Last week Talbot County Council President Corey Pack sent to the legislature two letters purporting to express the County Council’s position on legislation pending in Annapolis. The problem is that this was done completely behind closed doors, with no public knowledge or notice and in disregard for County procedures. Some sort of vote on the issue was taken by the Council (it was not unanimous), but not in public as required by the Charter. But for a legislator mentioning the letter at a hearing on Friday, Talbot’s citizens still might not know anything about it.
President Pack is a third term Councilman, and surely he must have realized that the Council he leads is not supposed to just go off and do its own thing out of public sight. Whether one agrees or not with the Council’s point of view is beside the point; the Council speaks for the County as a whole and there is a proper way for the Council to evaluate an issue and take action in public, so we can know what’s going on.
Based on its disregard for procedure, the Bipartisan Coalition of Talbot County on Tuesday morning formally requested that Mr. Pack contact the legislature and withdraw the improperly authorized letters immediately, in view of the fact that the legislation being influenced is being heard in committee as early as today (Wednesday, February 27).
Perhaps in past years Council Members could assume Talbot’s voters were uninterested and disengaged. But no longer. Plenty of people are genuinely interested in what’s going on, and how the Council is operating in the interests of all.
Dan Watson, Chair
The Bipartisan Coalition of Talbot County
The legislation in question pertains to the permanent protection of the Harris Creek and Tred Avon oyster sanctuaries, which the Council purports to oppose. See the Council’s letter below. The Bipartisan Coalition’s letter requesting its withdraw because the Council letter was improperly authorized is also attached.