1,600 Sign Petition To Put Cambridge City Manager Issue To Vote - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

1,600 Sign Petition To Put Cambridge City Manager Issue To Vote

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 CAMBRIDGE, Md.- For the past year, several people in Cambridge have been arguing the city is in need of a full time manager.

"A city manager is an improvement in any city, any successful city in this country has a city manager.  We've got small communities here on the eastern shore that also have a city manager," said Carol Levy-Ruark, owner of the downtown store A Few of My Favorite Things.

The idea gained enough traction that on December 19th, the ordinances were passed, creating the city manager position.  But this week, William Jackson submitted a petition with 1,600 signatures calling for a citizen's vote, or referendum, on the matter.

"It just doesn't seem right, and if we wanted that style of government, let's at least have a vote to say let's go to that," said Jackson.

Jackson says the signatures came from all five wards of the city.  They had enough names on the form to seemingly bring the process to a halt.

WBOC spoke with Steve Rideout, one of the people who has been pushing for this to happen.  He says he's not disappointed seeing this petition, that of course people here in the town do have a right to vote, but he believes that if it does go to referendum, the city manager will still pass.

"If the citizens want a city manager, then vote for it.  If they don't, then vote for it, not just let a few people have this much latitude in the city of Cambridge," said Jackson.

With the position set to open this summer, some are frustrated with the holdup.

"The time spent in holding things back is hurting us," said Levy-Ruark.

Jackson says he personally is opposed to a city manager, saying that he's concerned that person would have too much power for someone who was appointed, not elected.

The city will now verify all the signatures are authentic, and belong to registered voters.  If the number of verified signatures exceeds 20% of the voting base, or approximately 1,600, the city council would then have to decide if a special election would be held to decide the issue, or if it would be put on hold until the 2016 general election.
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