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Wicomico County Charter Amendment Debate

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One of the nine Wicomico County charter amendment questions.  (Photo: WBOC) One of the nine Wicomico County charter amendment questions. (Photo: WBOC)

SALISBURY, Md. - When you head into the voting booth this election day in Wicomico County, there are going to be a few more questions on the ballot than you may be used too.  Nine Wicomico County charter amendments need to be voted upon and county leaders do not see eye-to-eye on how the questions made their way onto the ballot.

The charter amendments would change some functions of the county council and county executive.  

"The executive legislative form of government has only been around for going on two and a half terms and we found that there are some hiccups in the charter.  Things that we think we need to be addressed.  And that's pretty much what a lot of what this is about," said County Council President, John Cannon.

However, County Executive Bob Culver has called attention, not to the content of the charter amendment questions, but the manner in which they have been proposed.  Culver released a statement to WBOC:  

“It is my feeling that the manner the County Council has used in putting forth these amendments is flawed.  A group of seven men, in a matter of three council meetings are attempting to change the charter that Wicomico County lives by. The method that has been used prior to make changes to the Charter has allowed for public input.  This time there wasn’t any public hearing where the citizens could be heard and as Executive I have always felt public input is important for governing.  The citizens have been denied the opportunity to voice their opinion.”

But, Cannon said the council followed all of the procedures correctly and there were both public meetings and hearings regarding these charter amendment questions.

"We even entertained recommendations from the executive branch as to what changes he would like to see implemented and followed through with that.  So, I think we've been above board with the process all along," Cannon said.

It's not up to the voters to decide whether they are for or against these charter amendments in Wicomico County.

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