Bob Culver

Don Rush

Too many requests. Not enough money.

That’s the word from Wicomico County Executive Bob Culver as he ponders the department requests for the 2019 budget.

During a budget hearing last night Culver said that the county’s expenses have increased such that it would be difficult to full fill the request from the Wicomico Board of Education.

WBOC reports that to do so he said would require an increase in local property taxes by 12 to 13 cents per $100 of assessed value.

Culver added that just isn’t going go over with local residents.

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Salisbury City Council President Jack Heath now has enough signatures to qualify to run for Wicomico County Executive as an independent.

He handed in over 800 signature to local election officials that goes beyond the 651 needed to get on the ballot.

The requirement is 1 percent of the total registered voters in the county.

Health told the Salisbury Daily Times that he looks forward to the general election in November when he is expected to run against the incumbent Republican Bob Culver.

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It could be Jack Heath for Wicomico County Executive.

There’s a new website promoting the Salisbury City Council president’s name for the job.

He told the Salisbury Daily Times that would make an announcement next Wednesday.

Incumbent County Executive Bob Culver told the paper that he was not surprised.

He added that the city was looking for someone to run against him next year.

The website is listed as Friends of Jack Heath.

Mark Granger is named as its treasurer.

Don Rush

Wicomico County Executive Bob Culver says he wants those who wrote anti-Confederate graffiti in colored chalk on the sidewalk and steps around the County Courthouse to be charged.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the State’s Attorney had advised the County Sheriff’s office that it can file malicious destruction of property charges for writing on the building.

On his Facebook page County Sheriff Mike Lewis said he intended to file charges calling the perpetrators “thugs” and “punks”.  

Don Rush

Wicomico County Executive Bob Culver says he has given up effort to create a new fire territory for the breakaway volunteer fire company.

He told the Salisbury Daily Times all work has been stopped.

Previously Culver had told his emergency services director David Shipley to move ahead with giving the breakaway volunteer fire company territory outside of Salisbury in the Route 13 bypass area.

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The battle over the breakaway volunteer fire company has taken another turn.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the Wicomico County Fire Chiefs Association voted unanimously against the fire service agreement between the county and Salisbury.

The problem they said was the current dispute involving County Executive Bob Culver who has gone forward with planning for territory to be covered by the new unit.

But both County Council President John Cannon and Mayor Jake Day note that that is not what was agreed to in the fire service agreement.

Don Rush

Wicomico County Executive Bob Culver says he is moving forward with carving out a piece of territory for the breakaway volunteer firefighters who left the Salisbury Fire Department.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that move would give territory to the company that is now covered by the Salisbury Fire Department.

But such a move, say Wicomico County officials, would be a violation of the city/county service agreement.

Mayor Jake Day told the paper that it was shocking that “an elected official would flaunt the law.”

Don Rush

The Wicomico County Council has received a petition to take down the plaque commemorating Confederate General John Henry Winder from downtown Salisbury.

But the council members appears to have brushed aside the controversy.

The Salisbury Daily Times caught up with council member Matt Holloway who said there were more pressing issues in the country like the economy.

Meanwhile, County Council President John Cannon told the paper that County Executive Bob Culver needed to take the lead on making a decision about the plaque.

Don Rush

Wicomico County Executive Bob Culver says he wants the Council to consider term limits for its members as well as for his position.

By yesterday afternoon the council said it wasn’t time yet for such a discussion.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the council statement said with the council elections more than a year away it had not gotten around yet to looking at possible charter amendments.

Culver said that he has pushed for them in the past and would like to see local voters have their say.

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Wicomico County Council President John Cannon says he wants to halt giving any land for the volunteer fire company that broke away from the Salisbury Fire Department.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that he said it would violate the fire service agreement with the city which does not designate any land for the new Salisbury Independent Fire Company.

It’s now been designated Station 13.

The fire company left the Salisbury Fire Department after staffing disputes.

bob culver campaign website

Wicomico County Executive Bob Culver called it a witch hunt.

He was referring to an audit into – what has been termed – a potentially fraudulent letter recommending a raise for a county employee.

Culver charged that members on the county council were engaged in wasting taxpayer dollars to “advance their own political agenda”.

His criticism comes after the county council decided not to proceed because of what the auditor said was a lack of cooperation and transparency.

Don Rush

The investigation into a suspicious letter that called for a pay hike for a Wicomico County employee has been called off.

The reason cited by the firm hired to investigate was that County Executive Bob Culver and members of his staff have declined to answer questions about the affair.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the County Council decision comes on the same day that the firm said that the lack of “full disclosure” and “transparency” was “disconcerting”.

The company called the letter dated November 19th, 2015 “potentially fraudulent”.

Don Rush

A suspicious letter has shown up in the personnel file of a Wicomico County employee calling for a raise.

An independent audit calls the letter potentially fraudulent.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the document is dated November 19th, 2015 and made the case for a raise for an unnamed county employee by a department head.

The paper reports that the department head has denied any involvement in the letter.

Don Rush

Wicomico County will resume – what’s known as – tax sales.

That is property sold by the county to bidders who promise to pay the tax and sometimes more.

County Executive Bob Culver cancelled last year’s sales trying to recoup the back taxes by other means including payment plans.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that this year Wicomico County put out the required ads in the Daily Record which has a greater focus on legal, business and government affairs.       

They have a much smaller circulation in Wicomico County than the local papers.

Don Rush

The Wicomico County Council approved a nearly $143 million budget for the 2018 fiscal year.

The spending plan also provides a small reduction in the property tax and money for the Wicomico County School District to buy some laptop computers.

One thing missing is any funding for a new station for the volunteer fire company that broke away from the Salisbury City Fire Department.

