We thank you for your years of dedicated service, Mayor Willey. We also thank candidates Gunsallus and Bateman for their willingness to serve. But we decided to vote for Al Silverstein for Town Council President and think it is in the best interests of our community to vote for him, too, for the following reasons.
Filling in for Mayor Cook in her absence requires a level of understanding, skills and background in local government which Messrs. Gunsallus and Bateman simply do not possess at this time. We have not read anything online or heard anything in their interviews that suggest otherwise. For example, what is their experience with municipal (not small business) budgeting, risk management, benefit plans, personnel management, smart growth, infrastructure, and critical area workarounds that threaten our wetlands and natural resources? Have they previously volunteered to serve on our town government’s boards and commissions, such as the affordable housing board, planning and zoning commission, ethics commission, housing authority, 2023 comprehensive plan, etc. — to gain tenured experience in municipal governance?
While it is true Messrs. Gunsallus and Bateman may have laudable experiences and goals to be proud of, they are not sufficient to qualify them for the job of president of the Easton Town Council.
Regarding Mayor Willey, we did not vote for him for mayor and did not vote for him for town council president because we grew weary of the status quo approach of his administration.
Easton has reached a pivotal point in its modern history, especially when it comes to decisions and legislative actions involving the 2023 comprehensive plan and climate impacts; construction of the Route 50 hospital center and our community’s healthcare needs; attracting medical professionals and teachers; supporting the For All Seasons Behavioral Health & Rape Crisis Center; maintaining low property taxes; passing an Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance; expanding our affordable housing efforts; providing health, continuing education, career advancement opportunities and retirement benefits to our town administrative employees, law enforcement, and volunteer fire department; supporting our local businesses; establishing and strengthening our relationships with our Maryland county, state, and federal government representatives; and exploring and coordinating the best practices of other Maryland municipalities — most especially with our neighbors in Oxford, St. Michaels and Trappe.
Al Silverstein has lived in small towns all of his life. He and his wife Karen know well the importance of preserving the rural character of Easton and our Eastern Shore way of life. His extensive experience enables him to see the “big picture” because he served our community as town council representative of Ward 1 for eight years and participated in many levels of local government throughout his years as a resident of Easton and other similarly-sized towns. He knows our most urgent needs and how best to address them.
Al Silverstein’s relevant education and credentials are extensive, as Natalie Jones recently reported in The Star Democrat: BS Secondary Education, Northern State University, Aberdeen, South Dakota; Graduate of the Institute of Organizational Management, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado; Graduate of the Economic Development Institute, University or Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma.; Fellow, Academy of Excellence in Local Governance, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland; Certified assessor/appraiser, State of South Dakota, Pierre, South Dakota.
In sum, Al Silverstein is uniquely qualified to be our next Town Council President. We urge you to vote for him on Tuesday, September 12.
John and Clara Kelly