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Wednesday, October 6, 2004

PACE Hosts Town Meeting on County Executive October 19

SALISBURY, MD---Wicomico County voters will decide an important issue Tuesday, November 2. A referendum on the ballot will determine whether Wicomico County will amend its charter to create an elected county executive. If the county charter is changed, a county executive would be elected to head county government (as the executive branch), guided on policy issues by the County Council (the legislative branch). Salisbury University’s Institute for Public Affairs and Civic Engagement (PACE) hosts a Town Meeting to provide information on the proposed amendment 7 p.m. Tuesday, October 19, in the Wicomico Room of the Guerrieri University Center. As part of a community engagement In a project funded by the Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore, PACE has undertaken an independent, nonpartisan study of the issue and will make the information available to voters in a variety of formats beyond the Town Meeting. First, PACE co-director Dr. Harry Basehart will conduct an interview about the proposed changes with Victor K. Tervala, Esq. Tervala is a consultant on Maryland local government for the Institute for Governmental Service and conducted an exhaustive study of the issue on behalf of PACE. The interview will air on PAC 14, the SU-based local access cable channel, many times in the weeks leading up to the election. Then, during the Town Meeting, Tervala also presents his report, followed by a panel discussion with local participants who represent those in favor of and those opposed to the charter amendment. In addition, representatives of Maryland counties that have considered a county executive form of government will be on the panel, one from a county that now elects a county executive and one from a county that decided against. The Town Meeting will also be taped for airing on PAC 14. Finally, a copy of the complete report on the proposed charter amendment will be made available on the PACE Web site at www.salisbury.edu/community/PACE. A condensed version will be printed as a voters’ guide in the The Daily Times shortly before the election. As with all of its endeavors, PACE is preparing the television interview, Town Meeting and voters’ guide to provide citizens with a unbiasednonpartisan  source of information to use in deciding how to vote. The Town Meeting is free and the public is invited. For more information call PACE at 410-677-5045.

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