Monday, November 28, 2011

The Upcoming Open Commissioner Position

On December 12th Monday night, a new Mayor and two new commissioners on the Maryland side of town will be sworn in, not quite as spelled out by the Delmar Maryland Charter; “The newly elected Commission shall meet at 8:00 p.m. on the second Monday following its election for the purpose of organization”. Of course there is so much on the internet maybe it is an old charter. The “New” Mayor in order to receive that $300 pay increase will have to resign his Commissioner position in order to be sworn in as mayor. This will leave an open elected office that has two years remaining on the term of office. The Mayor and Commissioners (unclear on if it is just the Mayor or a mutual agreement of mayor and Commissioners) will appoint someone to fill complete this term.

I looked at the Delmar Maryland town charter to see if the appointment process was spelled out and did not see it, so I do not know if there is a time limit to appoint someone. It did say in order to be a commissioner you would have to meet these requirements;
The Mayor and Commissioners shall (a) be citizens of the United States, (b) be at least eighteen (18) years of age on the date of the general election, (c) reside in the State of Maryland for at least one (1) year prior to the date of the general election, (d) reside in the corporate limits of the Town of Delmar for six (6) months immediately preceding the date of the general election, and (e) be qualified voters of the Town of Delmar on the date of the general election.

Now frankly no one like too have to do an appointment. First, just finding someone who may be interested is a hassle and the people never feel they had a say in the matter (ig: the Board of Education in Wicomico County). Lets face it, if someone was interested in the office they would have run at election time. There seems to be two sides on the appointment process. One side says don’t appoint a runner up as commissioner as “the people have spoken” and did not elect that person. The other side of the coin is a non-candidate for office is a wishy washy people who didn’t really want the office to begin with so they didn’t run for it, so why appoint someone who can’t take the pressure of an election and public scrutiny.

Regardless the search is on for Carl's replacement, to be appointed by the Mayor and maybe the commissioners. Ideally they would complete an application and have an interview process. I would think former elected officials, former candidates and members of current public committees, including planning and zoning would be among the top picks.

What is persuasive to me regarding this appointment is what is best for our community. In that regard, I think the open appointment process, and the pros and cons of what they may bring to the council would be everyone's interest. There is much public support of Tom Luffman, the runner-up in the general election. He seems to indicate he is available for the appointment, and if the e-mail and other communications that I’ve been seeing are any indication, the "people" would accept him better than a non-candidate for the position, besides that it’s somebody that did just run, and you know their position. Tom McGuire and Pam Schell have both said they would not accept the position if asked.

If interested contact town hall or an elected official and let them know. I hope a bio will be published of who ever is appointed so the public will at least know something about their elected appointed official.

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