Voter Guide 2018: Wicomico County Council At-Large

Following are brief narratives summarizing the experience and positions of the candidates running for local offices, who will appear before Wicomico voters on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 6.

 

County Council At-Large

(Four people are running for two seats.)

 

John Cannon
• Republican
• jcannon77@comcast.net

Often, incumbent County Council President John Cannon is thanked for his commitment to the county and hard work, but he enjoys it and wants to continue not only on the council, but as president if his colleagues choose him.

John Cannon.

Committed to seeing the socio-economic level of residents increase and developing a highly educated workforce, he would like the county to develop a technology program to train professionals such as plumbers and technicians, possibly through a public-private partnership.

That educated workforce begins with children, and Cannon is now embracing universal pre-K.

“It was a change of heart,” he said, explaining he was, at first, concerned enrolling children in school a year before kindergarten was only replacing daycare.

“But what is wrong with starting a child at 4 years old instead of 5? We’ve been starting at 5 forever. I would beg anybody to tell me what the down side is,” he said.

Among major issues Cannon, with the council, has tackled is mega-poultry farms.

“It was one of the most contentious. We pulled through it very well. We handled it in a very structured format and it was a good outcome … we came to the best outcome for everyone. You can’t allow the emotional aspect to take control,” he said.

During his two terms on the council, taxes were cut, a move that is “almost unheard of,” Cannon said.

The budget increased by $17 million during the past few years, “and it was time to send some of it back to the community,” Cannon said.

“The cut was done with property taxes. It was a symbolic move but it was also sincere,” he said.

Listing successes, Cannon named making investments in education, improving public safety, taking care of roads, supporting education and expanding the recreation and parks program.

And he is thrilled about improvements to the airport.

Crediting Airport Manager Dawn Veatch for her ability to look ahead and conceive of ideas he confidently supports, Cannon said airport improvements “are going to be astounding — and that’s a huge economic drive.”

 

Julie Brewington
•Republican
•julie.brewington@comcast.net

Julie Brewington filed for County Council because she felt a calling.

“I want to do the right thing for our county, as opposed to something that raises everybody’s taxes. I love our community,” she said.

Julie Brewington.

Her hope is to bring opportunity for professional development she doesn’t believe exists.

“The opportunity for growth and the ability to excel are extremely limited. We’ve lost a lot of business here — Campbell Soup, Dresser Wayne, big shirt factories — a number of them have never even been replaced. We need to work harder to bring businesses here,” she said.

While complimenting the Wicomico County Council for its many successes, she said she wants to see an increased tax base developed by attracting residents and making jobs more available.

“I want to make a difference. I think we’re at a pivotal point of growth. We are going to have to decide where we want to go and I want to be part of that,” she said.

Brewington, whose children graduated from Parkside High School, said she is concerned about adequate funding for education and favors fully supporting the school board’s requests.

Jamaad Gould

• Democrat
onevoicewico@gmail.com

The youngest candidate for County Council, 27-year-old Gould is concerned County Council members aren’t as deeply in touch with the African-American community as they should be.

Jamaad Gould.

“All of them are white except Councilman Ernie Davis and all are Realtors or tied to real estate, except for Councilman Marc Kilmer,” he said.

“I come from a different environment growing up. When you’re talking about government, governing a wide array of people, you need a different perspective,” he said.

Politics, he said, “plays a huge role in millennials’ lives.”

“We will have children and those children will have to go to school. There might be family members in jail. There are so many facets of our lives … everything is connected with politics. If we are going to take over as the next generation of leaders, we have to get involved,” he said.

Concerning school board funding, Gould said it’s important to cultivate a better educated population in the county, so he supports universal pre-K and more after-school activities.

If elected, he plans for work for a more transparent government that communicates better with constituents.

William R. McCain

• Democrat
• 
bill@wrmccain.com

When he was elected to the County Council and served on the first board organized under the County Executive form of government, Bill McCain set for himself a single-term limit.

Bill McCain.

Since then, though, his children grew up and he was urged to seek office again.

Thinking about the Rotarian motto he respects, Service Above Self, and knowing he never lost interest in the council, he filed for election.

“I took a step back and gave it some deep thought and made that decision. I’m not one to sit on the sidelines,” he said.

A Democrat, he isn’t concerned about serving on a predominately Republican council because as he has observed, decisions are not based on partisanship but on the well-being of residents.

An advocate for fully funding the Board of Education, he said education is “the No. 1 economic driver” in a strong community.

During his term in office, fellow council members were not as committed to funding education as he was, McCain said, but it’s important because valuable employees will be attracted to a community known for a strong school system.

His mission is to “provide a vision to make Wicomico County a better place to live, work, and play.”

They include: Providing full support for accomplishing the priorities of the superintendent’s Achieve! 2.0 plan, as well as Imagine 2022 for schools; beginning to examine public sewer availability to most of the county’s metro core area; and ensuring long-term support for Wor-Wic Scholarship Fund.

Reach Susan Canfora at scanfora@newszap.com.

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