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Saturday, May 19, 2018

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

Estimated read time: 15 minutes

If I could vote in the Talbot County election, I only have one more seat to decide who, of the nine candidates I didn't endorse, will fill it.

Ok, let's back up.  If you haven't read Talbot County Council 2018 Primary Elections - Four Endorsements, you're coming in on the middle of the story.  There are five seats on the county council.  Four of the incumbents are running to retain their seats.  The above link explains why I endorse those four running for re-election.  More importantly, the above link explains who I am so you can judge how biased or unbiased my opinion is.

Welcome back if you had to depart for a moment to read the above link.  Now let's get down to looking at the other nine candidates vying for a seat on the county council.

Whether you agree with my four endorsements or not, you're still a human resource hiring manager who needs to look at the résumés of at least one (more if you don't agree with my four endorsements) to determine who is most qualified to fill the seat(s) of the Talbot County Council. 

As a reminder, the four incumbents (Chuck Callhan, Corey Pack, Laura Everngam Price, and Jennifer L. Williams) are all Republicans.  There are two more Republicans seeking a seat, so a total of six Republicans are looking to fill the five available seats.  That means there are seven Democrats seeking to fill those same five seats.  It'd be a rainbow world if the thirteen candidates could share all five seats in perfect harmony, but that's not how our system works.  You have to look at all thirteen candidate's résumés and say, "You're hired!" to five of them come the November general election.  

The link above gives you the résumés of the four incumbents in the form of the Comprehensive Plan 2016 as well as an individual, less than fifteen minute YouTube interview of each candidate.   Let's look at the résumé packages of the other nine candidates.  We'll start with the two remaining Republican candidates and finish with the seven Democrat candidates. Other than party grouping, the candidates are listed in no particular order other than what the official candidate list put them in.

Oh, wait a minute.  I reckon I should explain how I judge the candidates as if I were a hiring manager.

I am in the job market right now and have had a rude awakening.  In my day (yeah, I'm kind of Jurassic) I would visit companies I was interested in or companies that had posted specific job openings I was interested in.  I would be handed an application by the Human Resource person, which I would hand back after I filled it out. I would also hand in my résumé and any other supporting documents that pertained to the job I applied for.

Today, job seekers needn't waste their time going to a company in person.  The application and any tests or evaluations are done online.  If anyone at the company wants to talk to you, a company employee (or computer) will call or email you.  Funny thing is you have to fill out an application, but they want your résumé, too.  Redundant, I know, but now the résumé needs to be tailored to each job you apply for with proper keywords and everything so the computer - yes, a computer, not a person - can make a preliminary decision if you're qualified for the job.

For the first time, I sat in front of my computer for almost three hours going through an application process that, two and a half hours in, ended with an online screening interview (what most of us would call a personality test).  Without ever talking to a real person nor a real person ever looking at a thing in my application package, the computer decided I would no longer be considered for the position because I wasn't competitive enough.  I reckon the computer made the decision because I answered superlative questions like "You would do anything to get ahead" with "Somewhat agree."  I couldn't answer "Completely agree" because I wouldn't lie, cheat, or steal to get ahead, meet company goals, earn a promotion...well, you get the idea.  The computer saw my reluctance to lie, cheat, or steal as a disqualifier for employment.  Now I understand why cameras watch my every move in Walmart and I get so much attitude when I deal with customer service.  It all starts with their hiring practices and who they hire.

That said, if you think I'm harsh on my hiring criteria for the candidates below, I'm really a pussycat compared to the technology doing the hiring today.
 

Republican Candidates


  • Frank Divilio
    The candidate listing only has his email contact.  A couple of minutes of Internet sluething uncovered additional links:

    The only link that really talks about his qualifications for a Talbot County Council seat is the Friends for Frank Facebook page.  To summarize: he and his wife were born and raised in Talbot County and are raising their children in the county.  Therefore, they have deep roots and he knows a lot. 

    His "deep roots" and "love of Talbot County" messages get lost when you realize his insurance agency, his family's bread and butter, is located in Queen Anne's County, not Talbot County.  That's business tax money being spent in a neighboring county instead of his home county he claims to love so much.  According to Buzzfile, his agency earns $126,413 per year and employs two people at the Centreville location in Queen Anne's County.  How much business tax money is being spent in Queen Annes County is unknown.  Also unknown is if the two jobs his business created are filled by Talbot County residents.  Perhaps as his campaign progresses, he can address those questions.

