Kent County News - - OPINION -

Us and Them

To the edi­tor: A long time ago in the 1960s I wrote a let­ter pub­lished in Time Magazine ti­tled “This Us and Them.” Here I am, 50-plus years later writ­ing the same let­ter.

Then it had to do with civil rights; to­day it is all about party and pol­i­tics but the mes­sage is the same. This “Us and Them” has got to stop. You and I are “We” — hu­man be­ings and Amer­i­cans, neigh­bors and some­time friends.

How have we come to a mo­ment in our coun­try’s shared his­tory when sim­ply to pun­ish peo­ple of a dif­fer­ent skin color and dam­age the lives of mem­bers of a party we’ve been ex­horted to de­spise, we are will­ing to el­e­vate to power men and women who will vote to cut holes in all our safety nets — in­clud­ing So­cial Se­cu­rity, Medi­care, Med­i­caid and SNAP — to pay for tax cuts that af­fect only cor­po­ra­tions and ex­tremely wealthy in­di­vid­u­als, and are bal­loon­ing the deficit at a rate that will take years for our chil­dren and grand­chil­dren to pay down?

How have we come to ap­plaud judg­ing and con­demn­ing peo­ple to lives of pain or hunger, poverty or ter­ror, sim­ply be­cause they are not like us? To ap­prove sen­tenc­ing our am­bi­tious young peo­ple to crush­ing stu­dent debt; to agree to leav­ing our chil­dren and grand­chil­dren to do bat­tle with the dev­as­tat­ing ef­fects of a chang­ing cli­mate that we could be bat­tling our­selves right now?

Why have we let our­selves be bul­lied into be­liev­ing that party is the only al­le­giance that mat­ters? When we vote the party line to pun­ish our “en­e­mies,” the irony is that we pun­ish our­selves as well.

There is no So­cial Se­cu­rity, Medi­care or Med­i­caid for Repub­li­cans that will sur­vive the vote to cut ev­ery­one’s ben­e­fits and no af­ford­able health in­sur­ance avail­able only to Repub­li­cans that will leave the “Oth­ers” to suf­fer and die; no wars that will maim and kill only lib­er­als and pro­gres­sives; no way to sep­a­rate air and wa­ter into clean and dirty and en­sure that Repub­li­cans will get only the clean while ev­ery­one else gets only the dirty. As long as we refuse to take care of each other, we are all go­ing down to­gether.

Is it still too much to ask that we say “enough” to the Us and Them di­vide, and make our choices based on We? Can we fi­nally come to­gether for the good of ev­ery Amer­i­can? Per­haps on Nov. 6 we’ll find out. Frances A. Miller Ch­ester­town

Judge Ka­vanaugh

To the edi­tor: In a few short weeks, Amer­i­cans will go to the polls to elect candidates to fed­eral, state and lo­cal of­fice. Against this back­drop is the much re­ported eval­u­a­tion of Brett Ka­vanaugh to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Judge Ka­vanaugh grad­u­ated from some of the na­tion’s most pres­ti­gious schools, served with dis­tinc­tion in lower courts, was in­vited by the then Har­vard Law School dean Elena Kagan to teach at Har­vard Law, and has earned a rep­u­ta­tion as a man of high in­tegrity. In­stead of us­ing his ed­u­ca­tion and ex­pe­ri­ence to en­rich him­self and cash in as a Wash­ing­ton in­sider or lob­by­ist, he has ded­i­cated his pro­fes­sional ca­reer to the law, earn­ing re­spect from Repub­li­cans and Democrats alike. There are no valid rea­sons he should not have been con­firmed read­ily.

The shame­less be­hav­ior of a ca­bal of Demo­cratic sen­a­tors to be­smirch and per­se­cute Judge Ka­vanaugh and his fam­ily, is de­spi­ca­ble. The tele­vised pro­ceed­ings of a camilla of pro­fes­sional ca­reer politi­cians, many grad­u­at­ing from lower schools of law us­ing ev­ery at­tempt to im­pugn his rep­u­ta­tion and in­tegrity should make ev­ery in­formed Amer­i­can cringe. Even Mary­land’s Ben Cardin lacked the in­tegrity to push back against Diana Fe­in­stein’s dik­tat from her San Fran­sisco palace to use ev­ery tac­tic, eth­i­cal or not, to tear down the rep­u­ta­tion of a stel­lar can­di­date.

