Marina Has New Manager, New Name

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Samantha Branham, the new manager at the Port of Chestertown Municipal Marina – photo by Peter Heck

The Chestertown marina has a new manager – and a new name.

Samantha Branham began working at the town-owned marina April 15. A Centreville native who attended Queen Anne’s County High School, she has lived in Chestertown for about 10 years. She said she has worked in the hospitality industry since about 2011, with previous experience at the Great Oak and Tolchester marinas. She heard of the opening for a marina manager from Mayor Chris Cerino and decided to “become part of the changing waterfront. I’d like to see it thrive – it has a lot of potential,” she said Tuesday morning, in her new office on the Water Street side of the marina property.

Branham said she is looking forward to meeting those who have supported the marina and the many boat owners, visitors, and residents who will be coming through in months to come. She said she’s especially looking forward to those new to the area, some of whom will undoubtedly be attracted by word of the renovations and updates to the marina. She pointed out the broad view of the river from her office window, which overlooks the entire marina. “I love the Eastern Shore,” she said. “It’s an honor to live and work somewhere that people retire to, take their vacations in, and fall in love with.” And she’ll be spending much of her spare time out on the river in her own kayak.

Councilman Marty Stetson spoke enthusiastically about visiting Branham in her office on her first day on the job and being greeted warmly. “I think she’ll be great,” he said.

The new marina office and store, also home to ShoreRivers’ Chestertown office — photo by Peter Heck

The marina has undergone extensive upgrades in the past year, with new docks and bulkheads, and a new marina office and store. The docks have been extended 70 feet, adding a number of new deep-water slips. The boat basin has been dredged, eliminating a decade or more of built-up silting. And two of the three docks are now floating docks, making it more convenient for boaters to get on and off their craft, whatever the tide level. Only the Cannon Street dock, where schooner Sultana regularly berths, is at the higher level. Kees de Mooy, the town’s zoning administrator, said that many of the slips at the marina have already been reserved for the town’s major festivals, including Jazz Festival, Downrigging, and the Chestertown Tea Party.

The grade of the marina parking lot has been raised by as much as two feet in order to reduce the frequent flooding that occurred during high tides or rainstorms. And the site of the old marina store has been cleared to create a small plaza that can be used for concerts or other events. Renovations are also taking place at the boat launch, with new floating docks to be installed once the ramp is finished.

The 98 Cannon Riverfront Grill, with one of the marina’s new floating docks in the foreground – photo by Peter Heck

Changes are also coming in the former Fish Whistle restaurant, now named the 98 Cannon Riverfront Grill. Closed for renovations after a recent change in ownership, the restaurant is currently aiming for a May 11 opening. Among the expected renovations are an increased outdoor seating area extending along the south end of the building, including a crab deck. Workers were preparing the foundation for the new deck Tuesday morning when the Spy visited the marina.

Also, the Chestertown council, at its April 15 meeting, voted 3 to 2 to rename the town-owned facility “Port of Chestertown Municipal Marina.” Stetson introduced the proposal for renaming, arguing that the new name would recognize the historic status of Chestertown as a port, dating back to Colonial times, and would help turn around negative associations with the marina from before recent renovations. Stetson said the name should be officially changed before the boating season begins to allow for publicity to get underway. Councilmen David Foster and Ellsworth Tolliver supported the proposal.

The opposing votes were cast by Councilwoman Linda Kuiper and Cerino, who described himself as “moderately opposed.” Kuiper said that most people will probably continue to use the old name and that word of mouth will bring people in as they learn of the recent renovations and improvements. “I just like ‘Chestertown Marina,’” she said.

Looking at the recent changes, it’s a good bet a lot of people will like the marina – whatever the name.

Look for a report on the rest of the Chestertown Council meeting in a forthcoming Spy article.

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Mourners gather in Annapolis to honor Michael Busch

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Members of the Maryland General Assembly on Monday solemnly lined up outside the State House, as bagpipes played and state troopers carried in the casket of the late House Speaker Michael Busch, followed by his family.

Politicians, dignitaries and the general public gathered in the Maryland State House to pay their respects to the longtime speaker of the House.

Busch, D-Anne Arundel, died April 7, just one day before the last day of the legislative session — known as Sine Die — while being treated for pneumonia. He was 72.

A Maryland State Police procession escorted Busch’s casket — draped in a Maryland flag — and his family through a windy downtown Annapolis before stopping in the rotunda of the State House to lie in repose.

The members of the General Assembly filed in after the procession, while the public made their way through the opposite entrance of the building. Others filled the sidewalks and the grassy area outside the State House.

Several dignitaries, including Gov. Larry Hogan, R, gave remarks before the public visitation.

“Few have served Maryland with as much passion and dedication as Mike Busch did,” Hogan said early Monday afternoon. “And few will leave this earth as well-loved and esteemed as he was.”

Former United States Sen. Barbara Mikulski referred to Busch as “coach,” and Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Maryland, lauded his commitment to Maryland over the years.

Delegate Maggie McIntosh, D-Baltimore, teared up while speaking, calling Busch a “leader” and “friend.”

After the remarks, members of the General Assembly walked past Busch’s casket, some closing their eyes to say a prayer, and briefly speaking with Busch’s family before exiting the State House.

Another public visitation is scheduled for Tuesday before a procession escorting the casket for the funeral service. Following the service, Hogan is expected to present Busch’s family — his wife, Cindy, and daughters Erin and Megan — with the Maryland state flag from Busch’s casket.

According to a spokeswoman for Hogan, the governor has not yet received a request to call a special session to vote for a new House speaker.

By Daniel Oyefusi

 

John Dillon Resigns From UM Shore Regional Health Board Of Directors

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John Dillon, chairman of the University of Maryland Shore Regional Health Board of Directors, has announced his resignation from the Board, effective immediately.

Dillon, whose tenure on the Board was set to end on June 30, 2019, notified the Board of his resignationApril 9, citing his belief that leaving the Board at this time is in the best interest of UM Shore Regional Health to minimize the distraction caused by current discussions regarding University of Maryland Medical System Board relationships.

“With regret, the Board of Directors has accepted John Dillon’s resignation, effective immediately,” says Board Vice Chairman Richard Loeffler. “ We are grateful to John for his years of service to UM Shore Regional Health and appreciate that his decision to step down is in an effort to allow the organization’s Board and leadership to remain singularly focused on our mission to create healthier communities together.”

Richard Loeffler, UM SRH Vice Chair, of Cambridge, will serve as Acting UM SRH Board Chair until July 1, 2019 when new officers are confirmed.

 

Council Supports Enterprise Zone Tax Credits for Downtown Renovations

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The Chestertown council at its April 1 meeting

The Chestertown council, at its meeting April 1, approved resolutions in support of Enterprise Zone tax credits for three businesses in town.

New or expanding businesses in the Enterprise Zone, which covers the town’s main business and commercial areas, are eligible for several kinds of tax credits. Businesses hiring new qualifying employees can apply for an income tax credit of $1,000 for each new employee and $6,000, phased over three years, for each new economically disadvantaged employee. Businesses renovating or upgrading properties within the zone are eligible for credits against increases in county property tax based on the assessed value of improvements to the properties. The tax credits are administered by the Maryland Department of Commerce.

Front view of Stam’s, being renovated as an ice cream parlor and luncheonette.

Kit-Team LLC is performing renovations to the former Stam drugstore and the restaurant/bar most recently operating as Lemon Leaf Grill and J.R.’s Past Time Pub. Both properties are undergoing extensive work. The former drugstore is being prepared to open as a luncheonette and ice cream parlor, with a target opening in the fall of this year. As part of the restoration, the owners plan to restore the original storefront façade. Inside, there will be a teaching kitchen and a community gathering place on the first floor, and an office space for a non-profit and an apartment on the second floor. The renovations are expected to cost some $3 million; the luncheonette plans to create at least one full-time job and four to six part-time jobs, while the non-profit would create two to three jobs, at least one of which would be full-time.

At the restaurant site, the renovations are expected to cost about $5 million, spread over four adjacent buildings. A 70-seat restaurant is planned for 337 High St., the former Lemon Leaf site; the building will also include a new kitchen on the first floor, and private dining areas, a pub, and banquet facilities on the upper floor. At 337 ½ High St., plans are for an independently-owned bar and restaurant with outdoor seating in the rear. A small storefront, offering rare and high-end distilled spirits, is slated for 339 High St., while 341 High St. is to be converted into three or more apartments. The applicants estimate that the four buildings will generate some 37 new jobs, as well as increasing tourist traffic and other economic activity. Kit-Team LLC is applying for property tax credits for the capital improvements.

The council voted unanimously to support the tax credit applications. Mayor Chris Cerino described the two Kit-Team projects as “a godsend” to the downtown business area, praising the investors for their “altruistic” commitment to the future of the town.

