Today In Salisbury’s History: Friday, Dec. 17, 2010

Friday, Dec. 17, 2010 —

  • Rick Pollitt was sworn into his second term as Wicomico County Executive. A Democrat, Pollitt said the biggest problem facing the county is the fiscal crisis triggered by the Great Recession. Pollitt has been called upon to shepherd the county through tough budget times during his first term. In his inauguration speech, Pollitt declared: “We must, as one community, declare our independence from despair and commit ourselves to the obligation of citizenship.”
  • After almost two years of deliberation, the Salisbury City Council has recommended that acceptance of the Linens of the Week property on Anne Street in central Salisbury be placed on the council agenda for a vote. City officials would like to accept the property and redevelop it, but there are concerns about what levels of contaminants might have been deposited in the soil and how much that would cost to clean up. The 42,000-square-foot property is believed to contain petroleum-based cleaning products related to his use as a laundry service.
  • Less than a month after her first day on the job, Salisbury Police Chief Barbara Duncan is recommending big changes to her command staff. Duncan has proposed reinstatement of the position of Colonel and Assistant Chief. By streamlining operations, Duncan said she can add a new police officer post and save the city $34,000 annually. One of the top positions is vacant and the other is occupied by former Acting Police Chief Ivan Barkley. Mayor Jim Ireton said the Assistant Chief position would be given to Barkley.
  • The state District Court in Salisbury is preparing for a new law that will take effect Jan. 1. Drivers cited with minor traffic violations will no longer be automatically scheduled for a District Court trial. Instead, they will have to request a trial or pay their ticketing fine. The move is expected to keep more police officers on the road and out of court, while also saving the state about $200,000 in police overtime expenses.
  • Perdue Farms employees have moved into the empty Circuit City store in north Salisbury while renovations are under way at corporate headquarters on Old Ocean City Road. Perdue Vice President of Environmental Sustainability Steve Schwalb said the headquarters renovations will make the facility more energy efficient and Earth-friendly. Carpets and ceiling panels, for example, are all made up of recycled materials. The layout will be in an open-floor-plan style. The headquarters has been long thought to be too maze-like, with managers too separated from their departments.
  • The University of Maryland Eastern Shore has officially backed off from its plans to develop a hospitality entrepreneurial institute in Downtown Salisbury. The old Fire Department Headquarters building was expected to host that endeavor. Just last week, Gillis Gilkerson Inc. purchased the historic building on South Division Street. UMES had shown intense interest in being involved in the project, but had made nor formal commitment. Gillis Gilkerson will now begin negotiating a disposition agreement regarding what can be done with the old Station 16.
  • Some 2 inches of snow fell Thursday in Salisbury, raising hopes for a White Christmas. A series of similar snowstorms are expected to hit the Peninsula over the weekend and into next week. Not only is it snowy — it’s cold, with temperatures expected to stay stuck in the 20s for several more days.
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