The most tragic re­sult of this shabby be­hav­ior, of course, is the like­li­hood that em­i­nently qual­i­fied candidates for pub­lic of­fice will un­der­stand­ably have sec­ond thoughts about step­ping for­ward to ac­cept a po­si­tion know­ing what ac­cu­sa­tions and calumny might en­sue. Con­sider the ex­am­ple of a can­di­date who ac­tu­ally did com­mit a con­firmed in­dis­cre­tion dur­ing his/her an­i­mal house days but who oth­er­wise has led an ex­em­plary life. Imag­ine the par­ti­san den­i­gra­tion and tra­duc­ing that might be vis­ited on such an in­di­vid­ual.

Would you sub­ject your­self to this? I’m not cer­tain I would.

James Clin­ton


Vote Colvin

To the edi­tor: Midterm elec­tions are just days away and we in the 1st Con­gres­sional District have a very im­por­tant choice to make. Our cur­rent con­gres­sional rep­re­sen­ta­tive has been in Congress for four terms; it’s time to ask are we in the 1st District bet­ter off?

Let’s talk about pub­lic ed­u­ca­tion. Andy Har­ris claims he sup­ports ed­u­ca­tion. To put it sim­ply, he does not. What he re­ally sup­ports is money com­ing out of our al­ready stretched ed­u­ca­tion bud­gets to fund more char­ter and pri­vate schools.

We have more chal­lenges in our schools to­day be­cause we have more stu­dents liv­ing in poverty than ever be­fore. If we are go­ing to suc­cess­fully pre­pare our stu­dents for the fu­ture, we need to meet them where they are and ad­dress their needs so they are ready to learn. That in­cludes mak­ing sure ev­ery child has health care, ad­e­quate nutri­tion and men­tal health ser­vices.

Adding char­ter schools in a district, and si­mul­ta­ne­ously re­strict­ing fund­ing, means ex­ist­ing schools get less and less money to ad­dress these needs. Hav­ing an oc­ca­sional photo op at a school by an ab­sen­tee con­gress­man is not what sup­port­ing ed­u­ca­tion should be.

Andy Har­ris is on record op­pos­ing free col­lege ed­u­ca­tion. Free col­lege ed­u­ca­tion would mean a more ed­u­cated pop­u­lace who will ques­tion au­thor­ity and hold politi­cians ac­count­able. Scary? Maybe for him. He votes for tax cuts for the rich and then wants to cut en­ti­tle­ments to re­duce the deficit he helped cre­ate, thereby starv­ing pub­lic sec­tor pro­grams like Medi­care and Med­i­caid. A large amount of Andy Har­ris’s sup­port comes from wealthy in­di­vid­u­als and rich groups from out­side the state of Mary­land who know noth­ing about the needs of the peo­ple in the 1st Con­gres­sional District.

Demo­crat Jesse Colvin un­der­stands the need to sup­port our pub­lic schools and ed­u­cate the whole child. That means do­ing what needs to be done to en­sure the suc­cess of all of our stu­dents. Jesse un­der­stands what that means for the econ­omy and fu­ture of our great state. He is a per­son who gets that prob­lems aren’t fixed with mean­ing­less com­ments and photo ops. Jesse is in­vested in our whole district.

We need to make sure Jesse goes to Congress so all of our voices can be heard! Betty Weller Madhu Sidhu Ch­ester­town

Thank You

To the edi­tor: Thank you to all who stopped by our booth at Fall Fest in Rock Hall on Satur­day to of­fer thanks and sup­port in our ef­forts to keep the Eastern Neck Na­tional Wildlife Refuge vi­able.

We have ac­com­plished our goal of keep­ing the refuge open for the fore­see­able fu­ture. We are wait­ing (pa­tiently?) for a full-time man­ager to be ap­pointed. We are re­ceiv­ing part-time cov­er­age by man­agers from Black­wa­ter Na­tional Wildlife Refuge.

As we have no au­thor­ity in the mat­ter, we can only ob­serve at this point. We ad­vise all who are in­ter­ested to be pa­tient while the mat­ter is re­solved.

