WCRC meeting – October 2012

Serving as a warmup to the final televised campaign debate between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama, those who attended the October meeting of the Wicomico County Republican Club were treated to spirited debate of our own.

But first we attended to the usual club business by reciting the Lord’s Prayer and Pledge of Allegiance and welcoming those distinguished guests in attendance. I read the minutes compiled by Dave Parker (thanks to him for filling in last month while I was away) and we got our treasurer’s report as well.

Our featured speaker was County Council at-large member Matt Holloway, who mainly focused on the ongoing battle between state and county interests over SB236, the so-called “septic bill.” Matt said that the majority on County Council “views it as a downzoning effort by the state.” It’s a battle we have already fought out locally, so apparently environmentalists have appealed to a higher power to get their way in Wicomico County and other rural areas around the state. “It’s our intention to fight this as much as we can,” said Matt.

As Matt explained it, there would possibly be two tiered zoning maps: one the state suggests and one we come up with locally. He stressed the importance of attending a public meeting to show support for the county’s map, which will almost certainly be the less restrictive of the two. (The county’s map is not finished yet, said Matt in response to an audience question.)

More scary, of course, was the cost of implementing the provisions of PlanMaryland and the Watershed Improvement Plan, a sum Matt pegged at $1.2 billion over a decade. It may as well be $100 billion to a small county like ours, said Matt.

Yet there was hope, as the county is discussing joining a lawsuit by several rural counties against the state. (I’ll discuss this more in a post later this week.)

Matt also briefly went over the county’s charter amendments which will serve as Questions A, B, C, and D on the ballot. Respectively they address the length of time by which a vacancy on Council must be filled (lengthening it to 45 days), reducing the number of voters needed to petition items to referendum, making sure the County Attorney has at least 5 years’ experience, and mandating public budget hearings. I think it took me longer to type that then he spent, since a number of us were already familiar with the Charter Review Committee’s work.

In taking questions, one struck me as prudent because it regarded how much county land could “perc,” or be drainable. It brought up a discussion about how government could really throw a wrench into the works by holding up those permits, with the example given of a piece of property which once had a house (which was demolished via controlled burn) that someone wants to build on but haven’t been able to do so for two years as they await the perc permit.

There was also a question as to how the local delegation voted, and since this will be one bill on the upcoming monoblogue Accountability Project you’ll find that points will go to the five local Republicans (Colburn, Eckardt, Haddaway-Riccio, McDermott, and Otto) as well as Democrat Jim Mathias for properly voting “no,” while Delegates Cane and Conway get diddly-squat for voting in favor of this ill-considered bill.

Dave Parker gave a Central Committee report detailing the good results of a recent appeal for funds, the upcoming Central Committee meeting on November 5, and the fact early voting begins Saturday. He also shared his thoughts on some of the statewide ballot issues, with fellow Central Committee member Blan Harcum pointing out the pro-Question 7 letter penned by former State chairs Michael Steele and Audrey Scott. It was apparent that, unlike the Central Committee, the club was split on the issue.

Joe Holloway piggybacked on Dave’s report by claiming the three key issues the General Assembly will look at next year are restrictions on wells (similar to those for septic systems), an increase in the gas tax, and perhaps the adoption of a mileage tax.

Bonnie Luna brought up an event I haven’t featured quite yet: a townhall meeting with Congressman Andy Harris at 7 p.m. on Monday, October 29th at the Black Diamond Lodge in Fruitland. She noted that there may be a busload of radical green environmentalist wackos (she referred to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, but I’ll embellish with the truth) attending the event as well as Democratic write-in candidate John LaFerla.

She also pleaded with us to do more volunteering as the final push begins: working at headquarters and manning the phones were at the top of her list.

Jackie Wellfonder spoke on behalf of Dan Bongino’s U.S. Senate campaign, talking about the upcoming meet and greet fundraiser at Wicomico County headquarters on Thursday evening and the U.S. Senate debate next Tuesday afternoon at Salisbury University. They are also looking for volunteers to do some canvassing.

Woody Willing gave a Board of Elections report which has led me to do a minor correction on my August post. It was a question of semantics as I pointed out over 900 voters were purged from the rolls; they were actually only shifted from active to inactive status. But I think he (and/or the state board) are confusing my report with other posts I’ve done regarding the statewide efforts of Election Integrity Maryland.

