Greg Bassett: ‘Heavy lift’ executed for schools

Feedback is still pouring in about the education funding story that we printed in the May 31 Salisbury Independent. I’ll forgo the temptation to write a new story and offer this column to address some of the feedback. Those who made various points – and those concerned that I left information out – will see […]

Wicomico OKs budget, increases school spending

Wicomico County Council members last week approved a $150 million budget that increases the county’s local support of county schools by a half-million dollars. For the first time in 12 years, the council upped per-student funding as part of the school board’s Maintenance of Effort formula. The $500,000 was part of $750,000 that County Executive […]

Wicomico year-out revenues likely to be lower

Wicomico County County Council President John Cannon delivered the bad news at a work session last Friday: Property tax revenues would likely be lower than expected next fiscal year and the council would have to make $411,197 in expected cuts. “We spent a solid week reviewing what the perceived final property tax amount should be,” […]

One On One, May 10, 2018: Wicomico County Executive Bob Culver

Wicomico County Executive Bob Culver discusses his fiscal 2019 spending plan and outlines which county needs are in the most vital need of funding.  

Public calls for increased schools spending

In a plea to the Wicomico County Council to rise above status quo, schools Superintendent Dr. Donna Hanlin forcefully asked members to surpass the County Executive’s spending proposal and fund schools well above state-mandated Maintenance of Effort numbers. She said such an effort would be an investment in the future. “Do the best thing for […]

Hard choices confront Wicomico budget players

An annual feature of the county’s kick-off budget feature is school board employees and parents lining up to request full funding of the Wicomico Board of Education’s budget request. This year, County Executive Bob Culver’s budget feedback session was scheduled the same night as the annual Teacher of the Year dinner banquet. Whether by coincidence […]

Wicomico unceremoniously kills raises proposal

The Wicomico County Council, at the work session this week, flatly denied pay raises for the County Executive and other officials recommended by the Wicomico County Compensation Committee. Councilmen John Hall and Matt Holloway both supported the idea, but Holloway said it was apparent no other council members agreed. “OK. We are turning those down,” […]

Public Safety, court buildings lead capital list

A new Public Safety Building for the Sheriff’s Office and Emergency Services Department, massive renovations and improvements to the county’s airport, and a thorough remodeling of the Circuit Court Complex in Downtown Salisbury top the list of infrastructure needs included in the fiscal 2019 capital budget. Dozens of more mundane projects — a new air […]

Wicomico sells bonds to finance major projects

Wicomico County has sold $8.985 million in general obligation bonds to finance several major projects in the county.  The bonds carry a true interest cost of 2.56 percent County Executive Bob Culver reported this week.  The County’s issue drew a strong market response of 8 bidders, which is indicative of the attractiveness of its bonds. […]

Bob Culver: Wicomico spending is in control

Those who like to say that Wicomico County spending is out of control or has accelerated at an alarming rate just aren’t keeping their eyes on the ball. Rather than looking at county budgets and making wild conclusions, it’s more appropriate to analyze actual spending. Let’s look back and review what happened, and what has […]