Dear Perryman Residents:
It has been my privilege to be your representative in the State Legislature and previously on the Harford County Council. Over the years, we have worked together to protect your drinking water, home values, and quality of life through master planning, capital budget allocations, and legislation.
I appreciate your endorsement of my bid to be your next State Senator. In that endeavor, I reaffirm my commitment to the values we share and pledge to work hard to find solutions to the most recent challenge you are facing.
In this letter, I will address issues you have raised from a State of Maryland perspective. I am the only candidate in this race with the experience, knowledge, and willingness to find creative long and short-term solutions. I have a plan to address the following issues by introducing state legislation, advocating for capital investment, building partnerships, and working with all land owners to find common ground and a mutually suitable outcome.
As your Delegate, I have used my experience as a City Manager and planner to develop a strategy to address these complex problems that have culminated with the proposed freight terminal distribution project. After meeting regularly with many community members and listening to your concerns, I have developed a strategic approach focused on four primary areas within my sphere of influence.
I have also searched through my files from my County Council days to recall our plans to address transportation and safety on the peninsula. I’ve also met with key stakeholders to understand why our programs and capital budget allocations were not implemented.
My plan to address critical areas of concern is as follows:
Road Capacity, Public Safety, and Transportation
After extensive investigation and the help of Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger’s office, I can confirm that the Woodly Road Access to MD Rt 715 is being designed under the direction of the Harford County Department of Public Works. Once the design is completed, it will be sent to the Garrison Commander of APG for approval and permitting. The Garrison Commander estimates that the road will be opened in 18-24 months of design approval. Harford County Government or a contractor will complete construction. I will stay alert to the process and intercede with the State Highway Administration to fast-track any critical reviews and approvals.
In the meantime, if elected to the State Senate, I will introduce emergency enabling legislation to authorize the Harford County Council to grant an immediate residential property tax relief to residents of the Perryman Peninsula. Hazardous road conditions negatively impact residents disproportionately, and I believe a property tax reduction is necessary to incentivize the road network to be dramatically improved promptly. The property tax credit shall remain in effect until the roads are safe for vehicular travel.
Land Preservation and Environmental Protection
The ratio of residents to industrial development needs to be balanced with public investment in open space, passive recreational opportunities, and water access. For 18 years, I was the Executive Director of the Lower Susquehanna Heritage Greenway, a state-certified heritage area and scenic byway. I wrote the regional plans for two National Historic Areas. I will use that experience to engage state agencies, federal partners, and other experts in land preservation and environmental protection to examine our opportunities so that these projects can be included in the State of Maryland’s capital budget.
Understanding and Interpreting· Our History
The historical significance of the Perryman area, like most of Harford County, is under-recognized and needs further exploration. There are compelling stories about pre-colonial inhabitants, settlers, farmers, and families displaced from the areas now known at Aberdeen Proving Ground, including my own. For example, my Great-grandfather, Patrick McDonald, was the Flagman at the Perryman Crossing. On July 6, 1900, he was struck by the evening train and killed as he deflected a carriage of three gentlemen and three ladies who survived the accident. Mr. McDonald lived on Irish Lane, where he left a widow and nine children, one of which was my Grandmother.
My Mother was born in the same house, so Perryman’s history means a lot to me personally, and these stories and many others need to be a part of Perryman’s future.
As your State Senator, I will work with you to gain access to public records so that we can uncover the many stories of people in Perryman to make them available for enhanced community pride, identity, and interpretation.
The right to self-govern is an American tradition, but our State law has created obstacles to prevent communities from incorporating into municipalities in favor of County based governing.
Having served in both municipal and county government before being elected to the General Assembly, I have witnessed first-hand the critical role municipal government plays in the quality of life of our citizens. County Government is important too, but municipal incorporations bring government representation directly to the people. Towns and Cities engage their citizens at a door-to-door level, developing community plans and implementing priorities. This alternative provides equal access to local representation and improved outcomes in communities where citizens feel under-represented.
For the past two years, I have introduced legislation to eliminate obstacles and allow communities to incorporate if they choose to do so. If I am elected to the State Senate, I will re-introduce HB 42 and give the Perryman community an option to determine their governance.
Thank you for your endorsement and partnership. I look forward to earning your vote so we can build a brighter tomorrow together.
Mary Ann Lisanti
State Delegate/ Candidate for State Senate