligent," Mr. Glorioso said.
Thomas M. Thomas, Harford's health officer, defended his department's performance, saying it tested the wells quickly.
"But I do agree with you that we need to be concerned about the future, and I'm willing to work with you," Mr. Thomas said.
Another speaker questioned Mrs. Rehrmann about why fees for county permits and related services had been raised.
She explained that most fees had been unchanged for 10 years and did not reflect the actual cost of county employees' work.
Anna Long, a Havre de Grace city councilwoman, proposed that Mrs. Rehrmann's department chiefs sponsor open houses once or twice a year "so people would know they would have an opportunity to talk to somebody from the Health Department or the Department of Public Works."
She also suggested that the administration work harder to keep municipalities abreast of the progress of recycling.