Phil Cic­coni Friends of Eastern Neck


St. Paul’s Par­ish

To the edi­tor: St. Paul’s Par­ish, Kent is very thank­ful and ex­tremely grate­ful for the sup­port pro­vided by Kent County com­mis­sion­ers Wil­liam Pick­rum, Ron Fithian Bill and Short, Chesapeake Farms and the Mary­land Depart­ment of Nat­u­ral Re­sources as we and our neigh­bors are deal­ing with se­ri­ous is­sues re­lated to stormwa­ter runoff from Sandy Bot­tom Road and ad­ja­cent fields.

Dur­ing heavy rain pe­ri­ods wa­ter flow in­creases sub­stan­tially. This re­sults in in­creased flow and ero­sion along the Sandy Bot­tom Road drainage ditch and the banks of the stream ad­ja­cent to St. Paul’s Ceme­tery. Ad­di­tion­ally runoff from the fields car­ries mea­sur­able loads of ni­tro­gen and phos­pho­rus. To­gether with the eroded silt these flow down­stream into Lang­ford Creek and ul­ti­mately into the Chesapeake Bay.

Phase 1 of the project, com­pleted in 2017, ad­dressed the most se­vere prob­lem of stream bank ero­sion. Plans for phase 2, a long-term so­lu­tion to wa­ter qual­ity and flow rates into the Chesapeake Bay, are now com­plete.

This so­lu­tion to be com­pleted in 2019-2020 is de­signed to re­duce flood­ing of Sandy Bot­tom Road, pro­vide for a more gen­tle wa­ter flow, re­duce nu­tri­ents go­ing into the Bay and, as an added ben­e­fit, pro­vide for quail and other habi­tats on Chesapeake Farms’ land.

Our hats are off to all for their tremen­dous sup­port, ad­vice and guid­ance. The for­ward think­ing by the county com­mis­sion­ers, Chesapeake Farms and Mary­land Depart­ment of Nat­u­ral Re­sources is re­sult­ing in prob­lems be­ing ad­dressed and solved.

In the long run, the Chesapeake Bay and our en­tire com­mu­nity will ben­e­fit. Chris Maxwell

Chair­man St. Paul’s Kent Church­yard Com­mit­tee

Ques­tion 2

To the edi­tor: I would like to re­mind read­ers of the im­por­tance of vot­ing in the midterm elec­tions on Nov. 6 and to rec­om­mend vot­ing “yes” on Ques­tion 2.

Early vot­ing takes place Oct. 25 to Nov.1, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Those not reg­is­tered may reg­is­ter at the polls on these dates. Elec­tion Day is Tues­day, Nov. 6. Hours are 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mary­land cit­i­zens over 18 can vote. Col­lege stu­dents at­tend­ing col­lege in Mary­land can use their col­lege ad­dresses. For­mer con­victs, even if still on pro­ba­tion, can vote.

Cit­i­zens may vote us­ing an ab­sen­tee bal­lot with­out stat­ing the rea­son. Ab­sen­tee bal­lots can be or­dered in the fol­low ways: on­line with a valid Mary­land driver’s li­cense or MVA-is­sued ID card at elec­tions.mary­ vot­ing/ab­sen­tee.html or go to the Kent County Board of Elec­tions, 135 Dixon Drive, Ch­ester­town, or the Queen Anne’s County Board of Elec­tions, 110 Vincit St., Centreville, Mon­day through Fri­day, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. to com­plete a form. Ab­sen­tee bal­lots must be post­marked on or be­fore elec­tion day, Nov. 6.

A “Yes” to Ques­tion 2 on the bal­lot is a vote in fa­vor of al­low­ing cit­i­zens to reg­is­ter at the polls on Elec­tion Day (in ad­di­tion to the cur­rent law, en­acted in 2013, whereby cit­i­zens can reg­is­ter at the polls dur­ing the early vot­ing pe­riod). Many states now al­low this op­por­tu­nity. Im­ped­i­ments to vot­ing should be re­moved.

Rides to the polls are avail­able through Your Vote, Your Voice! by call­ing 443-4851342.

