Two fo­rums on straw poll slated

Record Observer - - News - By CHRISTO­PHER KERSEY ck­ersey@ches­

SUDLERSVILLE — The Queen Anne’s County League of Women Vot­ers is hold­ing two in­for­ma­tional fo­rums on the up­com­ing elec­tion’s straw poll re­gard­ing the way Queen Anne’s County Com­mis­sion­ers are elected.

The is­sue will ap­pear as a non-bind­ing ques­tion on the next elec­tion’s bal­lot, ask­ing if four county com­mis­sion­ers should be elected only by the vot­ers of the dis­trict in which the can­di­date re­sides. The fifth com­mis­sioner will re­main elected at large.

If en­acted, the voter would have two county com­mis­sioner rep­re­sen­ta­tives, one from the dis­trict in which the voter lives and the at-large com­mis­sioner.

The pub­lic is in­vited to two free fo­rums on the is­sue. One will be on Tues­day, Oct. 4, at 6:30 p.m. at the Sudlersville Se­nior Cen­ter at 605 Foxx town Drive in Sudlersville, the other on Thurs­day, Oct. 13, at 6:30 p.m. at the Kent Is­land Li­brary at 200 Li­brary Cir­cle (off Route 18) in Stevensville.

Both the for and against sides will be pre­sented at the fo­rums.

County Com­mis­sioner Jim Mo­ran and Church Hill Town Com­mis­sioner Char­lie Rhodes will ad­vo­cate in fa­vor of the change.

Ad­vo­cat­ing against such a change and main­tain­ing the cur­rent method in which vot­ers elect all five County Com­mis­sion­ers will be County Com­mis­sioner Steve Wil­son and Kent Is­land Heritage So­ci­ety Pres­i­dent Jack Brod­er­ick.

They will state their po­si­tions and rea­son­ing and then re­spond to ques­tions from the au­di­ence.

The ques­tion on the bal­lot un­der con­sid­er­a­tion is “Do you fa­vor chang­ing the method of se­lec­tion of four of the five mem­bers of the Queen Anne’s County Board of County Com­mis­sion­ers from the cur­rent method of be­ing elected at large by the vot­ers of Queen Anne’s County, with one mem­ber re­sid­ing in each of the four elec­tion dis­tricts, to a new method where each of the four mem­bers is elected by only the vot­ers of the dis­trict in which the mem­ber re­sides and the fifth mem­ber is elected at large and may re­side in any dis­trict of the County?”

The re­sults of the elec­tion vote are not bind­ing, and it will fall to the cur­rent County Com­mis­sion­ers to de­cide whether or not to ask the state Gen­eral Assem­bly to change the way Queen Anne’s County Com­mis­sion­ers are elected.

Th­ese fo­rums are purely in­for­ma­tional and the League of Women Vot­ers does not al­low elec­tion­eer­ing to take place in the build­ing. Cam­paign-type lit­er­a­ture and para­pher­na­lia are not al­lowed in the build­ing be­fore and dur­ing the fo­rums. Signs out­side and dis­tri­bu­tion of cam­paign ma­te­ri­als out­side af­ter the fo­rum are per­mit­ted.

The League of Women Vot­ers is a non­par­ti­san or­ga­ni­za­tion that en­cour­ages the in­formed and ac­tive par­tic­i­pa­tion of cit­i­zens in gov­ern­ment and works to in­crease un­der­stand­ing of ma­jor pub­lic pol­icy is­sues. Women and men age 16 and older are in­vited to join the League.

The gen­eral elec­tion is Tues­day, Nov. 8, but early vot­ing is from Thurs­day, Oct. 27, through Thurs­day, Nov. 3.

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