Thoughts From The Publisher’s Desk

Thoughts From The Publisher’s Desk

In an interview this week, former City Manager Dennis Dare took the high road for the most part, most likely due to retirement treating him fairly well three months in.

There were a number of interesting aspects to what Dare said this week, but what he refrained from doing for the most part may have been the most intriguing.

In large part, Dare did not openly bash the council majority, who abruptly removed him from office in September. However, he did specifically counter claims he did not provide them with timely and accurate information. Readers will recall that was one of the reasons majority members cited for their quit-or-be-fired ultimatum to Dare.

When I asked what he would not miss about being the city’s CEO, I figured Dare would have some words for the council majority who abruptly ended his 29-year career with the city.

“[Laughing] This is one of those times when I need to exercise some common sense, but let’s just say I’m not going to miss the stress,” Dare said.

When asked what he would miss, Dare showed some emotion, saying above all, “the people …”

Although I understand he has been approached by citizens about possibly running for council, and many in the community feel he will ultimately run next year, after speaking with him this week for two hours, my prediction is he will not do it.

When put on the spot for an answer as far as whether his future includes politics, he was noncommittal this week.

“Sounds like stress to me. I have had people mention that. I had not made plans to retire. I didn’t see anything coming to this magnitude so I’m just trying to get life in order and I don’t have any plans to look for other work. I like being retired at this time and I just don’t know what the future holds,” he said.

My guess is whether he runs or not will depend on the field of candidates in the weeks leading up to the election and whether incumbents Jim Hall and Joe Hall decide to seek re-election.

Above all, what I hope this interview provides is a sense of closure to this situation for our readers. Dare’s side of the story has not been made public until this week. No matter your opinion on the matter, reasonable minds have to conclude he deserved the opportunity to explain his interpretation of how matters unfolded the way they did and his feelings about it.


The County Commissioners, most specifically Virgil Shockley, are demanding some sort of action at the intersection of Routes 12 and 113.

In what was expected to be a strongly worded letter, the county is requesting the state put a traffic light at the troubled intersection near Snow Hill. This is not the first time the county has made a similar request, but this month’s fatal accident at the dangerous crossing should certainly fetch more attention than previous attempts.

Unfortunately, the state utilizes a formula regarding traffic volume that’s inevitably going to conclude a traffic light is not needed. That’s been done previously. While the numbers may be undeniable, the facts remain the intersection is unsafe for most motorists, and the best way to reduce the number of accidents there is a light.

The state needs to make an exception and ignore what the traffic data suggests in this instance.

In any even numbered year, taxes is a major point of discussion, but in Worcester and Wicomico counties it will be even more so in 2012.

Both counties are in similar situations. Education funding has either declined, like in Wicomico, or basically held steady, such as the case in Worcester, but both are feeling the pinch of lower tax dollars as a result of land values declining.

In both counties, citizens are clamoring for more education funding and many are saying increase my taxes to do it if necessary.

How the elected officials deal with the tax issue will be the major development to watch as budget season begins after the first of the year.


About The Author: Steven Green

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The writer has been with The Dispatch in various capacities since 1995, including serving as editor and publisher since 2004. His previous titles were managing editor, staff writer, sports editor, sales account manager and copy editor. Growing up in Salisbury before moving to Berlin, Green graduated from Worcester Preparatory School in 1993 and graduated from Loyola University Baltimore in 1997 with degrees in Communications (journalism concentration) and Political Science.