by Lisa Tome
Recruiting and retaining volunteers is not easy - whether it be for official business or fun activities.
Port Deposit Mayor Wayne Tome, Sr. discussed the problems in getting people to help the town conduct its business.
"The boards are the most difficult positions to fill - HAC (Historic Areas Commission) and Planning and Zoning. We try to get input from time to time. It's a big commitment and a lot of work. It can be tedious and frustrating. And we are always trying to find money," said Tome. "A lot of people get fed up and leave. Or things change in their lives and they can't do it anymore. It's a challenge to keep people interested, energized, and focused on a goal."
While the mayor is focused on board positions, Town administrator Vicky Rinkerman and unpaid intern Towson University student Sean Meyering are looking at economic development and ways to bring people to the town.
"We are looking to rebuild our event calendar," said Rinkerman. She said that the Port Deposit Heritage Corporation takes care of the winter months. That group hosts a candlelight tour every other year. At Easter and Halloween, there are local events. Port Deposit also hosted its first ever Movie in the Park this year. That was also anchored by volunteers. There was an egg hunt this year in Marina Park.
In late October, the town, in partnership with volunteers, hosts Trick or Treat with the Town.
Rinkerman said the town has signed on with the county's Volunteer Cecil website as a way to recruit help.
Meyering, during his internship, is working to develop a plan to bring people to Port Deposit's visitors center perhaps with a Map Turtle Festival.
"Sean is having meetings to talk about ideas and ways to utilize the park and draw people here," said Rinkerman. "We need an upsurge in volunteers and to get events going."
Anyone interesting in helping Port Deposit plan events, or who wants to serve on a town board or committee is asked to stop at town hall and leave their name.
"The intent is there. Now we just have to get it all together," added Rinkerman.