What's Happening in Salisbury
Today is primary election day. Take your neighbors, your friends, your family and go vote.
Need a ride to the polls, call 410-422-2694
Not sure where to vote contact the Wicomico County Board of Elections at 410-548-4830
Tomorrow, I will be advocating for the Council majority to follow the laws they are sworn to uphold rather than changing them to suit their purposes whenever they disagree with the Mayor. I will also be advocating for transparency at all times, not just when it is convienient, and that the majority stop wasting taxpayer funds having the City attorney find ways to do whatever they want to do.
Terry Cohen, Debbie Campbell, and Tim Spies called for and signed for an "emergency" meeting at 4:01pm on Friday for an 11:00am meeting tomorrow - the third time change for this meeting, originally scheduled for 4:30pm. That amounts to less than 3.5 hours notice of a meeting. This is the same path they followed when they hastily passed the Charter Amendment to usurp control of the City Attorney and this is exactly the scenerio I anticipated when they took that action. That is why I fought it so hard and circulated the petition.
Note that, as they called this meeting, they did not include the Mayor or the City Administration on the correspondence, despite my informing the Council majority that II considered this a violation of the adequate notice provision of the Open Meetings Act and that I intended to file a complaint if they proceed with the meeting.
Please join me at 11:00am tomorrow in the conference room - not the Council Chambers - to demand that the Council majority do the right thing for the citizens of Salisbury.
Council will be reviewing a number of other items as well. Click here to check out what's on the agenda.
The City Council meetings are held as follows:
1st Monday of each month: Work Session at 4:30
2nd Monday of each month: Legislative Meeting at 6:00
3rd Monday of each month: Work Session at 4:30
4th Monday of each month: Legislative Meeting at 6:00
Legislative Meetings are held in Room 301 of the GOB and televised on PAC14. Work sessions are generally conducted in the conference room. Both are on the 3rd floor of the Government Office Building (GOB).
Join us live at the Government Office Building or watch at home on PAC14 (Comcast channel 14) on online at www.PAC14.com.
You can also contact me and comment on any topic on Facebook, call or text me at 410-422-2694, email me at email@example.com, or follow me on Twitter @LMitchell21801. You can also ask to be added to my "Constant Contact" email list to be automatically notified of many significant issues and events.
Click to download the maps:
You can use the zoom feature to view specific areas of the city, right down to the street level.
Please, look at these maps and all the others that have been proposed and then send me a message with your thoughts and opinions. This is your city. I want and need to know what you want our election districts to look like and how you want to be represented. Email me!
Now that you have shared your comments with me privately, please make every effort to attend on Monday evening to share your opinions with the entire elected body for Salisbury.
You can also contact me and comment on the maps or any other topic on Facebook or call or text me at 410-422-2694, or follow me on Twitter @LMitchell21801.
Redistricting Public Forum dates!
March 13 (Tuesday) @ Faith Baptist Church – 6:30pm – 8:00pm
March 20 (Tuesday) @ Parkway Church of God – 6:30pm – 8:00pm
March 27 (Tuesday) @ Harvest Baptist Church – 6:30pm – 8pm
March 29 (Thursday) @ Fire Station 16 Training Room - 6:30pm-8pm
April 2 (Monday) @ GOB Council Chambers – 12:30pm – 2:00pm
Please plan to attend at least one forum to get the details you need to make an informed decision and to share your thoughts and ideas with us. I look forward to seeing you!
City Council to Hold Four Election Redistricting Forums
The Salisbury City Council invites members of the public to participate in four open forums it will hold for the purpose of obtaining public input on election redistricting. Redrawing lines of voting districts is considered following the release of population and demographic figures from each U.S. Census, the last being held in 2010.
The times and locations are listed below:
March 13, 2012 (Tuesday)
Faith Baptist Church
30505 Dagsboro Rd.
6:30pm – 8:00pm
March 20, 2012 (Tuesday)
Parkway Church of God
Rt. 50 & 600 Edison St.
6:30pm – 8:00pm
March 27, 2012 (Tuesday)
March 29, 2012 (Thursday)
Harvest Baptist Church
Fire Station 16
119 South Blvd.
6:30pm – 8:00pm
6:30pm – 8:00pm
April 2, 2012 (Monday)
Government Office Bldg. Council Chambers
125 N. Division St.
12:30pm – 2:00pm
Districts must be drawn in compliance with the Voting Rights Act Section 2 and in consideration of a number of factors, such as compactness, contiguity, respect for “communities of interest” and others. Salisbury also operates its elections under a court consent order of the late 1980s, which created the current two-district system.
A base map showing the areas of the city with majority-black (yellow) and majority-white census blocks (green) is found on the City’s website, www.ci.salisbury.md.us, under “Latest News.” That section also contains three plans advanced by the mayor. The city council is awaiting public input on these and any other suggestions or plans the public may advance before deliberating on final district lines to be drawn.
Input and questions may also be directed to the entire council via email to ALLCityCouncilMembers@ci.salisbury.md.us, or by calling the Office of the City Clerk, (410) 548-3140.
As we ready ourselves for the start of the General Assembly session in Annapolis on January 11th, there is talk of increasing the gas tax (among others). Here is a message from the Maryland Municipal League (MML) regarding the fate of the gas tax revenues collected in recent years. The gas tax revenues are intended to be disbursed back to the Municipalities for streets & roads maintenance. That been only partially the case in recent years.
In a 1967 report commissioned by Gov. Agnew, Sen. Harry Hughes, et. al submitted a report to the General Assembly detailing the need for State to assist local governments by sharing State Revenues for things like roads maintenance and police aid, saying:
"Property taxes cannot continue to carry the bulk of the burden of local government."
