SALISBURY, MD – Tuesday evening I had the honor of speaking to a meeting of the Wicomico chapter of the Maryland Society of Patriots. The topic was the FY 2013 Wicomico County budget. Almost every seat was taken and attendees included members of the legislature as well as several local elected officials, past and present.
With one screen to go in my presentation, the battery on my laptop died. I promised several folks there that I would post a link to download a copy of Rick Pollitt’s proposed FY 2013 budget for Wicomico County.
The focus of Tuesday’s presentation was twofold: the end of Wicomico County’s revenue cap and the fact that Pollitt’s budget is premised on a fiction. Under current state law Wicomico taxpayers are on the hook for an additional $14.4 million in education spending (above the amount appropriated last year). Pollitt’s budget ignores this fact and instead claims that a bail-out from Annapolis is “in the bag”. While Annapolis may provide some relief from SB 848, it is unlikely that Wicomico County will be held harmless while other counties that failed to meet maintenance of effort (MOE) last year are forced to raise taxes and cut spending in other areas to fund their own schools. Voters should also be careful to look out for any representation by Pollitt that MOE is set at FY 2013 levels when only a temporary reprieve is given.
While the sad duty of being a pessimist fell to me, Del. Mike McDermott provided some hope to the assembled faithful. One attendee asked if going to rallies, like the one planned for Monday in Annapolis, actually had an impact. McDermott responded that we need only look to recent events in Indiana and North Carolina to see that like minded individuals, organized around a core set of values, can have a huge impact.
McDermott is right. His remarks reminded me of an anecdote from Virginia. When former congressman Stan Parris passed away a few years ago a friend sent me his obituary. In the obit it stated that when Stan was sworn-in to the Virginia House of Delegates in January, 1970 he was one of nine (9) Republican delegates. It had only been a few years that Republicans were even allowed to sit on committees in the legislature. Twenty five (25) years later, the GOP controlled the Governor’s mansion and both houses of the General Assembly. Marylanders need to remember; the Once Free State did not become a socialist paradise overnight. We won’t return to being the Free State overnight either.
To see a copy of the PowerPoint used in presentation, click HERE.