Calvert County Administrator Julian Willis and president of Annmarie Sculpture Garden and Arts Center, Stacey Hann-Ruff presented information at Tuesday’s Calvert County Board of County Commissioner’s meeting in efforts of joining with County Government and solidifying a partnership that would enhance the future stability of the tourist attraction.

A discussion took place and a consensus was formed to create a structure in which all three tourist museums would fall under county government; the details of what that will entail will be finalized by the budget meeting in May.

Willis offered to oversee each and the commission agreed to continue to play a vital role in the support of Annmarie Gardens, a site that brought in over 100,000 visitors last year.

Commissioner Earl F. Hance stated, “Well, are we going to cut a cake or have a ribbon cutting or Stacey can have a Grand Re-Opening.”

Hann-Ruff stated that their partnership has spanned two decades now.

“I’m proud of the fact that we have had a cordial relationship,” Hann-Ruff said, “and we’ve accomplished so much. In 2019 funding ended but we’ve gotten more aggressive with grants. We have a really active board. You have been supportive over the years. From about 2002 forward it has been operating from a non-profit organization. Ann’s Circle was formed because we knew we needed Community Input.

“The County, the Community Input and Ann’s Circle have worked together to operated Annmarie Gardens. This has been a vibrant, productive partnership already. Being a part of the county can bring us some internal stability. We’re coming to you looking for a partnership. Our facility is aging and there are some things that we need help with. “

Hann-Ruff continued, “We’re doing our part in serving our community. I think it’s an important, vibrant partnership.”

Commissioner Catherine Grasso (R) stated, “I want to see you all continue to flourish and I don’t want to see too much government input or to see that prevent you from doing what you do.”

Commissioner Mike Hart said he knew earlier on how special the property was.

“The team you have there is so professional,” Hart said, “and even through COVID, it was remarkable how little you needed us. We had a conversation and I walked out of there and thought – what you’ve done there is remarkable. I don’t think we need to tell you how to run it. I think we should partner with you guys and on the short term be a liaison.

I think what Jeff’s done at the Calvert Marine Museum is great. You all are staples [in the community]. It is a family place. It has something from the cradle to the grave. In my opinion, we should be there and from my point of view it is – what can we do to help?”

Hart finished with thanking all of the volunteers who put in countless hours to make AMG a wonderful place.

Hance added, “I see it as tourism. You all are the strongest tourism we have in the county and we don’t want you all worrying about the doors being open.”

Girl Scouts honored

No milk was provided but a troop of Calvert County girls scouts brought plenty of cookies to the meeting. The commissioner’s recognized the week of March 12-18th as Girl Scouts week. This year the 3.2 million active Girl Scouts in the United States celebrate 111 years. Commissioner Grasso honored the troops with the commencement, stating that there are 146 active Girl Scouts in Calvert County.

Sheriff Mike Evans recognized

Calvert County’s 96th sheriff Mike Evans, who served the longest term, a total of five terms was honored with a commencement presented by Ireland. Evans’ wife Susan and son Eric were present in support.  

Evans stated that he wouldn’t have been in service for that long without the support of so many in the county.

“They’re in good hands [with sheriff Cox],” Evans said, “and I’m sure they’ll do good things for Calvert County.”

Hart stated that when he came on board eight years ago it was Evans who showed him just how impactful the sheriff’s office is to the county.

“It’s amazing at just how much is done through that office. I don’t understand how you do it,” Hart stated. The responsibility is enormous. Thank you for everything. It’s nice to say ‘you’re in the safest county in Maryland’.”

Grasso said, “I remember you came to the Republican Women of Calvert and you took charge. I felt so blessed that I was able to come to you with anything. Thank you for your service; thank you very much.”

Ireland encouraged Evans to relax and enjoy himself in retirement.

“I know you went from wide open to ‘stop’, so just enjoy yourself.” Ireland said.

The Employee Recognition Committee honored unsung hero’s Terrence King and Alex Thompson of the Department of Public Safety and Keith Gross and James Joachim of the Department of Public Works with a Team of Excellence award for their response during a Sweetwater Road accident.

King and Thompson acted quickly to assist in rescuing passengers from the vehicles involved on Route 4.

Karen Evans was present at the meeting to publicly thank the men for rescuing her from the car.

A Team of excellence from the Office on Aging was honored as well.

The staff [Map Coordinators] worked with 798 Calvert County seniors with customer service helping during the fall 2022 Part D Open Enrollment Season, helping seniors join, switch, or drop a prescription plan. The team was present 93 percent of possible work hours.  Jenna Cisse, Jessica Long, Kristy Matchett and Tunya Taylor were honored.

The team’s collaborative effort from October through December was impressive in that the team is new to the agency and is firing on all cylinders. Their faithfulness to show up and assist the senior of Calvert County in a time when maneuvering electronics, the one on one care meant a lot to the seniors.

The Commissioners have been busy with attending the Women of the World Awards, attending the Calvert Road Safety Council meetings, and getting to know the new CEO and President of Calvert Health, Jeremy Bradford and his family. 

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