Next up was the first really serious debate we’ve had in many moons. In the September meeting I missed, the subject of media advertising for this election came up and an understanding was reached to allocate a sum of money to be used after exploring several options. Several members believed we should go ahead with this plan, but others held the opinion the money would be better spent in 2014. Those in favor of waiting barely won in a rare split decision.

And the feisty crowd wasn’t finished, as we debated the merits of having a band at our Christmas Party on December 2nd at the Legacy Restaurant. Many cried that spending money on a band and not on advertising seemed foolish, but others contended we would draw more people with the band. Those who wanted the music won another close vote.

After all that discussion, we finally found something worth agreeing on: sometime next week there will be a “2016: Obama’s America” viewing event at our headquarters. The date hasn’t been selected yet.

I gave a review of the two recent festivals, pointing out we possibly reached 10,000 voters and reminded all of them Wicomico County has a strong Republican Party. The Democrats weren’t at both events (just one) and missed an opportunity.

This was our last meeting at the county headquarters, and the next meeting will be the final meeting of 2012. It will be November 26 at the normal venue, the Chamber of Commerce building downtown. I won’t miss trying to balance my notebook on a chair.

Odds and ends number 56

I have a veritable catch-all of little feature items best handled in a paragraph or two, so I’ll get cracking!

First of all is an important update from the state Board of Elections with the ballot language for the seven statewide issues as well as a number of local questions (including four from Wicomico County.)

At first read, it doesn’t appear there’s any effort to deceive people into voting in a counter-intuitive manner (e.g. voting for an issue to repeal a particular law.) It appears that those who want to repeal certain laws would indeed vote against them at the ballot box.

I am a little concerned about the way Question 6 is worded, though. Here’s how the same-sex marriage bill is presented:

Establishes that Maryland’s civil marriage laws allow gay and lesbian couples to obtain a civil marriage license, provided they are not otherwise prohibited from marrying; protects clergy from having to perform any particular marriage ceremony in violation of their religious beliefs; affirms that each religious faith has exclusive control over its own theological doctrine regarding who may marry within that faith; and provides that religious organizations and certain related entities are not required to provide goods, services, or benefits to an individual related to the celebration or promotion of marriage in violation of their religious beliefs.

Of the seven questions the state presents to voters, this is the longest. Actually, if you removed the first clause it’s not a bad law but the part about gay and lesbian couples is a non-starter, which is probably why that language was added – people will say, oh, okay, the churches don’t have to participate. But that’s not the point, and the additional language obfuscates it.

I also wonder why the term “same-sex” wasn’t used. With the possible exception of Question 3, it’s just going to be down-the-line “against” for me. But on a local level, I’m all for two of the proposed changes – not quite sure about the last two questions quite yet.

I’m very disappointed, though, that the term limits proposal for the County Executive did not make it through County Council. Apparently several Republicans don’t have the spine to return the county to a citizen-based power structure, ensuring no individual would run the county for more than eight years. I guess we will have to primary them, won’t we?

Of course, last night the County Council heard testimony about the county’s redistricting plan for a work session today. I happen to think the plan put in place by the Redistricting Committee is quite sound and well thought out because it uses a number of significant natural and man-made boundaries (like U.S. 50) to define districts as well as making change easier in the future.

But scuttlebutt I’m hearing is that a second plan is in the works; one which will be more favorable to certain incumbents on County Council. While it’s true that about 1/4 of the county’s population is displaced by the Redistricting Committee’s plan, the goal is to establish more permanent district boundaries which won’t change as much in future years. One thing I like about the Redistricting Committee’s plan is how it keeps most of the communities together – obviously Salisbury has to be divided into at least two districts based on population and this map puts the heart of the city into either District 1 (the majority-minority district) or District 4. (Since I began work on this post last night, I have learned there is a second plan, drawn up by a county employee. While I haven’t seen it, my impression is that it’s closer to the old map.)

Speaking of elections, this tidbit came to me from Cathy Keim of Election Integrity Maryland. It’s “even better than being a poll watcher” and it goes right to the heart of the problem.

I asked Anthony Gutierrez, our local BOE head, if you have to be registered in the county that you serve as an election judge.  He said no.  As long as you are a Maryland registered voter, you can be an election judge in any county that hires you.  He also stated that Baltimore has a terrible time recruiting enough Republican and non-partisan election judges.  The goal is to have one chief judge from each major party at each polling place.  If they cannot do that, then they try to get a non-partisan judge.  If they can’t do that……then it just has to be two of the same party!  This holds for regular judges also.

Being an election judge is even better than being a poll watcher as you are actually running the election. Please bring this up to the GOP that they need to be filling these positions in Baltimore and PG County and maybe other counties.  I know that this is a regular problem, so the GOP should already be aware of it, but it never hurts to get people working on a solution sooner rather than later.

In Wicomico County we only have about 38 precincts, so presumably they only need 38 election judges from each party.  But if you’re armed with the poll watcher training and are an election judge in a “problem” county it’s indeed possible to give the Democrats fits by insisting the letter of the law be followed.

Apparently they’re not going to follow the letter of the law in Tampa during the Republican convention. If you believe the Accuracy in Media group and writer Tina Trent, agitators funded by radical left-wingers including George Soros are plotting to disrupt the proceedings – of course, they’ll get plenty of press coverage if they succeed. Meanwhile, during the next week there are going to be protests in Charlotte at the Democrats’ shindig (some by unions bitterly disappointed the convention is being held in a right-to-work state) but you won’t hear a peep.

The President’s campaign also has the laughable idea that seeing five years of Mitt Romney’s tax returns are enough. This is part of a missive from Obama For Against America’s Jim Messina:

Friday morning, I sent a letter to Mitt Romney’s campaign manager, asking that Romney release just five years of tax returns. And I made a commitment that, if he does, this campaign would not demand more.

You should add your name. Here’s why:

Right now, our opponent is proposing a $2,000 tax increase on middle-class families with kids in order to pay for tax breaks for millionaires like him.

He’s asking Americans to put him in charge of their taxes, while refusing to come clean about his own.

This isn’t going away because voters deserve better, and everyone but the Romney campaign seems to recognize that.


Romney’s refusal to release his returns is raising more questions than he’s been willing to answer.

According to the one full year of returns he has released, Romney paid 13.9% in taxes on his income. Thursday, he said he went back and looked, and has never paid less than 13% over the last ten years.

Now we’re asking him to put his money where his mouth is.

It is absolutely relevant for us to ask how much a presidential candidate paid in taxes, if he sheltered his money or tried to get out of paying taxes at all, why he started — and continues to own — a corporation offshore in Bermuda, why he keeps his finances offshore in the Cayman Islands, and why he opened a Swiss bank account.


This issue isn’t going away, and for good reason. Tell Romney to follow 30 years of precedent and release his tax returns.

Next thing you know, they’ll be asking for ten years’ worth. Meanwhile, we don’t have any of Obama’s college records, never mind the whole birth certificate thing. Of course, anyone can Photoshop any sort of “fake but accurate” documents they want, but that’s not the point, either.

I truly don’t give a damn whether Mitt Romney has a Swiss bank account or money in the Cayman Islands. It’s his money and he can do as he pleases with it. And paying almost 14% of his taxes on his income? Just ask an average American who scores a big tax refund check, complete with earned income credit, what rate he or she paid and I’ll bet the answer may surprise you. Sorry, Jim Messina, that class warfare card is no good here.

That’s Obama’s America. And to that effect a movie will be shown locally beginning Friday – showtimes are here, and the trailer is below.

I may have to go see this one, and I am not a movie buff.

I’m going to close with a little encouragement from a fellow blogger – Marianne (aka Zilla of the Resistance) has been through a lot with her late stage Lyme Disease. Well, not only has she found improvement with some of her most painful symptoms of late, she’s also received some cheering news from the Mitt Romney camp as he’s making what Marianne terms a “bold stand” against those medical professionals skeptical of some possible treatments for the disease. (Maryland is one area affected more heavily than most.) Perhaps there’s light at the end of the tunnel for her, and it’s not an oncoming train.

The light at the end of this post is also here, but it’s only the next post down. I encourage you to keep reading.

Wicomico County could be going through changes

I mentioned the other day that there were proposed changes in the Wicomico County charter, and now I’ve had an opportunity to digest these a little bit. Many are perfunctory, but there are also some which may be controversial as well.

There are a number of changes being proposed to the charter, but some of the more provocative ones are:

  • Establishing special elections for long-term vacancies within County Council or the County Executive. This was probably a reaction to the untimely death of the late District 4 Council member Bob Caldwell, who died less than a year into his term. An appointee approved by our Central Committee and selected by County Council, John Hall, will serve the last three years.
  • Establishing a two-term limit on the County Executive. Notably, that prohibition would not extend to County Council. From what I’ve been told, this two-term limit on the county’s leader was considered as part of the original Charter change that created the County Executive position a decade ago but the Democratic County Council majority at the time balked at the inclusion of that language. It’s worthy of note that none of those four Democrats chose to run again in 2006, the election where the first County Executive was selected and the Council was stripped of its executive powers over Wicomico County.
  • Changing the number of referendum signatures required from 15% of the total number of registered voters in the county to 15% of county voters who cast ballots in the previous Presidential election. Using the active voters from October, 2008 and local results from that year’s Presidential election as a base it would reduce the number of signatures required from 7,934 to 6,278 – still a significant number. Similarly, a public-inspired change to the Charter goes from needing signatures from 20% of all registered voters (or 10,000, whichever is fewer) to 20% of participating voters, with a maximum requirement of 10,000. The 20% of participating threshold would reduce the number of signatures required to 8,371 based on 2008 numbers.
  • Giving the County Council a say on the removal of the County Attorney via a 2/3 vote (which in Wicomico County would be a 5-2 vote assuming all seven members are present.) This was probably inspired by the controversy in the city of Salisbury over their city attorney.

In discussing this with Marc Kilmer, a member of the committee who gave me the heads-up on the situation, it’s not clear just how these items would be presented should they pass muster with County Council.

But given the fact that state voters will already be facing six (and perhaps seven) ballot issues this fall, the number of local questions should probably be kept to a minimum. If they were to pass the first three issues I spell out and write the questions in such a way that these subjects be put together, with special elections for County positions as one question, term limits on the County Executive – and I would be inclined to suggest the same for County Council – as a second question, and the referendum changes as a third, I think we could call it a day.

Sure, there are other changes which probably should be made but many of them are more technical and there’s no reason we can’t come back in 2014 to make those corrections. There’s no restriction on when items supported by the Charter Review Committee can be placed before voters because, with five affirmative votes, County Council can bring those up at any time. I might even be convinced that putting off the term limits question to 2014, when we can add County Council to the roster of offices under term limits and vote in politicians who would be subject thereto, would be the way to go.

Of course we have no way of knowing what the 2014 ballot will look like at a state referendum level because there are almost always state amendments placed before voters, and if the Democratic majority in Annapolis doesn’t learn the lesson they are hopefully taught this time we may see a half-dozen or more statewide questions once again. But knowing that there are already a number of weighty issues before the voters in Wicomico County, it may be smart to parcel out changes among several election cycles and address the most important ones now. To me, making sure vacancies are filled by the people and easing referendum requirements are top priorities, while term limits can go on the back burner.

But the Charter Review Committee has done its job, and now it’s up to the people to speak. The next chance comes Tuesday evening at the County Council meeting, but there’s also e-mail and voice communications as well. This post is my take on what should be done but I’m sure readers have theirs, too.

Odds and ends number 54

Yes, it’s time to clear out the e-mail box and since “random thoughts on the passing scene” was sort of taken by Thomas Sowell I call this exercise “odds and ends.” Usually I put up anywhere from a sentence to three paragraphs or so for items not long enough to stand a full post but interesting to me nonetheless.

Perhaps I’m reading more into this than I should, but the other day I found out Andy Harris is likely no fan of the FairTax. This is because, as part of an e-mail I received from him on real estate issues he wrote:

I oppose plans that would result in net tax increases by restricting or eliminating the home mortgage deduction.

Now maybe this is only in context with his next statement:

Reduction, modification, or elimination of all or some of the current tax benefits for homeowners will remain a risk as long as the Administration strives to reduce debt by raising tax revenue without getting wasteful and unnecessary spending under control.

This is where Andy was discussing recommendations by Obama’s deficit commission that would eliminate the mortgage interest deduction for certain (presumably wealthy) homeowners or cut these deductions across the board in an effort to raise revenue.

Andy makes the correct point in his note that we need to cut spending, but I’m hoping he’s not shut the door on a consumption-based taxation system.

One thing I can also say about Andy is that he’s not on any vice-presidential radar screen. But I got the results of a survey the other day which surprised me.

The Liberty News Network, which purportedly is representative of the TEA Party given its parent company is Grassfire Nation, conducted an online poll asking who Mitt Romney should select as his running mate. While the piece claims a “majority” of TEA Partiers prefer Marco Rubio, the last time I checked 36.6% wasn’t a “majority.” That, friends, is only a plurality.

Despite that LNN headlining faux pas, Rubio won the poll but I also find it interesting that the “racist” TEA Party’s top three choices were Marco Rubio, Allen West with 23.4 percent, and Condoleeza Rice, who had 18.2 percent. No one else was over 5.2% of the vote. Apparently almost 80 percent of these “racists” are fine with a Latino or black vice-president – I would be more happy with West than Rubio or Rice, though.

