Cecil County’s Next Era: Alan McCarthy Sworn-in as County Executive, Pledges to Govern with ‘Respect;’ Two New County Councilors Take Seats
(WITH EXCLUSIVE CECIL TIMES VIDEO)
Alan McCarthy– a local veterinarian, businessman and former Vice-President of the County Council–was sworn in as Cecil County Executive on Monday 12/5/16, pledging to treat all taxpayers with “respect” and to work hard to bring jobs and economic development to the county.
McCarthy and two new members of the County Council were sworn into office during a packed, standing room only ceremony at the Upper Chesapeake Ballroom, at the North East fire company hall in North East. The ceremony was attended by most members of the District 36 state legislative delegation, mayors of the county’s towns, many county employees, local business owners, and supporters and family members of the newly elected public officials. Outgoing County Executive Tari Moore and outgoing County Council President Robert Hodge also attended.
McCarthy, who won a strong victory in a multi-candidate Republican primary and won a two-to-one vote margin over his Democratic challenger, Wayne Tome, in the general election, took a bipartisan tone in his inaugural speech, saying he wanted to “work together” with all segments of the local community and political groups to make Cecil County “the best it can be.” He also said the county would “move from a why we can’t to a why we can perspective.”
“I understand that there are many people in our county who have had a tough time in the past few years and may feel that their voices haven’t been heard by elected officials, both local and national. I want to reassure you that I have listened to your concerns as I’ve traveled around the county and I pledge to work hard to make our county work for everyone,” McCarthy said.
McCarthy said that his administration would focus on “respect”—for taxpayers’ “hard earned dollars” that go to pay the costs of county government, to respect “for our environment, respect for the small business owners struggling to keep their doors open, respect for parents, students and teachers working together to educate our youth, and respect for our law enforcement and first responders who risk their lives to keep us safe.”
And, in an election year marked by bitterness and partisanship at the national level, McCarthy extended an olive branch locally. “Let us all come together, putting political differences aside, and work together to make our county the best it can be,” McCarthy said.
But even as McCarthy was giving his inaugural address, his new administration was serving notice that there would be some important changes, as several personnel ousters and new hires were posted on the county government website. McCarthy dismissed and replaced the county’s Economic Development director, Lisa Webb, with Christopher P. Moyer, a former Baltimore business development executive with an impressive resume for bringing millions of dollars in new business and thousands of new jobs to the city through his role as director of business development for the Baltimore Economic Development Corp.
In addition, McCarthy announced the replacement of Donna Nichols, the county’s Human Resources Director, with Sally K. Thompson, who has worked in management and information technology positions in Harford County.
McCarthy has also dismissed Scott Mesneak, the county’s Information Technology director, but did not announce a replacement for that position or whether that post would be incorporated into another county department.
(Cecil Times will soon file a separate detailed report on the personnel changes.)
Meanwhile, at the inaugural ceremonies on Monday, New County Council member Bob Meffley (R-1) followed McCarthy in making inaugural remarks and said with a laugh that McCarthy “is a pretty tough act to follow.” Meffley also follows McCarthy in representing the first district on the County Council. The district covers all of the south county below the C&D Canal and a section of the eastern county south of Elkton.
Meffley, who owned and operated H&B Plumbing in Chesapeake City for many years with his family, reiterated his campaign slogan in describing how he would operate on the County Council, with “a business approach to government.” And, he said with a smile, that while campaigning for the Council seat, he “learned how to wave and smile at the same time.”
Jackie Gregory, an activist with the local Patriots “tea party” group, is the second new member of the County Council, replacing Hodge as the councilor from District 5, which covers the North East area. Gregory, who ran as a Republican, wore a white rose corsage as she took the oath of office and said she was “really looking forward to the opportunity to serve you.” She thanked Hodge for helping her in the transition to Council service and said he had provided “great leadership” to the county during his eight years of service as a county Commissioner and Councilor.
The ceremonies featured vocal and violin/cello performances by the very talented students of the Rising Sun High School Chamber Choir, directed by Jeff Anderson, and the Rising Sun High School Chamber Ensemble, directed by Emily Kumpf. The medley of holiday songs performed by the vocal choir and the instrumental interludes performed by the stringed instrument ensemble drew appreciative applause from the crowd, and showed that the arts are very much alive in the county.
CECIL TIMES recorded a video of McCarthy’s speech at his inauguration, and the full, unedited video can be viewed on the CECIL TIMES YouTube channel, linked here: