In the aftermath of the shocking vote in the selection of the new Wicomico County Executive by the Wicomico County Council, business owners, local organizations, and a diverse cross section of the local community are challenging the immediate vote after the interviews were conducted. With literally no discussion and only one of the Council members, Nicole Acle, made any comments after the vote. Acle is facing an ethics complaint related to her vote as her husband is a business partner with Dr. Rene Desmarais whom the County Council voted 4-3 to replace Bob Culver.
At 10:00 AM on the steps of the Government Office Building in Downtown Salisbury, about 100 citizens gathered in response to the vote and demanding a motion to reconsider which must be made by one of the Council Members who voted in favor of Dr. Rene Desmarais. Led by Mike Dunn, the Executive Director of the Greater Salisbury Committee, a series of speakers including Chamber of Commerce President Karri B. Todd, Chairman of the Wicomico County Republican Central Committe Nathaniel Sansom, NAACP President Mary Ashanti, and local business owner Blair Carey, the call was for the Council to reconsider by reviewing the video of the interviews and be more deliberate in their selection.
Delegate Carl Anderton Jr. was obviously the most prepared and even went so far as to provide the council with a booklet as he laid out his plan for Wicomico County with the theme that he would be “Ready on Day One” to serve in the role. Dr. Desmarais was less specific, not able to answer some questions, and kept his focus on expanding medical services in the area. What was obvious to everyone else present and those that have watched the interviews, is that Anderton was clearly more prepared and held a strong grasp for the issues facing Wicomico County.
Blair Carey has started a petition on Change.org stating “This petition has been created to bring a reconsideration to the amendment that was passed on Thursday, August 20th, electing Dr. Rene Desmarais as the new Wicomico County Executive”.
Several other community members including members of the Wicomico County Republican Central Committee have publicly expressed their displeasure with the decision and several have disclosed that Councilwoman Nicole Acle lied to them and many others stating she supported Delegate Anderton for the positon but instead voted for Dr. Desmarais. Acle is facing special election for her seat many of those who initially supported her have stated they have decided to withdraw their support due to lying about her vote.
As the rest of the Council faces reelection in 2022, Council President Larry Dodd, Councilman Joe Holloway, Councilman Ernie Davis, and Acle (if she wins in November) will all likely face tough primary challengers and will struggle for open support as well.