Carl Roberts Creates Campaign $ Committee; Expected to Run Against Tome

March 1, 2010

   Former Cecil County Schools Superintendent Carl Roberts has created a campaign fundraising committee, according to online state election records, but has not yet formally declared his expected candidacy for the 4th District County Commissioner seat currently held by Democrat Wayne Tome.

   Dr. Roberts, who served as the schools chief from 1996 until his retirement in 2008, filed papers for “Friends of Carl Roberts,” a campaign finance committee, in February and named two political unknowns as campaign officials. Eugene Caffey,  of Port Deposit, is his campaign treasurer and Linda Dyekman, a Chesapeake City graphic designer, is his campaign chairman. Dyekman is a member of BEPAC, the Business and Education Partership that links local businesses with county education programs.

   Since leaving the county schools post, Dr. Roberts has served as executive director of the Public School Superintendents Association of Maryland and has been the legislative liaison (lobbyist) for the Council of Education Adminstrative and Supervisory Organizations. Last year, he applied to become Superindendent of Schools for Harford County, but he was passed over and another applicant won the job.

   Although technically a “newcomer” to election politics, Roberts is a seasoned player in the county political game. He managed to convince successive boards of commissioners to boost education spending dramatically and delivered rising test scores in county schools. But he was also criticized by some as fostering a costly, top-heavy administrative staff.

    Roberts has been contacting various political and community leaders for months to solicit their support for a primary challenge to Tome. While some Democrats have cautioned against a challenge to the incumbent Tome, others, including some Republicans, have been encouraging a Roberts campaign, according to informed sources.

    Tome said in an interview with The Cecil Times that he plans to seek re-election and filed paperwork to form his campaign finance committee a few days ago, although it has not yet been posted online by the state Election Board. Tome said he would postpone a formal announcement of his candidacy until completion of the current county budget process. “I want to concentrate all my efforts on doing the business of Cecil County in this important process,” Tome said.

    “He’s a very knowledgable and smart individual,” Tome said of Roberts. “But I believe I have a lot more experience on a wider range of county issues, and I feel we need to continue the progress we’ve started.”

 Tome, an officer in the Baltimore County Fire Department for many years, has been a leading advocate for Cecil County’s politically influential  fire companies and public safety spending. However, he has questioned the potential costs of binding arbitration sought by county Sheriff’s Deputies. As a result, some of his base of support has been undermined as Republican members of the state legislative delegation push state legislation to hold a referendum on the issue.

   Roberts was always an outspoken advocate of increased education spending by the county in the budget process, a position that often pitted his agenda against other county agencies, including the Sheriff’s department.

   Meanwhile, a candidate can create a finance committee and solicit donations even before filing the formal paperwork to declare candidacy for elected office, according to state Elections Board officials. But someone who has formally filed as a candidate may not solicit contributions until the separate finance committee paperwork is filed. This year, candidates for county offices must file an ongoing campaign committee with electronic reporting of donations. In the past,  local candidates could file “personal treasurer” reports that were filed on paper locally and not searchable online.

    A Republican, Mike Dawson, has already filed his candidacy and begun fundraising for the 4th District seat. Dawson, a former Prince George’s County police officer, is a newcomer to the county and county politics but has been active with the Cecil County Young Republicans Club. The club is  expected to field candidates from its membership in all three of the Commissioner seat contests this year.

    The Cecil Times has calls in to Roberts and will update this report upon  his response.

UPDATE: We didn’t receive a callback but Roberts has formally announced that he is running for Tome’s Commissioner seat. He has posted a website,

His campaign theme is “Leadership for the Future” and includes lots of vintage family photos under the “biography” section. We assume more detailed information will be upcoming.

 Tome has filed his campaign finance committee report and lists Peter Kirksley as Treasurer and Tim Snelling as committee chairman. Snelling is himself a former unsuccessful commissioner candidate and has served for several years on the county liquor board.

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13 Responses to Carl Roberts Creates Campaign $ Committee; Expected to Run Against Tome

  1. Mike on March 1, 2010 at 7:48 pm

    Thanks Cecil Times for the informative political news I find on your blog. I’m not able to find such coverage elsewhere as I try to stay up on the important happenings around the county.

  2. Anne on March 25, 2010 at 6:51 am

    This is great news for Cecil County! As a teacher in Cecil County, I have great respect for the work that Dr. Roberts did during his tenure as superintendent. He is a visionary leader and is not afraid to ask the tough questions and do the hard work.

    • tidewater on April 7, 2010 at 6:10 am

      Anne are you really a teacher or are you a Carl Roberts crony apologists for a failed public school system who has personally benefited from your relationship to Carl Roberts with a high paying administration “job”? No teacher under Roberts would sing his praise unless they were paid to do so.

