County Councilman Marc Kilmer to step down

Wicomico County Councilman Marc Kilmer, the west county representative who has made a significant mark in local politics in just five years of county involvement, is stepping down to return to his native Idaho.

The Republican who represents the sprawling District 2 said Thursday that he needs to move closer to assist aging family members.

His resignation would be effective June 15.

“I am sorry to be leaving Wicomico County, but family duties in Idaho have become more pressing,” Kilmer said. “I have been spending a lot of time these past few years traveling back to family, and it has become clear that my presence is needed there full time.”

Kilmer succeeded longtime Councilwoman Stevie Prettyman in the District 2 seat, which emcopasses towns including Sharptown, Hebron and Mardela Springs, as well as non-city neighborhoods on both sides of the Wicomico River.

Prettyman was the first to hold the seat when the county converted from two districts to five districts, with two seats elected at-large for a seven-seats total.

“During my time in office, the people of District 2 welcomed me to be part of their communities. I have enjoyed working with them and helping them with any problems that arise. My first goal has always been meeting constituents’ needs. I’ve met a lot of great people throughout the west side of the county. I will miss them,” Kilmer said.

Kilmer was solidly re-elected to a second term in November. Under the county charter, vacancies that occur before the expiration of a term must be filled by the County Council within 45 days. The nominees are supposed to be selected by the appropriate Central Committee — in this case the Republican panel — and must live in the 2nd District.

The selected individual would serve until a special election in 2020, which will occur at the same time as the presidential election.

“While running for re-election last year, I never anticipated I would be leaving mid-term,” Kilmer said. “The events that call me back to Idaho came up unexpectedly, which is why my family decided to move this year. I am confident that whomever is chosen to fill the seat next will do an excellent job representing the residents of District 2.

Kilmer has worked as an issues consultant for political think tanks and policy groups. He said his job allows him to work from most anywhere, but he settled in Wicomico after a career on Capitol Hill.

He began his career in public policy as a legislative assistant to U.S. Sen. Larry Craig, where he worked on education, transportation, and housing issues as well as federal appropriations, public land policy, and gun rights.

After leaving Craig’s office, Kilmer served for three years as executive director/CEO of the American Congress of Community Supports and Employment Services, a Washington, D.C., trade association of nonprofits that provide services to people with disabilities.

Kilmer has a bachelor’s in History and Political Science from Hillsdale College in Michigan.

Kilmer and his wife, Melissa Ramirez Kilmer, live in Centennial Village and have two children attending county public schools. Kilmer first made a political name for himself when he recognized a need for an elected school board in the county.

“We have accomplished a lot for Wicomico County in the past five years. It has been my honor to be part of the positive changes taking place in here. This is a great place to live and raise a family,” he said.

Kilmer helped shepherd his colleagues through the legislative process of enacting an elected school board. He was also seen as the point man on county charter amendments and touted for his ability to summarize complicated problems in a way constituents could understand.

Two years ago, he also helped orchestrate a 1-cent reduction in the county property tax rate.

County Executive Bob Culver said he was shocked by the news and held Kilmer in high regard.

“Marc has always been very accommodating and willing to work with us,” Culver said. “We didn’t always agree, but we could sit down and talk things out. He was one of the most intelligent members of the council.”

Culver also repeated a line that he has used before when describing Kilmer: “Marc is a Libertarian and I am a Republican — but that’s OK.”

Greater Salisbury Committee CEO Mike Dunn, who has worked with Kilmer on numerous county-wide issues, also praised the councilman.

“Marc brought a tremendous amount of intellectual heft to his role as a County Council member,” Dunn said. “His ideology was ever-present, as was his willingness to listen to people from all sides of the ideological spectrum.

“His voice on the council will be missed,” Dunn said, but, the opportunity to return home to his Idaho roots is tremendously exciting for him and his family.”

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

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