    Most concrete goal I could find - "It is my goal to help Talbot County realize its immense potential and be the place my sons choose to raise their families in the years to come."  He does not give any indication how he will help Talbot realize its "immense potential" nor even what that immense potential is.  Adding that he hopes to make Talbot an amenable place for his sons to choose to raise their families is a nice, down home touch to an otherwise empty campaign.

  • Lisa Marie Ghezzi

    The candidate listing only has her email contact.  A couple of minutes of Internet sluething uncovered two POSSIBLE additional links.  I emphasize possible because she has a unique last name and the accounts show Easton, MD, but I cannot verify these accounts are associated with the candidate.   
    As a hiring manager (voter), it's not your job to go looking for the candidate's qualifications and, best I can tell, there are none anyways.  Even if she is qualified to be on the county council, how would we know?  I can't easily find one political stance or vision she has for Talbot.

Democrat Candidates


  • Keasha N. Haythe
    The candidate listing has her email contact and a website that matches the email.   A couple of minutes of Internet sleuthing uncovered a plethora of links by local media outlets as well as her campaign Facebook page.  


    Keasha is a Talbot native and her family goes back at least three generations as she mentioned her grandfather was a waterman.  Her "about me" on her website gives you a good feel for who she is, her strength of character, what she sees as being important, and a short list of what she has done to promote community strength. 
     

    Unfortunately, she is short on specifics. Any résumé should list specific accomplishments.  That tells the hiring manager (you, the voter) what she is capable of and what she can bring to the table to make tomorrow better for Talbot.

    She says she has "...championed education, entrepreneurship and expansion of existing businesses as key economic drivers. Spearheading development of a Regional Technology Park and the mid-shore’s first technology incubator," but does not give specifics.


    Ok, what specifics?   Résumé and hiring experts teach job seekers to use power words with hard facts and figures to show you're someone who accomplishes something.  "Championed education..." states exactly what everyone else can claim.  I mean, who doesn't champion education and all those other things?  How she "championed education..." is a mystery at this point.

  • Naomi Hyman
    The candidate listing has her email contact as well as her Facebook and Twitter accounts.  All of the account suffixes and/or names pair up.  The links mentioned and other links a couple of minutes of Internet sleuthing uncovered:

    Despite the impressive Internet presence she has created for herself, best I can tell is she's lived the last twenty years in Talbot (not born and raised on Delmarva) and her goal is to make sure everyone has a voice, but she doesn't tell us how she intends to give everyone a voice.  I went through every link and failed to find any vision of substance or accomplishments in her career that would translate to a possible benefit for Talbot.  Her overriding theme is her Jewish faith qualifies her for the position.  Just as I run from a Christian who claims his/her faith somehow qualifies him/her for public office, I have to run from a candidate who implies, somehow, her Jewish faith qualifies her for public office.  The Talbot County Council is not a church, synagogue, temple, nor pulpit. 

  • Pete Lesher
    The candidate listing has his email contact and Twitter account.  His Twitter account consists of one tweet on Mar 7th.  He has eight followers and follows seventeen.  In other words, he has a Twitter account that looks like he's forgotten about.  A couple of minutes of Internet sluething uncovered additional links:

    His Facebook page shows 474 friends, but little else, probably due to his privacy settings preventing those who aren't his friends (that's like almost every voter in Talbot) from reading what he shares.  Nothing in his "about" page mentions running for county council nor does his LinkedIn page.  In short, he's a candidate.  The only question remaining is, "Does he know he's a candidate?"


  • Robin K. Page

    The candidate listing only has her email contact.  A couple of minutes of Internet sleuthing turned up absolutely nothing.  Even a Google search "Robin K. Page for Talbot county council" produced zero results other than other sites claiming she is running.

  • Rosalee "Rose" Potter

    The candidate listing only has her email contact.  A couple of minutes of Internet sluething uncovered one additional link:
    A couple of months ago, she had an official website, but it appears the website has been deleted.  Her Facebook page makes no mention of it and a Google search for "Rose Potter for talbot county council" or variations of her name (Rosalee is her first name) produces no results other than her Facebook page.

    I did see one campaign sign for Ms. Potter on the lawn of someone in Easton, but other than the one sign and her Facebook page, there is no indication she is actively pursuing a county council seat.  If she is still an active candidate, one can only guess her sole purpose for running is to tilt the odds in her husband's favor to rid the courtyard grounds of the Talbot Boys monument.  Yes, she is the wife of Richard Potter, the president of the Talbot County NAACP and the leader of the effort to destroy the monument honoring Civil War veterans who fought on the Confederate side. 