Cory Polidore, chief of the volunteer fire company, told the Salisbury Daily Times that this was “a slap in the face.”

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Wicomico County Executive Bob Culver has named Dawn Parks to head up the Finance Department on an interim basis.

She replaces Leslie Lewis who was fired by Culver last week.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports it’s not the first time Parks has filled in.

She is a veteran of the Finance Department including serving as acting finance director two years ago.

Lewis was dismissed last week without explanation and her departure comes as the county begins its budget deliberations.

Don Rush

The company one volunteer firefighters have cut a deal to relocate to the Salisbury-Ocean City: Wicomico Regional Airport.

The move comes after deciding to separate from the Salisbury Fire Department.

Council president John Cannon told WBOC that this was a positive development.

Meanwhile, County Executive Bob Culver has proposed a budget amendment that would include the volunteer fire company.

Don Rush

Wicomico County has put some money in its budget to pay for some firefighters at the regional airport.

It is part of the plans to relocate the volunteer firefighters that have recently separated from the Salisbury Fire Department.

The work in the past has been done by crews from Piedmont Airlines.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that County Executive Bob Culver says that members of the Company 1 Volunteer Firefighters has been offered a new station at the airport.

He said he wants to put some of them on the payroll.

creative commons

It looks like ice hockey will be coming to the Wicomico Youth and Civic Center – perhaps as soon as October of 2018.

County Executive Bob Culver made the announcement today.

He was joined by Jim Calpin who represents investors who buy minor league sports teams.

The announcement comes after a report that found bringing a hockey team to Worcester County looked problematic.

Culver said that Wicomico County is different.

salisbury fire department

The volunteer firefighters at Fire Station 1 in Salisbury will be meeting with the Wicomico County Council this Thursday.

The special meeting which will take place at noon comes after the volunteer firefighters decided to leave the Salisbury Fire Department over a staffing dispute.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the council members also expect to get an update on negotiations for a fire service agreement between the city and county.

A study found that the county is not paying enough – up to a million dollars -- in actual cost for fire service from the city.

Don Rush

The departure of Volunteer Fire Company 1 in Salisbury apparently resulted from a requirement by the department that they be available overnight.

The fire chief Rick Hoopes told the Salisbury Daily Times that it was not mandatory they be at the station but rather could respond from home.

Although, he added, that new recruits would be required to man the stations.

The department said that the changes were made upon the recommendation of a taskforce to improve response time.

Don Rush

Some have called it an eyesore.

And Wicomico County Executive Bob Culver says that the rusty water tower at Perdue Stadium will be down before the Shore Birds first opening game this year.

The tower sits just off of third base near the parking lot.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that it was originally erected as part of a fire suppression system.

But in 2005 the stadium began getting its water from the city of Salisbury.

And it has not been in use since.

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Wicomico County and the city of Salisbury have cut a deal to extend the municipal water lines to the Salisbury-Ocean City: Wicomico Regional Airport.

It was just one of a number of agreements signed this week by County Executive Bob Culver and Mayor Jake Day.

Other agreements ranged from deeding six acres near Naylor Mill Park to the County to easements including one for the county-owned Scenic Drive to allow Salisbury access to its Naylor Mill Park.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that Culver declared that this was a whole new era for the city and county.

Don

A third party report on the fire service to Wicomico County has issued ten recommendations to resolve the dispute with the city of Salisbury.

For years the city has said that it should be compensated for its fire department and EMS service to nearby county areas.

Among the ten recommendation one says that Wicomico County should pay the city $288 for each fire call into the suburban areas.

This would be in addition to the grant that the county pays to each fire station.

Don Rush

Wicomico County voters gave their approval to a set of charter amendments that would expand the power of the County Council.

They received from 62 percent to 77 percent of the vote.

The measures included changing the role of the county attorney representing the council to control of personnel policy in the executive branch.

County Council president John Cannon told WBOC that he was pleased with the results.

Last week County Executive Bob Culver said that while he was not against the amendments but believed the council needed to get more input from the public.

Wicomico Youth and Civic Center website

The Wicomico Youth and Civic Center in Salisbury will be allowed to serve alcohol.

The county Board of License Commissioners gave the okay for the facility to serve beer, wine and liquor at the events.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that it had been thought that the original deed had prohibited the serving of alcohol at the Center but a recent legal investigation found that was not the case.  

County Executive Bob Culver has pushed for permission to serve alcohol and it could make the center more attractive to those looking for a site to host their events.

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There is a standoff between Wicomico County Executive Bob Culver and County Library officials.

Culver issued a letter demanding that the library turn over 33-hundred square feet of space to store county voting machines.

That’s where the library’s Entrepreneur Center is located.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that library officials sent Culver a letter yesterday refusing to turn over the keys.

The letter said that they believed the space should solely be used for library purposes.

Don Rush

An environmental consultant says that it would be okay for Wicomico County to allow the large chicken house operation slated for Naylor Mill Road.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that John D. Hynes and Associates found that the Maryland groundwater protection rules would be strong enough to protect such areas as the Paleo Channel and nearby waterways.

The paper says that Monica Brooks, a local resident and critic of the project, called the report “passing the buck” to justify going forward.

creative commons

The proposed mega-poultry operation for Naylor Mill road riles up local residents as political leaders struggle with the new phenomenon in the chicken industry. Delmarva Public Radio's Patrick Lieb prepared this report.

Governor's Office

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan is making stops on the Lower Eastern Shore this week.

He will make an appearance at the Delmarva Poultry Industry’s annual Booster Banquet at the Wicomico Youth and Civic Center tonight.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that tomorrow he is expected to make some announcements about transportation projects at the Red Lobster in Salisbury.

He is also expected to huddle with Wicomico County Executive Bob Culver and county council members.            

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