Letter to Editor: Unfinished Business in Rock Hall

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On March 4 — and for the second time this year — Rock Hall Mayor Brian Jones refused to permit questions and comments from citizens during a Town Council meeting (violating both Charter and Code).

Here are some of the questions he suppressed:

  • Mr. Mayor: Given that the Town of Rock Hall is close to running a budget deficit — maybe already is — what items of non-essential spending do you plan to recommend to the Council to cut?
  • Mr. Mayor: The recent financial audit has 15 negative findings. Which three do you plan to address first? Also, because your own questionable actions are the subject of several of the findings, do you plan to recuse yourself from discussing and deciding on policies to address them?
  • Mr. Mayor: A utilities rate increase of 15% imposes a hardship for many in Rock Hall. Why didn’t you consider recommendations for modest increases in utility rates made by two Council members during previous budget discussions over the past four years?
  • Mr. Mayor: In January, you reported that you and Councilwoman Rosalie Kuechler were working with the Maryland Municipal League to identify several new sources of revenue for the Town. In the past two months, what new sources of revenue have you identified?
  • Mr. Mayor: When will the Town Manager produce for the Council a comprehensive list of major infrastructure maintenance and repair projects that need to be done, along with cost estimates?
  • Mr. Mayor: Given that the Town should provide a vehicle for the Town Manager to use on official business, and given that other Town employees should also have access to a Town vehicle as needed, why don’t you turn in that surplus police vehicle that’s parked in your driveway for your personal use so that the Town Manager and other employees can drive it? Or, why not sell it?

As we approach a municipal election in eight weeks, the Town of Rock Hall is in crisis—financial, administrative, legal, and ethical—yet Mayor Jones blithely ignores the chaos, and breaks the law to do so.

Of course, isn’t it futile to expect the very persons who caused the problems to solve the problems?

Yours truly,

Grenville B. Whitman

Rock Hall

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