WESTERNPORT - Westernport's municipal election scheduled for Tuesday, May 26, has been postponed due to Maryland Governor Larry Hogan's declaration of a state of emergency on March 5, and again on March 17.
By Jean Braithwaite
WESTERNPORT - Westernport’s municipal election scheduled for Tuesday, May 26, has been postponed due to Maryland Governor Larry Hogan’s declaration of a state of emergency on March 5, and again on March 17.
Hogan made the announcement of the emergency status to “control and prevent the spread of COVID-19 within Maryland.”
Laura Freeman-Legge, mayor of Westernport, followed Hogan’s declaration, and with her powers granted by Section 404 of the Charter of the town of Westernport, postponed the election.
At this time, no date for the Westernport municipal election has been established.
Freeman-Legge said in executive order 04-2020, that the municipal election is usually held in the town hall building, and due to the Maryland state of emergency, this happening could “hinder social distancing, enable the transmission of COVID-19, and pose risks to public health, welfare, and safety.”
Part of the executive order stated that holding a municipal election during the Maryland state of emergency “would potentially expose the town hall, voters, municipal officers, employees, and volunteers to the COVID-19.”
Also noted in the order was that Westernport’s municipal election “must be accessible, secure, and safe,” and the postponement of the election will allow for the democratic process and for residents to be able to safely vote.
Freeman-Legge said the executive order will take effect on April 27, 2020, at 9 a.m. and will remain in effect until the expiration of 30 days following the governor’s termination of the Maryland state of emergency.
When Westernport’s municipal election is rescheduled, three spots will be on the ballot, with the mayor being one, and two council seats presently held by Judy Hamilton and Matt Ray.
When the election is completed, the mayor will make commission appointments to include finance, streets, police, and water.