SALISBURY – Five incumbents and two new members were sworn in to the Wicomico County Council this week following the recognition of two departing councilmen.
At the start of Tuesday’s meeting, Councilmen Matt Holloway and John Hall said their farewells to county leaders and citizens as they stepped down from their positions on the council. Both chose not to run for re-election in November.
For his part, Holloway thanked the voters, county staff and the county council for their support during his two terms.
“I really wanted to thank the voters of Wicomico County for showing support and electing me to these two terms,” he said. “Of course, I want to thank the current and previous councils for their support and friendship over these years and the staff.”
He said he valued their guidance, particularly during his two years as council president.
“This has been a great chapter in my life,” he said, “and I’m looking forward to the next chapter.”
Hall applauded the commitment of the current council.
“I would like to thank the current council for the hours they have dedicated to addressing the many difficult and complex issues that have come before us during the past four years,” he said. “It has not been easy.”
In his departing speech, Hall encouraged elected officials to work together and establish open communication.
“While there may be differences of opinion between the legislative and administrative branches of our government, the goal should always be to work together for the benefit of our community,” he said.
Hall also encouraged the council to take advantage of opportunities that would benefit the financial future of the county.
“It’s easy to say no,” he said. “To say yes requires vision, imagination and confidence in the future. Every person who sits at this table represents every citizen in the county, not just their districts, not special interests, not just their political party. Have the courage to do the right thing. Have the courage to lead. Our future depends upon it.”
In addition to sharing their appreciation for Holloway and Hall, returning members of the county council also took time to thank the voters for re-electing them in the November election.
“It’s been an honor and a privilege to serve the citizens of Wicomico County for the last four years,” said Councilman Larry Dodd, “and it’s going to be an honor to serve again.”
Councilman Marc Kilmer and Council President John Cannon congratulated newly elected officials and shared their appreciation for the voters and representatives of Wicomico County.
“I would truly like to thank all of my fellow council members,” Cannon said. “It’s been an excellent four years, an absolutely great time, and we’ve done a lot of good work at the same time.”
Councilman Ernie Davis reflected on his first term on the council and thanked the members for their guidance.
“Working with this council has been a good experience and I’ve learned a lot,” he said. “I look forward to the next four years.”
Councilmen Joe Holloway, who is serving his fourth consecutive term on the council, agreed.
“I think we are going to have a good council this time,” he said.
Matt Holloway will be replaced by Bill McCain, who secured the vacant at-large position in this year’s election. McCain, who served on the council from 2006-2010, said he was looking forward to representing the county once again.
“I look forward to working with my fellow council members,” he said. “We’re not going to agree on everything. That’s fine. That’s healthy. Good debate leads to good decisions, and I think we are always going to put Wicomico County’s best interests first at hand. I can assure you as a council representative at large I am always going to put county over politics.”
McCain added that he would also like to see each of the council members list their top three goals for the coming four years.
“That could begin the process of establishing a long-term strategic plan for Wicomico County,” he said.
Josh Hastings, who secured the vacant District 4 seat on the council, said he was ready to serve his first term.
“We are going to have a great four years and do some good things together,” he said. “I’m going to bring some good lively discussion.”
Following Tuesday’s swearing in ceremony, Cannon and Dodd were reappointed to their positions as president and vice president, respectively.
In nominations for council president, Dodd nominated Cannon and Davis nominated McCain. The council voted unanimously to re-elect Cannon.
In nominations for vice president, Joe Holloway nominated Dodd and Hastings nominated McCain.
“In keeping a campaign promise and supporting the person I’ve supported since 2006, I would like to nominate my friend Bill McCain for a good bi-partisan leadership,” Hastings said.
The council voted 5-2, with McCain and Davis opposed, to re-elect Dodd.