Please know that this email comes from me, and not the council body.
It is fact, as you know, that Jeremy Goldman was terminated on the night you were present and that reason was explained to you by Council President Nichols.
It is fact, as you know, that Steve Dodd retired, leaving us with no Planning and Zoning director.
It is fact, that the council voted to terminate Jeff Trice leaving us with no Economic Development director.
It is fact, that Anna Sierra has submitted a letter of resignation and Caroline County has publicly announced on their Facebook page that she has been appointed as deputy director of Emergency Services. This letter of resignation has not been formally accepted by council and her last day of work has not been decided. With that said, we may be without a director of Emergency Services at some point, but Anna is still working at this time.
These are the only vacancies that we have at this time.
While I cannot discuss reasons for termination or resignation, since this discussion occurred in closed session, I can tell you that I am deeply concerned with all of these decisions. Before taking office, I met with all 14 department heads.
I was impressed with the programs they had going and the progress they had made with their departments. I saw passion when they spoke about their departments and how all 14 department heads had been collaborating together at regular meetings, to ensure the county ran smoothly and to see if they could join forces on projects, programs and problems to find solutions that could save the county time and money.
I don’t see that now. I see department heads walking on eggshells, in fear that they could be the next to be terminated. I see employee morale at an all-time low.
I am hearing from citizens and other municipal elected officials in this county who are concerned that the positive and productive relationships they have with the county are in danger of collapsing. I am in fear that businesses looking to come to our county will be concerned with the recent actions of our council. I am concerned that we may have problems attracting quality department directors considering the recent display of power to use the “works at the will of the council”.
I ran for office when many of my friends and family told me they felt that our district needed a change. Apparently the majority of voters in my district felt the same way. This is the same reason my fellow council members will tell you they ran for office as well.
They will tell you that these are the reasons they are making these decisions. I find it hard to believe the citizens they are speaking with have such different points of view than the vast majority of citizens I am speaking with.
I hope and pray we can put our concerns and visions for and about the well being of the citizens of Dorchester County out on the table. I want to be able to fairly discuss and debate decisions, such as those that have been recently made that have numerous side effects and trickle-down issues.
Regardless of what happens during my four-year term, I will continue to voice my opinion. An opinion which is based on the voice of my district. An opinion I try to base on fact and common sense. An opinion and voice that will not be silenced.
Dorchester County Council
member from District 4