The former J.R.’s Pub is being renovated — this view from the rear shows the current progress.

The council also approved a resolution in support of applications by KRM Development Corporation and KRM Construction Company, which have offices in the former bank building at 205 High St. The KRM companies are working to create the new Chestertown Business Park on Route 213 behind the Washington Square shopping center, among other projects. These companies are applying for income tax credits, stating that they both plan to create at least one new job in the upcoming year.

Also at the meeting, the council approved event permits for the Tea Party Festival and for Downrigging Weekend. Sabine Harvey, chairwoman of the Tea Party committee, said the festival over Memorial Day weekend would be “the same as always,” with a few minor tweaks. The Saturday street fair will close at 4 p.m. instead of 5 p.m. as previously, to give the town’s street crew an earlier start for cleanup. Harvey said she had already met with the town crew and the police department, and everything is on course for the festival. 

Drew McMullen of Sultana Education Foundation gives the Chestertown Council an update on Downrigging Weekend

Drew McMullen of Sultana Education Foundation gave the presentation for Downrigging, which takes place at the end of October. He said the recent renovations to the town marina would have a major impact on the festival, allowing it to present almost all its events at the marina and on the foot of Cannon Street. Among the changes would be a “festival village” on the site of the former marina store, on the downriver side of the 98 Cannon St. restaurant, the former Fish Whistle. This village will feature live music and food vendors, with music playing until 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday nights. The festival does not plan to use the foot of High Street, as in former years, but McMullen asked that the town not schedule any other events for that area, or for Wilmer Park, so those areas will be available for parking for festival attendees. Also, he asked that Front Street south of Cannon be closed to non-local traffic. There will be a fireworks display either Friday or Saturday night from Wilmer Park. The park will be closed the afternoon of the display to allow the fireworks to be set up safely.

The council also heard an update on the Chestertown bocce league, scheduled to begin its season in Wilmer Park April 16. Frank Hurst, the league president, said that last year’s league enrolled some 325 players. With three new teams signed up for the upcoming season, the league could have 350 players this year, he said. The league has $8,574 cash on hand, from which it will pay for maintenance of the turf in the park. He asked the town to ask any festivals or other events using the park not to run trucks onto the grass, so as to minimize the need for repairs. The bocce league also has a new website, which will offer updated schedules, scores and standings. The council approved a waiver of the open container law for the bocce season.

Cerino asked the council members for their opinions on a proposal to rename the marina “the Port of Chestertown,” as suggested by Councilman Marty Stetson. Cerino said the renovations in the town-owned facility have come a long way, and a new name might help the town to erase negative connotations around the marina from before the upgrades. Town Manager Bill Ingersoll said many people will continue to use the old name, whatever the town decides. After some discussion, Cerino decided to wait for the return of Councilman Ellsworth Tolliver, who was absent for this meeting, to make a decision on the renaming.

KKK Rears Ugly Head in St. Michaels

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Maryland State Police are investigating the distribution of racist literature found in a Talbot County community over the weekend.

On the morning of March 31, 2019, a resident of St. Michaels contacted the Easton Barrack and reported racist literature had been found distributed in driveways in the community. A trooper responded and his subsequent investigation found that the material had been left at residences predominantly in the area of Riverview Terrace and Cove Road in St. Michaels.

The printed material indicates it is produced by the Ku Klux Klan. It espouses racist views towardAfrican Americans, Jewish people, American Indians, and others. The material also solicits people to join the KKK. The flyers were found in clear plastic baggies. The bags also contained birdseed, which provides weight, enabling the package to be thrown into a driveway and remain there.

The trooper forwarded information from his investigation to the Maryland Coordination and Analysis Center, the state’s fusion center, where local, state and federal authorities, including the FBI, were made aware of the incident. Information was also provided to the Eastern Shore Information Center, which is a local multi-jurisdictional task force of law enforcement agencies in the region.

This is being documented as a hate/bias incident as per the Maryland Public Safety Article Title 2-307.

However, the investigation has not established evidence that a crime has been committed. Troopers and allied law enforcement agencies will continue to document incidents like this and investigate them thoroughly. If elements of a crime are found, immediate action will be taken in cooperation with the
local state’s attorney’s office.

