TheBayNet Letter to the Editor
TheBayNet Letter to the Editor

ST. INIGOES, Md. — The following letter comes to us from Geneva Blackmer of St. Inigoes:

It is more important than ever to really consider your options when you vote this year. We have a strong slate of Democratic candidates for County Commissioner, all of whom have a drive to work for our residents and bring our County into the future. They are Sheila Milburn for District 1, Brandon Russell for District 2, and Steve Tuttle for District 4. 

There is a stark difference when comparing Republican and Democratic candidates for Commissioner. The two Republican incumbents, Eric Colvin (District 1) and Mike Hewitt (District 2), have repeatedly shown they cannot take responsibility for their decisions. They frequently point the finger at other agencies–SMCPS, the Sheriff’s Office, State’s Attorney and others–when questioned about a variety of topics. “We only provide funding to these agencies, but THEY make the decisions.” Talk about passing the buck.  

Commissioner Colvin was endorsed by EASMC, the educator’s union, but couldn’t unequivocally state that he supports unions and their members during the recent candidate forum. Why? Is he worried about losing votes because he supports a union? He pushed for investing millions in broadband expansion, giving taxpayer money to a for-profit private company, Breezeline. Many residents have complained time and again about Breezeline/Atlantic Broadband and their service. Could the county have retained ownership of these lines while leasing their use to a cable provider, and included that the company maintain the lines? We’ll never know, because Commissioner Colvin didn’t ask. He just said “That’s not the way we do things.” 

Commissioner Hewitt likes to talk about his “experience.” But where has that led us? The Route 5 expansion project in Leonardtown is nearly a year late getting finished. Meanwhile, the new 301 bridge in Charles County was completed in record time. Hewitt points the finger at the State Highway Administration, but what has Hewitt done to help move the project forward? I’m not sure, because he says it’s someone else’s problem. Voters shouldn’t be surprised at the lack of progress or accountability from Hewitt. After all, he believes being a Commissioner is a “part time job.” And who could forget the large, commercial building built in a residential area in Abell? It was built inside the Critical Area boundary, and Commissioner Hewitt sits on the Critical Area Commission for the state. In fact, Hewitt voted for an extension to the deadline to adopt new Critical Area maps so projects could be “grandfathered in” last year. Does Hewitt’s experience really benefit ALL of our residents? 

Republican Scott Ostrow is running for the Commissioner seat in District 4. He appeared as a very conservative candidate until he recently changed his tune at the local candidate’s forum. Maybe that’s because his answers directly mimicked the ideas and plans from Steve Tuttle, the Democratic candidate for District 4. It’s not a good sign when a candidate has to start taking ideas from others and claiming them as their own. Ostrow has been repeatedly questioned about his tagline, “Lower Taxes,” but is never able to provide a clear answer about what that means. What it means is a cut in services, jobs for county employees, and more. It means less return on your tax dollar as a resident. 

Republicans seem to have lost their ability to run FOR something, and instead are determined to only run AGAINST the plans of others. It doesn’t bode well for St. Mary’s County residents.  

This November, let’s elect honest, driven leaders who have a plan. We must elect Sheila Milburn, Brandon Russell, and Steve Tuttle to the Board of County Commissioners. 

Geneva Blackmer 

EDITOR’S NOTE: As we get closer to the election, we want to encourage an active role of citizens in the political process. The role of the press is critical and we would encourage citizens to email us letters to Please try to keep your letter’s brief and on topic, and be sure to include your full address for us to verify (we will only publish your city of residence).

Though we cannot make guarantees about when/if your letter will be published, we will try our best to publish all the letters we receive. Outside of the topic of elections, feel free to send us letters with your thoughts on other relevant topics facing you and the community. We always want to engage with the community.

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  1. “LOWER TAXES” is a smaller rate of increase in revenue – not necessarily a decrease in spending or services.

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