Wil­son miffed af­ter Pat­ter­son se­lected as county chair­woman

Del­e­gate CT Wil­son says the county del­e­ga­tion doesn’t com­mu­ni­cate

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By MICHAEL SYKES II msykes@somd­news.com

Del. Edith Pat­ter­son (D-28) has been se­lected as chair­woman for the new Charles County del­e­ga­tion, but not ev­ery­one is happy about it.

Af­ter Pat­ter­son was rec­om­mended by other mem­bers of the del­e­ga­tion, Charles County Del. C.T. Wil­son (D-28) said he never had an op­por­tu­nity to dis­cuss who should be chair and was not con­sid­ered by ei­ther Del. Sally Jame­son (D-28) or Sen. Thomas “Mac” Mid­dle­ton (D-28).

Wil­son said he has noth­ing against Pat­ter­son and thinks she may do a fine job as the se­lected chair­woman tak­ing over for Jame­son, but he said he would have liked to have been in on the dis­cus­sion and would have liked to have a shot at be­ing chair­man.

Jame­son said the Charles County del­e­ga­tion did not think Wil­son would be able to han­dle be­ing the chair­man of the del­e­ga­tion be­cause of his full-time work as an at­tor­ney, but Wil­son said “that is for me to de­cide.”

“It’s hard not to take it per­son­ally,” Wil­son said. “There are a lot of things that go on in An­napo­lis that I let go. But I’ve got mem­bers of my del­e­ga­tion fight­ing to keep me off of the eco­nomic mat­ters com­mit­tee.”

Wil­son said he is a “team player when it comes to team Charles County,” but said he re­fuses to ad­here to po­lit­i­cal agen­das from any other politi­cians.

“The cit­i­zens come first,” he said.

The de­ci­sion was made last Tues­day, Wil­son said, but there was never an agenda item no­ti­fy­ing the pub­lic of a vote or a hear­ing to make the change. The only item on the agenda was a visit to a Charles County oys­ter farm, he said.

Jame­son, who is the cur­rent chair of the South­ern Mary­land del­e­ga­tion and also vice chair of the eco­nomic mat­ters com­mit­tee, said she be­lieves the de­ci­sion to rec­om­mend Pat­ter­son as chair­woman was the right one. There was “too much on the plate” for her, Jame­son said, and hand­ing off her du­ties as Charles County chair­woman was the right thing to do.

Hav­ing the time to do the job is part of the process, Jame­son said, and hav­ing other things to con­tend with does not help pro­duc­tion.

“You can’t say I’ve got five other things on my plate,” Jame­son said. “I’m very pleased. I think it will give her a shot of get­ting to know a lit­tle bit more of An­napo­lis too.”

The del­e­ga­tion mem­bers choose who they want as chair, Jame­son said. The de­ci­sion stems from rec­om­men­da­tions from dif­fer­ent mem­bers, she said. Wil­son’s work as an at­tor­ney was one of the main rea­sons the del­e­ga­tion did not select him for the po­si­tion, she said.

“It has noth­ing to do with CT. He’s very busy,” Jame­son said. “I think the gen­eral opin­ion was that this would give an op­por­tu­nity for Edith to get en­gaged in An­napo­lis and she had the time to do it.”

Pat­ter­son said she was happy to be se­lected as the chair for the del­e­ga­tion. Jame­son called to no­tify her of her se­lec­tion and would be­gin her du­ties as chair­woman on July 1, she said.

Pat­ter­son, who was pre­vi­ously a Charles County com­mis­sioner vice pres­i­dent for a four-year term, said she looks for­ward to con­tin­u­ing to tackle is­sues im­por­tant to the county and work­ing with the county com­mis­sion­ers and con­stituents to iden­tify what needs to be done.

Eco­nomic devel­op­ment will be a chief con­cern for her, Pat­ter­son said, and work­ing with other del­e­ga­tions in South­ern Mary­land will be im­por­tant as well. She will be ag­gres­sive, she said, on get­ting things done for the county on a state level.

“I look for­ward to con­tin­u­ing to work for the cit­i­zens and I’m just very hon­ored that my col­leagues have se­lected me for this role,” Pat­ter­son said. “You’re the per­son that they go to when they’re a prob­lem for the county.”

As far as how she was se­lected, Pat­ter­son said she does not know how the vote came to be. But she re­it­er­ated that it is an honor to be put in the po­si­tion of chair­woman for the Charles County del­e­ga­tion.

Wil­son said he called Pat­ter­son and con­grat­u­lated her, but still feels he did not get the proper op­por­tu­nity. Work­ing and be­ing a del­e­gate should not have been a hin­drance, he said, be­cause the state has a “cit­i­zen del­e­ga­tion” where del­e­gates are al­lowed to work out­side of their role.

The del­e­ga­tion has a “com­mu­ni­ca­tion prob­lem,” Wil­son said, and he con­sis­tently is left out of meet­ings he can­not at­tend due to time con­straints with his work as an at­tor­ney. He has asked for times to be moved later, he said, but they are con­sis­tently set be­fore 6 p.m. — likely how he was left out of the vote and op­por­tu­nity, he said.

“We don’t talk, and that’s prob­lem­atic. Maybe they do com­mu­ni­cate. Maybe I’m just the one be­ing left out,” Wil­son said.

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