Solomons, MD- Friday, January 18, Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot [D] toured and presented proclamations from the state to three Calvert County establishments.

The visit began at Solomons Island Winery, where the comptroller was joined by Calvert County Sheriff Mike Evans [R], Calvert Commissioners’ President Tim Hutchins [R-District 2], Director of Economic Development Kelly Robertson-Slagle, and former comptroller, commissioner and Calvert County native Robert L. Swann. Delegate Jerry Clark [R-29C] was also present but had to leave before the comptroller arrived. Accepting the proclamation was Melissa Korando, the Winery’s operations manager.

Hutchins welcomed the comptroller, stating, “First of all, we’re so glad to have both comptrollers here [Franchot and Swann] and the economic development group. The work they’re doing helps people like Melissa to facilitate their business and grow it.” Comptroller Franchot added that “we need to really stimulate small family businesses,” a term that describes the family-run and owned Solomons Island Winery.

Swann, who served as comptroller from 1998-1999, remarked  that Calvert County and Southern Maryland are both a “great part of the state” and adding that “many people are learning that.”

With the Thomas Johnson Bridge visible from the window of the wine tasting room, the conversation among Franchot, Swann and Hutchins moved towards the community’s need for a new bridge connecting Calvert and St. Mary’s counties. Swann articulated that he had raised the issue periodically during his time in Annapolis but to no avail. Hutchins chimed in that the bridge is a “federal point, too. This road out here [Route 4] is Pennsylvania Avenue extended. The President lives at one end and Pax River Naval Base is right across from here at the other. This is a homeland security issue, a department of defense issue, it’s a Tri-County issue and a state of Maryland issue.” Franchot stated that he would bring the concerns of both men up at the next Board of Public Works meeting, which will take place Jan. 23.

From the winery’s tasting room, the current comptroller headed across the road to Stoney’s Kingfishers Seafood Bar and Grill to present the trip’s second proclamation. Franchot was greeted by restaurant staff at the door before heading into the dining area where he gave the proclamation, treating patrons to dinner and a show. “Businesses like this are the heart and soul of the state’s economy,” said the comptroller, who also raved about the establishment’s view of the river and crab cakes.

Along with the proclamations from the state, the local businesses also received them from the county, presented by Commissioners’ President Hutchins. The proclamations were given to Solomons Island Winery and Stoney’s Kingfishers in recognition of their 15th anniversaries.

To end his trip to the southern end of the state, the comptroller presented a proclamation to the Annmarie Sculpture Garden and Arts Center.

Contact Jerold Massie at