Any hate/bias incident, to include literature distributed in this way, should be reported to local law enforcement. In addition, the Maryland Coordination and Analysis Center tips line is always available at 1-800-492-TIPS(8477), where citizens can report suspicious activity possibly related to terrorism or
violent crime. The information will then be communicated to the appropriate local, state or federal law enforcement agency for follow-up.

 

Measures to Save Chestertown Hospital Advance in General Assembly

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Sen. Steve Hershey (second from right) and Save the Hospital advocates at a hearing in Annapolis, March 20

Maryland state Senator Steve Hershey (R-36) is working to ensure that Chestertown’s hospital will remain open and useful to residents of Kent and Queen Anne’s counties.

In the current General Assembly session, Hershey introduced Senate Bill 1018, Health Facilities – Chestertown Rural Health Care Delivery Innovations Pilot Program.” A synopsis of the bill says the pilot program would “promote innovative solutions for a sustainable future for inpatient care in rural areas, satisfy requirements for hospital-based care, and ensure improvements to community health.” The bill would also require the state Department of Health to report to the Governor and the General Assembly on the activities and findings from the initial 5 years of the Pilot Program and make recommendations based on its findings.

Margie Elsberg of the Save the Hospital group said in an email March 28, the bill “will transform our hospital into a Rural Health Care Pilot Program. The Pilot Program (hospital) director will be an employee of the Maryland Department of Health and will collaborate with the owner of the hospital, UM Shore Regional Health System and with a local Advisory group to use state resources and innovative initiatives to attract physicians to Chestertown, restore staff members and services, and turn the hospital into a strong and sustainable rural community asset. Under this program, which is scheduled to continue for at least ten years, the hospital will always provide inpatient care.”

As part of the pilot program, the bill would “clearly define certain transportation requirements, establish a certain payment model, identify and address certain regulatory barriers, and seek certain innovative approaches” to providing healthcare in the rural community. The complete text of the bill is online at http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/2019RS/bills/sb/sb1018t.pdf

The bill passed an important hurdle when it was approved by the Senate by a 46-0 vote on March 21. It now goes to the House of Delegates, where it is scheduled for a hearing before the Health and Government Operations Committee on April 3 at 1 p.m. Elsberg noted that Shore Regional Health supports the bill, which means that the bill will most likely be approved by the House and sent on to Gov. Larry Hogan for signature. She also said that Save the Hospital will probably sponsor a bus trip for residents to go to Annapolis to show their support for the bill. In a Facebook post urging residents to call or write to the governor, she asked them to emphasize that “in addition to the health care needs, the hospital is the lynchpin of our economy. If the hospital closes, our large retirement community, our small public school system, Washington College, Dixon Valve and every small business will be irreparably damaged.”

Hershey is also sponsoring Senate Bill 1010, Maryland Health Care Commission – Assessment of Services at the University of Maryland Shore Medical Center in Chestertown.” The bill would require the Maryland Health Commission to determine whether the hospital has reduced its services or transferred some of them to Easton or other Shore Regional Health locations. Using fiscal year 2015 as a baseline for the study, the assessment could give data to determine whether Shore Regional Health has consistently directed patients who would normally go to the Chestertown hospital to go to Easton for treatment. It would also give data on whether specialists working at Chestertown have been transferred to Easton, and whether vacancies at Chestertown – from retirement or other reasons – have been left unfilled. Shore Regional Health administrators have said it’s difficult to recruit young doctors to the Chestertown hospital.

The bill was unanimously approved in the Senate and had its first reading in the House Rules and Executive Nominations Committee March 20. The complete text of Bill SB 1010 is available on the General Assembly website at http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/2019RS/bills/sb/sb1010t.pdf

Fithian Retiring as Town Manager

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Ron Fithian — Photo by Jane Jewell

Ron Fithian is retiring as Town Manager of Rock Hall.

In a letter to the mayor and council, he wrote: “After approx. 21 years and 6 months of serving as the Town Manager of Rock Hall, I find that it is time for me to retire. I am hereby giving my 2 weeks notice. My last day of work will be April 10th, 2019. I wish the Town well in the years to come. I appreciate having the opportunity to serve the people of the town that I grew up with. Thanks for everything.”

A lifelong resident of Rock Hall, Fithian has served as Town Manager since 1997 and is currently a county commissioner of Kent County. Born and raised in Rock Hall, Fithian is a graduate of Kent County High School, He followed his father’s vocation and began working as a waterman on the Chesapeake Bay while still in his teens. In 1994, he was elected as a Kent County commissioner, serving two terms that ended in 2002. He returned to the commission in 2006 and served as commission president from 2010 to 2014. His current term as commissioner runs until 2022.

