Kelly named acting health officer

HARFORD DIGEST

January 20, 2008

The Harford County Council has appointed Susan Kelly acting health officer and Dr. Yngvild Olsen as deputy health officer, effective Jan. 3.

Kelly, a longtime department employee, had been deputy to Dr. Andrew Bernstein, who resigned this month amid a dispute over proposed cuts in the department's budget. County officials said they are likely to take a few months to hire Bernstein's replacement.

"I feel confident with Ms. Kelly at the helm," said Billy Boniface, the council president. "She and the staff will provide the same level of service."

County authorizes land purchase

The County Council has authorized the $1.8 million purchase of 112 S. Hickory Ave., a one-third acre site in downtown Bel Air. The transaction will complete the county's ownership of the property between Main and Hickory streets along Churchville Road.

County officials expect to build a five-story administration building on the site, a project that has yet to win council approval.

"Although this property is small, it is adjacent to county-owned land," said Councilman Richard C. Slutzky. "By adding it, we increase the value of the total package."

At the request of Councilman Dion F. Guthrie, the board had tabled the issue for a week until bringing it to a vote Tuesday. Guthrie said the delay gave him a chance to review appraisals for the property and sales figures for surrounding properties.

"My question has been if this is worth the money," Guthrie said. "But it is in the heart of Bel Air and is a good investment."

Offices to close Monday for holiday

Harford County government offices will be closed tomorrow for Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

The Harford County Waste Disposal Center will be closed, but Waste to Energy will be open.

Senior centers will be closed.

Harford transit will operate on a limited schedule.

Harford County Public Library is closed tomorrow.

Public schools are closed.

Deadline for voter registration nears

The deadline to register to vote in the presidential primaries is Tuesday.

To vote in the Feb. 12 primaries, Maryland residents who are eligible to vote but are not registered must complete a voter-registration application and mail or hand-deliver it to the Harford County Board of Elections, 133 Industry Lane in Forest Hill, by 9 p.m. Tuesday. Mailed applications must be postmarked by the same day.

Maryland election law allows only registered voters affiliated with the Democratic or Republican parties to vote in the primaries. Those 17 years old who will be 18 on or before the Nov. 4 general election may register and vote in the primaries.

Voter-registration applications are available at the election office Web site, www.harford countymd.gov/elections, or at the Motor Vehicle Administration office, public libraries, senior centers, post offices and social-services agencies.

Most of Harford County's polling places are accessible to voters with disabilities. An elderly voter or a voter with a disability who is assigned to an inaccessible polling place may request reassignment to an accessible polling place.

Disability requests must be submitted in writing by 9 p.m. Tuesday. The form to request reassignment is available at the election office Web site.

Information: 410-638-3565.

MTA official to speak to managers Tuesday

Buddy Alves, the Maryland Transit Administration's chief of marketing, will speak at the Tuesday meeting of the Harford County Transportation Management Association.

The meeting will be at 9 a.m. in Room 130 of the Higher Education and Applied Technology Center, 120 Technology Drive in Aberdeen. The public is invited.

Alves will provide an overview of the state's Commuter Choice Program, designed as a tax-incentive program for employers to encourage employees to switch to transit or van-pooling to get to work.

Those attending the meeting will learn how to take advantage of the tax incentives available to employers who enroll in the program.

The Harford County Transportation Management Association advocates for long-term changes in the Harford County transportation system. The group was formed with private-sector employers and public-sector officials to address the problem of finding transportation for workers.

The group has investigated carpooling, shared corporate commuter vans, and extending park-and-ride facilities, in addition to mass transit options.

Information: Pat Fielder, Rideshare coordinator, 410-638-3069.

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