Speaking of Latinos, but more generally of the variety of those having dubious legality to be in our country, I was alerted to a Washington Post story that glowingly describes the city of Baltimore’s efforts to repopulate itself via the immigrant population. Shani George, the Post employee who occasionally feeds bloggers items of interest from the paper, wrote in her e-mail:

The welcome mats thrown out by struggling cities and states stand in stark contrast to the reception immigrants have faced in places such as Arizona and Alabama. Most of the immigrant-friendly measures around the country are in their infancy, so it is difficult to assess how effective they are.

Critics say cities that lure immigrants end up with high numbers of undocumented migrants. That also is difficult to measure, particularly now that immigration from Mexico, the largest source of illegal immigration, has dwindled to essentially zero.

And the story, by Carol Morello and Luz Lazo, starts right out with the emotional punch to the gut:

A native of Puebla, Mexico, (Alexandra) Gonzalez feels more at home in Baltimore with every passing year. She attends city-run nutrition and exercise classes in Spanish and takes her two young children to a Spanish-language storytelling hour at her neighborhood library. She plans to earn a GED and become a teacher.

Both of Gonzalez’s young children were born in America, so they are American citizens; meanwhile, the accompanying photo captions to the story say Alexandra and her husband are here sans permission. And it doesn’t sound like they’re looking to assimilate anytime soon, since she’s taking Spanish-language courses and sending her kids to similar classes. William Donald Schaefer is slowly spinning in his grave.

Of course, Pat McDonough weighed in. I did not change the text of this excerpt of his release – indeed, it is all caps:




For the most part Pat is right, but how many people are going to kill the messenger? Dude, lighten up a little, stop being a publicity hog, and fire whoever is writing your stuff in all caps. You just might be the reason no one is challenging these policies.

And it’s a shame because being a bull in a china shop like that, in many instances, drowns out more reasoned arguments like this one from writer Hans Bader about upcoming proposed rule changes in Maryland schools. In many, the inmates would end up running the asylum. (Sorry about the link – Examiner is really overdoing it on intrusive ads.)

Finally, I want to send out a bat-signal to a couple of my loyal readers who have items before the County Council, ones which will certainly be decided during their next meeting. Both the Charter Review Committee and Redistricting Committee have finished their work, and I know the County Council held a work session on both in their last meeting.

If I can get an executive summary of the proposed Charter changes and a copy of the proposed map, I would find it most helpful for analysis of both. The briefing book County Council used in their last meeting is 90 pages long with a lot of extraneous information. Even though I’ve been described as “wordy,” “verbose,” and “wonky,” I like concise information.

The next County Council meeting will be Tuesday, August 7, and it should be the monthly evening meeting. From what I’ve read on the Charter changes, they should be palatable to most but I just want to make sure my interpretation is correct. Meanwhile, I understand the county’s district map had to change quite a bit and I think it would be helpful for my commentary on it to have a copy for sharing!

So there you have it, the odds and ends of life.

WCRC meeting – July 2012

There is rarely a dull moment when Delegate Mike McDermott is around, and tonight’s Wicomico County Republican Club meeting was no different.

Once we got through the Lord’s Prayer, Pledge of Allegiance, my usual reading of the minutes, and the treasurer’s report, we also received a nice note from WCRC scholarship winner Jonathan Hurst that we shared with the membership.

But the folks were there to hear Mike McDermott speak, and that he did. After noting that he wanted to hear our concerns, he made sure to thank those who ran for office – I’m “thankful for the roads you paved,” said Mike. Both Wicomico and Worcester counties have been successful in advancing GOP candidates, with two exceptions: Delegate Norm Conway and Senator Jim Mathias. In 2010, “we had opportunity that was there,” said McDermott. And while we came up a little short, “we have a great foundation,” McDermott said.

Still, Mike contended that we needed to do a little better at “painting the picture,” reminding people that the GOP is “about people being allowed to be all they can be.” On the other hand, Democrats in Annapolis were overly restrictive and created “punitive” policies: case in point, restrictions which added up to $25,000 to the cost of building a home in certain areas of the state. It echoed a theme he brought up at the end of the regular General Assembly session. “Don’t you make a mistake,” said Mike, “that (regulating development) is their goal.”