In the words of Su­san B. An­thony, “Some­one strug­gled for your right to vote. Use it.” Your vote mat­ters. Kitty May­nard


Crit­i­cal Ar­eas

To the edi­tor: A Kent County News re­port on Aug. 23 was head­lined: “County to ease en­force­ment in Crit­i­cal Ar­eas” and re­ported the county com­mis­sion­ers had voted to “or­der the plan­ning of­fice to stop is­su­ing fines for what they see as lesser vi­o­la­tions of state Crit­i­cal Area reg­u­la­tions.”

Com­mis­sioner Ron Fithian ini­ti­ated this ac­tion by triv­i­al­iz­ing fines is­sued for two Crit­i­cal Area vi­o­la­tions, claim­ing, “This is petty stuff,” and adding, “This makes no sense.”

I dis­agree. Pro­tect­ing Chesapeake Bay is not “petty stuff.” As ev­ery landowner in the Crit­i­cal Area knows, their prop­erty is sub­ject to ex­tra reg­u­la­tions that aim to shield the Bay from fur­ther degra­da­tion. If these own­ers flout the law, they’re likely to find them­selves fac­ing a fine, and rightly so.

The com­mis­sion­ers’ vote to weaken Crit­i­cal Area en­force­ment should con­cern ev­ery­one. But, here’s the rest of the story.

To an in­quiry from me, an as­sis­tant at­tor­ney gen­eral at the Depart­ment of Nat­u­ral Re­sources replied: “While Kent County has some dis­cre­tion in en­forc­ing its Crit­i­cal Area pro­gram, any changes to this pro­vi­sion of the County’s Crit­i­cal Area pro­gram must be sub­mit­ted to the Crit­i­cal Area Com­mis­sion for re­view and ap­proval.”

The let­ter fur­ther states: “At this time, how­ever, the County has not sub­mit­ted any text changes to the Crit­i­cal Area Com­mis­sion for re­view or ap­proval. Fur­ther­more, the County has con­tin­ued to ef­fec­tively en­force its Crit­i­cal Area pro­gram by cit­ing vi­o­la­tions when they oc­cur in the Crit­i­cal area and con­tin­u­ing to as­sess fines.”

So, for now, fines re­main in force and Bay pro­tec­tions are in­tact.

Grenville B. Whit­man

Rock Hall

To the edi­tor: Our com­mis­sion­ers cite lack of cap­i­tal when jus­ti­fy­ing their per­sis­tent in­ac­tion on the ma­jor is­sues fac­ing Kent County, in­clud­ing schools, emer­gency ser­vices and trans­porta­tion. They claim con­sis­tent flat rev­enues are not a fault of lead­er­ship but the re­sult of fac­tors be­yond their con­trol.

I per­son­ally have heard them blame ev­ery­one from the state, to our del­e­gates, to the su­per­in­ten­dent, to the Board of Ed­u­ca­tion, to bad par­ent­ing, to Wash­ing­ton Col­lege, to our stu­dents, to our teach­ers, to so­cial me­dia, to taxes, to not enough EMS vol­un­teers and fire­men, to road main­te­nance, to re­tirees, to Sup­port Our Schools, to prop­erty own­ers, to com- put­ers, to books, to baby boomers, to the hospi­tal, to in­sur­ance com­pa­nies, to peo­ple who were anti-Wal­mart, to bus driv­ers, to me per­son­ally, to ex­pen­sive rents, to be­ing next to Queen Anne’s County, to FTS, to the Town of Ch­ester­town, to their salaries, to county work­ers who de­serve a raise but aren’t get­ting one and then, fi­nally, when all else fails, to each other. If you fall into any of those groups, know that your lead­ers blame you for our prob­lems.

True lead­er­ship is own­er­ship — ac­cept­ing re­spon­si­bil­ity for on­go­ing prob­lems that im­pact their con­stituents. I don’t ex­pect my elected lead­ers to al­ways have the an­swers, but I cer­tainly ex­pect them to be open to new ideas and al­ter­nate opin­ions.

From Dixon to KRM to Wash­ing­ton Col­lege, the county’s most sig­nif­i­cant em­ploy­ers have re­peat­edly pointed to im­prov­ing schools as the best hope for turn­ing our stag­nat­ing rev­enues around. In re­sponse, our com­mis­sion­ers have pro­claimed that change is un­nec­es­sary, that they’re do­ing a great job — and then refuse to fully fund our schools.

But change is clearly nec­es­sary.

