Cephas elected Hurlock town council president
HURLOCK — Long-time resident Charles Cephas was elected president of the Hurlock town council at its regular meeting on Monday, Nov. 14.
“It’s an honor to serve,” Cephas said. “I’m thankful for all the citizens who came out tonight ... we have a wonderful community.”
About 40 residents, including several members of Cephas’ family, attended the 6 p.m. meeting at the town office on 311 Charles St.
“This (presidential) election has brought out the worst in this nation,” Cephas said. “But always give a person a chance. If you never give me a chance, you don’t know what I can do,” he concluded as the audience applauded.
As council president, Cephas will conduct meetings in the event of Mayor Joyce Spratt’s absence.
In other business, the council told Cederick Turner of the Downtown Committee that a work session would be set up early in 2017 to discuss the committee’s request for funding and status as a “quasi”-partnering with the town in a way similar to the fire company relationship.
Turner expressed concern that additional information the mayor and council members needed was not requested prior to the meeting. When he offered the paperwork to the council, it was declined.
Cephas said, “We have a fiduciary duty” to carefully consider the request for $6,000. “Instead of hashing out everything right here, we can come to common ground at a work session,” he told Turner. “You need to revise your budget.”
District 1 council member Jerry Rhue said the council needed to oversee the Downtown Committee’s use of town funding. “If we give you money, and I have no say,” he said, “I can tell you just straight out, you ain’t gettin’ no money.”
The day after the meeting, Turner, who was born and raised in Hurlock, said he was “a little disappointed” that the council didn’t approve the funding request. “But overall, I think it went well,” Turner said.
“It’ll work out,” Turner said. “It will just take more time and more planning.” The Downtown Committee’s purpose is “to work together with the town to promote a safe and healthy environment and bring in new businesses,” he said.
District 2 council member Bonnie Franz reminded the audience of a clothes and coats drive at the Hurlock Train Station on Gay Street from 9 a.m to 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 19.
Colorful flyers about the annual Christmas Parade were set out for meeting attendees. The annual Christmas Parade will be held at night for the first time in its 20some year history — at 7 p.m. Dec. 10, with a rain date of Dec. 11. Parade grand marshals will be Del. Johnny Mautz, R-37B-Talbot, and lifelong resident Luther Fletcher.
Town Manager John Avery expects a couple of thousand people to attend the parade which will travel down Main Street beginning at Jackson Street. Between 80 to 100 entries will be featured.
The day will begin with a craft show at the American Legion on Legion Drive from noon to 5 p.m. The Legion and Town’s festival of trees and wreaths will begin at noon and end with an auction at 3 p.m. Prizes will be awarded for best decorated trees and wreaths.
The vintage train cars across from the American Legion will host activities for children, including the movie “Polar Express,” from 4 to 6 p.m. At the same time free carriage rides will be available at the train station. More information is available at 410-943-4181.
The town council encouraged town residents to participate in its Christmas Lighting Contest. Prizes will be awarded at the town meeting on Monday, Jan. 9.
Avery reported the day after the meeting that the re-paving of town roads is going well. He expects the paving of Oak Street, Poplar Street, Wright’s Avenue and Dogwood Drive to be finished by Thanksgiving. Paving on Gay Street will be held off, he said, so that it can be done “at one time instead of piecemeal.”
Rev. Charles Cephas, wearing his iconic three-piece suit, and his wife Doretha, are surrounded by their family as they celebrate his election as president of the Hurlock town council on Monday, Nov. 14.