Michael also spoke briefly on the possible upcoming Special Session for expanding gambling, predicting they’ll be “back up in Annapolis in the next two weeks.” But he did assess that Democrats are “standing in the way of their own voters” with their entrenched positions on many issues. Yet Republicans had “core values (which) need to be untouchable” in order to represent the best interests of their constituents, McDermott concluded.

In the absence of Dave Parker, Ann Suthowski gave an abbreviated Central Committee report. She spoke about our upcoming August meeting and having a presence at the upcoming Wicomico Farm and Home Show.

Shawn Jester also gave a short Lower Shore Young Republican report, saying the group had gone dormant over the last few months but the state YRs had promised them assistance over the next few months to kickstart the group once again.

Bonnie Luna was multitasking this evening, handling reports for the Andy Harris and Mitt Romney campaigns as well as updating us on the new party headquarters, which I’ll get to momentarily. She first thanked the WCRC and the Central Committee for all their support and praised McDermott for his “exciting and encouraging message.”

The 2012 headquarters will be at 800 South Salisbury Boulevard, which is a former Blockbuster video store. It will have a “soft opening” on August 1st, with the grand opening set for Saturday, August 18. Another event likely to be held at headquarters will be a Romney watch party on August 30, once he accepts the GOP nomination.

Jackie Wellfonder chimed in for Dan Bongino’s campaign, saying she has campaign materials but looking for 4×8 sign location.

Woody Willing spoke about getting the 9,000 or so unaffiliated voters to our side, but more formally revealed that election judge training will happen “soon.”

Representing Election Integrity Maryland, Cathy Keim mentioned the total number of registration challenges levied by the group passed the 9,000 mark because voter rolls aren’t being kept up to date. These challenges are only from Baltimore, Montgomery, and Prince George’s counties. She also mentioned that the EIM poll watcher training will soon be available in webinar format on July 31-August 1 and August 14-15. But even after that training, Keim cautioned that poll watchers need authorization from a candidate or Central Committee to operate.

I gave a very quick assessment of the Tawes Crab and Clam Bake (much shorter than this) and pointed out there was a signup sheet for the Farm and Home Show – we will have a presence there.

One other announcement: tickets are also on sale for the club’s Crab Feast.

County Council member Gail Bartkovich then took the floor, updating us on progress from both the county’s Redistricting Committee and Charter Review Committee, both of which are proposing “drastic changes.” One interesting Charter provision is term limits for the County Executive, something which we were told was in the original proposal which created the position a decade ago but excised by the then-Democrat controlled County Council.

The plan is for public hearings to be scheduled, with the final decision made in mid-August. I will have more on the subject as the time draws closer.

WCRC meeting – November 2011

I wasn’t sure what to think about the meeting when I found out who the speaker would be, but Wayne Strausburg turned out to be an interesting guest who had a lot of things to say.

Of course, we attended to our usual opening business, but the bulk of the meeting dealt with the prospective changes to our county Charter from the committee of fifteen interested citizens – three of whom were in the room – headed by Strausburg.

Wayne explained his role as speaker would be to relate the process and entertainment of ideas that the Charter Review Committee (CRC) would review on their way to making recommendations to County Council. As head of the group, Strausburg wanted to have a “consensus” on proposals because “we don’t take changes to the document lightly.”

Continue reading “WCRC meeting – November 2011”

WCRC meeting – August 2011

Last night’s was an interesting and informative Wicomico County Republican Club meeting to be sure, as County Council president Gail Bartkovich filled us in on some of the ins and outs of county government as it stands now.

As always we began with the Lord’s Prayer, Pledge of Allegiance, and my reading of the previous month’s minutes, with a treasurer’s report added for good measure. But Bartkovich began with some good red meat, announcing the elected school board resolution will be discussed once again – she also detailed how she came to be aware of the changes Delegate Conway proposed in a last-second meeting before the hearing. They were also getting input from the local NAACP regarding both the school board issue and redistricting in a future face-to-face meeting.

The key point of Gail’s discussion, though, settled on the creation of a Charter Review Committee. Required by charter on a decennial basis, Bartkovich announced that 25 county residents (some who had served on the previous committee a decade ago) were volunteering their time and talents – of that group, about 15 to 17 would be selected and the County Council would appoint the committee’s chair, with the committee then deciding on a vice-chair. The selection process would occur next month, with the first meeting (open to the public, by the way) to be held sometime in October and most likely at Council chambers. The series of public meeting would lead to recommendations, which would be voted on by County Council. They would vote whether to present the question to the public at the 2014 General Election. Continue reading “WCRC meeting – August 2011”