How many more fam­i­lies need to flee the county for bet­ter jobs and bet­ter-funded schools be­fore our com­mis­sion­ers will choose ac­tion over com­pla­cency? How many more em­ploy­ees will be forced to work in Kent County while liv­ing else­where?

I am among a group of con­cerned par­ents who have in­vested our time and en- ergy into ad­vo­cat­ing for our schools, lob­by­ing our leg­is­la­tors, meeting with our com­mis­sion­ers, scru­ti­niz­ing bud­gets and in­form­ing our fel­low cit­i­zens. Our ideas have been met by our sit­ting com­mis­sion­ers with de­ri­sion, in­sults, con­spir­acy the­o­ries and blame.

Change is be­yond over­due. For­tu­nately, we now have an op­por­tu­nity to de­mand new lead­er­ship. New ideas. A whole new day for our county.

The first step is elect­ing peo­ple who ad­mit there is work to be done. Robbi Behr Ch­ester­town

New Com­mis­sion­ers

To the edi­tor: In­cum­bents have it easy; they have been in the job for years, noth­ing ter­ri­ble has hap­pened and who likes change any­way. Sailing the same course is easy; whether they’ve done a good or bad job. Is that what we want for four more years?

The three cur­rent com­mis­sion­ers, com­bined, have been in of­fice more than 30 years. Are we bet­ter off to­day than we were in 1990? The beauty of our elec­tion sys­tem is that we get to vote for fresh think­ing and new ideas. We the peo­ple de­cide who we want shap­ing our fu­ture.

Take a hard look at the in­cum­bents: their ca­reers, back­ground and ex­pe­ri­ence. Do they guar­an­tee new ap­proaches and fresh think­ing af­fect­ing the next two, five or seven years? I don’t think so. Ex­plain to me how be­ing a teacher at Delaware State Univer­sity (Wil­liam Pick­rum), own­ing a small in­te­rior de­sign store (Wil­liam Short) and be­ing the town man­ager of Rock Hall (Ron Fithian), trans­lates into a broader and bet­ter vi­sion for Kent County.

There must be other back­grounds and skill sets that to­gether would gen­er­ate a more in­clu­sive man­age­ment style for the five in­cor­po­rated towns and their res­i­dents; one aimed at blend­ing dif­fer­ent per­spec­tives into fresh so­lu­tions. All of us want to look for­ward to an im­proved life­style that ben­e­fits all seg­ments of Kent County.

I think it is time for Kent County vot­ers to in­fuse new blood into our Com­mis­sion. In 2018, we have three new, out­stand­ing com­mis­sioner candidates who have di­verse back­grounds and achieve­ments guar­an­tee­ing a col­lec­tive de­ci­sion-mak­ing process lead­ing to pos­i­tive out­comes.

Tom Tim­ber­man is an Army vet­eran, lawyer and de­vel­op­ment ex­pert with 15 years ex­pe­ri­ence in com­bat zones; he has lived in Kent County 22 years. Bob Ja­cob, born and raised in Kent, is a suc­cess­ful en­tre­pre­neur who grew his busi­ness from his garage to one with 25 em­ploy- ees to­day. Tom Ma­son is a widely re­spected agri­cul­tural au­thor­ity who owns and man­ages sev­eral dairy farms; a busi­ness he built him­self.

The in­cum­bents had their shot. It is time to pass the ba­ton to three new Kent County com­mis­sion­ers, who could well bring us to a bet­ter place. Hav­ing worked in non­prof­its for over 30 years, I have wit­nessed how new lead­er­ship can cre­ate ex­cite­ment and engagement. Bob Miller Trea­surer Tom Tim­ber­man for County Com­mis­sioner

1st District

To the edi­tor: In Mary­land’s 1st Con­gres­sional District, this year we have the op­por­tu­nity to elect Jesse Colvin to rep­re­sent us in Wash­ing­ton. I re­cently had the op­por­tu­nity to at­tend Jesse’s town hall meeting in Jar­rettsville and came away im­pressed.

Jesse is new to the po­lit­i­cal arena, but not new to pub­lic ser­vice. The son of a district court judge and a pub­lic de­fender, Jesse set out to join the mil­i­tary in the wake of 9/11. His par­ents con­vinced him to com­plete his ed­u­ca­tion first, so he earned his bach­e­lor’s de­gree from Duke Univer­sity, study­ing his­tory and Ara­bic. Af­ter grad­u­a­tion, he spent time in Syria, where he taught English to Iraqi refugees. That ex­pe­ri­ence led Jesse back to the idea of serv­ing in the mil­i­tary.

