It Takes a Couple of Votes, but as Officials Huddle to Recheck Recollections of What Happened They Eventually Get Minutes Approved

News Brief

Update From Cecil County Commissioners Workshop, March 15, 2011 — After having a week to work out how to document actions for the official record, the confusion continued at this workshop.  Commissioner Dunn asked to have a remark he made about the SPCA removed but Commissioners Hodge & Moore objected as they recalled the comment. 

When President Mullin took the first vote on the broader amended minutes, it appeared it passed four to one with Commissioner Hodge opposing the motion. But when he announced it passed with one objection, Commissioner Moore said, “Actually I didn’t vote.” “Did you abstain?” he inquired.

With that exchange,  a flurry of confusion followed as officials huddled in whispered tones and flipped through papers to see what had been done in the attempt to amend the formal record and to recheck where they  disagreed. Commissioner Moore noted that she and the 4th district commissioner had worked on earlier modifications, as they recompared notes. Others flipped through documents to try to figure out how to get the approval process moving along.   Following some attempts at additional motions, checks to see where the question stood on the floor, and inquires about how to proceed the elected officials finally figured it  and approved those important, but controversial documents.  On the last try, the vote was back to four to one, with Commissioner Hodge still opposed.

Readers are better off hearing this in the direct words of the officials.  Here’s the link.  The approval exchanges start about two-thirds of the way through the segment.


58 responses to “It Takes a Couple of Votes, but as Officials Huddle to Recheck Recollections of What Happened They Eventually Get Minutes Approved

  1. The really sad part of the story is that Dunn wants to delete statements that were made in a room full of people.

    • Apparently Chairman Mullin has difficulty conducting and controlling the meetings. Is there a Parliamentarian out there who could help? Tostmasters International did a good job with the several Cecil County Patriots events. Any volunteers? It would free Chaiman Mullin up to quip and text.

  2. This is much ado about nothing- “[word removed by Someone Noticed] Schwerzler” trying to obscure the major issues that came up Tuesday morning:

    1) Hodge and Moore trying to push through a boondoggle for their buddies over there at the Airport. Wasn’t that guy looking for a sucker to buy that thing not too long ago. That whole deal could potentially put the county on the hook for a lot of money. I’m guessing some major details about that situation haven’t come out yet…I would stay tuned.

    2) And Joyce Bowlsbey trying to take over the transfer to charter government. Thanks but no thanks Cecil Whig, we don’t need her “expertise.” Charter was largely funded by developers from out of the area & we shouldn’t allow their minions to control the transition- they will put their own interests first, not the citizens.

    Kudos to the other Commissioners for standing up to the “Axis of Evil” (my nickname for the good ole boy establishment that tries to rule over Cecil County)- a network of special interests made up of frustated blowhards and wannabe kingmakers and powerbrokers.

    • Ah yes, the axis of evil…Pipkin, Smigiel, Mullin, Dunn, Broomell. Thank you for pointing out how they are ‘protecting’ us.

      • Haha I thought you would like that Raoul.

        Don’t worry I consider you and your newspaper members in good standing of the Cecil County “Axis of Evil.”

        • Yo Doc,
          What do you mean by ‘newspaper members’?
          What is the Cecil County Axis of Evil?
          Did you drop down from above or are you cowering under your desk?

    • Dear Doc,

      “Much ado about nothing”? Hardly. Not sure why you’re trying to blame “Schwerzler” – but whoever they are, they weren’t sitting at the table that morning or making comments at the meeting.

      1) I would highly suggest you listen to the video recording of the meeting. I did. If you listen to what was said, you’d realize Hodge and Moore weren’t trying to push through anything. Quite the opposite. Hodge clearly stated the issue hadn’t been discussed and that the Commissioners didn’t know the facts. He even called for an independent committee of citizens to consider the issue and make recommendations. Moore stated specifically that the evidence indicated an Airport Authority may not be a good idea. Her main concern was the lack of transparency in the process with the letter that had been written.

      2) At no point has there been any indication Joyce Bowlsbey is “trying to take over the transfer to charter government”. (By the way, why WOULDN’T we want the expertise of those who drafted the actual Charter we approved in November?) And if you look at the “developers from out of the area” that contributed to Charter, you will find EVERY single one of them have home developments in Cecil County with their corporate headquarters elsewhere. This has nothing do to with “minions” – this has everything to do with businesses who are vested in the best for Cecil County because it benefits them too.

      Your “axis of evil” arguments lacks evidence and credibility.