Fithian has also served on the Kent County Waterman’s Association, the Kent County Public Landings and Facilities Board, and the Kent County Local Management Board and Social Services.

Fithian and Rock Hall Mayor Brian Jones, along with the town council and administration, have come under public scrutiny after a recent unfavorable audit of the town’s finances. There has also been controversy about a sharp 15 percent increase in the town’s water and sewer rates.

The article above has been edited to change the percentage of increase to the correct 15 percent.  Thanks to our eagle-eyed readers for noticing!

 

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Cerino to Ask Commissioners for Tax Differential

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Chestertown Mayor Chris Cerino

At the Chestertown Council meeting, March 18, Mayor Chris Cerino reported that he will represent the town at the Kent County Commissioners budget hearings April 23. He will be advocating for a tax differential or tax rebate for the town, on grounds that town residents’ property taxes are paying for services the county does not provide within town limits, such as police protection, road repairs, and trash disposal. “We’re essentially paying to underwrite services for everyone else,” he said. Cerino said that Kent is one of only three counties in the state that does not provide such a differential for its towns.

The town has regularly requested a tax differential since the county discontinued offering one in 2014, due to reduced revenues during the Great Recession. In 2012, five towns received tax rebates amounting to some $193,000 overall. Partially as a response to the discontinuation of the rebate, Chestertown raised its own tax rate from $0.37 to $0.42 per $100 assessed value. It was the first increase in town taxes since 1991.

Cerino said he had written to the commissioners about a month ago to request a slot in the budget hearings, and received a formal invitation to present the request at the hearing.  He said he will be requesting that the commissioners lower the rate for town residents by $0.05, or alternatively granting a rebate of $250,000. He said the commissioners asked him to bring documentation of the cost of services the town is providing, and he asked Ingersoll and Clerk Jen Mulligan to supply him with copies of the town’s annual audit. Ingersoll said he had the material available “at my fingertips.”

“I’ve pleaded the case on this every year since I’ve been elected,” Cerino said. “Supposedly, we were very close to having a tax differential last year, and then it kind of got swallowed up in the school funding debate and it didn’t happen.” He invited council members to help him make the case.

Also at the meeting, Wanda Gorman, manager of the Chestertown artisans’ market, reported on the upcoming market season, which begins March 30. She said the annual meeting of vendors on March 16 drew 27 attendees, including some spouses and children of vendors. The market currently has 24 vendors, 18 of whom were at the meeting. “We had a breakfast meeting – that really attracts a lot,” she said.

Wanda Gorman, artisans’ market manager

Gorman asked the council to designate the two High Street parking spaces closest to the Cross Street intersection for no parking during the market. She said the vendors need them to unload and reload their wares, but often out-of-town shoppers park in the spaces and leave their vehicles there after the market is over at noon, when the vendors need the spaces to reload. She said vendors are usually finished removing their wares between 12:30 and 1 p.m.

Councilman Marty Stetson said, “It would only take a couple of tickets to convince them.” Police Chief Adrian Baker suggested using orange “no parking” signs the town already has. He said his department could put a couple of them in the spaces and see if it does the job.

Town Manager Bill Ingersoll said he thought the orange signs would be a good solution to the parking problem. He said he liked the fact that the signs are removable once the market is finished.

Gorman also announced that she is planning to retire to Florida and that her daughter Sarah Sezawich will co-chair the market during her absence over the summer. She said Sezawich has been helping her before, and the vendors are familiar with her. “I think she’ll do a great job,” she said. “She handles paperwork fantastically.”

“We’re going to miss you when you go,” said Ingersoll.

Councilwoman Linda Kuiper reported that the State Highway Administration has approved lowering the speed limit on Quaker Neck Road between Wilmer Park and the Radcliffe Creek bridge from 40 to 25 miles per hour. Washington College, which owns several properties along that stretch of the road, including the new boathouse and an environmental science center currently under construction, and several residents of the Chester River Landing development had requested the reduction on account of pedestrian safety along the road. Pedestrian traffic is expected to increase when the college’s new science center opens. The signs advising of “reduced speed ahead” will be moved to the town limits, just beyond Chester River Landing.

The Chestertown Council : (L-R) Councilmen Ellsworth Tollliver and Marty Stetson, Town Clerk Jen Mulligan, Mayor Chris Cerino, Town Manager Bill Ingersoll, Councilwoman Linda Kuiper, and Councilman David Foster.

