Exit Interview: County Council’s Dirck Bartlett Does Not Go Quietly into that Good Night


For many years now, the Spy has tried to catch up with those leaving important positions in Talbot County for what we call an “exit interview.” The phrase comes from the world of human resources departments, eager to have candid insights from departing employees on how their organizations can run better.

In most cases, these Spy interviews have been helpful for the same reason.  Be it an art museum, college, or local government; these conversations allow our subject, free from the restrictions of a formal role, to highlight their institution’s successes and potential challenges in the future. It is also an excellent time to take a modest victory lap in recalling their most meaningful moments in those leadership positions.

In the case of Dirck Bartlett, however, who is concluding his twelve years on the Talbot County Council, his exit interview with the Spy was much more than just a casual word of concern of certain things. Most of his time was spent on talking about the forces at work in Talbot County who are attempting to systematically undo Talbot’s long-standing commitment for land protection and conservation. These same agents, he believes, showed their influence over a majority of his fellow Republican council members in 2018 in such matters as zoning, community noise management, and short-term vacation rental regulations.

Bartlett also does not hold his fire in talking about his views on the Talbot County Republican Central Committee, the fraud committed by those who created “Sears Wheeler,” who was exposed by the Star-Democrat as a fictitious writer of letters to the editor of that newspaper and on the Talbot Spy; the power and influence of developer Jeanie Bryan and the poor judgment of fellow council member Chuck Callahan for accepting a campaign donation from her; and, finally, the deceptive practices of the newly created Common Sense Talbot political action committee.

This video is approximately twenty-four minutes in length.

About Dave Wheelan

Letters to Editor

  1. Christine Dolan says


    Thank you for your honesty and clarity!

    Every citizen of this County needs to watch this before they vote, and even after the election because the investigation about this Council, Bryan and influence and shenanigans is nowhere near over!
    Christine Dolan

  2. David Lloyd says

    Dirck, we will miss you! Thank you for service to the community— and your willingness to listen to your constituents!

  3. Joan Young says

    What a shame that this interview was made available at the last minute so fewer voters would be aware of it before they made their choices! Or perhaps the placement was intentional in support of certain candidates.

  4. I would like to thank Mr. Bartlett for his service to our community. I have not agreed with him at all times. We disagree on the Talbot Boys issue and I thought that the council should have been more proactive in getting broad band to the residents in rural areas. However, you knew where he stood and he was straight up on his positions.

    We do seem to have a problem with the Talbot County Republican Central Committee. I am learning about the Sears Wheeler saga for the first time. It is time to have some non-GOP representation on the County Council. It is also time that those of us who want to control the developers get together and let the residents of the county know what is going on.

    Bogus organizations formed by the GOP Central Committee scare me. There are too many in Talbot County who would vote for a ham sandwich if it had the Republican label on it.

    By the way, I tried to call the GOP Central Committee today to express my displeasure about the racist pieces that Trump is running. I could not find a working phone number. I voted early and voted for some Republicans. The last time I think. Racism and fear should have no place here.

  5. Thank you for your service and this excellent explanation of what is going on in Talbot County.
    2 weeks too late.

    Carl and Lou Doll

  6. Ruey (Missy) Warfield says

    Thanks for the “exit interview” with Dirck Bartlett. His recounting of his 12 years on the County Council was informative, factual and well-spoken. His quiet vision will be missed on the Talbot Ounty Council.

  7. Dirck Bartlett does not know me. Living in Talbot County for almost 20 years, I have always tried to understand local issues and attend candidate forums. This fierce Democrat has been consistently impressed with Dirck Bartlett and voted for him. His support of the environment has been unwavering, and I’m saddened that he is moving on from the County Council. He has been informed, thoughtful, and articulate, and I will miss him. Ann Hymes, St. Michaels

  8. Rt. Rev. Joel Marcus Johnson says

    Excellent interview offering a broad understanding of the issues and the scandal behind some of the County Council members’ behaviors.


  1. […] argument is well-illustrated by a recent exit interview conducted by a local public affairs portal—the Talbot Spy—of Dirck Bartl…, who is concluding his twelve years on the Talbot County […]

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