Cecil County Exec Names 30-member Panel to Draft County ‘Strategic Plan’

July 10, 2013

Cecil County Executive Tari Moore has appointed a 30-member task force to draft a long-range “strategic plan” to guide the county’s future, a requirement established by the county’s new Charter form of government.

The Strategic Plan Advisory Network (SPAN) will be headed by Dr. Diane Lane, Vice President of Student Services and Institutional Effectiveness at Cecil College. Lane also headed the 41-member citizens task force that drafted the county’s Comprehensive Plan, which dealt with land use and zoning issues, several years ago.

Most of the members named to the new SPAN panel represent key areas that will be addressed by the plan, including public schools, public safety, public works, health, jobs and economic development. County government department heads are included, as well as members of various boards and commissions or agencies that deal with such issues.

The county Charter specifies that a strategic plan, which must be adopted by the County Council by 5/1/14, should address future issues involving “anticipated shifts in demographic, legal, political, social or physical conditions.” The Charter also calls for a plan to address “at least five strategic issues” that will be top priorities for the county’s future.

County Councilor Joyce Bowlsbey (R-2), the ‘godmother’ of Charter government who led the successful efforts to get the Charter approved by voters in a 2010 referendum, will serve as a member of the new SPAN group.

County Department heads named to the panel include Scott Flanigan (Public Works); Stephanie Garrity (Health); Scott Mesneak (Information Technology); Winston Robinson (Finance); Eric Sennstrom (Planning and Zoning); Richard Brooks (Emergency Services); Donna Nichols (Human Resources); Dr. D’Ette Devine (Cecil County Public Schools); Denise Davis (Libraries); Lisa Webb (Economic Development); David Trolio (Senior Services and Transit); Clyde Van Dyke (Parks and Recreation); and Al Wein (Director of Administration.)

Law enforcement representatives include Lt. Michael Holmes of the county Sheriff’s Department, and Chip Peterson, Police Chief of the Town of Rising Sun.

Cecilton Mayor Joseph Zang is also a member, representing mayors and the southern sector of the county.

Two longtime members of the county Planning Commission—Wyatt Wallace and Kennard Wiggins—are also new members of the SPAN group. And Patricia Folk—chair of the county’s Historic District Commission—was also named to the new panel.

Business groups and leaders are represented by Chick Hamm, PNC Bank executive and a longtime member of various county economic development panels; Mario Gangemi, vice-chairman and secretary of the Cecil Business Leaders for Better Government group and a board member of the county’s Chamber of Commerce; Michael Ratchford, a Gore executive and chair of the county’s Economic Development Commission (EDC) that recently drafted its own strategic plan for the county’s business future; Grove Miller, a member of the EDC; Bruce England, executive director of the Susquehanna Workforce Network; and Steve Connelly, representing agriculture.

Other members include Dan Schneckenburger, a member of the commission that drafted the county Charter and longtime member of various business panels; Elyse Murray, chair of the county chapter of the NAACP; and Richard Bayer, director of Upper Bay Counseling.

The new SPAN group was scheduled to hold its first organizational meeting Wednesday evening (7/10/13) at Cecil College.

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