Tuesday’s Election Will Bring New Faces To Council

SALISBURY — Regardless of the outcome, Salisbury’s City Council will get a dramatic makeover next Tuesday when as many as three new faces could join the town’s five-member elected body.

Six candidates will vie for three open seats during Salisbury’s City Council Election on Tuesday. Salisbury’s city government includes a mayor and five council members. The council terms are staggered to provide continuity and prevent a complete turnover in a single year, similar to the system in place in Ocean City.

Mayor Jim Ireton and current council members Deborah Campbell and Eugenie Shields were elected to office in 2009, leaving the seats currently occupied by Council President Louise Smith and council members Gary Comegys and Terry Cohen up for election next week. Regardless of what happens next Tuesday, there will be a considerable change in the make-up of the council. Smith and Comegys did not file for re-election and will be replaced, while Cohen is the only incumbent in the field of six candidates vying for three seats.

Cohen was the top vote-getter after the absentee ballots were counted in March’s primary, which reduced the field from eight to six for next week’s general election in Salisbury. Cohen finished with 608 total votes, just four more than Spies. Laura Mitchell finished third in the primary with 486 votes, while Muir Boda was fourth with 446 and Orville Dryden, Jr. was fifth with 343.

While just four votes separated first and second place in the primary, the race for the sixth and final spot in the general election next Tuesday produced its own share of drama. Just five votes separated sixth-place finisher Bruce Ford from seventh-place finisher Joel Dixon. Ford led Dixon by just two votes at the close of the polls in the primary and only added to his lead slightly during the counting of the absentee and provisional ballots.

Spies, whose resume includes a long list of civic organizations in the area, has a nursing background and is a decorated veteran of Operation Desert Storm and Operation Desert Shield. Mitchell was born in Salisbury and draws from a strong business background.

Boda, a Libertarian born in Easton and raised on Tilghman Island, has worked for Wal-Mart for 17 years in various capacities and is currently an Assets Protection Coordinator. Dryden, Jr. is a retired Postmaster who has lived in Salisbury for 25 years. Ford was born in Salisbury and is a career paramedic and firefighter who has served on the Berlin Volunteer Fire Company for 23 years.