  • Maureen Scott-Taylor
    The candidate listing has her email contact as well as her Facebook and Twitter accounts.  All of the account suffixes and/or names pair up.  Unfortunately, Google searches turn nothing up on her candidacy.  Her email contact suggests maureen4talbot.org was her website, which, two months ago when I first started researching this article, was a valid website.  It no longer exists.  It appears she has unofficially withdrawn from the race.


  • Dominic "Mickey" Terrone
    The candidate listing only has his email contact.  A couple of minutes of Internet sluething uncovered one additional link:


    Mr. Terrone is a one issue candidate.  Google "Dominic "Mickey" Terrone" and you'll find pages of stories about his involvement with trying to remove the Talbot Boys monument, a monument honoring veterans who served on the Confederate side of the Civil War.  It is reasonable to assume Mr. Terrone decided to run for the county council in hopes of helping his friend, Richard Potter, revive the issue and have the monument removed, if not melted down and destroyed.

    On his website, he lists himself as an "avid U.S. Civil War Historian."  I reckon the keyword is "avid," which for you and me translates to "obsessive hobbyist", aka a self taught expert.  The fact he listed this hobby is a strong indication of his single-issue candidacy status.


    I wouldn't be so harsh on Mr. Terrone if his website offered more than a laundry list of job titles and colleges he attended.  For example, he says (in third person, no less)
    "Mickey served as Chamber of Commerce Executive in Brooklyn, New York, where he served in the General Manager role to initiate programs to benefit small businesses and revitalize the downtown area of the borough."  What programs did he initiate?  How did his initiatives benefit small businesses?  What measurable revitalization of the downtown area resulted because of his initiatives?  How will he translate those efforts to benefiting Talbot County?  Bottom line: a lot of people show up for work every day, but that doesn't mean they do anything.

    I emailed Mr. Terrone two months ago with specific questions about his candidacy.  As of this publication, he has not responded to my email.  What I'm left with is his well documented  efforts to tear down the Talbot Boys and scant evidence that he has given any thought to making Talbot economically and socially a better place tomorrow other than his opinion to tear down a monument will some how make Talbot a better place.


    Perhaps he'll catch wind of this article and layout, in specifics, his vision for Talbot County.

So who would I endorse?  


Voting is so hard...beer or mixed drink tonight?
My choice comes down to Frank Divilio (R) and Keasha N. Haythe (D).  Ms. Haythe, even though she is scant on measurable specifics, comes across as more goal orientated whereas Mr. Devilio, also scant on measurable specifics, comes across as more self orientated, that is, he's doing it for the prestige and his family.

Now here's where my bias comes in.  Eight years ago, when Ms. Haythe talked about the Regional Technology Park proposed for Dorchester County near the Bucktown Airport, I expressed my concerns that a technology park wouldn't offer meaningful employment to the local watermen and farmers being squeezed out of business by burdensome regulations.  She bent over backwards to try to understand what was happening to our watermen and farmers, pointed me in directions to get answers to some of my ideas, and even offered to come down to the watermen's community to discuss options that may be available to the watermen to make living on the Bay profitable.

Unfortunately, then, like now, I wasn't a community activist and I had a full time job to pay my bills so we never got past the talking phase.  But ten years later, I still haven't forgotten her genuine concern and desire to make a change even if I couldn't hold up my end due to lack of experience and knowledge.

Given what I know at this point, if I could vote for who should fill that fifth seat, I'd have to vote for Keasha N. Haythe.  I just wish she had written a better résumé.  Maybe as her campaign progresses, she'll be more specific with her accomplishments.



TL;DR Folks:
For this article to make sense, you should read Talbot County Council 2018 Primary Elections - Four Endorsements first.  That article explains why I endorse the four incumbents running for Talbot County Council.  This article breaks down the other nine candidates to fill the fifth seat.  My endorsements for the primary in June - Chuck Callhan, Corey Pack, Laura Everngam Price, and Jennifer L. Williams, and Keasha N. Haythe.  Ms. Haythe is the only candidate not currently on the county council.  Primary election is June 26th and you have until 9:00 pm, June 5th to declare or change your party affiliation to be able to vote in the primary election.



Related Links:
Talbot County Council 2018 Primary Elections - Four Endorsements
 
 
 
For your listening pleasure: 


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