Harford County Executive David R. Craig presented the County Council and the citizens with an overview of his administration's accomplishments in his ninth "State of the County" address this week.
Craig highlighted capital projects including schools, libraries, and recreation centers that have been constructed throughout the county during his tenure, which began in 2005.
In Bel Air, he mentioned rebuilding Bel Air High School and constructing Red Pump Elementary to relieve overcrowding at elementary schools in greater Bel Air.
"When I took office, there were 26 schools operating above capacity, and 94 portable classrooms in use. While declining enrollment has alleviated much of the problem, additional capacities made possible by capital investments by the county and a difficult but necessary round of elementary school redistricting by the Board of Education has ended the severe overcrowding that plagued our school system for the last two decades," Craig said.
"We also built the Patterson Mill substation of the Bel Air Volunteer Fire Company, the first station to be fully funded by the county," Craig said.
He acknowledged challenges such as state education funding and wins like the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) resulting in 6,000 new private sector jobs, a quadrupling of defense contractors based in Harford County and an increase of 1.5 million square feet in office space.
"While we may not have always agreed and although there have been instances where consensus in the community was not attainable," Craig said before the County Council, "let no one claim that we did not or do not put first and foremost our love of this county and our common desire to pass it on in a better state to our children and grandchildren."
This was Craig's final address as county executive, an office which is limited to two consecutive terms.Related: