Journalist @baltimoresun writer artist runner #amwriting Chaplain PIO #partylikeajournalist

Journalist @baltimoresun writer artist runner #amwriting Chaplain PIO #partylikeajournalist
Journalist @baltimoresun writer artist runner #amwriting Md Troopers Assoc #20 & Westminster Md Fire Dept Chaplain PIO #partylikeajournalist

Saturday, April 30, 2005

20050430 Orenstein Hammond Sims Get together for Tom Ferguson

Orenstein Hammond Sims Get together for Tom Ferguson

April 30th, 2005

You are invited to a meet and greet for Tom Ferguson at the Westminster Riding Club on April 30th, 2005. Sponsored by Phyllis Hammond, Deb Sims and Rebekah Orenstein…


20050429 CC FOP Lodge #20 Candidate questionnaire

Fraternal Order of Police Carroll County Lodge No. 20 candidate questionnaire

2005 Mayoral/City Council Candidate Political Survey - Due April 29th, 2005

Westminster Mayor Kevin Dayhoff

Fraternal Order of Police Carroll County Lodge No. 20

P. O. Box 302, Westminster, MD 21158 (410) 876-0115

April 8th, 2005

2005 Mayoral/City Council Candidate Political Survey

Due April 29th, 2005

Westminster Mayor Kevin Dayhoff

P. O. Box 1245, Westminster, MD 21158

April 29th, 2005

1. What do you feel is the most positive strength you would add to the City of Westminster as Mayor?

Experience and the energy, drive, accessibility and ability to make that experience work for positive change.

2. What has been your most positive non-work related leadership experience?

The Civil Rights Movement in the south in the early 1970s.

3. What role, if any, do you see public safety playing in the future economic development of the City of Westminster?

How would that affect the Police Department?

The Westminster Police Department plays a critical role.

4. Do you support rank and file negotiations for benefits? Please expand on your answer.


5. What do you feel can be done to support public safety in the City of Westminster?

Public Education. Accreditation. Technology. Landlord Training Program.

6. The current administration of the Westminster City Police Department has taken a positive step towards recruitment of police officers. What idea(s) could you give the Chief to help recruit quality police officers for the City of Westminster?

Officer to Officer contact, recruitment and promotion including FOP promotion.

7. The current administration of the Westminster City Police Department has taken several positive steps to retain qualified police officers. What idea(s) could you give the Chief to help retain them?

Shift differential pay. Self-actualization. Esprit de corps. Degree of Openness.

8. What do you feel is the most pressing issue relating to the City of Westminster Government as a whole? How will this issue affect the Police Department?

Pay and strategic planning.

1. What do you feel is the most positive strength you would add to the City of Westminster as Mayor?

Experience and the energy, drive, accessibility and ability to make that experience work for positive change. I love my job. I have a passion for Westminster and its citizens and employees. I will continue to make a difference and contribution. Championing quality of life, family values and change in Westminster requires leadership, tenacity and a lively step. There is much more to achieve and with your help.

I have the unique qualifications to positively affect the day-to-day quality of life for Westminster and its citizens and employees. I have been involved in government for 25 years and I have 25 years of business experience as a small self-employed business owner. As an elected official for the past six years, I have worked hard to bring informed opinions, raise creative new ideas, and make us think innovatively and differently on many community and government issues.

Change can be difficult, but over the years, by working together with other community leaders and Westminster’s employees, we have formed a bright, energetic and passionate team, that knows how to execute ideas and plans. Rest assured that Westminster is not only taking actions to be successful today, but we are seizing all opportunities to remain relevant and ready for tomorrow.

I offer the citizens of the City of Westminster experience, energy, accessibility and vision. It would be an honor and a privilege to serve another term as Mayor.

2. What has been your most positive non-work related leadership experience?

Working in the Civil Rights Movement in the very early 1970s in the south. It taught me discipline, perseverance, tolerance for physical, psychological and verbal abuse and focus. It taught me patience (don’t sweat the small stuff) and to keep in mind the big picture in working towards positive social change.

3. What role, if any, do you see public safety playing in the future economic development of the City of Westminster? How would that affect the Police Department?

The Police Department plays a key and critical role in future economic development. As you know, 40% of the tax base in the City of Westminster is commercial, industrial or retail. This gives Westminster a great revenue stream and keeps residential tax rates from increasing. In order for Westminster to have the revenue it needs to keep up with increasing demands for service, to address the increasing complexity of government and unfunded mandates from the State and Federal government, we simply must continue to aggressively attract more economic development.

Potential businesses look at many factors when choosing to move to a municipality such as Westminster. Of course, they first look at sustainable statistics and demographics. Potential businesses also look for a viable workforce and appropriate tax base and necessary infrastructure which includes, but is not limited to; roads, water and sewer, recreational, artistic and cultural opportunities and the health of the non-profits and charitable organizations.

It will affect the Westminster Police Department by requiring more innovative and cutting edge customer service oriented policing (such as Community Policing and S.E.R.A.) out of the officers and the department. Westminster Police Officers are our 365/24/7 ambassadors for Westminster.

It will also require more police officers. However, economic development usually pays for itself. That stated, I have suggested for several years that Westminster explore a Public Safety Benefit Assessment (Fire, EMS and Police Impact Fee) to be applied to growth to provide non-tax revenues to go towards the accompanying additional demands placed upon public safety protection. Apparently, there are some legalities that have to worked through in order to move that initiative forward.

How can the FOP play a role in economic development, and attracting more jobs and businesses, to the City of Westminster?

4. Do you support rank and file negotiations for benefits? Please expand on your answer.

I’m curious – what do you mean by “rank and file negotiations for benefits”? If this is double-speak for collective bargaining or bringing a union into the City of Westminster - the answer is NO. You tried that before with IUPA in 2001. IUPA just took money out of your pocket and didn’t do anything for you. I do not support collective bargaining in the City of Westminster for any of our employees.

Pay and benefits are one area of personnel where the City has to speak with one voice and have a clear consensus. When it doesn't happen that way, false hopes are created and disappointment is sure to occur. It is also one thing to understand that pay and benefits must increase in order for the City to stay competitive and remain on the cutting edge of providing customer service for our citizens and it is another thing for the employees to have an ownership stake in the organization and understand that we often have finite resources with which to work.

It has been my experience that often Unions do not understand the big picture and instead they foster friction, dissension and acrimony among the very folks who are already pre-disposed to do everything possible to provide the best for the employees. Unions pit employee against employee and employee against management. I have no interest in anyone or any organization getting between me and the employees whom I serve.

I urge the rank and file to continue to work through the chain of command to articulate what is needed and what can be done. If the chain of command is not working to facilitate getting the rank and file’s message to me then I need to know about that. Otherwise, I have yet to find a Westminster Police Officer who has not found me anything but accessible, ready and eager to listen, at all hours of the night and day, 365/24/7.

What additional benefits does the FOP think are needed by Westminster Police Officers? I worked hard in the past for Westminster Police Officers and I understand that there is more to achieve. By working together, we can all do better. Meanwhile, I have heard you in the past and worked hard for minimum court overtime, minimum emergency call out overtime, expanding the take home car policy, LEOPS, more training opportunities and I supported the expansion of the CRT to a countywide team; among many initiatives in which I heard you and went to work for you.

5. What do you feel can be done to support public safety in the City of Westminster?

Public Education, Accreditation, Technology and Landlord Training Program are some ideas that quickly come to mind.

Public Education is self-explanatory. The local public has long since begun to take for granted that we have an excellent police department. By putting our heads together, perhaps we can arrive at some innovative approaches to letting the public be aware of the excellent policing that everyone in Westminster has long since come to expect.

Accreditation. With a long term goal of accreditation comes an emphasis on additional training opportunities beyond certification standards, including Executive Development Training, Incident Management, advanced Crisis Response Training.

Technology. Stronger emphasis placed upon the use of available technologies including the use of computers and other modern advances.

Landlord Training Program. By working directly with the Landlords we have found that they are a very effective key to the solution. Criminals when arrested are normally released pending trial and when sentenced serve little or no time and then return to what they consider is their home. It is important that we collectively work with the landlords to screen tenants, and put into place strict rental agreements proscribing an intolerance of crime or drugs, along with advocacy that landlords proceed quickly with the eviction process to help eliminate the ability of the criminal to return to live in the neighborhood and increase our calls for service.

What does the FOP think needs to be done to support public safety in Westminster?

6. The current administration of the Westminster City Police Department has taken a positive step towards recruitment of police officers. What idea(s) could you give the Chief to help recruit quality police officers for the City of Westminster?

The issue of Take Home Vehicles has recently been addressed. Issues such as pay are being addressed immediately by the proposed FY 2006 budget and a salary study is in that budget. LEOPS is in place… A signing bonus is in place.

Officer to Officer contact, recruitment and promotion. One idea that I’d like to share with the rank and file and the Chief is how can we get the rank and file to participate in attracting additional police officers to the Westminster Police Department. With an emphasis on laterals, how can we empower the rank and file to have a stake in the recruitment process? The best advertisement for the Westminster Police Department are the officers out there talking up the Department and the City of Westminster.

How about the FOP participating? Perhaps the FOP could run some ads for all the agencies in the County and talk up our Carroll County quality of life, good schools, low crime rate and a great working environment where Police Officers and their work is greatly appreciated by the general Carroll County population.

What does the FOP think needs to be done to recruit quality police officers for the City of Westminster?

7. The current administration of the Westminster City Police Department has taken several positive steps to retain qualified police officers. What idea(s) could you give the Chief to help retain them?

Shift differential pay. Self-actualization. Esprit de corps. Degree of Openness.

Above and beyond issues such as pay, better equipment, LEOPS and more training opportunities…

Degree of Openness. Continued change towards a more open system of management where information and explanations flow from the bottom to the top and the top to the bottom fluidly and easily. Understanding that there must be a clearly defined chain of command, it is possible for lower ranking officers to be provided the opportunity to give additional feedback and be a part of the future planning of the department. I believe that the greater the amount of information shared by a policing system with its environment (command staff and the Chief and the Mayor), the greater the degree of openness and opportunities for change.

Esprit de corps. By team building, officers can take pride that they are part of one of the finest police agencies in the region.

Self-actualization. Creating and giving police officers more opportunities to access responsibility for the future of the department

Shift differential pay. I believe that shift differential pay is important for all nightshift employees in the City of Westminster, including Police Officers.

I would like to hear what ideas does the FOP have to better recruitment and retention of Police Officers in the City of Westminster?

8. What do you feel is the most pressing issue relating to the City of Westminster Government as a whole? How will this issue affect the Police Department?

Pay. In my FY 2006 Budget, I have included money for a comprehensive administration and salary study. To the best of my knowledge, this has not been done since the late 1980s. I don’t think that the salaries of Westminster employees has kept pace with the upward pressure and stressors on pay for public sector employees. In recent years gifted and skilled management has gravitated from the private sector towards leadership in local and state government. With this talent pool focusing on employment with local and state government, there has been the commensurate pressure on local and state government to increase the compensation packages that are offered to this leadership in order to remain competitive.

How will this issue affect the Police Department? It is my goal that you will be paid more.

What does the FOP feel is the most pressing issue relating to the City of Westminster Government as a whole; and how does the FOP think that this issue will affect the Police Department?

Kevin Dayhoff, Westminster Mayor April 29th, 2005.


Friday, April 29, 2005

Rockinberg quits Mount Airy planning commission by Carolynne Fitzpatrick

Rockinberg quits Mount Airy planning commission

Apr. 28, 2005 Carolynne Fitzpatrick Staff Writer

Pat Rockinberg resigned from the Mount Airy Planning and Zoning Commission effective Wednesday, April 20, after a lot of thought and regret, he said Thursday.

"One of my goals when I joined the commission was to promote...constructive dialogue," Rockinberg said. "I feel that I have been unable to meet that goal."

"I'm sorry to see him go," Mayor James Holt said Friday. "But if that's what's best for him, it's as it should be."

Planning Commission Chair Joe Jansen Monday thanked Rockinberg for his service. "Anybody who spends a day or ten years in this job deserves gratitude and recognition," Jansen said.

Council President John Medve, liaison to the planning and zoning commission, was also sorry to see Rockinberg resign, but for other reasons. "I think it's a shame," he said. "In my opinion he's responsible for making a commitment to serve, he should fulfill that obligation."

Rockinberg cited differences of opinions over how to control residential growth as a reason for his resignation.

"There are issues we didn't agree on," Medve said, adding that disagreements and discussions are healthy for decision making. Medve said that while there might have been "friction," that Rockinberg alluded to in his letter, "he never picked up the phone and called to talk about it."

Read the entire article here:

20050428 Rockinberg quits planning commission


Kevin Dayhoff Soundtrack: = Kevin Dayhoff Art: or = Kevin Dayhoff Westminster: or = Twitter: Twitpic: Kevin Dayhoff's The New Bedford Herald: = Explore Carroll: The Tentacle:

Thursday, April 28, 2005

20050427 Budget to give police a raise The Advocate by Jamie Kelly


Budget to give police a raise Council to hold a public hearing May 3 on proposed Budget


In Westminster’s proposed budget, introduced at Monday’s Council Meeting, the police are slated to get a large raise as a way to keep more officers and better recruit highly-qualified officers to join the force.

During a budget workshop April 28, the council agreed to change the proposed budget to give the officers a three-step pay raise, two steps more than the other employees will receive. In the original proposal, all employees would have gotten a one-step raise, like they do each year, with more money possible after a planned salary study.

The proposal came from Council Member Thomas Ferguson, who asked Joseph Urban, city finance director, to determine how much it would cost to increase police salaries by two extra steps. That would cost $125,686.

Council Member Roy Chiavacci strongly supported that measure. When his turn came to ask questions about the budget, nearly all were concerned with the police department.

Police Chief Jeff Spaulding sent out a survey to other departments that
Westminster competes with for recruits. He said that new police officers in Westminster make around 20 percent less than those in other jurisdictions.

That, he said, will keep people from applying. Chiavacci said that the police need more help than other departments, because they have seven vacancies out of a staff of a little more than 40, while other departments have only a few with staff size of about 100.

Spaulding asked the council for the pay increase, because while the council has already done some to help with recruitment, pay is a major issue. He said he didn’t expect the problem to be solved overnight, or even in one fiscal year, but that the raise would be a big step.

But both Mayor Kevin Dayhoff and Council President Damian Halstad opposed the raise.

Dayhoff said that since the budget already includes money for a salary study, it wouldn’t be fair to other employees to raise police salaries before everyone’s salary has been looked at.

Rather, he said, the council should approve the budget, which already gave every employee a one-step increase.

The other employees have seen the council repeatedly favor the police department, he said, and if that continues to happen, it could hurt morale.

He said the other employees of the city also have an effect on public safety, and that should be recognized.

Halstad said his major problem was that Westminster’s salary was being compared to those in Baltimore, Baltimore County and other, larger jurisdictions.

While Westminster might compete with those places for officers, he said, the city can’t afford to pay as much as they can, and the salaries don’t necessarily need to be as high, because there’s less danger.

But four council members voted to change the budget to include the raises for the police.

“It’s a leap of faith, but it’s a good leap,” said Council Member Suzanne Albert.


20050427 Budget to give police a raise The Advocate by Jamie Kelly

20050427 Vogel receives award for fundraising

Vogel receives award for fundraising

PAGE 18 Wednesday, April 27, 2005


Vogel receives award for fundraising

On April 12, the American Legion Auxiliary Post 31 presented Dylan Vogel a Certificate of Appreciation.

The 6-year-old collected $1,904 at TownMall of Westminster for the victims of the tsunami.

The ladies presented this award for outstanding service.

The mayor of Westminster also presented him with an award. Pictured, left to right, are Auxiliary president Sheila Staley, Dylan Vogel and Mayor Kevin Dayhoff.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

20050427 Exploding Councilmembers Baffle Political Scientists

Exploding Councilmembers Baffle Political Scientists

Annapolis, Maryland, April 27, 2005

Kant Betrue[1], Staff Reporter,

New Bedford Herald - Phoenix Hill Daily Herald Bugle – All The News that is Unfit to Print

(Rhoiders) More than 100 councilmembers have puffed up and exploded in Maryland in recent weeks, and scientists still have no explanation for what's causing the instantaneous combustion, an official said Wednesday.

Body parts of the councilmembers have been tested, but scientists have been unable to find a bacteria or virus that would cause the councilmembers to swell up and pop, said Becky Caresalot, a spokesperson for the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Nor have they found any brain matter or any sign of higher evolved DNA or intelligent life.

"It's absolutely strange," Caresalot said. "We have a really unique story here in Maryland. This phenomenon really doesn't seem to have appeared anywhere before."

The councilmembers have been blowing up since the beginning of the month, filling up like balloons until their heads suddenly burst.

"It looks like a scene from a Frank Capra science-fiction movie," Wilma Magilicutty, the head of a local political science think tank, told the Phoenix Hill Daily Herald Bugle.

Often the phenomena occurs after the councilmember whines at a council meeting at the level of argument practiced by the average juvenile delinquent stuck at the intellectual level of a 2-year-old in a high chair throwing food.

Then the deadly phenomena strikes and "The swelled head councilmembers do not appear to suffer minutes before they finally explode." It is thought that this may be a result of the fact that most councilmembers do not have any feelings, a sense of remorse or accountability for their behavior.

Political scientists and pathologists have come up with several theories, but Caresalot said that most have been ruled out; with the exception that most councilmembers are really space aliens visiting from another planet and that fresh air, new ideas, sunlight and an enlightened environment is the cause of their demise.

Above and beyond pathological narcissism and delusions of grandeur, the councilmembers did not appear to have a disease, and a laboratory in Maryland has ruled out the possibility that it is a fungus that made its way from Washington, D.C., Caresalot said.

Caresalot said that tests will continue. In the meantime, municipal residents and (especially) municipal employees throughout the state have been warned to stay away from councilmembers.