That statement is as true in 2012 as it was in 1967. Salisbury and the other 156 municipalities in MD, need those funds-already being collected-to be distributed as intended.
Please watch the video produced by MML and then contact your legislators and let them know that we need those funds to be returned to our municipalities, as was intended when the tax was implemented.
As we approach the beginning of the 2012 Maryland General Assembly, we want to remind you of our two primary statewide legislative priorities:
1) Restoration of Highway User Revenues for municipalities. This funding has been reduced by 90 percent in recent years, as the State has used the revenue to help offset its own budget deficit.
2) Restoration of Police Aid for municipalities. These funds have also been significantly reduced in recent years to offset the state’s budget deficit.
With another difficult budget year ahead, it is extremely important that municipal officials are strong and unified in our advocacy for the restoration of these critical funds when talking with our state legislators and policymakers.
To generate awareness among your constituents, MML has prepared a 60-second video public service announcement (PSA) that can be used on your city or town website, in your online communication vehicles (such as an e-newsletter), and on your municipal cable television channel, if applicable. We hope you are as pleased with the final product as we are, and especially want to thank the Mayor and Council of the City of Rockville and the City of Rockville cable television office for their assistance with the PSA production.
We invite you to view the PSA via the following link: http://youtu.be/qjCafZub2MA.
The link above can be used for the purposes of directly accessing the video from your website or e-newsletters.
Or, a broadcast quality file of the video can be downloaded directly from the following “DropBox” site: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/13859574/restoring highway funds 60.mov.
*****Happy New Year*****
Thank you for a wonderful 2011
Now let's get moving in 2012!
First Council Meeting Monday, January 9th @ 6:00pm. Click here for the agenda.
December 24, 2011
However you spend the last days of 2011, whatever holidays you celebrate and traditions you observe, I wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season and a joyous 2012. May we all enjoy health, happiness, and prosperity individually and collectively.
November 29, 2011
Although the Council majority voted last night not to put the change to a referendum vote for the citizens to decide, please know that I still consider this effort a great success.
It certainly raised the awareness and engagement of residents of Salisbury and the surrounding area, I hope that you will all remain interested and that many of you may even get involved in the governance of your City - and County for that matter. The Council President called a "media circus"; I call it informed inclusion. The citizens of our City are now more informed and expect to be included in the decision making process. THAT IS SUCCESS!
This effort also did something many thought impossible, it brought unity to a group of individuals who have rarely, if ever, found commonality of purpose so compelling that they could not only work toward the same goal, but that they would actually come together in meetings and have open dialog. THAT IS SUCCESS!
People are now paying attention to what the City Council is doing and how it is being done. If I can inform and engage our citizens throughout my term and that results in more, better informed voters going to the polls on election day, THAT IS SUCCESS!
To that end, I encourage everyone of you to Contact Me to be added to my "Constant Contact" email list and stay up to date on Council meetings, pending items, ongoing and upcoming discussions. You can also join in the discussion on Facebook and you can always call me with questions, concerns, and ideas: 410-422-2694.
Again, thanks to all who got involved, those who signed, and to the businesses that supported our right to exercise the option to petition for a referendum.
Thank you for visiting my website. I am currently working to update some of the features on the site so please check back often.
December 5, 2012 Work Session Report
4:30 Review of audit/financial statements – Gerri Moore/Pam Baker
4:30 The audited financial statements will be presented at the December 12th council meeting with an unqualified audit opinion (that's a good thing). There are a couple of comments (things the auditors want improved upon) that are being addressed. Overall, it was a good audit and the staff worked very hard with the accountants to get this audit done on time and to take the first steps toward submitting the City's first CAFR (Comprehensive Annual Financial Report).
5:15 p.m. Transition for Charter Amendment on access to legal – Paul Wilber
5:10 Read pages 3 & 4 of the briefing booklet for the details of how each segment of the City government will now access the services of the City Attorney.
6:00 p.m. Resolution to place a non-binding referendum question on the ballot at the next General Election on the first Tuesday of April, 2013, to vote for or against Charter Amendment Resolution No. 2109, placing appointment, oversight and discharge authority of the City Solicitor under the City Council – Councilwoman Laura Mitchell
5:45 Mrs. Shields and I voted in favor of putting the resolution on the 2013 ballot for a non-binding public vote. Council majority - Ms. Cohen, Mrs. Campbell (via phone) and Mr. Spies - voted against the resolution, therefore it will not be put to a public vote.
6:15 p.m. Break
6:30 p.m. Follow-up discussion on Board of Zoning procedures – Paul Wilber/Bill Holland//Tom Stevenson
Consideration of moratorium extension
6:10 The 90 day moratorium was extended for an additional 90 days to complete the legislative changes to the BZA code and hold the necessary public hearings.
7:00 p.m. Towing Ordinance – Council
7:20 Council discussed the legislation proposed by the work group, made a few editorial modifications and added a fee for Emergency Relocation Tows, The ordinance is expected to move forward to a legislative session for first reading after legal review. Ms. Cohen presented the names of two specialized, transportation attorneys. Mr. Wilber will consult one of them if he is not confident that he can adequately review the ordinances.
7:30 p.m. 2012 City Council meeting dates/times – Brenda Colegrove
8:45 Council decided to keep the same schedule for work sessions - 1st Monday of each month at 4:30pm and the 3rd Monday at 1:30pm. Council legislative sessions will remain at 6:00pm on the 2nd & 4th Monday of each month.
7:45 p.m. General discussion/upcoming agendas
9:00 Ms. Cohen suggested that we consider hiring a consultant to assist with redistricting the City.
8:00 p.m. Adjournment