Harford County Council Bans Public From Approaching. Worried About Security.

Rural Harford County, located on the Chesapeake Bay half-way between Baltimore and Newark, Delaware, is so worried about security that the county council is trying to stop the public and media from approaching them.

Harford County council members
Harford County council members (photo courtesy harfordcountymd.gov)

The new council was sworn in December 2nd. They immediately hired a new spokesperson who sent out an email to news media Monday night stating that she will handle all public inquiries from now on.

“After the Council meetings, reporters should not approach Council members directly,” wrote spokesman Sherrie Johnson. “They should speak to me about questions for Council members.”

Reporters and members of the public have been approaching Harford County council members at meetings since it was formed in 1972.

The Baltimore Sun talked to new Council President Richard Slutzky, who attributed the changes to security concerns, “in the past we didn’t have these kinds of international terrorism incidents…these threats of lone terrorists.”

Harford County, population of 244,826, is a mix of rural and suburban residents with lots of parks and no cities. It’s big claim to fame is the childhood home of President Abraham Lincoln’s assassin, John Wilkes Booth.

UPDATE: Harford County Council President Richard Slutsky clarified the policy during Tuesday night’s meeting, saying it applies only during meetings in the council’s chambers.

Click here to read the Baltimore Sun story by Bryna Zumer of the decision and the follow up story.

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