Wicomico County’s newly appointed Performance Audit Committee will meet for the first time next week with the expectation it will help county lawmakers find ways to streamline county operations. “The mission will be looking at the performance and function of the county government and the Board of Education,” said County Council President L. Russell Molnar. The council agreed to appoint the 12-member panel in October to oversee audit powers and target efficiency improvements.
Though Perdue Farms officials announced this week that more than 100 employees will be laid off in response to a 20-year low in chicken prices, the industry-wide problem is not affecting other Delmarva poultry companies. William Satterfield of the Delmarva Poultry Industry said he has heard no talk of similar job actions. Perdue said it will lay off 113 employees across the company, including 45 who work on Delmarva.
Long & Foster, one of Downtown Salisbury’s largest tenants with a huge office in the Plaza Gateway Building, will move to a new location, company officials announced. The real estate firm has operated an office in central Salisbury for about 30 years, including the last three in the renovated building on the Downtown Plaza. Palmer Gillis of Gillis Gilkerson, who redeveloped the building, said the company’s decision will likely prove a setback to efforts to grow Downtown.
The Delmarva Shorebirds said they have no intentions of raising ticket prices in 2001, citing strong attendance and profits from the 2000 season. The team raised ticket prices 5 percent between the 1999 and 2000 season. On Jan. 3, Comcast/Spectacore will complete its purchase of the Shorebirds from Maryland Baseball LLC and take over day-to-day operations at Arthur W. Perdue Stadium.
The Parkside High School Lady Rams will be the team to beat this season, with seniors Kema Dashiell and junior Kim Davis leading the way. Dashiell and Davis are expected to send their career points-scoring total to over 1,000 points this season, with Dashiell currently at the 993 mark and Davis at 850. With 72 wins, a state title and a state semi-final finish under their belts the last three seasons, the Rams are expected to comfortably win 20 games and again challenge teams from across the bay when playoffs commence next spring.
As it begins its third year of operation, Access 26 -- Wicomico County’s public access channel -- is facing a funding crisis fueled by local government inertia, Comcast cable’s reluctance to provide financial capital and a lack of expertise in navigating federal regulations related to cable franchise contract negotiations. Operations Director Mike Goodson said that while public interest in self-producing local televisions shows has improved since 1999, the station is still far from reaching its potential.
The nearly 250 union workers who returned to the Dresser-Wayne plant in Salisbury after a 16-week-strike are continuing to work without a contract. Dresser spokeswoman Zelma Branch said that while there have been meetings with federal mediators, no resolution has been made. United Auto Workers Local 354 President Jack Hughes offered little new information. Union employees want to retire at age 60 without docking their pension, in addition to greater job security and profit sharing.