Historic District Commissioner Rebecca Murphy was reappointed by a unanimous town council vote during the January 16 council meeting. The term is for three years.
The appointment was preceded by public comments from Chestertown residents who spoke to nominate Chestertown resident Cherilyn Widell to fill the position. Speakers were Steven and Lynn Mitchell, Barbara Jorgenson, Nancy McGuire, and John Hutchison. Barbara Jorgenson read a letter written by Thomas Kocubinski. Lynn Mitchell read a letter from Claudia Connelly.
As cited by Barbara Jorgenson in a resume sent to the Spy, Widell has an extensive background in historic preservation, history, historic architecture, and conservation. She has her own consulting business, Widell Preservation Service, LLC. Among other accolades, Widell 1985 Received the Calvert Prize from Maryland Governor Harry Hughes D), the highest award for Historic Preservation in MD as Executive Director of the Maryland Association of Historic District Commissions.
All speakers except for John Hutchinson proposed replacing Murphy. Hutchinson is Rebecca Murphy’s husband and a local architect. He questioned the timing of the challenges to Murphy’s reappointment.
Most speakers have been passionate about their views on the proposed demolition of the Chestertown Armory in past HDC meetings.
Mayor Foster concluded the reappointment procedure with appreciation for Cherilyn Widell’s list of achievements in Historic Preservation. He hoped that the Town might arrange for her to be an HDC consultant and re-apply when there is an open seat on the Committee.
Foster emphasized his support for all volunteers working for the Town and that Murphy’s tenure on the HDC has been without criticism to his office.
Foster added that due to the ongoing complexity of the Armory issue, the Committee should remain the same midstream and that reappointments were common practice.
Readers in this video are Steven and Lynn Mitchell, Barbara Jorgenson, Nancy McGuire, and John Hutchinson.
See the entire reappointment procedure here.
This video is approximately twelve minutes in length.