Sunday, May 13, 2018

Talbot County Council 2018 Primary Elections - Four Endorsements

Primary elections are coming June 26th.  It's the election that registered voters can decide who they want from their party to run for office in the general election come November 6th.  If you need to register to vote or want to change your party affiliation, you have until June 5th, 9:00 pm to do so.  Those are the two important dates to remember: June 5th to register or change party affiliation and June 26th to vote for whom you want from your party to run in the general election this fall.  You can find the complete election schedule (primary in June and general in November) with the dates, times, and early voting schedule here.
Now that I got the administrative stuff out of the way, let's talk candidates for the Talbot County Council.
You're probably rolling your eyes and wondering why you even vote for the clowns running.  Most couldn't hold down a real job so they figured out how to make a living off the backs of the rest of us who put in an honest day's work.
While that mischaracterization makes me chuckle and I probably could point to a few elected officials it may apply to (starting at the White House and working my way down) in general, there are a lot of good elected officials doing a dang good job and a lot of candidates who show promise at being good statespersons.  The problem is we remember the clowns and most of us are much too busy to really know the other candidates.
You, as a voter, are thrust into the position of a human resource hiring professional.  That, in itself, is a full time job so how can anyone expect you to put your real job aside while you do your homework and decide who is best to fill available positions in your government?  We manage and one of the ways we manage is by reading the opinions of those we trust or who at least sound knowledgeable.  Now it's time for full disclosure from me.
I'm one of those who needs to change party affiliation by June 5th.  With the exception of social issues, I no longer see a difference between Democrats and Republicans.  I leaned Republican because, at one time, they held to the values of fiscal responsibility and less government.  I also support individual rights as described in the Constitution and voted against any law that resembled a move towards a police state or a politician who advocated for police state type solutions - two basic tenets Republicans have distanced themselves from.  I never supported nor voted based on the letter following a candidate's name nor for a law based on the letter following a bill's sponsor's name.  I reckon that makes me an Independent, not a Republican.  I need to change my party affiliation to Independent.
One last disclosure: I live in Dorchester County so I won't be able to vote for the Talbot County Council.  Because of my involvement with the Talbot Boys, I have had plenty of experience in Talbot's politics and am at least knowledgeable of the many players, but I won't be able to cast a vote for any Talbot County Council seat.
Four of the five current council members are up for re-election.  All four - Chuck Callhan, Corey Pack, Laura Everngam Price, and Jennifer L. Williams - earns my support even if I can't vote for them.  Yes, all four are Republicans, but they did something during their tenure that speaks volumes about their statesmanship qualities. 
When the issue of a monument honoring Confederate veterans came up, they didn't take the easy way out of the controversy like their counterparts in Baltimore City and across the country did.  They didn't call in the bulldozers in the middle of the night and quietly remove the monument.  Instead, they held a series of public meetings and listened to all sides of the debate.  When voting came, they held their ground against the demolition fad sweeping the country and voted to keep the monument where it's at.  The monument honors veterans and they felt we honor all veterans regardless of the war.  We do not second guess their motives for fighting based on faddish revisionist history standards and strip them of their honor for their service.
Wherever you stand on the Talbot Boys decision, there's no denying those four council members acted on what they felt was right after hearing all sides of the argument.  They didn't compromise to try to make everyone happy.  They didn't go with the prevailing sentiments sweeping the country to boost their political careers.  And they didn't let the possibility of a political career setback threatening their future ambitions sway their vote.   Based on the facts the two sides of the issue presented, they voted for what they believed was right.  That's what real government leaders do - they listen to all the facts and then make decisions based on the facts they hear.  
They did what they thought was right and moved on to bigger issues facing the county.  They worked diligently on a the Comprehensive Plan 2016, a nine chapter plan that guides public policy for the foreseeable future.  From the plan, itself:
The comprehensive planning process determines community goals, aspirations, development, and preservation. The Comprehensive Plan guides public policy for many complex issues including land use, transportation, extension of utilities and public services, preservation, use, and protection of natural resources, development, tourism, and community design, among many others. The Comprehensive Plan covers the entire County and addresses a broad range of topics and long-term goals. As declared in its Vision Statement, "The primary goal of Talbot County's Comprehensive Plan is to promote a high quality of life, to preserve the rural character of our County and to protect the health, safety and well-being of its citizens, in a resilient community."
Undoubtedly, there are a couple of candidates who will probably make the Talbot Boys a campaign issue.  Don't let their rhetoric sway you.  Instead, take a look at the plan, or at least skim it.  You'll see a plan that allows for smart growth while preserving Talbot's rural character.  Developing this comprehensive plan is a much bigger accomplishment with more impact on the citizens of Talbot than a decision on a monument could ever have.  They have given you, the human resource hiring manager, a comprehensive résumé package to help you decide if they are qualified for the job as council member.

In the end you are tasked with deciding who has a better vision for the future of Talbot County...your future.  After you have reviewed the Comprehensive Plan, you, the human resource hiring manager,  should be well equipped to judge the qualifications of the four existing council members up for re-election who helped produce the plan - Chuck Callhan, Corey Pack, Laura Everngam Price, and Jennifer L. Williams.

TL;DR Folks:
When it comes to our civic responsibility to vote, nothing is too long to read.  When you have a free five minutes, please come back and read the full article.

Related Links:
Talbot County Council 2018 Primary Elections - The Other Nine Candidates for County Council

For your listening pleasure: 
All four county council incumbents seeking re-election in a "year in review"
interview in 2015.  You can judge how well they did based on their interview
three years ago (in no particular order other than the one determined by
the YouTube search):

Posted by Five Drunk Rednecks

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