His six years in the U.S. Army as an in­tel­li­gence of­fi­cer and mem­ber of the elite Army Rangers in­cluded four com­bat de­ploy­ments to Afghanistan. Re­turn­ing home, he earned a mas­ter’s de­gree from Columbia Univer­sity, fi­nanced through the G.I. Bill, and be­gan a suc­cess­ful ca­reer in busi­ness.

Now Jesse has set his sights on con­tin­u­ing to serve his coun­try as a mem­ber of the U.S. House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives. His pri­or­i­ties are the key is­sues of the day for all Mary­lan­ders — jobs for the fu­ture, af­ford­able health­care, the con­di­tion of the Chesapeake Bay, sup­port for our vet­er­ans, the opi­oid cri­sis, equal pay and mid­dle-class tax re­form. He read­ily ad­mits that he doesn’t have all the an­swers, but is will­ing to take on the chal­lenges with ur­gency.

These are not par­ti­san is­sues and they will not be solved by ex­treme pro­pos­als from one party or the other. Jesse has ex­pe­ri­ence work­ing across the aisle — he is mar­ried to a Repub­li­can and for­mer po­lice of­fi­cer.

Dozens of our vet­er­ans are run­ning for con­gres­sional seats this cy­cle. They, like Jesse, know how to over­come dif­fer­ences and work co­op­er­a­tively to achieve the mis­sion. Many of them have taken on the slo­gan “Coun­try be­fore Party”. To­gether, they can be­come a sorely needed force for change in Wash­ing­ton.

I can’t say that I know this young man well, but the traits that I see in him — in­tel­li­gence, brav­ery, lead­er­ship, and the will­ing­ness to serve — make me will­ing to sup­port him. I will be vot­ing for Jesse Colvin and en­cour­age you to do so as well. Michael Dean

For­est Hill

Our Stu­dents

To the edi­tor: My chil­dren — Martin in sev­enth grade at Kent County Mid­dle School and Marie in third grade at H.H. Gar­net Ele­men­tary School — have been en­rolled in the Kent County Pub­lic Schools since kinder­garten. I couldn’t be hap­pier with their aca­demic ex­pe­ri­ence and per­for­mance so far.

The ed­u­ca­tion re­ceived in our school sys­tem has pre­pared them for the real life. They learn their aca­demic core re­quire­ments but also ex­pe­ri­ence the re­al­ity of the world we live in. They are grow­ing as in­de­pen­dent hu­man be­ings, im­mersed in a di­verse environment, where teach­ers and staff mem­bers truly care.

What I have seen in the class­room, as a Char­ac­ter Counts! coach, a vol­un­teer and as a pro­fes­sor who led an­nual outreach ac­tiv­i­ties for the past seven years is the fol­low­ing: de­voted and pas­sion­ate teach­ers, who de­serve a lot more credit and sup­port; com­mit­ted ad­min­is­tra­tors, who are ex­pected to achieve won­ders with lim­ited re­sources; par­ents, who have a huge amount of pos­i­tive en­ergy to share; and, fi­nally, our stu­dents, our chil­dren, the fu­ture of our county and coun­try, who have the right to dream as big as pos­si­ble.

If you want a chance to dis­cover what our pub­lic schools are about, take the time to in­tro­duce your­self to an ad­min­is­tra­tor, visit our Kent County schools class­rooms, spend time with our out­stand­ing teach­ers and, the best part, in­ter­act with our stu­dents.

You will be truly amazed at how much our Kent County stu­dents can teach you.

Anne Mar­teel-Parrish Pro­fes­sor of Chem­istry

Wash­ing­ton Col­lege

Har­ris Se­cu­rity

To the edi­tor: I will ad­mit that I am a Jesse Colvin sup­porter. That’s why I at­tended the can­di­date fo­rum at the Tal­bot County Free Li­brary on Sun­day, Oct. 21.

