Today I visited the State Capital on a snowy wintery day to visit our local delegation and to make new acquaintances. As many of you know we are putting forward a Bond Bill to help with financing of our pool. The bill is sponsored by Senator Edwards on the Senate side and Delegate McKay on the House side. I have the opportunity to meet with each of them today as well as members of the delegation from neighboring districts.
There are many other bills that will have some bearing on our town. The Maryland Marijuana Commission is a continuing concern of the legislature. We will continue to monitor this will the help of Katie Nash from Greenwill Consulting. Katie has been a great asset, not only with this matter but in all other matters affecting the Town.
We have posted a video on this website regarding Highway User Revenues. Please take a moment to view it. We will be working to restore these funds for the use of Maryland Towns and Cities.
I will be attending the Maryland Mayors conference in Annapolis at the beginning of February and will continue to visit the State Capital every week or so to make sure that our interests are being advanced.
I recently had the opportunity to visit Hancock Middle Senior High as a part of American Education Week . During my visit, I visited several classrooms including Art, Science, English, Social Studies, Woodshop and Ag Science. I am indebted to Principal Sabrina McCoy for hosting my visit. Mr. Mazzone was kind enough to allow me to observe his engine repair class and to take me on a tour of the Ag Science out-buildings.
We have a wonderful school with dedicated teachers. I was very impressed with the engagement of the students particularly in our discussion during science class. I appreciate the students who were kind enough to show me their art work.
As I expressed to Ms. McCoy, I consider the School to be an integral part of our community identity. We have entered into an agreement with the School Board to provide a long term lease for some land near Kirkwood park to be used for the Ag Program. I am hopeful that our cooperative efforts can continue for the benefit of our students and the entire community.
Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, but in small towns like Hancock the losses seem to outnumber the wins by a large margin. As the smallest high school in the state our athletic teams are often outnumbered and outmatched. One of the advantages, however is if you want to play sports and are willing to make the commitment, there is a welcomed spot for you on the team.
Not so when I attended Bowie High School in the 70’s. Bowie was and still is one of the largest High Schools in the State. I was an average soccer player and was fortunate that we had just started the program. But, baseball…well that’s another story. I can still recall some 45 years later my disappointment at not making the JV baseball team. On the last day of try outs I remember crushing the ball in batting practice. I was pretty sure of myself when we checked the team list at the end of the day. I was devastated. The coach had already picked his team before that glorious day in the batter’s box. At a smaller school, I think my efforts would have been rewarded.
At Bowie, we played against teams of similar size. When you are the smallest school in the State like Hancock, finding appropriate competition can be a challenge for an athletic director. Much of the time, playing against larger schools, the Hancock Panther’s find themselves on the losing side of the score. The lesson of losing with dignity comes quickly if you are a Panther.
The real challenge is learning how to win. Learning how to win with grace and empathy is not something easily embraced if you have become accustomed to losing. Winning should be a time for celebration. Some believe it is a time to make up for all those awful feelings associated with losing. But not our Hancock Panthers! In their recent win against Hundred, the Panthers showed what it is to be a true winner. Certainly, our Panthers were proud. But more importantly, they showed empathy and compassion against the opposing team. The Panthers were happy to be a winner but they knew what it felt like to be on the losing side. Their actions during and after the game towards the Hundred team showed that that in more ways than one the Panthers are winners. Thank you. Panthers, for showing your hometown the true meaning of Panther Pride!
Lots of things happening in Town. If you drive by Widmyer Park you can see that the survey stakes are in the ground for the new library. The official groundbreaking will be September 26th at 6pm with our County Commissioners but we can expect that there will be some work done prior to that date.
Our design and engineering plans for the new pool have been submitted to the state and we hope to start construction soon. It not too soon to thing about a life guard job for next summer! If you are interested or know someone who might be, please call Town Manager David Smith.
I had a very fruitful visit from State Senator George Edwards on August 4 th . We toured various state and federal park lands and discussed opportunities. We were fortunate to be able to tour the Harvest Cultivating Facility. Senator Edwards has been a great friend to Hancock and I look forward to working with him the coming legislative session.
Tracy and I made the trip across the hill (Sidling Hill, that is) to attend the Allegany County Chamber of Commerce Crab Feast where we had the opportunity to interact with our Allegany County brethren. Washington County made a nice showing as we met Washington County Commissioners John Barr and Wayne Keefer at the event as well.
I felt like I put my life at risk today as I crossed the crosswalk at Weaver’s this morning. A pick-up truck (with PA tags) not only didn’t slow down as he approached the crosswalk but sped up as he passed by. This is a State Road, governed by State Laws, but clearly many people disregard the well posted signs. I am curious if others have had the same experience?
As the summer winds down and the children get ready to head back to school, please take advantage of our wonderful parks. The open space we have in our town, coupled with our access to the river, the rail trail and the C&O canal makes Hancock a very special place.
Many thanks to Councilman Tim Smith and the Hancock in Motion Volunteers for a wonderful National Night Out and great fireworks display. There was a tremendous amount of work that went into a very successful and enjoyable evening. I was blessed to have my Daughter Jaclyn, her husband Seth and grandkids Eliza, Abel and Sylvia come up from Hagerstown to enjoy the evening. I had the opportunity to talk to many citizens and visitors including Town of Bath (Berkeley Springs) Mayor Scott Merki.
We had participation by Maryland State Police, Maryland DNR Police, Pennsylvania State Police, Sheriff K.C. Bohrer and the Morgan County Sheriff’s Department and Deputy Reserve, the Washington County Sheriff’s Department as well as our own Hancock Police Department led by Chief Rich Miller. A K-9 demonstration was provided by Washington County Sheriff’s Department.
During this past weekend, we had a successful Adult Softball Tournament sponsored by the Recreation Sub Committee of our Parks and Rec Committee. Councilman Tim Boyer and his group provided a first-class recreational opportunity and raised a bit of money for other Rec Dept. activities. Despite the recent rains, which necessitated a delay in the start time, the Tournament finished under the lights at Kirkwood Park on a well-maintained field.
Welcome to the Mayor’s blog! I plan for this to be an occasional commentary on life in Hancock and some of the things that the Mayor gets involved in day to day.
This morning I was blessed to see 2 juvenile eagles up close and personal while walking along C&O Canal. Two day ago, I came across an otter swimming in the Canal just west of Barnhart’s Bridge. (I’m referring th the bridge that crosses over the canal to the boat ramp. I’m not sure if it already has a name but if it does not I am taking the Mayor’s prerogative and naming it such.)
I was grateful to see our Town Public Works crew out bright and early watering our flower baskets and then quickly moving to trash collection along Main Street. These guys will be out on the mowers later today in the heat working to make our Town beautiful. Of course, if there is a water leak anywhere in Town in the middle of the night, these same guys will be out to fix it. Please take the time to thank them for all that they do.
Yesterday, I had a nice visit from Allegany County Board of County Commissioners President Jake Shade. A few weeks ago, I travelled to Cumberland to attend a fundraiser for Jake. Jake is a fellow Terp (graduate of University of Maryland) and is building his experience to better serve the citizens of this region. I look forward to a fruitful relationship with our good neighbors to the west.