      Carl Roberts has a “vision” for Cecil County alright…higher property taxes to reward all his buddies who will say anything to put more money in their salaries and retirement packages while claiming to “help the children”.

      The state of Maryland is shifting teacher pension funding to the counties. Here’s a tough question for your “visionary” leader…

      Do the good people of Cecil County want to pay higher property taxes to fund more of Carl Roberts political machine er… “vision” for Cecil County?

      Carl Roberts may be able to ask tough questions but his answers will make us all work harder to pay for inflated county budgets with much higher property taxes.

      It doesn’t take 2020 vision to see that Carl Roberts 2010 is terrible news for Cecil County.

      • Anne on April 15, 2010 at 9:47 pm

        So Tidewater,
        I’d love to hear some constructive ideas. Please share YOUR vision, because fear will get our county nowhere.

  3. Raoul on April 9, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    It is quite interesting that a few Roberts’s detractors have found that slanderous speech are their means to attack, a highly respected and successful individual.

    Attacking supporters with further insult, quite sufficiently demonstrates their impotence.

    You are so blind and ill informed that you must employ scare tactics to attempt to sway voters your direction or lack of direction.

    Why do you not offer solutions? What would you do?

    • tidewater on April 13, 2010 at 8:16 am

      Put down your Kool-aid Raoul, its clearly making you blind. Those of us who don’t want our property taxes raised to support a failed public school system are called names by Roberts’ drones like you.

      You say Carl Roberts should be respected for causing our property taxes to go through the roof with excessive spending at CCPS. We don’t respect that kind of leadership and don’t want any part of it.

      You say Carl Roberts is a successful individual, well the folks in Harford County weren’t so impressed when they refused to hire him as superintendent of schools after they saw what he did to CCPS.

      So he became an Annapolis lobbyist?

      If Roberts’ supporters want to defend this fool then lets find one that hasn’t personally benefited from his politics. Then they can enlighten us as to why we should elect someone who hopes to change Cecil County into the other cesspool counties found between Richmond and Boston. Please, the world is waiting for their brilliant insight.

      Carl Roberts “detractors” will sufficiently demonstrate their potency when a majority of voters stand and deliver on election day and say a final good bye to a “man” who is running in the same party as Obama, Omalley– Oroberts, ONO!!!!!!!
      How’s that Hope and Change working for you Raoul?
      Here’s a solution. If you want to live in a county that looks like New Castle, Harford, Montgomery, Prince Georges, Howard or Baltimore City then move there. Property taxes are higher, schools are worse and the dumb Democrats are proud of bankrupting the citizens with ridiculous taxes and spending on “education”. What could be more insulting than to play the good people of Cecil County with his kind of politics?

      Here’s another solution to higher taxes and a failed public school system… Elect someone who will support the right of parents to freely choose the school thats best for their children. Elect people who have faith in parents to choose a school that is free from political corruption? Elect someone who will support Charter Schools and vouchers so parents have the freedom to choose a school thats best for their kids not one that is best for political ladder climbing.

  4. ceciltimes on April 16, 2010 at 7:17 am

    Folks, we welcome a spirited debate in our comment section. But please keep the language civil. We will edit out certain words of the three or four letter variety that are not appropriate to a reasoned debate. Keep the comments coming.

  5. Raoul on April 16, 2010 at 5:36 pm

    It’s time to get a grip on reality. Your anger needs to be controlled. Have you sought the advice of a professional?

    Who do you support and why? What will your politician do?

    Positive statements will make you feel better : ) and may actually make a difference.

  6. tidewater on April 21, 2010 at 4:02 pm

    Gee Raoul I am touched by your concern over my health and yes I will be seeking to control my anger…

    ON THE FIRST TUESDAY AFTER THE FIRST MONDAY IN NOVEMBER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Then, I will make many positive statements after my candidates are elected because they will bring fiscal sanity back in style.

    For example, Annie (not a teacher), when the state which now has no say in how high the counties can negotiate teacher pensions but has to fund them, appropriately passes the funding for teacher pensions to the counties. I don’t want elected officials who belong to the same jackass (not a three or four letter word) party as Obama and OMalley who will automatically vote to increase property taxes to fund all the promises its going to take to get your “visionary” buddy elected.

    It doesn’t take 20-20 vision to see that we simply can not afford the higher property taxes Carl Roberts 2010 will bring to Cecil County.

  7. Raoul on April 23, 2010 at 9:16 am

    Actually, Tidewater, my concern is for anyone around you. Your children, spouse, friends, a stranger whose looks you don’t like, etc.

