Candidate ART KENDALL Announces his Run for Mayor
ROCK HALL’S NEXT ELECTION is MAY 4th
In this week’s Kent News, Art Kendall, former Rock Hall council member, announced he will run for mayor in the May election. Kendall brings with him a depth of fiscal and business experience along with his lifelong love of Rock Hall and its culture. He possesses a strong desire to take the town forward.
“I have watched the town deteriorate steadily since I last held office with much dismay. In May, we have our town elections and a chance to vote for the seats of the mayor and two council positions.”
Kendall’s Letter to the Editor dated January 2, 2019….
“To the editor: It is with great distress that I see the turmoil that our town of Rock Hall continues to have in our local government since our Mayor Jay Jacobs left office.
I have been told that he left office with $500,000 in reserves. Today, our town has no reserves and it struggles to pay its bills at our lowest peak in July.
Our basic core services have been reduced with pressure to reduce them more. Our utilities are in need of unaddressed and overdue maintenance. Our own laws are ignored by the mayor, the majority of the council and our town management.
When I was on the council a few years ago, I tried to address these items but met stern resistance to address or correct these issues. After a year and a half of serving as a lone voice on these problems, I could see that I could not make a substantial difference with our situations and resigned my position.
Now our town is forced to face just how bad our finances are as our local bank has cut off our ability to draw on our line of credit with indications that they might call in our current outstanding balance unless something is done. That does not surprise me at all.
As a former executive officer and director of that bank …”
Full article in the Kent News…
Kendall’s Resignation Letter of October 13, 2016
October 13, 2016
Mayor and Council
Town of Rock Hall
Rock Hall, MD 21601
Dear Council members,
Three years ago I listened to all the contention and antics going on with the Mayor and Council and as a life long citizen of Rock Hall I was very distressed. I would go to work in Easton and people around me would say “Rock Hall’s in the news again” and my toes would curl. Having always been proud of my hometown no matter what was said about it in the newspapers or in other parts of the county, I became a little less proud.
I listened to both sides of the disputes and frankly I heard things from both sides that bothered me. As the election drew near, I knew we needed change. I was concerned who would run against the current mayor and was told that Brian Jones may run. I was content with that and quietly supported him. I considered running for council but did not because I thought my wife would not support me in the decision. After the election I found out that my wife was OK with that and applied for this position. My reason was to get Rock Hall back on a smooth track.
Things went well after the “honeymoon” period but shortly I found that my expectations for the town did not align with others on the Council. I saw that we were not following our own laws and I repeatedly said that we should follow our laws or change them. Efforts to make these changes were met harshly. We were ignoring many chapters of the town code such as the ethics commission, vendor fees, and even Robert’s Rules of Order that three of the present Council adopted just a couple of years ago. We do not enforce the zoning ordinance and allow many issues to be ignored. Our Mayor has appointed and sworn in people on boards without the expressed approval of the Council as procedure dictates in the Code. Most distressing is the public acknowledgment of our Mayor and Vice Mayor that they do not consider our Town Code as law but just a “guideline”. Our Code and ordinances were vetted with public hearings and proper procedure and I have the most utmost respect for our laws.
Our financial picture shows a serious lack of reserves to the point of almost running out of Operating Funds during the lean summer months. Our reserve balance in that account dropped to around $8000 and $11,000 during the last two years. Prudent reserves for a budget of our size should be over $180,000 according to The Government Finance Officers Association information provided to me from the Maryland Municipal League. I tried to discuss this and suggested we develop a policy to decide on reserve targets and a five-year plan to get there but investigating this was soundly rejected. Our town had adequate reserves during the time of Jay Jacobs but our previous Council and this Council is not looking to build our financial stability.
Instead of trying to let things smooth out from all our past turmoil, our Mayor is constantly charging forward with his own agenda without consulting with the Council. This includes applying for grants, creating committees, holding special events, spending money and many other things. When someone opposes his ideas he lashes back. There is contention within many parts of our departments and much of it comes with the extra workload that is born upon our employees. It is certain that we will loose key and good people from our employee ranks just as we have lost key and good volunteers from our committees.
When I look towards the remainder of my appointed term I have tried to see how I could help in once again becoming a law abiding town, with a strong financial position, and happy employees I cannot see it. When I look beyond this term I cannot see it. So with this in mind, I hereby submit my resignation from the Rock Hall Town Council as of October 31, 2016.
Arthur E. Kendall