Officials gather in North Beach for opening ceremony
Friday, April 22, 2011
By CAROL HARVAT: Staff writer SoMdNews.com
With rose bushes in bloom out in front of the light yellow building, North Beach's new town hall finally got its day in the sun at the ribbon cutting ceremony on Tuesday afternoon.
"Just look at it," Maryland Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert, Prince George's) said at the ceremony.
After referring to several recent town projects that were awarded state bonds or grants, he said, "You never want to stop helping this town's renaissance." The town had one good mayor after another, he said, calling North Beach a beach town with a hometown atmosphere.
Mayor Mark Frazer thanked Miller for the funding assistance, saying Miller has "an unusual ability of balancing competitive interests."
Frazer requested that everyone "put all emotion and controversy behind and embrace it," referring to the greatly debated size and cost of the building, which split the last administration's town council and citizens. The inside of the town hall has an airy feeling with high ceilings, sand-colored walls with light oak wood trim and offices painted in Earth colors of green and blue.
Frazer commended Scheibel Construction of Huntingtown for its work and dedication to the project.
The town hall embodies the spirit of the town, Frazer said, adding, "This stands for who we are." Frazer acknowledged all of the elected officials, municipal, county and state, who attended the ceremony by calling out each name and asking them to stand.
"This is looking as a who's who of Calvert County," he commented after about two dozen names were called. He then recognized the town staff and said the government works so well because of them.
Frazer called Betty Freesland, who served as the town clerk for 37 years, a "very special guest," and said that the room on the left of the entrance of the town hall will be dedicated to her. Her mother, Thelma Robinson, was town treasurer for 49 years, he added.
Maryland Del. Mark Fisher (R-Calvert) said the building represents past and present public servants and presented Frazer with a Maryland flag.
Calvert County Board of County Commissioners' President Susan Shaw (R), who said she was speaking on behalf of all of the commissioners, said that it's about time the town has a town hall that will be a center for its community.
"The town hall is going to represent all the beauty that's in this town," she said.
Past Mayor Michael Bojokles, who spearheaded the new town hall's construction, asked architect Dave Clements and Scheibel Construction Superintendent Chris Ball to come to the podium. He said the building looks so beautiful because of their talents and efforts.
"It looks exactly like what they drew," he said.
This is going to be here for generations to come, so let's enjoy it, Bojokles said.
After the ribbon was cut, those in attendance browsed through the town hall and were offered refreshments, including a cake with a picture of the town hall on it.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house celebrated the opening of the new North Beach Town Hall on Tuesday. (Staff photo by DARWIN WEIGEL)
The new North Beach Town Hall officially opened for business Tuesday following a ribbon cutting ceremony. From left in front are Council Member Ken Wilcox, former Mayor Mike Bojokles, Mayor Mark Frazer, Maryland Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert, Prince George's) and Register of Wills Margaret Phipps (D). (Staff photo by DARWIN WEIGEL)