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.