Fran­chot tours Canal Mu­seum, down­town Ches. City

Cecil Whig - - FRONT PAGE - By CH­ERYL MATTIX

cmat­tix@ce­cil­whig.com

— County and town of­fi­cials rolled out the wel­come mat for Mary­land Comp­trol­ler Peter Fran­chot on Fri­day dur­ing a tour of the C & D Canal Mu­seum, the canal’s traf­fic con­trol cen­ter and sev­eral busi­nesses in town.

Af­ter a decade as state comp­trol­ler, Fran­chot has trans­formed him­self from a lib­eral Demo­crat to an in­de­pen­dent-think­ing Demo­crat, who has been a fis­cal con­ser­va­tive voice on the three-mem­ber Board of

CH­E­SA­PEAKE CITY

Pub­lic Works, of­ten sid­ing with Repub­li­can Gov. Larry Ho­gan.

“I get along great with Ho­gan,” Fran­chot said. “He’s a breath of fresh air. He’s been reign­ing in spend­ing and state debt, as well as im­prov­ing the state’s cus­tomer ser­vice. It’s re­ally a plea­sure to work with him. We don’t al­ways agree, but he’s ob­jec­tive and open­minded and he lis­tens.”

Fran­chot served for 20 years as a state del­e­gate from Mont­gomery County prior to be­ing elected comp­trol­ler, of­ten sup­port­ing ed­u­ca­tion and en­vi­ron­men- tal causes. Since be­com­ing comp­trol­ler in 2006, he has taken his job of tax col­lec­tor se­ri­ously, of­ten go­ing af­ter tax cheats like those who avoid cig­a­rette and al­co­hol taxes owed to the state.

He’s also adopted his own ver­sion of the “wooden nickel” that former Comp­trol­ler Louis Gold­stein used to give to those he met.

“I had this medal made,” Fran­chot said, hold­ing up a round medal en­graved with Mary­land State Comp­trol­ler and ap­pro­pri­ate in­signia.“I

like to give this to peo­ple as a way of thank­ing them for do­ing a good job.”

On Fri­day, Fran­chot gave one of those medals to Joe Pin­tal, chief en­gi­neer for the U.S. Army Corps of En­gi­neers.

Fran­chot stopped for a visit at the Canal Mu­seum be­fore head­ing into down­town.

Tracey Samp­son, a mem­ber of the Ch­e­sa­peake City His­toric Com­mis­sion, led the tour of down­town, which in­cluded stops at the Ship Watch Inn bed and break­fast, Old Gray Mare Gift Shoppe, Chick’s bou­tique, Inn at the Canal bed and break­fast, My Jew- elry Place and Prime 225 restau­rant.

Though this was Fran­chot’s first visit to Ch­e­sa­peake City, he has vis­ited Ce­cil County many times; most re­cently this spring.

While strolling along Bo­hemia Av­enue, Fran­chot and the group ran into Ce­cil County Tourism Co­or­di­na­tor Sandy Turner, who was in town dis­tribut­ing tourism brochures.

“I re­ally like the feel of this town,” Fran­chot said. “It’s re­ally nice.”

County Coun­cil Vice Pres­i­dent Alan McCarthy, County Coun­cilmem­bers-elect Jackie Gre­gory and Bob Mef­fley, Reg­is­ter of the Wills Mike Daw­son, Lyn Nickle, Ch­e­sa­peake City Mayor Dean Geraci­mos and Ch­e­sa­peake City Coun­cil­man Harry Samp­son joined Fran­chot on the tour.

CE­CIL WHIG PHOTO BY JANE BELLMYER

Protestors op­posed to the chicken farm on Eng­land Creamery Road in Zion ral­lied along the road near the farm Satur­day morn­ing.

CE­CIL WHIG PHOTO BY CH­ERYL MATTIX

Mary­land Comp­trol­ler Peter Fran­chot is sur­rounded by shop own­ers and of­fi­cials Fri­day as he toured down­town Ch­e­sa­peake City.

CE­CIL WHIG PHOTO BY CH­ERYL MATTIX

State Comp­trol­ler Peter Fran­chot learns how the U.S. Army Corps of En­gi­neers con­trols ma­rine traf­fic in the C & D Canal.

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