  3. I would like to clarify something here. There has really been an unfortunate mistake. My script from Smigiel did not instruct me to call the workers at the SPCA “good-for-nothing dogs”. I misread that. Which is why I wished to have it struck from the record. I can’t be blamed for my teleprompter, can I?

    • What is that old saying, hell hath no fury like a woman scorned?

      Nancy, I don’t know anything about this minutes business, but the scuttlebutt is that Dunn (who is usually pretty meek and mild) really lit into you with that “culture of corruption” comment. A fastball high and inside. Looks to me like you’re trying to even the score here. Really starting to lash out in frustration. And for good reason, I hear the SPCA contract comes up again soon so you better break out the whitewash again down there.

      Not that you have a personal agenda in attacking Pipkin and Smigiel and now Dunn. Oh no of course not.

  4. Wow Doc,

    Are you sure there is a cost to the taxpayers of Cecil County if the County Commissioners designate Raintree airport as the airport of record for Cecil County?

    I was under the impression that if the county provides the designation to Raintree Airport, that would enable Raintree to receive FAA funds with no obligations to the county taxpayers. The FAA funds are taxes levied only on those who choose to fly. If it is FAA funds, I’m all for Raintree receiving some of the funds. After all Cecil Countians who fly have contributed to the pool, why shouldn’t Cecil County receive the benefit?

    As for me, I am extremely grateful to the owner of the airport. Because of his kindness, my family was able to get together on several occasions and celebrate the way families should. I cherish those memories. The owner of the airport is a good person who made a positive difference in my life.

  5. Diane,

    The FAA is funded by the federal government. Anyone who pays federal taxes will have to foot the bill for an airport bailout. Just because this does not come from county funds does not mean that we are not paying for it. Anyone who pays federal taxes pays for this. Beyond this issue, I would question whether the FAA should have the authority to give money to private sector airports. I applaud Commissioners Broomell, Dunn, & Mullin for blocking this boondoggle. It is unfortunate that this airport is in bad shape, but it is not the job of government to bail out private sector companies.

    Also, I am sure the owner of the airport is a great person, but just because someone is good shouldn’t mean they should get special status from county government to receive tax dollars.

    • Ted,

      No one cares what you think about the FAA’s authority to give money to private sector airports. The authority exists. If it’s available, why SHOULDN’T the Cecil County Airport take advantage of it? If we don’t – it goes to another airport. “Airport bailout” is nothing more than your language designed to incite anger and frustration.

      “Blocking this Boondoggle”? It’s very apparent that you and “Doc Savage” share the same lingo in trying to make certain Commissioners look bad.. It’s very apparent after listening to the 3/15/11 County Commissioners work session audio tape that the “boondoggle” has much more to do with Commissioner Broomell, Dunn & Mullin trying to push through their agenda without transparency.

      • I think as more information comes out about the airport deal people will see very clearly that this would have been bad for the taxpayers and a major liability on county government. Bailing out private sector companies is a bad idea. Take a look at what Mike posted about banks missing their TARP repayments.

        The philosophy of “let’s take it since its already there” is the same philosophy that put the country in trillions of dollars of debt and the state of Maryland in constant budget deficits. I don’t support that–because I don’t think future generations should have to pay for a “spend, spend, spend” mentality. Again, just because the money would come from the federal government doesn’t mean that we don’t pay for it. We pay federal taxes.

        • Guess the citizens will never know, since Broomell/Dunn/Mullin voted to send a letter drafted in secrecy, without the benefit of discussing the issue with the full Board.

    • Ted Patterson: Should the fed government give money to the University of Delaware? Should students get Pell grants or federally subsidized student loans? What is the status of Senator “Fiscal Conservative” Pipkin’s nine bond requests (earmarks)? Should the taxpayers of Cecil County pay for projects in other counties? Seems in opposition to the rantings of Delegate “Captain Liberty” Smigiel. Where is Josue’ Sierra when we need him? Seems like the “Fiscal Conservative Team” is selective in it’s scrutiny.

  6. Ted,
    First of all, the money that would fund the airport improvements comes from fees on airline tickets. People make a choice to purchase these tickets and why should the county residents not benefit from having improvements made to this asset. I would much rather have the airport run by a private business than creating some governmental giant that would undoubtedly tax us to death. The county was not financially responsible for the improvements and could have gained increased tax revenue from real estate taxes after improvements where made not to mention jobs that could be created by the planned improvements. This was a very short sighted decision that I believe is based on political vendetta rather than sound judgment.
    How come you are not blogging about the big real estate tax increase that the Smipkin controlled board is proposing in today’s newspaper. A three cent per hundred real estate tax increase which will especially hit seniors citizens since they have not seen their assessments drop because their properties are homesteaded. You better draft a letter so that Central Committee can attack the Smipkin board just like you wanted to do to the previous commissioner board when they did not fully cut the constant yield. Yes, I have a good memory! What is good for the Goose is good for the Gander(Smipkins).

