Who Will Replace E. J. Pipkin?

CENTREVILLE, MD – Maryland Senator E. J. Pipkin (R-36) has resigned to enjoy graduate school and no state income tax at Southern Methodist University.  The feeding frenzy to replace the center / right Republican has begun with thirteen men and one woman applying for his seat:

Steven J. Arentz    Queen Anne’s County
R. Scott Bramble    Cecil County
Frank W. Frohn    Queen Anne’s County
John L. Graham    Queen Anne’s County
Stephen S. Hershey, Jr.    Queen Anne’s County
Andrew Langer    Queen Anne’s County
Timothy McCluskey    Queen Anne’s County
Audrey E. Scott    Queen Anne’s County
Michael D. Smigiel, Sr.    Cecil County
Richard A. Sossi    Queen Anne’s County
Robert A. Thornton, Jr.    Caroline County
John L. Walter    Queen Anne’s County
John J. Walton, Jr.    Caroline County
Eric S. Wargotz    Queen Anne’s County

Two incumbent delegates (Smigiel and Hershey) and one former delegate (Sossi) have thrown their names in the pot along with former MDGOP chairwoman Audrey Scott and the Eastern Shore version of Harold Stassen – Dr. Eric Wargotz.  Probably the most interesting name on the list is Andrew Langer.

Langer is a strong, libertarian leaning, conservative.  Langer is principled but not an ideologue.  This would allow the 36th district to have a strong conservative senator who could also get thing done. (While I agree with much of his analysis, Monoblogue’s Michael Swartz characterizes Langer as a “bomb thrower”.  I have to respectfully disagree.)

While Scott was an excellent party chairman, another moderate senator is NOT what Maryland (or the MDGOP) needs.

What about Smigiel and Hershey?  Maryland is one of the few states where delegates serve the same term lengths as senators.  Why give up seniority in the House?

The coming weeks will be interesting.  Each county central committee (Caroline, Cecil, Kent, and Queen Anne’s) gets one vote.  However, most of the district’s population is in Queen Anne’s.  Given the breadth of candidates, Pipkin’s successor should come from QAC.  The question is who.

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Maryland’s Eastern Shore Continues to Suffer High Unemployment

WASHINGTON – Maryland’s Eastern Shore continues to suffer from high unemployment rates with three (3) counties having an unemployment rate of over 10% for the month of February (the last available month).

To see a table of the unemployment rates for each county, GO HERE.

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Cecil County Commissioners – February 21, 2012

ELKTON, MD – The Cecil County Board of County Commissioners meets this evening at 7:00 PM in the County Administration Building.  Today’s agenda is:



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Teacher Pension Shift Could Impact Eastern Shore Counties

SALISBURY, MD – Maryland governor Martin O’Malley’s plan to shift 50% of the cost of teacher pensions to the counties could have a sizable impact on the budgets of Eastern Shore counties.  Among those that could be hit the hardest are Cecil, Kent, Queen Anne’s, Talbot, and Worcester counties.

The Daily Times’ Brian Shane reports that Worcester County could be saddled with a $1 million addition to its FY 2013 budget and no help from the state to offset the costs.  While Wicomico’s burden would actually be larger, a state “disparity grant” would drop the actual FY 2013 to less than $800,000.  Somerset, Dorchester, and Caroline counties also qualify for “disparity grants”.

Because the final determination of the pension shift bill may not be known until April, it is unknown whether county governments are taking this into account when preparing their budgets for next year.  Proposed budgets are typically submitted to county councils or commissioners during the month of April.

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NJ Doctor to be Extradited to Maryland

ELKTON, MD – Dr. Steven Brigham, who is charged with five counts of first-degree murder and other charges has waived his right to an extradition hearing.  Brigham was arrested on December 28th.

An investigation into Brigham began in in August, 2010 after a botched abortion in Elkton.  Investigators searched the clinic and found 35 fetuses in a freezer.  In addition to Brigham, Nicola Riley, a clinic employee, is also charged with one count of first-degree murder.

Maryland law provides for a murder charge if an individual intends to cause the death of a viable fetus.  “Viable” is defined as a reasonable likelihood of a fetus’ sustained survival outside the womb.


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Cecil County Commissioners Meeting Agenda – January 3, 2012

Audio will be posted after the meeting.  (mp3)


Pledge of Allegiance


December 20, 2011 Commissioner Meeting Minutes



Commissioner Comments

Board of Health, Stephanie Garrity , Health Officer 


Text Amendment Clinics; Add Section 161, Revise Article , Part I, Section 12-Add definition of Clinic; Revise Article XIV – Add parking regulations for clinics, Eric Sennstrom, Director of Planning and Zoning

Document: Text Amendment Section 161 Clinics

Text Amendment to Code of Cecil County; Add Chapter A282 Transfer of Development Rights, Eric Sennstrom,Director of Planning and Zoning

Document: Text Amendment Chapter A282 TDR

Text Amendment to Code of Cecil County; Add Chapter A282 Transfer of Development Rights, Eric Sennstrom,Director of Planning and Zoning

Document: Text Amendment Chapter A282 TDR



Resolution; Preservation of the Agricultural Lands of Jacob and Virginia Carson, Eric Sennstrom, Director of Planning and Zoning

Resolution; Plan for Public Safety Employees, Craig Whiteford, Budget Manager

Deed between Herschell B. Claggett, Sr., and the Board of Cecil County Commissioners  for the acceptance of road widening dedication of Glebe Road, 57.41 feet, Corrin Farm Subdivision of Herschell B. Clagett, Sr.


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Maryland Receives Federal Crop Disaster Designation for 15 Counties

ANNAPOLIS, MD – Governor Martin O’Malley received approval from U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Thomas J. Vilsack for Maryland’s request for a disaster designation for widespread crop losses due to extreme weather conditions this year, which included excessive heat, drought, and damage resulting from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee.

“Because farmers throughout most of Maryland experienced significant crop losses, we requested a disaster designation and thank Secretary Vilsack for granting it,” said Governor O’Malley.  “It is our hope that the designation will provide relief to the farmers who need it and help them prepare for the next growing season.”

“From April through October, Maryland farmers experienced widespread crop losses due to a variety of extreme weather conditions ranging from excessive heat, drought and flooding,” said Buddy Hance, secretary of the Maryland Department of Agriculture.  “Farmers in the disaster designation areas experienced market value losses exceeding 30 percent.”

This designation makes farm operators in the 15 primary counties – Calvert, Caroline, Cecil, Dorchester, Frederick, Howard, Kent, Montgomery, Queen Anne’s, St. Mary’s, Somerset, Talbot, Washington, Wicomico and Worcester – as well as the counties of Allegany, Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Charles, Harford, Prince George’s, and the independent city of Baltimore – eligible to be considered for assistance from the USDA Farm Service Agency, provided eligibility requirements are met.  Farmers must have purchased crop insurance on eligible crops to quality for USDA disaster assistance programs.

This assistance includes USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) emergency loans and the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments (SURE) Program. Farmers in eligible counties have eight months from the date of a Secretarial disaster declaration to apply for emergency loan assistance. FSA will consider each emergency loan application on its own merits, taking into account the extent of production losses, security available, and repayment ability. SURE Program applications for 2011 crop losses will be accepted in 2012, when the 2011 farm revenue data required by statute becomes available.

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Sorry, No News Yet from Cecil County

We’re sorry, but we haven’t posted any news from Cecil County yet.  We’ve got plenty of news from the rest of DelMarVa.  Keep checking back.

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