March 21, 2018
Politics & Opinion
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The Character Of The County Is In The Character Of Its People

Councilman Michael Peroutka
Councilman Michael Peroutka's picture
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August 9, 2017

One of the subtle enjoyments of a county councilman is knowing and working with many citizens of good will and commitment to the community. And while there are a few admirable elected and appointed officials, there are even more dedicated and good-hearted members of our community who give selflessly of their time, talent and treasure to community projects and programs simply because they find fulfillment in being servants to others and being stewards of what our founding fathers called the “blessings of liberty.”

I have been privileged to listen to and learn from many of these community leaders and activists and have developed a deep regard for their service and a hope that others will follow their example. So, if you wish to become more knowledgeable and more involved, I urge you to get acquainted with some of these servant leaders. One way you might do so is by attending one of the many functions sponsored by the Greater Severna Park and Arnold Chamber of Commerce.

Under the direction of CEO Linda Zahn, the chamber regularly brings together experts, elected officials and business leaders for relaxed networking and productive socializing. At these chamber events, I have met fascinating and industrious entrepreneurs like Betty Winkelmeyer Wells, whose family history is intertwined with the growth and development of Anne Arundel County. It's through the chamber that I know John Barranco, whose family funeral business is a pillar of stability for our area and has served countless families, including my own, during critical life events.

Active chamber members like Brian Riddle, Diane Brewer, Megan Orzechowski, Nancy Greer, Diane Neighoff and Liz Callahan are further examples of the generosity and community spirit evident in the persons and the personality of our county.

In addition to the contribution of these business leaders, I have been impressed and educated by many community activists who devote significant personal time to protecting and maintaining the quality of life for their neighbors and neighborhoods. Examples of these unsung neighborhood heroes include Pat Lynch, Elizabeth Rosborg, Beau Breeden and Maureen Carr-York who are all stalwarts and tireless advocates for the residents of the Broadneck peninsula, Arnold, Severna Park and Millersville. Along with Growth Action Network leader Ann Fligsten, these individuals and the many neighborhood interests they represent are a wealth of knowledge and a helpful perspective for a councilman who desires an accurate and current assessment of community sentiments and concerns.

During my term, I have also benefited from the wise counsel of men like John Norville, Steve Poland, Tim Connelly, Steve Dulin, Tom Scott, Dick Ladd, Paul Spadaro, Ben Roberts, Bill Mitchell and other constituents who have shared their expertise and rolled up their sleeves for the common good.

One man I have particularly grown to admire serves as chair of the legislative committee of the Greater Severna Park Council. I would characterize Art Timmons as the quintessential gentleman. A thoughtful, diligent and thoroughly polite person, Art possesses prolific analytic alacrity. And when he communicates an opinion and the reasoning that led him to embrace it, the effect is impressive.

I fully realize that by naming some, I am overlooking others, so I ask forgiveness and mercy. I have been, and continue to be, blessed by my associations with these and many countless contacts with constituents and county employees who are diligent and serious about being good neighbors.

Finally, I am most grateful to Phil Reeder, our legislative aid for District 5. Every day, Phil works competently and quietly to bring solutions to constituent needs. Phil’s enthusiasm and work ethic have earned him the respect and gratitude of those he serves. If you need our help or information, you can call us at 410-222-2415.

The character of Anne Arundel County attracts many who desire to join us here in the “land of pleasant living.” I am convinced that this is a reflection of the character of our people.

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