  7. Diane- seems you have firsthand knowledge of the situation over there at the Airport? Wasn’t that guy trying hard to unload the place not too long ago?

  8. Phantom..What culture of corruution comment? It vanished along with Dunn’s credibility on the transparency and back room deals issue. Bad press for the Smipkins.

  9. Ted,

    The funding is not an airport bailout as you suggest. The choice to fly is optional. The money is collected and available for airports, just like student grants at the universities.

    Is the airport in bad shape? Where are you getting that data point from. Did you conduct an inspection? Are you qualified as an authority on airports?

    I don’t believe that the airport owner is asking for special status. He does a lot of good for the community and if there is a way to recognize this without costing taxpayers, I’m all for it.

    Does this also mean that you are against government funding going to land preservation? Didn’t you work for the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy at one point? Is that private sector funding or public sector funding?

    [Someone Noticed edit]. I’m pretty sure that you will be sending the kid to private school so that it doesn’t cost the taxpayers anything.

  10. I can see valid points on both sides of the aisle. Perhaps as Ted indicates, as details emerge, we will see that the airport deal would have been a large liability, or to the contrary. I can’t comment as I don’t have all the facts.

    I should note that I do see a fair amount of personal hinting towards Ted here… while I don’t necessarily agree with him all of the time, I applaud his involvement and knowledge. Again, although we don’t necessarily always agree, I do appreciate his passion for activism.

  11. Ted, I think you are missing the point about the airport request. The airport isn’t looking for taxes, they are looking for a designation.

    The problem is that a letter was written on official county letterhead representing 5 commissioners and it was done behind the backs of two of the commissioners. If you listen to the audio, those two commissioners are not necessarily in favor of the airport designation. The right thing to do was to include all of the commissioners in the discussion. After all they earned a seat at the table (were elected by the voters) and should have been included in the discussion.

    I totally agree with you that the spend, spend, spend mentality is out of the control. Take me for example, when I was in college, I took student loans to help pay for my education. I realize now that this was wrong because I was actually operating at a deficit. However, at the time, it seemed like a good idea because it was an investment in my future. An investment, BTW that paid off. I was able to pay off the loans quickly once I graduated with my degree.

    Would I take a student loan today knowing what I know now?

  12. Diane,

    A lot of people have no option but to take on student loans for higher education. I was in this boat as well, however, if you are going to school for something worthwhile, it is most certainly an investment. Like any investment, you want to make sure the ROI is going to merit the cash outlay. There is good debt and bad debt, if leveraged properly, student loans are good debt.

  13. Ted,

    The issue is not whether the county should or should not take over the airport. Why wasn’t the issue discussed and a vote taken? When a citizen makes a request, the commissioners have a responsibility to vet the issue and make a decision as a group, (that would be all 5 of them), not behind closed doors. Where’s the transparency?

  14. Mike,

    Where is your coverage of today’s (March 22, 2011) commissioner’s meeting?

    You constantly complain about legacy media, but you cannot keep the public informed any better than the local news.

    What happened to your ‘tweeting’ from the meetings? Were you sleeping?

  15. Raoul

    You know how this media business works. So much news to cover, it’s hard to get to it all. Right now officials are generating so many stories that are attention deprived, including rezoning efforts, a request from the old charter political action committee to guide the transition, closed door meetings to help the casino open, close or expand, and a few more. They all need attention and we’re going to try to get to a few more of them (especially when they involved closed door sessions that don’t seem right to us). Our other focus in on the stories that other outlets aren’t covering as all of us should want public policy news to be out there and there are some in the cluster we just referenced.

    Take at look at some other other sites that are doing this with several staff members such as the Chestertown Spy and the Harford Dagger. Think if we had a nonprofit here committed to being independent and doing nothing but putting the light of new age media on the public actions. How helpful that would be for citizens and also it would contribute to the quality of public policy decision making.

    Raoul, we welcome special contributors. Of course, it would have to be a signed piece.

  16. I will be more than happy to contribute to any news media or even your blog when you convince me that you are not in the coat pocket (meaning close to the heart) of those that are manipulating our county for personal gain and vendettas.