    You must be a republican, or possibly a tea bagger (Conservatives who masquerade as “concerned citizens”.) … The TEA BAGGERS pride themselves on ranting incoherently, misspelling protest signs, and their ability to disqualify other humans in the security of anonymity ). Either way, you represent a minority who has nothing to offer excepts criticizing the opposition. Don’t do this. Don’t do that. Crawl in a shell and blame everyone else for your own shortcomings, failures and inability to set a clear path to make decisions.

    I am a non-affiliated voter. Why, because politicians promise and don’t deliver. They live in a world set aside from the working stiff. Our ‘representation’ in Annapolis could care less about Cecil County. It is time for Charter Government. Bring our decision-making home. We must grow our County to bring down taxes.

    A fantastic growth corridor between 40 and 95 can easily attract business. Furthermore, developing that area preserves the beauty and rural heritage of our county while providing the revenue source to grow and stabilize taxes. Look at Delaware. Why have there taxes been so low? DuPont.

    Why might our taxes keep growing? Without a thriving economic base, we will have nothing to our support services but the land and homeowners. Would you eliminate health and human services, transportation, environmental services, education, fire, or law enforcement just to lower your taxes? If you don’t want that kind of growth, then get ready for higher taxes…whoever will be our elected officials.

    If you are not a democrat who can vote in the primary, there is nothing you can do except rant. The date you should be watching is 9-14-2010 when Dr. Roberts wins the primary. After that, what is the competition? There is no one.

    • C Lewis on April 26, 2010 at 9:24 pm

      Who’s being nasty now! Cutting on Republicans and Tea Party Protestors. Sounds like maybe you went to a liberal college and go with the talking points of the libs.

      With every dollar of taxes, .65 goes to the school system!

      Taxes are killing us all! Do ya really think Carl Roberts will honestly do what is right for ALL taxpayers?

      • Raoul on April 27, 2010 at 8:28 am


        Questions for all.

        If I do not have children, now or ever, why should I pay any taxes for other people’s children? Why should senior citizens who have paid their taxes for a lifetime, still pay any taxes for education?
        I know the answer, do you?

        If you feel the school system is not doing a good enough job, why don’t you participate in opportunities to help? AIM High Drop Out Prevention, donate to School Improvement Team Mini Grants, join and participate in BEPAC, become a tutor and share your skills with a child who needs help…just a few ways you can help. Maybe instead of complaining, you could be a proactive participant.

  8. tidewater on April 25, 2010 at 9:52 am

    Raoul I agree with you about politicians. Carl Roberts is a perfect example. Political creatures like him have to promise things they can’t possibly deliver to get elected.

    They play Santa Claus to get the votes then raise taxes to reward their pals regardless of th eir promises not to do so. It’s called crony capitalism…

    Instead of living within our means, Democrats and Republicans are using credit cards to pay for their “promises” and our children will get the bill. …
    Education is the biggest portion of the Cecil County budget because government schools are a monopoly and a political jobs machine. How can the good people of Cecil County avoid personal bankruptcy with King Carl in charge of the property tax rate?

    King Carl was the biggest spender on education in the history of the Cecil County and shows no indication of changing into a fiscal conservative. Sure, King Carl made a name for himself in “education” helping “students” pass an easy test, but they’re not smart enough to pass a drug test to get a job in Cecil County. Many “graduates” of CCPS complete grades 13 and 14 at the community college because the public schools failed them.

    No business is coming to Cecil County with such a workforce, the word is already out there.

    Delaware has low taxes because they have the lowest franchise taxes in the nation, Maryland has the highest. Delaware has no sales tax, Maryland just raised its sales tax … and taxes everything but lawyers. Delaware has a court system that is favorable to business unlike Maryland that regulates businesses out of existence with their decisions.

    So what will higher property taxes on the good citizens of Cecil County pay for, with King Carl on the throne? More jobs for King Carl’s cronies at the expense of all the other agencies.

    I see what’s developing in the growth corridor and it’s just the nose of the camel in the tent now but soon the hole stinking animal will sprawl across the county.

    Is that the kind of hope and change the good people of Cecil County want?
    Carl Roberts and his kind of political creatures have infected American politics like a cancer and the only treatment is to keep them out of office…
    As far as me and those around me, we’re affiliated with the mad as hell and we’re not going to take it anymore crowd! Don’t be concerned about the people around me. They have always played the game and registered Democrat so they can vote in the Maryland primaries since that’s the corrupt political system the state operates under.

    Those around me always vote in the general elections too, but they don’t need 2020 vision to see that Carl Roberts 2010 will cause their property taxes to go through the roof.

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