Back to News Index

Copyright © 2005 New Bedford Herald - Phoenix Hill Daily Herald Bugle All Rights Reserved.

art literature of the absurd
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

[1] Kant Betrue, a Carthaginian whose family settled in Westminster after the Third Punic War, has been with the Phoenix Hill Daily Herald Bugle since the 1960s (he can’t remember exactly when in the 1960s…). A Pulitzer Prize winner for journalism, he writes about issues ranging from the international economy to exploding toilets.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Westminster Common Council Member Ray Riley

Ray D. Riley, 86, Of Westminster

Ray D. Riley, 86, of Westminster, died Saturday evening, April 23, 2005, at Copper Ridge in Sykesville.

Born March 6, 1919, in Adams County, Pa., he was the son of the late Norman E. and M. Alice Martin Riley. He was the husband of Lalia Scott Riley, whom he married on November 9, 1941.

He graduated from Emmitsburg High School in 1935 and was a 1937 graduate of Blue Ridge College in New Windsor. He then was employed as a manager of Westminster Cooperative Poultry Products Auction.

In November 1942, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy, 76th Naval Construction Battalion (Seabees), serving in the Pacific Theatre until the end of World War II.

Upon his return home, he joined Beacon Steel Products Co. of Westminster, retiring as vice president of sales in 1984.

He was a 63-year member and former deacon of St. Paul's United Church of Christ, Westminster, and served on the Westminster City Council from 1969 to 1983, serving as police committee chairman.

He was a life member of Westminster Kiwanis Club, joining in 1946, and serving as past president and Lt. Governor in the Capitol District and was named George Hixon Fellow in 1999.

He was also a member of the Forest and Stream Club of Westminster, Door to Virtue Masonic Lodge No. 46, the Boumi Temple Shrine, the Western Maryland Shrine Club and the Scottish Rite.

He was also a member of the American Legion Carroll Post No. 31 and VFW Molleville Farm Post No. 467.

Surviving, in addition to his wife, are son and daughter-in-law Arthur and Vickie Riley of Westminster; daughters and sons-in-law Janet and Allen Colburn of New Windsor and Marjorie and Frederic Lohnes and Donna Riley of Westminster; sister Della Riley Rasmussen of Carroll Lutheran Village; grandchildren Keith and wife Lisa Colburn of Ellicott City, Amy and husband Theodore Cook of Severn, Aileen Riley of Rockville, Kimberly Riley of Odenton and Eric Lohnes and Kevin Riley, both of Westminster; and great-granddaughter Elizabeth Cook.

He was predeceased by an infant brother, Ernest M. Riley.

A graveside service will be held at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday at Westminster Cemetery, followed by a memorial service at 11 a.m. at St. Paul's United Church of Christ, Westminster, with his pastor, the Rev. Terri L. Young, officiating.

The family will receive friends from 3 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at the Myers-Durboraw Funeral Home, 91 Willis St., Westminster, and prior to the service at the church on Wednesday. A Masonic service will be held at 8 p.m. Tuesday at the funeral home.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Westminster Kiwanis Foundation, P.O. Box 1551, Westminster, MD 21158, to the Shriners Children's Hospital, c/o Boumi Temple Shrine, P.O. Box 9695, Baltimore, MD 21237, or to Copper Ridge Institute, 710 Obrecht Road, Sykesville, MD 21784.

20050423 Ray Riley Obitituary

Riley Ray 19190306 20050423

Kevin Dayhoff

Thursday, April 21, 2005

20050421 Lee Primm support for Tom Ferguson for Mayo

Lee Primm support for Tom Ferguson for Mayor

April 21, 2005

20050420 Committee orders New Windsor farmer to fix fence

Committee orders New Windsor farmer to fix fence

Carroll County Times - Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Despite neighbors' complaints that the loose pigs in Marston belong to a nearby farmer, the county Right to Farm Agricultural Reconciliation Committee has determined that the pigs are feral.

More than a dozen residents gave testimony over two nights during the past two months about loose pigs trespassing on their property, uprooting their grass with their snouts and chasing the homeowners and their children.

But two experts from the University of Maryland Cooperative Extension testified that the pigs in the photographs provided by neighbors did not look like the quality of pig a farmer would raise to make money from, and said there was a strong possibility the pigs were feral, probably having escaped from a farm at some time and had reverted back to a wild state.

In addition, the two experts visited Carroll Schisler Sr.'s farm in the 2500 block of Marston Road and examined his pigpen. They determined it was an adequate pen that should be able to contain his pigs.

Neighbors and animal control officers from the Humane Society of Carroll County testified that the fence separating Schisler's property from their properties had several gaps that was allowing the animals to go back and forth across the fence.

The reconciliation committee said that regardless of whether the pigs belong to Schisler or not, he should repair the 300-yards of fence in question to prevent any of the animals he has in that pasture - sheep, goats, horses and cattle - from getting out.