    The words and deeds of Mullin/Dunn/Broomell over the last several days have convinced me that our county has been taken over and that the voters were bamboozled. Everyone that I have talked to that thought they were sending a message to Washington and voted R down the line, are now in absolute terror and asking me what can be done. I do not know what to do.

    Mike, how do we get rid of corrupt politicians?

    • Raoul,
      Let me correct your false conclusion that the voters of Cecil County were “bamboozled” in the last election by Mullin/Dunn/Broomell
      with respect to the upcoming Carpenter’s Point rezoning for mining operations, as well as other rezonings that are/have been under consideration by the commissioners.
      Simply put, the only commissioners I know of that received campaign contributions from York Building Products ( Stewart Associates ) were Moore & Hodge. Moore, $1,274..00 & Hodge, $1,500.00, according to their tressures report to the state. You want to get rid of [Someone Noticed edit] politicians, then I suggest you begin with the obvious ones, not the ones you disagree with on policy.

      • Ken, you and I know that you were referring to the “3 Amigos” carrying out SMIPKIN vendettas on the charter board and other matters in addition to their shafting of Hodge on his re-zonings. Since Dunn was not residing at the vacant 426 Ryan Drive when he filed for office, maybe he actually lived in the SMIPKIN PO Box 765 in Rising Sun where all their friends and organizations seem to live. Ken, did you find any SMIPKIN Slate contributions to the “3 Amigos”? Wonder who paid for the Broomell robocalls? How do you suppose Mullin could donate so much money? How clever of you to re-direct attention from the ” 3 Amigos”. Hurry or we’ll miss the shuttle back to Smipkin Island.

      • Wow Ken you really dig up the dirt and I am really impressed…not. I have posted numerous times regarding the finance manipulation of the regime.

        What does your post have to do with the circus perpetrated by Mullin/Dunn/Bromell?

        What bothers me is the blatant egotistical audacity and total disregard for the people of Cecil County or anyone who doesn’t totally agree with their pathetic, money grubbing power trip.

        What will happen when the Route 222 issue comes up? Will Broomell recuse herself as it directly impacts her properties?

        Shouldn’t Mullin withdraw from all rezoning issues because his profession is so closely tied to property values?

      • Ken…Classic Smigiel wedge move. Divert attention from the ” 3 Amigos” denying property rights to Hodge, a SMIPKIN enemy, while painting Hodge and Moore as friends of York Building Products and therefore enemies of the residents opposed to the zoning change. Finally, transparancy!! Keep your eye on the ball, citizens.

      • Ken, I looked up the donations and what you say is wrong. The biggest Stewart money went to Hodge’s opponent, Sharon Weigand, a Democrat, in that election. She got $3,000, half from York Building Products and the other half from Stewart Associates, in September 2008 right before the election. Hodge got $500 from York in 2007 and $500 from Stewart Associates in 2007. It looks like the closer it got to the general election, they decided that Weigand, not Hodge, was “their” candidate.
        Your owe Hodge an apology.

        • Steve, Ken doesn’t owe Hodge an apology. You owe Ken one. Hodge report shows 11/8/07 Stewart Associates $500.00, 11/9/07 Stewart & Tate Inc. $500.00, 11/14/07 York Bldg Products $500.00. That is a total of $1,500.00 . All bases covered. RIGHT?

      • Amber,
        So what is your point?

        As long as you are on the Fund Contributions site, look into Mullin, Dunn, Broomell, Smigiel, Pipikin and all the PACs to which they are linked. I have done this and posted on this blog. Search for that to save time. However, as most Smipkins do not trust anyone (it takes one to know one) look the information up yourself.

        This regime has been moving money around for a few election cycles.

        It should scare you. It also makes Hodge’s measly $1500 look pretty pitiful.

        I guess the gang doesn’t want anyone to support anyone else…but them.

        And by the way, Mullin, Dunn and Broomell owe the County an apology which can be implemented by their resignations for collusion.

        • It is hard to identify Smigiel’s contributors due to his history of failing to file campaign finance reports with the state. He once posted that it is the moral equivalent of a parking ticket. This is the mentor of the “3 Amigos”. No wonder they have no scruples.

        • Oh so true Ed,

          Broomell hasn’t filed since mid October. I guess that’s when she jumped back into the Smipkin boat, collected some last minute cash on the island and vowed never to dis the Smig again. She sure seems to be following the holier than thow persona. Even Dunn has jumped in with his pious judgments, at least when he isn’t suffering from foot-in-the-mouth syndrome. Mullin seems to be ignoring that his very occupation is all too closely tied to property values and his wallet. Good old Jim shouldn’t take part in any rezoning issues. I wonder how much he has already pocketed counseling property owners about the process.