I’m also a for­mer U.S. Depart­ment of Jus­tice of­fi­cial re­spon­si­ble for co­or­di­nat­ing train­ing at the Fed­eral Law En­force­ment Of­fi­cers Train­ing Cen­ter and a for­mer law en­force­ment ac­cred­i­ta­tion man­ager with the Kent Coun- ty Sher­iff’s Of­fice.

As I came out of the li­brary af­ter the fo­rum, I no­ticed a white Ford Crown Vic­to­ria (the pro­to­typ­i­cal po­lice car) dou­ble parked out front. It had emer­gency lights mounted in the front wind­shield and the rear win­dow. I thought it was odd that the Eas­ton Po­lice (who had pro­vided se­cu­rity at the event) would send an un­marked car to pick up its of­fi­cers.

As I pulled out of the park­ing lot onto N. West Street to head home, a car with Andy Har­ris as a pas­sen­ger made a left turn from W. Dover Street onto N. West Street, fol­lowed closely by the same white Crown Vic. The white car ex­e­cuted a pro­tec­tive ma­neu­ver — pulling out into the in­ter­sec­tion and stop­ping, as if to block on­com­ing traf­fic — be­fore again pulling close to the Har­ris car’s rear bumper. At the in­ter­sec­tion of N. West and Bay streets, both cars made a left turn, with the white Crown Vic again block­ing the in­ter­sec­tion as if to pro­vide cover. I turned right to head out of Eas­ton.

As I merged onto the Eas­ton Park­way go­ing to­ward U.S. Route 50, I found my­self be- hind the two cars again. The white Crown Vic was close on the Har­ris car’s tail and re­mained there all the way to state Route 213, where I turned to­ward Ch­ester­town.

How ironic that Jesse Colvin has put 30,000 miles on his truck driv­ing around Mary­land’s 1st District while outof-touch Andy Har­ris needs a se­cu­rity de­tail to visit his own con­stituents!

I wonder who’s pay­ing for it? John Vail


Con­gres­sional De­bate

To the edi­tor: It was un­for­tu­nate that ev­ery voter in Mary­land’s 1st Con­gres­sional District did not get to at­tend Sun­day’s de­bate on the MidShore be­tween Rep. Andy Har­ris and for­mer Army Ranger and busi­ness­man Jesse Colvin.

Pa­tient vot­ers be­gan to line up in the blus­tery wind two hours be­fore the de­bate, but at­ten­dance at Eas­ton’s Tal­bot Pub­lic Li­brary was lim­ited to a ca­pac­ity of about 200, so many were turned away. Vot­ers who missed the de­bate will be able to ac­cess the 90 min­utes on the spon­sor­ing League of Women Vot­ers web­site.

What you would have seen are two to­tally dif­fer­ent candidates vy­ing to rep­re­sent the 1st District.

One, Con­gress­man Har­ris, came across as talk­ing down to his con­stituents, oc­ca­sion­ally lec­tur­ing them as though he knew bet­ter than those who had elected him, which drew mur­murs of dis­con­tent sev­eral times from an au­di­ence ob­vi­ously out of sync with the in­cum­bent.

Jesse Colvin, on the other hand, clearly was in tune with his au­di­ence, af­ter months and tens of thou­sands of miles trav­el­ing the 1st District to meet thou­sands of them in in shops and on the docks, in town halls and in shop­ping malls.

One might pre­sume that the au­di­ence was pre­dom­i­nantly made up of Democrats but that is not true. There were many like this Repub­li­can and my wife, an in­de­pen­dent, who came be­cause we truly wanted to com­pare the two candidates. We came early, know­ing the small hall would be sold out, and we are glad we did.

What we saw was a def­i­nite shift in voter pref­er­ence to­ward coun­try over party, rather than blindly vot­ing D or R be­cause one al­ways has.

What we wit­nessed was a young em­pa­thetic knowl­edge­able car­ing ser­vant leader who wants to rep­re­sent and ad­vo­cate for all his neigh­bors in the 1st District, com­pared to an ide­o­logue who clearly did not care for the con­cerns of most of his con­stituents.

We have voted for Andy Har­ris three times, but not a fourth. It is clearly time for a change to a new gen­er­a­tion of cit­i­zen leader, and we urge our 1st District neigh­bors to join us in wish­ing Rep. Har­ris a happy and fruit­ful re­tire­ment. Philip J. Web­ster St. Michaels

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