The reconciliation committee ordered that the Schislers repair the fence to standards appropriate for the types of animals he pens according to the recommendations of the cooperative extension within 60 days.

Committee Chairman Kevin Dayhoff said he had spoken with Carroll Schisler Jr., who runs the farming operation, and asked him if he would be able to fix the fence. Dayhoff said Schisler Jr. told him he already had most of the supplies and was willing to make improvements.

Carroll Schisler Sr. said his fence was not allowing any animals out, but that neighbors were blaming him for any loose animals they saw, regardless of whether they belonged to him.

"Any time my fence is down it gets fixed," he said.

Schisler said he is still worried that his neighbors will continue to attack him because of the attention gathered from this hearing. Schisler testified that nearly 30 of his animals have been shot on his property in the past year because of bad blood with his neighbors.

Reconciliation committee member Barry Marsh made a motion at Tuesday night's hearing to have the committee go on the record that it is against residents taking any action against animals trespassing on their properties. Assistant County Attorney Tim Burke said the law states that people may not shoot trespassing animals unless the property owners are in imminent danger.

"This committee does not condone any of the citizens taking it upon themselves to destroy any of these animals," Marsh said.

Burke said he has contacted the Maryland Department of Natural Resources about the feral pigs. Burke said the representative he spoke with was very interested in investigating the matter and trying to eradicate the loose pigs as soon as possible.

The reconciliation committee asked that the county staff pursue an eradication program with the DNR and the U.S. Department of Agriculture and report back to the committee in 60 days on the progress.

Resident Agnes Lerp said she appreciated the time the committee took to help resolve the pig issue. Lerp said while she doesn't necessarily believe the pigs are wild, she believes the committee has done all it can to correct the problem.

"Fixing the fence is the most important thing," she said.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

20050414 Activists demand dove be set free

Activists demand dove be set free

Breaking News Briefs for April 14, 2005

City reaches agreement in suit brought by activists
“Claude” to be set free

(Literature of the Absurd - Updated from the April 17th, 2003 version)

Kant Betrue,
Staff Reporter,[1]

April 14, 2005

Phoenix Hill Daily Herald Bugle - New Bedford Herald

Westminster (NBH) A group of bird activists, who were forced this morning to disperse during a loud protest at the Westminster Fire Department, accused the city in a federal lawsuit filed today, of violating basic bird rights by keeping an innocent dove in captivity in the Westminster Fire House.

Eight were arrested.

It seems that Wednesday night, during the running of the Westminster Road Runners Club annual “Main Street Mile”, a dove flew through the open doors of the Westminster Fire Department equipment bays and took up residence in the pipes high above the fire equipment.


Magilicutty, a frequent critic of just about everything that moves, especially if it involves local municipal government, said that this was but another example of the lack of leadership on the part of Westminster Mayor Kevin Dayhoff. “He should have known that the dove was going to fly into the station after the doors were open and that he did nothing to stop it. It’s scandalous to have such a callous and vacuous man holding such a high position in the community.”

Read the rest:

[1] Kant Betrue, a Carthaginian whose family settled in Westminster after the Third Punic War in 206 BC, has been with the Phoenix Hill Daily Herald Bugle since the 1960s (he can’t remember exactly when in the 1960s…). A Pulitzer Prize winner for journalism, he writes about issues ranging from the international economy to exploding toilets.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

20050413 Westminster Eagle Main St Minute Westminster Mayoral Candidate Interviews

Westminster Eagle Main St Minute Westminster Mayoral Candidate Interviews

Main Street Minute


Randi Buergenthal and Missie Wilcox

On May 9, Westminster will elect its mayor. We recently sat down with the two candidates who had declared as of last week to learn about their specific vision for Main Street and business district in Westminster. (Note: A third candidate, Kevin Jay Alt, declared on Monday, too late for this edition.)

Q: What can you do for Downtown Westminster?

Kevin Dayhoff: I will continue to stay involved, engaged, visible and accessible in order to gather and analyze progress and challenges.

By being a good listener, I can help facilitate making things happen and bringing folks together to find creative solutions and empower downtown businesses and residents to maintain an ownership stake in our community and future.

As a collage artist, I take different media to create a masterpiece; I liken this skill to addressing the diverse needs of the city to solve problems. We need to play upon our strengths - family-owned businesses with personal service, and bring even more people downtown.

Tom Ferguson: A healthy business environment in downtown Westminster adds vibrancy and life, and is an essential element in the overall fabric of our community. While elected officials must be concerned with the needs of all areas of the City, I believe it is appropriate and necessary to do all we can to ensure the continued viability of downtown.

