Beauchamp joins Mackel in Culver’s job ousters

Four of the 13 high-ranking county employees who serve at the pleasure of the county executive have been terminated.

The latest to have been dispatched by County Executive Bob Culver is Lee Beauchamp, the 33-year-old director of Public Works. His ouster was announced late Tuesday.

The news came as the community was still digesting the termination of Andrew Mackel, the county’s finance director, who was fired Monday.

Both Beauchamp and Mackel were relatively new to county leadership positions: Beauchamp was appointed in 2013, Mackel in 2011. Both men were appointed by previous executive Rick Pollitt, with County Council approval.

Beauchamp and Mackel join Gary Mackes and Tamara Lee-Brooks in the termination file. Lee-Brooks’ public information officer position was eliminated the day Culver took office in December. Mackes, a 39-year employee with the Parks, Recreation and Tourism Department, retired Dec. 31.

So far, Culver has turned over 30 percent of his department heads.

The County Charter states an incoming executive has six months to shape his executive leadership team. All successors must be approved by a County Council majority.

Beauchamp and Mackel had been approved by some of the same people currently serving on the council.

Culver provided few details on this week’s firing determination. His official news releases only stated that Mackel and Beauchamp were no longer county employees.

Mackel served as deputy finance director under Pat Peterson for nearly four years. Beauchamp was a former assistant engineer with the city of Salisbury.

Culver’s news release did state that county operations would not be hampered by the position openings.

Meanwhile Tuesday, Culver also announced the members of his transition team. The team will be reviewing each of the county’s department and providing feedback to Culver.

The members are:

  • Gail Bartkovich — Retired County Council member.
  • Ron Boltz — President/CEO Alarm Engineering; 2nd Vice Chair Greater Salisbury Committee; Sunrise Rotary, Trinity UMC Homeless Project.
  • Robert Eaton — City Solicitor for Salisbury 1986-1999; Chair, Wicomico County Ethics Commission 1986-2012.
  • Edwin Heatwole — Principal Engineer, AWB Engineers; retired Wicomico County Public Works employee.
  • Brian Kilgore — Owner, Eastern Shore Coffee and Water & Eastern Shore Self-Storage; served six years on Board of Education.
  • Robert L. Moore — President and Managing Partner, Moore & Co.; 35 years experience; chairs numerous nonprofit Boards and Committees, including for BOE and County.
  • John Terrell — Real Estate Sales; retired Deputy Director, Recreation, Parks & Tourism, Wicomico County.

In a release, Culver said:

“In addition to analyzing departments, this group will make recommendations on the re-branding of the county and social issues like the heroin epidemic and homelessness. We have met twice so far and the meetings have been very productive.”

Culver said things are not moving as fast as he would prefer.

“Since the County Charter makes no provisions for an official ‘transition’ during a change in Executive, not as much was accomplished during the month between the election and the swearing-in ceremony as I had hoped,” Culver said. “Then the holidays were upon us.  I want to gain as much detailed knowledge about how Wicomico is functioning – what is working and what isn’t – as soon as possible.”

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