        • Raoul. My point? Was to correct Steve. Ken was correct. Now my reply to you. Raoul you remind me of a venomous reptile. You stay coiled ready to strike anytime, anyone dares to disagree with you in regards to Smigiel, Pipkin, Dunn, Broomell and even Mr. Dixon. As soon as they post their opinion you strike with fangs and spray your poison all over them. If they survive you hope they will be afraid to post again. I do think your problem with Dunn, Broomell, Pipkin, Smigiel goes much deeper and further back than your sharing. It seems you have a personal score to settle.

  17. Raoul,

    Rally around a strong candidate with no agenda. The pickings may be slim, but they are out there.
    I ran for Town Commissioner in Elkton in 2008 with no agenda. The fact that I was 24 at the time hurt me a bit, but I wasn’t beaten badly. I had no agenda, and I wasn’t aligned with anyone.

    There are other people who are more well known then I was, that have no set agenda… I know of one, and I’m trying to convince him to run… he is a R. Although I’m a moderate dem, party affiliation doesn’t matter to me. The issues do. I will put my town, county, state and country before party affiliation every time.

  18. Just a note to everyone, I had two critical comments that I had posted about Commissioner Mike Dunn removed yesterday. Commissioner Dunn contacted me directly, and he and I have discussed the issue at length. He never requested that his comments “culture of corruption” be removed. He requested that comments that were attributed to him, that actually Commissioner Hodge had said be corrected to show who actually said them. He also mentioned that this will no longer be an issue now that the meetings are going to be recorded.

    I have to commend Commissioner Dunn for reaching out to me. To reach out directly into the face of criticism is not an easy thing to do and things like that go a long way. He is going to work on getting the actual minutes out so that we can see them, and hopefully put this to rest.

    I would also encourage us to have both sides of the story before we leap out and make speculative criticism. I try not to break this rule, but I did on this issue.

  19. Patrick, maybe you should listen to the tape of the meeting. Dunn said he wanted to remove “my statement there, talking about my good friends at the SPCA.” He did not say he wanted to correct anyone else’s coment. When Mrs. Moore called him on it and said “I do remember you using the phrase ‘culture of corruption’ ” Dunn replied, “I did.” The written minutes of the earlier meeting are now online, reflecting Dunn’s “corrections” and they delete his original comment that was heard by a room full of people.
    Maybe you want to believe whatever he told you but the reality is different from that.

  20. Yes Patrick, the Listener speaks true. Dunn lied to you. All you have to do is listen to the tapes. Maybe Dunn should listen as well, since he seems to be either forgetful, or so caught up following the lessons he learned from Smigiel, that he no longer understands right from wrong, truth from falsehood, and deceit from honor. The poor boy, I fear, has lost his way. And like the perpetual prevaricator, he feels that if he denies it enough, to as many people as will listen, eventually everyone will believe as much as he has convinced himself. It is time that ethics usurps politics as usual in Cecil County…I pray.

  21. Amber,
    If you look pbjectively you will see that Smigiel controls Cecil County through his manipulation of Dunn, Mullin, and Broomell (The 3 Amigos). They have spent their time in office punishing Smigiel’s enemies. Speaking of venomous vipers, Smigiel seems to be the Pied Viper. Amazing how he can recruit gullible puppets willing to do his bidding. He even manipulated Pipkin into funding the “Fiscal Conservative Team”. Sad for Cecil County voters. Maybe next time they won’t be swayed by glossy mailers and slogans.

    • Mr Burke, Objectively? I suggest you take your own advice. Controls? Dunn and Broomell have been elected by a large margin (thousands). Why do they need to be under anyone’s control? What do they now have to gain? Mullin has been in office for two years. Why haven’t you been yelling durning all that time? Punishing? Whom? In what way? Because they voted against Hodge? I do not blame them to me it was very unethical ( Ethics Commission ruling or not). Pied Viper? Gullible Puppets? That is what you want people to beleive. A lot of mouth with no substance in my opinion is your problem. Manipulated Pipkin? That is really funny. Infact so funny no comments needed. Just a long laugh. Glossy Mailers and Slogans get a small amount of votes. It is intelligent, caring citizens that take time from their busy work day to vote. Why didn’t / don’t you throw your name in next election?

      • Amber, Amber, Amber,

        Yes they did win. So did Obama. And just look at what we are stuck with there.

