Wicomico Council responds to County Executive’s letter

The letter war between the two branches of Wicomico County’s government continued Thursday with a written rebuttal made public by members of the County Council.

County Executive Bob Culver sent a letter Monday to Council President John Cannon, blasting the legislative leader for criticism Cannon lobbed at the executive’s office when senior administrative staff members no-showed a Feb. 3 work session.

Culver insisted their attendance was not warranted, and that the council had been told so.

Cannon and two council colleagues publicly vented their frustrations that night, setting off the executive and triggering a war at the top of Wicomico’s power chain.

Culver, in his original letter, called on Cannon to step aside as the council’s leader.

The council, in a letter apparently agreed to by all seven members but not specifically signed, attempted Thursday to explain and somewhat soften the situation — but offered nothing close to an apology or back-tracking.

“It is disappointing that the County Executive has released a letter to the media making unfounded and personal charges against the County Council President and, by extension, the County Council,” the letter began.

“The County Council will continue to address these and other issues, as that is what the public expects. There will be no change in County Council leadership,” the letter concluded just six paragraphs later.

In between, the letter took Culver to task:

  • “The County Executive has no role to play in the internal workings of the County Council — the council is a separate branch of government that does not answer to the executive.”
  • “To attempt to meddle in the internal governance of the council shows a stunning ignorance of how county government works and a profound disrespect for the charter that Wicomico County voters have approved.”
  • “Wicomico County deserves elected officials who will focus on the public good, not private disagreements.”
  • “The executive may wish to focus public attention on personal issues he has with individual council members, but it is our job to work for the betterment of Wicomico County.”

Contacted late Thursday, Culver declined to comment, but said the council’s document “never answered any of the points I brought up.”

Greg Bassett is editor and general manager of Salisbury Independent. Reach him at gbassett@newszap.com

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