SALISBURY, MD – Five years ago Wicomico citizens fought a pitched battle to preserve their property rights. On one side were farmers, large landowners, real estate developers, and a large group of ordinary citizens who actually believed in personal liberty and property rights. On the other side was Wicomico County Executive Rick Pollitt, several members of the Wicomico County Council, the state of Maryland, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, and every enviro-leftist in Wicomico County. Dubbed the “Big Land Grab”, Pollitt and his political allies attempted to strip farmers and large land owners of their right to develop all or part of their property under current law. It was by one vote that the attempt was thwarted.
Move forward to today. What Pollitt and his enviro-left allies couldn’t achieve openly has come to pass under the cloak of inaction. By refusing to adopt a tier map Pollitt and the Wicomico County Council have effectively downzoned all agricultural land in Wicomico.
Didn’t Wicomico voters elect a strong majority of pro-property rights council members in the last election? So they said. The problem is that the de facto Pollitt majority on council seems to believe that by NOT acting, they can provide themselves cover.
The county council could have taken action on their own. They could have adopted a tier map that minimized the damage done to property rights by Pollitt’s pals in Annapolis. Instead, the de facto Pollitt majority (ironically lead by a “Republican” farmer, Matt Holloway) has allowed the County Executive to lead them by the nose. Pollitt wants an invitation-only meeting of “stakeholders” to “discuss” the issue. Pollitt took his own sweet time in scheduling this sit-down and then postponed so it wouldn’t interfere with his recent junket to Asia.
Who are these “stakeholders”? County administrator Wayne Strausburg has been slow in releasing the list as requested by stalwart conservative councilman Joe Holloway. Our understanding is that Pollitt’s enviro-left pals dominate the panel.
In the meantime, Rick Pollitt has achieved by inaction what he couldn’t achieve through legislative action.