        You must be new to the blogopshere to have missed critiques of Mullin and Broomell over the years. Dunn is new to the public view. Who would have ever guessed that the go-fer would have ended up as a commissioner for his first real job. [someone noticed edit]

        If your ethics support the Hodge episode, then we can only assume that you would expect Broomell to recruse herself from anything dealing with the road widening near her property.

        And based on their ‘reasons’ (value) for denying Hodge the rights of any tax paying property owner in our county, then you would have to agree that Mullin should not participate in any of the rezoning issues, as his occupation deals with property values.

        If you haven’t listened to the audio, I suggest you do so. You’ll get a real eye-opener of the collusion on our board of commissioners.

  22. Jackie Gregory

    I hope that Amber and Ken don’t espouse to be conservatives. If so, they are nothing more than CINOS based on their statements. First, Amber, please explain what was unethical about the application by Robert Hodge. He recused himself from voting and went through the process just like everyone else did. His application was similar to many others that were received and approved. The ethical thing to do would be for the commissioners to treat each application without regard to the name on it. True conservatives believe in the rule of law, not one set of rules for me and another for you. That’s what the big government liberals in Washington support. It is interesting Amber, that you throw out the idea that it was unethical, but you never support it with facts. I guess that’s what you would call “planting a seed.” Throw the mud; put out the headline, and certainly someone will buy it, right? No need to worry about those pesky things called “facts.”
    Also, as far as the campaign money goes, that goes both ways. I don’t criticize Pipkin or Smigiel for funding their underlings, even if I don’t like the lack of independence it brings when a state delegation, runs with local candidates, as well as the Republican Central Committee. It is their right to fund who and what they want. We had a huge debate about this on the national scale last year, and Ken, you sound just like the liberals who were trying to restrict donations of the people they didn’t like, you know, those “evil corporations.” The Supreme Court decided in favor of free elections. Now here’s the real question, you throw that out there who is contributing to one candidate or another, yet you can not point to an instance where that caused an elected official to act against the best interests of the county in favor of certain individuals. Again, all we have is a baseless claim meant to muddy the waters and smear the reputations of Commissioners Hodge and Moore. Instead of speaking in terms of personal opinion, how about we focus our discussions on what they have each said and done individually?
    Finally, if glossy mailers didn’t swing elections, Pipkin’s team wouldn’t have invested thousands of dollars in them. The Sossi mailer obviously had the desired effect. That was a very smart, although unscrupulous strategy. The Pipkin team possessed those pictures of Dick Sossi at least a year prior to the election. So they held on to them until a week before the elections and then sent out glossy mailers a week prior to the election, to plant a seed in voters’ minds, without giving Sossi the opportunity to respond with the facts. Then a follow-up with Hershey mailers just a couple of days before the election and a robocall by Pipkin topped it off, sealed Sossi’s fate with the unsuspecting electorate.
    I worked for Commissioner Broomell during the election, and I believe she has potential to do great things as a commissioner if she is able to be motivated strictly by fact and core conservative principles. I am disappointed when anyone’s personal feelings interfere with their ability to legislate or execute the law without bias. Hopefully there will be enough notice taken of this to motivate better behavior from the commissioners in the future. Right now, Hodge was singled out because of the commissioner’s feelings. The next time it could be you or me.

    • Jackie, I am not a tea party person but I think I love you! You are so right. If one citizen’s rights can be stolen just because of their name, it can happen to any of us! You summarized the situation very well. My only point of disagreement with you is that you gave Broomell too much credit from the beginning. But I think you are moving toward the view that many of us had, that Broomell is not really independent but has many past political debts to repay.

    • Ms. Gregory, Where/How did the issue of being a True Conservative come from? Speaking for myself I DID NOT agree with your postings durning the election (except for Broomell and I am not disappointed in her now) and I still DO NOT agree with your postings at present. I do appreciate your reply but do you have to be so long winded. PS If you could answer one question ( short version please) . What/why is the commissioners feelings against Hodge?

  23. Jackie Gregory

    Did you forget I posed a question to you regarding how the application was unethical? The what/why of the personal feelings is irrelevant when governing. For my own sake, I have tried to get to the bottom of these feelings. I have asked for evidence or facts to support assertions against Hodge, but none has ever been offered. It is just as it happened at the work session last Tuesday, when he was accused of a previous attempt at rezoning. That was false, and as he tried to say that, the accusation was lodged again, along with a condescending comment directed at him. For his part, he was much more gracious than I would have been in the same situation.
    Martin, I appreciate the encouragement. I do try to give people the benefit of the doubt and also realize that people can learn from their mistakes if they are willing to do so. You should consider joining the TEA party if you share our values.

