Did anyone else watch to the end of the Talbot County Council meeting on Oct 13, 2020? After experiencing severe audio difficulties early in the meeting, perhaps interest waned when Mr. Pack, Council President, announced upon the Council’s return from a brief recess to fix the problem, that due to ongoing technical issues he was cancelling the public comments portions of the meeting. Mr. Callahan, Council Vice President was not in attendance.
At the end of his County Manager report, 2 hours and 40 minutes into the meeting, the Assistant County Manager turned to the clerk and asked her to introduce the next topic, which seemed strange. The clerk asked the Council for guidance on how to handle an emailed letter to the Council. Acting against Council protocol, Mr. Pack had a letter from Richard Potter of the Talbot NAACP read aloud. Mr. Potter requested a meeting with the Council and other unnamed parties regarding the Talbot Boys memorial. Clearly surprised at this unusual proceeding, Mr. Divilio questioned this item being discussed since it was not an agenda item. It was not listed on the Manager’s Agenda nor an announcement. When Mr. Pack inappropriately continued, Mr. Divilio questioned who were the other interested groups or individuals; Mr. Pack replied he did not know. Remotely, Ms. Price expressed the same concerns and reasonably suggested this be handled per usual practice.
When Mr. Pack attempted to draw Mr. Lesher into the debate, it was clear he was as surprised at Mr. Pack’s behavior as the others. When he found no support for his unprofessional behavior, Mr. Pack no longer attempted to schedule a meeting. Mr. Stamp was substituting for Mr. Hollis, the county manager, who would likely have been more versed in Council protocol, perhaps averting Mr. Pack’s unseemly behavior towards his fellow council members. As a remote observer I was appalled by Mr. Pack’s special treatment afforded one person since public comments had been cancelled by Mr. Pack.
There seems to be a pattern of ill-treatment of his fellow council members and questionable behavior by Mr. Pack as evidenced by an open meetings act complaint, inordinate pressure on council members to agree with him, apparently directing county staff to act outside of normal procedures, and unilateral decision-making. Instead of building consensus, Mr. Pack is not only promoting controversy and division, but also seems determined to discredit his fellow council members.