Sussex County Council Silences Public

GEORGETOWN, DE – Have you EVER been to a City Council, County Council, Planning Commission, (or any other government board or commission) meeting where the public is denied the opportunity to get up and comment?  If you live in Sussex County you now have the opportunity.

The Sussex County Council has decided that there will be public comment … but only AFTER they have held their regular meeting AND their executive session.

Here’s how it works:

  • Council holds public session (public can’t speak).
  • Regular meeting adjourns and council enters executive session (public can’t be in the room).
  • After anywhere from 10 minutes to hours, the public (if anyone has actually stayed around, and of course the cameras are long gone) can come back in and have their say.

This sounds an awful lot like President Obama’s pledge to have the most transparent administration in history.  Democracy in action.  God Bless America!

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Will Wicomico Council Increase Tax Rate By Stealth?

SALISBURY, MD – Check out today’s agenda for the Wicomico County Council.  Scheduled for AFTER LUNCH is this item:  Board of Education, Bennett Middle School Discussion”.  This so called “discussion” could wind up in an increase of 7 cents in the real property rate.  That also translates into a 10% increase in the personal property rate AND in Wicomico County’s inventory tax.  Yet, the council will do this after most people have gone home and long after the PAC-14 cameras have been turned off for the day.  The only difference in this and doing such a thing in closed session is subtlety.

It appears that a majority of the council will agree to support the the building of a new Bennett Middle School.  There are compelling arguments for doing so.  Unfortunately, they are primarily emotional arguments.  Those that “advocate for education”, groups like the Board of Education and their shill, “Parents in Action”, want the school.  In a few months, when it’s time to adopt a new budget, they will be screaming for more funding for the public schools.  Where will that money come from?  $4 – $6 million dollars that could have gone to teach our children will have been lost because it is being used for debt service on a new Bennett Middle School.

Public safety will also be taking a hit, AGAIN, this year.  The sheriff’s office can thank those that want a new school built, regardless of the fiscal irresponsibility.  More disturbing than that is the process by which this is coming about.

LOUISE SMITH FOR COUNTY COUNCIL

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What Does 2012 Hold for the Wicomico County Council?

Last year Wicomico County voters swept six Republicans into the Wicomico County Council.  Each candidate ran as a conservative.  After one year the results of this council have been largely satisfactory, but a bit of a mixed bag.  Here’s what is (or should be) in store for the coming year:

A New Council President

At tomorrow night’s meeting it’s expected that current council VP Joe Holloway (R-5) will be elected council president.  Wicomico conservatives are excited about the prospect of having the most fiscally conservative council member in the center chair  for the next 12 months.  While some members have wavered on a couple of issues, Holloway and at-large member Bob Culver have toed the conservative line on almost every issue (no one can come up with any instance where Holloway has deviated).

Elected Board of Education

Del. Rudy Cane (D-37A) and County Executive Rick Pollitt are doing everything they can to prevent Wicomico voters from having a straight up or down vote on an elected school board.  Cane demanded that the council have more public input.  They did and the response was overwhelmingly in favor of a straight up or down vote.  Regardless, Cane, Pollitt, and the NAACP want to prevent a vote so that a Democrat governor will continue too appoint the school board (and ensure a greater number of African-Americans on the BOE).

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