Mayor, City Council members to be sworn in Monday

Results of Salisbury’s election won’t be official until the end of the day Friday, after about 40 absentee and 19 provisional ballots are counted.

The final tally could mean a different outcome in District 1, where newcomer April Jackson won over longtime City Councilwoman Shanie Shields on Nov. 3, but the math makes that unlikely and both women are doubtful of a change in results.

“I’m ahead by 28 ballots now because some of the absentee ballots have been counted,” Jackson said Monday. “Those 40 ballots are for the whole city, not just for my district, so there shouldn’t be any change,” she said.

Shields doesn’t expect a turnaround in her favor, either, and said she will concede in writing, with a letter to the editor, and continue to follow city government.

“I will be there to help whether I’m on the council or not. I will keep in contact with Jake (Day, newly elected mayor.) I’m going to keep a watchful eye. It’s called accountability, and good representation.  I will definitely put my two cents in,” said Shields, who served 10 years.

She has told Day she wants to be appointed to committees, and said  she might run for City Council again. It won’t be in the near future, though, because she owns a house in the county and plans to live there awhile.

She could eventually run for Wicomico County Council, she said.

Newcomer Muir Boda will represent District 2 on the City Council. Incumbent Jack Heath, will have District 3; outgoing Mayor Jim Ireton, District 4; and incumbent Laura Mitchell, who, like Day, ran unopposed, District 5.

Mitchell received 147 votes and Day got 1,248.

Boda collected 80 votes, leaving his challengers, all newcomers, well behind. Opponent Keyvan Aarabi had 23 votes, Marvin Ames garnered 30 and Justin Gregoli, 4.

Heath pulled down 267 votes, defeating fellow incumbent Tim Spies, who ended up with 145. Newcomer Kevin Lindsay had 75 votes.

Ireton won over challenger and newcomer Roger Mazzullo 207 to 154.

Voter turnout was low. About 10.7 percent of those registered, or 1,444 people, went to the polls.

Shields attributed the low turnout to the mayor running unopposed and location of polls. She said some senior citizens were likely reluctant, or unable, to drive across town after dark to vote.

Mayor-elect Day and the City Council members will be sworn in Monday, in a ceremony attended by Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot, who will be guest speaker, as well as family members and supporters.

The event will be at 6 p.m. at Fire Station 16 on Cypress Street.

Mark Bowen, Clerk of the Circuit Court, will swear in the mayor and five City Council members separately.

Each will repeat the standard oath, vowing to “support the Constitution of the United States” and be “faithful and bear true allegiance to the state of Maryland and support the Constitution and laws thereof.”

Jackson said her first goal as elected official will be to bring more jobs to the city, although she doesn’t yet have a firm plan.

“We will, as council persons, work together to establish goals and endeavors,” Jackson said.

“The journey was long and hard but well worth the work, not to mention everything that I have to bring to the table. When we work together, we win together. Just six months ago, I lost my father and was very hesitant about running, but my father did not raise me to be a quitter, so I journeyed on. Now here I am, representing District 1 and the entire city of Salisbury. Believe me, I promise to do it well,” she said.

Her father was Billy Gene Jackson, well known for working with youth in Salisbury.

Shields said she will depart feeling proud of her service.

“I will be attending some of the meetings. I don’t have to attend all of them now, because I’m not obligated but I still want to make sure the best interest of the city is served. I have confidence it will be under the leadership of Jake.

“It’s a whole different ball game when you sit on the other side of the desk. Before I got on the council, I did attend meetings and I did talk to the mayor and city administrator to learn some of the process. There’s always a process. When you make a promise to people you need to know the process,” she said.

“I am not unhappy. I’m content. I’m fine. I think I ran a clean and honest race. That’s what I’ve always done. I try not to be negative toward any opponent or any council person that’s running because that’s their right to run,” she said.

“I wish the whole council the best.”

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