I plan to continue doing what I have done for years, which is to listen to the downtown business community and make certain that government is not creating impediments that make it more difficult for businesses to succeed.

I have worked with the city staff, the police department, and a group of downtown merchants to craft new parking policies, which successfully addressed the chronic complaint of inadequate curbside parking in the central business district.

In connection with the merger between Mason-Dixon Bancshares Inc. and BB&T Corporation, I was instrumental in securing a donation to the city of $2.25 million in cash, plus the real estate formerly known as the Farmers Supply property.

That donation provided for the complete removal of what had been a blighted property and paved the way for the development of Market Square and the adjacent Market Square parking garage. This garage and the new Longwell parking garage added about 500 additional parking spaces in the central business district.

Q: How will you partner with merchants and those who live downtown?

TF: In the early 1990s, along with a small group of other business leaders, I saw the need for a private organization that could work with the city to enhance the business climate in Westminster, particularly downtown. In partnership with the city, we formed the nonprofit Greater Westminster Development Corporation, primarily as a means to provide local merchants a venue to discuss issues and concerns unique to downtown and to make recommendations to the mayor and City Council.

I served as the first chairman of GWDC and continue my involvement to this day as a member of the board of directors. The GWDC has played a key role as an advisor and sounding board for the City and is an example of bringing the private and public sectors together for the betterment of our City and its business community.

I also serve on the board of directors of Westminster Town Center Corporation, which is another nonprofit corporation formed in partnership with the city. Its early focus was the redevelopment of the old stone building situated on the former Farmers Supply property. That project is now nearly complete with a planned spring 2005 opening of a unique Irish style pub and restaurant being developed by local restaurateur David Johansson.

KD: For several years, I was a dues-paying member of the Westminster Business Association. I will continue to attend meetings of the Greater Westminster Development Committee and the Downtown Promotions Committee.

I will also be available to our citizens to discuss new information and opportunities. I will continue to work hard to see that Westminster continues to match businesses with state and federal funding programs, which have a good fit with Downtown Westminster.

Q: What do you think is the largest issue facing downtown?

KD: Now that we have built the two parking decks downtown, we need to move forward with turning our surplus surface parking lots into retail space that will bring even more folks into town.

I believe that the business footprint of Westminster is too small.

We've been working hard to expand downtown on an east-west basis along Main Street, and I am excited about the Route 27 Corridor Plan, which will extend downtown business north.

This will be completed via land use, and there is ample opportunity to develop commercial and retail space in that corridor.

It is important that we expand our downtown character out, instead of having the big businesses and the national chains encroaching in.

TF: Clearly, a business operating in a downtown setting can have a tough time competing with the big box stores and the mall, but it can be done.

Convenient hours, attractive and unique, products and services delivered with a personal and friendly touch can go a long way toward attracting and keeping customers. Additionally, I think more diversification in the types of businesses operating

Downtown is desirable. But above all, I think the greatest risk is the risk of merchants and business owners not working together as a team. Our downtown is not like a mall or shopping center where the hours and mode of operation are standardized, but rather made up of entrepreneurs doing their best to make a go of it.

They are independent minded, which is why they have chosen to be downtown rather than in a shopping center. Once everyone recognizes that we can work together to promote downtown, we will all benefit from increased business, shopping, and downtown venues.

Q: What is the most positive thing about downtown Westminster?

TF: Downtown Westminster is a wonderful place. The splendid architecture, the tree lined streets, and the sense of community one feels when strolling around town are all reminiscent of an earlier time. As locals, we sometimes don't fully appreciate what we have here.

However, when I come across someone who is visiting for the first time the reaction is universally the same: "What a beautiful town this is!" This is a strength that cannot be duplicated in a mall or in a shopping center. Another positive thing about downtown is the revitalization progress we have made over the last decade or so, placing us in a much better position today.

KD: Westminster's historic downtown is one of the most beautiful areas in the mid-Atlantic region. We have great shopkeepers, restaurants, business owners and civic-minded citizens. We have a whole new generation of folks who are willing to build on the positive work of leaders who have gone before us and are willing to roll up their sleeves and say, "let's do it."

It's important that we capitalize on our strength of family-owned, customer-service oriented and artist-based businesses.

Westminster has one of the best concentrations of artists in the mid-Atlantic region, and we've only scratched the surface of tapping this resource.

Q: How can we bring more people to Main Street?

KD: We must continue to analyze customer data and intelligently market our historical and beautiful downtown. I would like to see more public events such as our highly successful Fallfest celebration.

For example, we have recently begun the planning to bring back the Christmas parade.

It is important that we continue an emphasis on developing our Gateways and better uniform signage. I would also like to explore more utilization of public art.