    • Ms. Gregory, Sorry I did forget. Let me start by saying Hodge is an elected official with a lot of power. He is not your average citizen. You give me one example that Dunn, Broomell, Mullin have been unfair to any average citizens rezoning request. You have implyed in your post that it could happen to any citizens. That is misleading and where are your facts to prove your claim.Unethical in my opinion yes. For Hodge or any commissoner to place his/her fellow board members in a postion as this in my opinion is unethical , unprofessional, and very inconsiderate. 6 times no less. Lets look forward a short time. Hodge (example) sells his rezoned properties, makes a big profit. You and others start raising —- all Hodge has to do is say OH I recused myself, Dunn, Broomell, Mullin voted for it. Please don’t tell me this can’t/ won’t happen. It already has happened in Cecil County. I know you will not agree with me and post I am planting a bad seed. Thats OK. I requested you tell me What/Why statement you made”Hodge was singled out because of the commissioners feelings. Now you post “Personal feelings are irrelevant when governing.” Which is it and why did you make the comment in the first place. Just want to plant a bad seed I guess.

  24. Oh Amber,
    Do you know that this rezoning only occurs every ten years?
    Do you know that Commissioner Hodge is simply asking that the property description be brought in sync with the usage of the property…which by the way, was in place long before citizen Hodge purchased and improved the property.

    Commissioner Hodge is not asking for any special favors. All he wants, which is his right as an American Citizen, is to be afforded equality and fair treatment.

    At commissioner Hodge’s request, the findings of the ethics committee did not find any problem with the appeal, but rather that Hodge simply should not vote. The words and actions of Mullin, Dunn and Broomell were not only unethical, but absolutely singled out Commissioner Hodge. Listen to the tapes and hear it in their own words.

    Is it OK with you that Mullin continues to profit from his property appraisal work while at the same time passing decisions regarding property rezoning which by the commissioners words, would increase property values? Is it OK with you that Dunn listed his residence as an unoccupied property? Is it OK with you that Broomell issued false and misleading robo calls on election day, thereby denying the public any form of rebuttal?

    If you do, then I believe your basis for ethical decision making is bias toward your political preference and not sound reasoning.

  25. Jackie Gregory

    Amber, I guess you don’t comprehend the relationship between my two comments, “Hodge was singled out because of the commissioners feelings.” and “Personal feelings are irrelevant when governing”? It is because personal feelings are irrelevant when governing that I am appalled that he was singled out because of personal feelings. Commissioners should check their personal animosities towards any person at the door of the Elk Room. There is no place for a person to use his/her position to carry out personal vendettas in a society governed by rule of law. The difference between you and me is that I believe in due process for everyone and you don’t. I believe that all requests that are given to the commissioners should be considered according to their merits, and that should be the basis for their decisions. I also believe that our “leaders” should actually act like leaders and not sit there silently when a motion is made. I value rule of law; I don’t care if the commissioners like each or not. I’m not asking them to go bowling together. I do expect that they behave professionally and in a way that is beneficial to the community.

    • Ms. Gregory, Again, you keep saying singled out due to personal feelings. Then you stated you don’t know what the personal feelings are. So if I am reading this correctly you are saying Hodge was singled out due to personal feelings, but you don’t know what the personal feelings are. Then how do you know there were personal feelings? Could you be a mind reader? Due process or in this case DO process. Do it or you three will look very bad and you already have Gregory, Raoul and their buddies on your —. If that were the case it worked. I have had my fill of this topic. My opinion will not change nor will yours If you feel you need to take another shot at me go for it. I will not reply.

      • Amber,

      • Jackie Gregory

        Amber, I didn’t say I didn’t know what the feelings were; you are putting words in my mouth. I said that personal feelings are irrelevant when governing. When personal feelings impact the decisions of an elected official, then we have a biased and unfair system, contrary to what our founders envisioned. Note that I am differentiating between personal feelings and principles, which are essential in governing. I do in fact know the basis of the personal feelings are because I have asked. To me it is important to know that basis for the feelings, because I want to understand, and also determine if have a need to be concerned. I have inquired into the specifics, but I have no reason to repeat rumors here when no evidence has been given to me to substantiate any concerns raised or the grudges that exist. The grudge aspect is entirely personal from quite some time ago and has no relation to or effect at all on the county. It is well past time to “get over it” and move on. These types of things should be checked at the door of the Elk Room when each commissioner enters it to do the county’s business. Amber, if you want to know why the negative personal feelings exist, you should ask both sides involved as I did and request concrete evidence to back up any claims. We must operate in the world of truth and fact, not in the world of what we’d like to believe about someone. If the latter occurs, we end up with a false accusation lodged at someone at a worksession. The sad part is, that accusation was a slander against another Commissioner’s character. The idea has already been put out publicly, so regardless of what is said after the fact, there will be some people who think it is true. Hopefully, there will be an equally public apology to try to ameliorate some of the damage done.