Kuiper also announced that farmers’ market manager Sabine Harvey has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Maryland Farmers Market Association to set up a program to allow vendors at the market to take payments for SNAP and WIC programs, along with a new program called Senior Farmers Market. Individual vendors would have to sign up for the program. “This will help to increase food-insecure households’ ability to afford quality nutritious foods; to generate additional revenue for local agricultural producers; and to make farmers markets accessible to residents of all income levels,” she said. She said the paperwork was still being processed, but she wanted to give the council a heads-up on the program. The council approved a motion authorizing Cerino to sign the MOU for the town.

Also, Kuiper read from a letter to the mayor in which she asked to be excluded from the process of hiring a new marina manager because her son is applying for the position. In order to avoid a conflict of interest, she said she would not take part in interviews or any verbal, written or electronic discussions of the hiring process unless her son withdraws his application.

Ingersoll reported that a group of Washington College students is planning a Rail Trail cleanup on Sunday, April 7, from noon to 3 p.m. Students have performed similar cleanups the last few years. The cleanup would focus on the area from Royal Farms to the split in the trail near Lynchburg Street. He said the town would provide bags and gloves for the project.

At the end of the meeting, Washington College President Kurt Landgraf gave an update on the report that the college plans to sell six surplus properties. He said the college has reached an agreement with prospective buyers for three of the properties. He did not specify which properties were involved, pending the final settlement. The six properties to be sold include the large tract at the intersection of Washington Avenue and Morgnec Road, a house at 301 Washington Ave., and four properties on Prospect Street.

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Governor Hughes by Howard Freedlander

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Governor Harry Hughes

The death of former Gov. Harry R. Hughes on Wednesday at 92 leaves a void in Maryland’s political landscape. He represented honor and humility. He was a gentleman who treasured his Eastern Shore roots.

I last saw Gov. Hughes on November 13 when I was invited to join his former staffers to celebrate his 92d birthday at a lunch at his home outside Denton overlooking the Choptank River. Though perhaps he didn’t hear all the chatter, he seemed to enjoy the good cheer and stories about past political battles. I was impressed by how loyal his former staffers remained to a person whom they clearly liked and greatly admired.

This Denton native served as governor from 1978 to 1986. He beat all odds and some derision to win the Democratic primary and then the gubernatorial election by 400,000 votes. He determined at the outset to restore integrity to the State House after his two predecessors, Spiro Agnew and Marvin Mandel, had faced legal charges for their behavior in office.

In recent years, I had seen more of Harry (as he was wont to be called) at lunches in Easton with former staffers and, not so happily, at Shore Medical Center in Easton. He grappled with pneumonia as he aged and found himself frequently sitting in a hospital bed awaiting friends bringing him unhealthy but welcomed food.

Whenever I visited Harry in the hospital, he was typically low-key and reserved. He expected no special treatment from the nursing staff. He was always friendly and down-to-earth.

As a member of the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy’s board of directors, I learned how beloved the former governor was in the land preservation community. He was a longtime friend and former chair of ESLC.

A few years ago, the organization named its conference room in honor of Gov. Hughes. He was pleased and honored. He harbored no sense of entitlement.

During his two terms as governor, Harry Hughes became particularly known for his environmental record. He brought together the states of Pennsylvania and Virginia and the District of Columbia, as well as the Environmental Protection Agency’s administrator, to establish a regional program focused on the restoration of the Chesapeake Bay. This compact still exists.

In a controversial but beneficial decision, he placed a moratorium in 1985 on the harvesting of rockfish. Commercial fishermen were furious. Science proved Harry right. The moratorium remained in place until 1990 when the species bounced back enough to allow a limited harvest.

Harry Hughes practiced politics with class and civility. He inspired a return of integrity to the Maryland State House.He extolled a workmanlike approach to governing our small but complicated state. He forswore showmanship.

You will be missed, Harry. You made a difference. You sought to build a legacy based on results and ethics.

And you did.

Columnist Howard Freedlander retired in 2011 as Deputy State Treasurer of the State of Maryland. Previously, he was the executive officer of the Maryland National Guard. He also served as community editor for Chesapeake Publishing, lastly at the Queen Anne’s Record-Observer. In retirement, Howard serves on the boards of several non-profits on the Eastern Shore, Annapolis and Philadelphia.

 

 

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