Additional ideas include a downtown Westminster Web site, a series of print ads describing downtown Westminster as a great place to do business, and a survey of young families to understand their current shopping habits.

More community employment would also be a big help. We need to continue to expand our community employment base so that many of the moms and dads who are currently spending 15 hours a week commuting can instead spend that time with their families, and in Westminster.

Opportunities multiply as they are seized. Since I have been mayor, the City of Westminster has successfully undergone profound changes and faced a number of daunting challenges. I enjoy working with my colleagues in Westminster's administration and thoroughly enjoy spending time with Westminster citizens, students, community groups, the faith community, and businesses.

Let the progress continue.

TF: The more people who work and live in the downtown area, or at least close by, the better the chance we have that they will spend some of their disposable income in our downtown stores and restaurants. We must look for creative ways to attract what I call the "urban pioneers" - people who really like the idea of living where they work, and particularly like living near the central business district.

A prime example of this is the Market Square project, which is a multi-story, mixed-use development comprised of retail space, office space, and residential condominiums.

I believe most of the condominiums are sold, and I don't think it will be long before we start to see some of the retail and office space being occupied.

More people living and working here means more pocketbooks with disposable income, which means more opportunity for the savvy downtown merchant.

Ferguson File

Tom Ferguson grew up in Westminster and has experience that ranges from service in the U.S. Air Force to a 40-year career in banking, including serving as the president and chief executive officer of Carroll County Bank and Trust Company and Mason-Dixon Bancshares Inc. He was the bank's executive vice president for community development until his retirement in mid-2004.

He continues to serve on the Board of Directors of Branch Banking & Trust Co. of North Carolina, the largest bank subsidiary of BB&T Corporation.

He is also a Westminster Common Council member, a position he has held since 2001.

Dayhoff Data

Kevin Dayhoff is a Westminster native who has experience in public service and government.

He has served on a variety of government boards and commissions since 1980.

Mayor Dayhoff has been an elected official since 1999 as a Westminster Common Council member, and has been the mayor since 2001.

He is a retired, self-employed small businessman, and attended Elon and McDaniel colleges.

He is also an artist, specializing in drawing, writing and mixed media collage.

From 1974 to 1999, he founded and owned a landscape design-build contracting company, where he raised nursery stock on a small farm and performed horticultural and property maintenance consulting.

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Wednesday, April 06, 2005

20050330 A Tribute to Richard N. 'Dick' Gehr

A Tribute to Richard N. 'Dick' GehrFirefighter, Veteran, Husband, Father and Friend

On March 30, 2005, the greater Westminster community suffered a great loss with the passing of Richard N. "Dick" Gehr.

Dick Gehr was born in Westminster on June 25, 1917, and lived here for 87 years. Uncle Dick was the son of the late Denton and Anna A. Whitmore Gehr. He was the husband of Charlotte L. Marker Gehr, to whom he was married for 25 years and the late Dorothy V. Starner Gehr, who predeceased him in 1977.

Dick Gehr graduated from Westminster High School in 1934 and attended Western Maryland College. He served in the Navy during World War II.

He was retired from the state of Maryland, where he worked as a project engineer. Following his retirement, he worked for Wadel Kitchens and for auctioneers, Russell Kerr and David Redding.

Dick Gehr was an active life member of Westminster Fire Engine and Hose Company No. 1, having served since August 2nd, 1939, and was one of the last members with over 50 years of service. He served as president, secretary and chaplain of the fire department. He later served on the Fire Police Auxiliary.

Dick Gehr was a member of the American Legion Carroll Post No. 31, the MD Retreads and Maryland Gold Wings and was an avid antique collector.

Surviving, in addition to his wife, are son Terrence N. Gehr of Westminster; stepdaughters Tamara Teaff of Lexington, Va. and the Rev. Sue Shorb-Sterling of Lusby; sister-in-law Juanita Senseney of Westminster; grandsons and spouses Anthony and Deborah Gehr of Manassas, Va. and Timothy and Juliana Gehr of Westminster; step-grandchildren Elizabeth and Robert Teaff, Margaret Sterling Brubaker and George and Christopher Sterling; great-grandchildren Kelsey, Dylan Richard, Zachary, Madison and Emily Gehr; nephews and spouses Thomas and Barbara Senseney, Jeffrey and Jill Senseney and Christopher Senseney and Darlene Rae Breining.

Our thoughts and prayers are with his wonderful family as they adjust to life without him. Our community will miss Uncle Dick very much.
This memorial tribute was signed in Westminster City Hall,
this April first, in the year Two Thousand and Five.

Westminster Mayor Kevin E. Dayhoff