  26. Raoul, I DO NOT care if it is 100 years. It should have been requested before he became a commissioner or after he no longer is in office. I have stated before my opinion is not based on just Hodge but any one that is a elected commissioner should not put their fellow board members in a dubious position. I also believe if this same request was made by Dunn, Broomell, Mullin you would be all over them like ants on sugar. The Ethics Commission may not have found a problem with this, but the Ethics Code does not address personal ethics. Singled Hodge out? They were speaking to Hodge. Maybe they should have spoken to Wein, county attorney, someone in the crowd and they could have told Hodge. If the claims you are making against Dunn, Broomell, Mullin are true why did you not file a formal compliant before , durning, after the election. Your style is post on this blog to throw your dirt at them. This way you don’t have to have facts or proof. Your last comment “If you do etc” I say Right Back At You

  27. Amber,
    Complaints have been filed. Investigation is under way.

    The facts have been posted, and are readily available to anyone who wishes to look for the truth. Go forth Amber, and seek the truth if you care.

    You are relying on your feelings to control your logic and ethics. It is the same with Mullin/Dunn/Broomell. They have conveyed what they feel and their concern of what others might think. To show their maturity and superiority, they throw in some insulting innuendos (sarcasm for those who missed it). That is not dignified and certainly should not be the basis for leadership decisions. They were elected to protect the health, safety, and general welfare of Cecil County residents and make decisions based on law. They were not elected as our social club leaders. Nowhere in Article 25 of the Maryland Annotated Code does is say for them to ‘just go with their feelings or fears of whatever others may think’.

    Again I ask that you listen to the recordings.

    It is black and white if people have the mental capacity to understand and integrity to make decisions based upon knowledge.

    • Raoul. If only I had your wisdom. NOT. As I posted to Ms. Gregory we will NEVER agree. It is my opinion you have only one purpose that being to destroy Dunn, Broomell, Mullin, Smigiel, Pipkin. It is also my opinion this has nothing to do with the law or what is right or wrong. Do you have a personal grudge you need to settle? So why keep posting the same old words over and over again. No further replies from me.

      • Jackie Gregory

        I am not sure if your “grudge” comment was directed at me, so I will respond. Being in the TEA party, I am motivated by issues, so there is nothing personal in my positions. Facts and principles dominate my arguments. To me, who made the request, whether Hodge, or Mullins, or Jackie Gregory, or whoever else it may be makes absolutely no difference. That is the basis of my whole argument, impartiality of the law. Commissioner Mullins did say that one of the motivations for his actions on Hodge’s properties was that he was worried about what it would look like, or in other words, political correctness. I think most people are tired of our elected officials at all levels making decisions based on what is politically correct instead of what is right.
        As I said, I worked for Commissioner Broomell, both before election day and at the polls. I have defended her on more than one occasion on this blog. I hope that she is successful, and that that success is the result of her making good, fair, impartial decisions which are good for our county. I believe that Commissioner Broomell is in an extraordinary position to affect positive change in Cecil County if she wishes to do it. I don’t agree with her (or any commissioner) on everything, but I agree with most of the platform that she ran on. Any commissioner deserves support for the things done well, and should be called out when he/she behaves in a way that is detrimental to the county or that is inconsistent with his/her stated principles or platform.
        Any issues I raise with a candidate are on the basis of how he/she has voted or differences in ideology. My loyalty to political party or individuals is virtually nonexistent. I am a Constitutional Conservative first and foremost, just like most TEA party people are.
        Amber, it is my opinion that you operate too much in the world of opinion, and that opinions and beliefs should always have some basis in fact.
        For the record, Mike Dunn did file an empty home [someone noticed edit] as his place of residence with the MD State Board of Elections. At the time, the home, on Ryan Drive in Rising Sun, could be found on, since it was for sale at the time.

  28. Amber,
    Your assumptions are incorrect. Those you name are in office and doing a terrible job of representing all the people of Cecil County. I will and have praised public officials who deserve such. However, as the local news media has to worry about advertising dollars, they shy away from anything controversial. Someone Noticed is an avenue for dialogue. If you refuse to investigate as suggested, you are merely regurgitating opinion without substance. Bye bye.

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