Letter to the Editor: Elect Council Members that will Listen and Support the “Average Guy”


It’s been said that decisions made by three members of the Talbot County Council are somehow problematic. There a reason why a voting body contains an odd number of members. A majority vote is needed.

The fact is the Talbot County Council basically ends up with a 3 to 2 vote because you have 3 members, Callahan, Pack and Williams, voting for common-sense compromises that reflect the desires of the majority of citizens of Talbot County and you have 2 members, Bartlett and Price, voting in favor of what their special interest groups told them to vote for.

You have, what some have labeled, the “Gang of Three”, who made their decisions not just by listening to people who attend the meetings, but by listening to citizens throughout this community; at picnics, at charity fund raisers, at chamber meetings, at schools, around the courthouse and on the “streets.” While the other 2 members vote primarily upon what they hear at the public hearings.

It’s been my experience that most of the people that attend public hearings in mass are the people that only support a one-sided outcome without compromise. In the case of most Talbot County meetings, these are the wealthy retirees that came here from other places around the state and country and think that Talbot County citizens are too stupid and complacent to rebel against their desire to control this county.

All you must do is look at all the players…. You’ll find one side living as normal middle-class folks, while the other side lives in multi-million-dollar homes on the water and drive expensive cars. You’ll find one side comprised of people that come from here, have businesses here, have jobs here, raise their families here, send their children to school here, and are just too busy taking care of their family and earning a living to attend the public hearings. While the other side who have recently retired here have lots of time and resources to present their demands at the public hearings.

Here are a couple of “FACTS” to consider before you cast your vote. Forty-nine percent of the children in our schools financially qualify for free or reduced meals and there are 165 students that are homeless. Remember the “Coalition” of special interest groups are fighting against the interests of the average Talbot County citizen. The citizens who need good paying jobs, good schools and homes they can afford to own and live in.

If you want a Council that will listen and support the “average guy” in Talbot County consider voting for Chuck Callahan, Kesha Haythe, Frank Divilio, Cory Pack and Jennifer Williams. These are common sense folks with common sense values.

Bill Cockayne

The author is the husband of Talbot County President Jennifer Williams

Letters to Editor

  1. Carolyn Ewing says

    It is disturbing that Bill Cockayne did not originally submit this letter without disclosing that he is the husband of one of the candidates, Jennifer Williams, and is one of the two organizers and chairman of the Commonsense Pac.

    His point about people being too busy to come to public forums neglects to acknowledge that there were literally hundreds of letters, emails and phone calls from citizens who did not attend the meetings, so their voices were heard, but not regarded by the majority of the council.

    The arrogance of the county council has been apparent and abhorrent to those of us who pay attention not only to what people do, but how they conduct themselves.

    I didn’t see many people at those meetings who live in multi-million dollar homes, though I fail to understand why everyone who lives here and pays taxes does not have the same right to have his voice heard. I suppose he doesn’t understand the irony of his elitist attitude. He is willing to discount an entire category of people. I am not, and neither were Laura and Dirck: not the watermen, not the large landholders, not all those somewhere in the middle where most of us reside. Our voices were heard, but not heeded by the majority; that is not representative government.

  2. Julie Imirie says

    There is a war in Talbot Co. on “come heres”, or those of us who aren’t natives. You attack the people who would choose to retire here as wealthy demagogues. I moved here for work reasons in 1994. I left for awhile (also to pursue a different career path and travel adventure), but then came back because I always felt like this was home.

    I do not live in a multi-million dollar waterfront home, nor do I drive an expensive car. And, I no longer feel welcome here. But, just in case the current council members and wannabe candidate didn’t have the opportunity take Econ 101 in school, I might ask them – if left only to the natives, who do they think is going to buy the expensive real estate from the brokers that they are so beholden too? Who is going to pay the property tax that has to be raised to pay for the school, emergency services and infrastructure that they want to increase the budget for? Who is going to invest in the county with businesses? Who is going to minister to the people, heal the sick, or teach their children? As a “come here”, is my voice any less important than someone who grew up here? You think so.

    I am going to leave Talbot Co. one day soon. I no longer feel welcome here by the three government leaders who speak with increased disdain for the vibrant senior residents who support the arts, culture, restaurants, shops, real estate and pay the taxes, and, for the young families who come here to escape the congestion, crime and stress of city living. This letter is disgraceful on so many levels.

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