With Christmas just a few days away, the 64th board of Calvert County Commissioner’s along with Sheriff Ricky Cox were sworn in by Cathy P. Smith, the Clerk of the Circuit Court Tuesday at the College of Southern Maryland’s Prince Frederick campus.
Each then candidate said that Calvert County was a gem; a small family and they wanted to keep it that way and not let it become, in essence, a little city. Calvert is the smallest county in the state of Maryland and the sixth smallest county in the United States. It prides itself on keeping a balanced budget and not raising taxes. Even through the recent pandemic, taxes were lowered.
It was stated that the commissioner’s have now inherited about 95 thousand extended family members to look after.
The all republican board now consists of President Earl “Buddy” Hance, a fourth-generation farmer, Mike Hart, Mark Cox, Sr., Catherine M. Grasso, and Todd Ireland.
“Calvert’s a wonderful place,” Hance said from the panel. “These three new commissioners have no idea what they’re getting themselves into, but we’ll help them through the process.”
Hance spoke of the total strangers in the community that has entrusted them to protect them. He thanked Sheriff Evans for his service to the community and wished Deputy James Flynt, a five-year veteran of the Calvert County police force, a speedy recovery. Flynt was involved in a high-speed chase after a traffic stop that resulted in an exchange of gunfire and a subsequent injury.
Sheriff Cox reflected on the emergency phone call he received. He said he quickly went to the hospital to see the emergency room covered in blood. Concerned for his fellow officer, he thanked each officer and firefighter in the room.
Cox, a humble Marine, said it’d been his lifelong goal to become Sheriff. He’s served two combat tours in Iraq and has held every position within the Calvert County Police force, including Captain. Cox ran on the platform of concern for being consistent with the culture and tone of the academy, mental health in the community, and protecting second amendment rights (the right to keep and bear Arms).
“I’m humbled and look forward to working with the citizens of this county.” He said. “I’m looking forward to working with you [Ireland] again. We worked together at the Sheriff’s department, and I’m looking forward to working with you again in this capacity.”
Hart, a local business owner, stated that Calvert County lives within its means and he ran on the premise of keeping taxes low.
“Each board has a journey of its own,” Hart stated. “The voters put together a good team here.”
Mark Cox, Sr., a business owner and farmer is concerned most about public safety and keeping Calvert County schools safe. He thanked his family for their support.
“My grandchildren were going to school telling their teachers to vote for Poppy,” he said. “Thank you to those that voted for me and for those that did not, I hope I can earn your trust within the four years. I’m excited. The county and citizens come first.”
Grasso ran on the premise of keeping a balanced budget, being responsible and accountable. Grasso was dependable on many boards along with the hospital ball committee.
“It’s been a smooth transition,” she stated. “County employees and my husband Frank [Grasso] and son have been there to support and set up telecommunications when needed.”
Ireland just retired last year from the Calvert County Sheriff’s office after nearly 29 years of service. He retired as Captain. His platform recognized the need for parents and guardians to have more of a say over what their children are learning in the public school system. He desires to build a sustainable relationship with the board of education.
Ireland, a lifelong resident of Calvert County runs the family farm in Huntingtown with his parents, wife and two boys who assist with the farming responsibilities.
He holds a United States Coast Guard Merchant Mariner Credential and Tidal fishing license (Md). He enjoys fishing and crabbing locally within the 64 thousand square miles of waterways that surround the County. Calvert County has the sustainability to feed the entire United States just with the plentiful Patuxent River and the Chesapeake Bay.
Ireland and his family desire to preserve the environment and keep Calvert County’s school system safe.
“We’re going to look out for our children first.” Ireland said.
The Calvert and Huntingtown choral department assisted with singing the National Anthem and the Girl Scout Troop 6333 assisted with handing out brochures. The commissioner’s entered into their official meeting where Hance was re-elected President. Grasso was elected representative for MACo. [Maryland Association of Counties].
The first MACo. winter conference will take place Jan. 4-6 in Cambridge. All new commissioner’s will be sworn in at that time.