Press Release — Delegate Michael D. Smigiel, Sr
In a closed door session Tuesday night, the Cecil County Commissioners voted to hire a lobbyist to defeat two bills being offered by Delegate Michael Smigiel (R- Dist. 36) and Senator E.J. Pipkin (R- Dist. 36). One such bill would allow for the citizens of Cecil County, through referendum, to decide on key benefits for their law enforcement officers. The second bill requires that the property tax be kept at constant yield and thus save the taxpayers of Cecil County from automatic property tax increases every year.
“Let me understand this–The Commissioners met in a closed session to spend thousands of tax payer dollars to pay for the services of a lobbyist to work against a measure that prohibits the Board of County Commissioner from raising taxes?” continued Smigiel
Smigiel stated that he believes the closed door meeting to hire a lobbyist violates the Open Meetings Act. “The exceptions to the Open Meetings Act are very limited and I don’t believe that hiring a lobbyist to work to raise the taxes of the citizens of the County constitutes one of those exceptions” said Smigiel.
In a letter to Delegate Smigiel last week, the Cecil County Commissioners stated, “we object to the determination of matters of this importance by means of the referendum or citizen initiative.
“It appears that the Commissioner’s position is that they will take care of the ‘important’ matters while they leave the menial tasks to the people. I think the Commissioners have forgotten that we work for the electorate–the people are our bosses…we are not theirs!” concluded Delegate Smigiel.