Coun­cil se­lects Bowls­bey as new pres­i­dent

Cecil Whig - - FRONT PAGE - By CH­ERYL MATTIX

ELKTON

cmat­tix@ce­cil­whig.com

— While the Ce­cil County Coun­cil met for the first time Tues­day morn­ing with its newly elected mem­bers Jackie Gre­gory and Bob Mef­fley, it will be led by its more tenured mem­bers for at least the next two years.

Coun­cil­woman Joyce Bowls­bey was unan­i­mously ap­proved by her peers to be­come pres­i­dent of the coun­cil, tak­ing over the po­si­tion left by Robert Hodge, who chose to not seek re-elec­tion in the lat­est elec­tion. Bowls­bey has served on the coun­cil since 2013, when she was ap­pointed by then-County Ex­ec­u­tive Tari Moore to fill Moore’s va­cated seat fol­low­ing the change to char­ter gov­ern­ment. She was later elected to a four-year coun­cil term in 2014.

Mean­while, Dan Sch­neck­en­burger, who was also elected to the coun­cil in 2014, was ap­proved as vice pres­i­dent of the body, but not with­out some in­ter­est­ing dis­cus­sion.

The vice pres­i­dency drew nom­i­na­tions of Sch­neck­en­burger and also Mef­fley from the coun­cil mem­bers. Gre­gory nom­i­nated Mef­fley for the post while Ge­orge Patchell, who was also elected in 2014, nom­i­nated Sch­neck­en­burger.

All five coun­cil mem­bers are Repub­li­cans. Bowls­bey ended the dis­cus­sion with a se­cret pa­per bal­lot vote, declar­ing Sch­neck­en­burger the vic­tor.

Af­ter de­ter­min­ing its lead­ers, the coun­cil also re­viewed the agenda for Tues­day night’s leg­isla­tive meet­ing, which in­cluded in­tro­duc­tion of a bill to trans­fer $600,000 in bond ex­pen­di­ture author­ity from the fis­cal year 2018 Cap­i­tal Projects Fund to the fis­cal year 2017 to kick­start elec­tronic per­mit­ting for con­struc­tion projects.

The county de­part­ments of plan­ning and zon­ing, pub­lic works and per­mits and in­spec­tions all use the soft­ware, which is now about 10 years old, and must be up­graded to al­low in­ter­net ac­cess to process all, or part, of the per­mit­ting trans­ac­tions.

Newly in­stalled County Ex­ec­u­tive Alan McCarthy has made stream­lin­ing of per­mit­ting and the re­duc­tion of “red tape” for busi­nesses a high pri­or­ity in his ad­min­is­tra­tion.

County Fi­nance Direc­tor Win­ston Robin­son, who is tem­po­rar­ily in charge of the depart­ment of in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy un­til a new direc­tor is hired, said Tues­day morn­ing that he wants the coun­cil to ex­pe­dite ap­proval of this re­quest to en­able up­grades to start as soon as pos­si­ble.

The IT depart­ment has been re­port­ing to Robin­son since Au­gust.

If coun­cil ex­pe­dites the re­quest, it could be ap­proved Jan. 3.

CE­CIL WHIG PHOTO BY CH­ERYL MATTIX

County Coun­cil mem­bers Jackie Gre­gory, Dan Sch­neck­en­burger, Joyce Bowls­bey, Bob Mef­fley and Ge­orge Patchell pick the coun­cil’s of­fi­cers Tues­day morn­ing.

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