Cecil County Commissioner Broomell Forced Out of Harford County Job
Cecil County Commissioner Diana Broomell (R-4) has been forced to â€śrelinquishâ€ť her job as manager of the Havre de Grace â€śMain Streetâ€ť program because an executive panel of the group believed it posed a conflict with her elected position.
William Price 3rd, president of the Havre de Grace Main Street organization, sent an emailed notice about the decision to members of the organizationâ€™s full board, in which he said the groupâ€™s executive committee met with Broomell Wednesday and â€ścollectively expressed that it would be best for our organization for her to relinquish her duties. â€ś
Price went on to say that Broomell had been â€śan invaluable addition to our organizationâ€ť but that â€świth her additional responsibilities as County Commissioner she has limited time. Diana and I have had several conversations about this dating back to November, and I know she has been conflicted aboutâ€ť the dual roles.
Cecil Times obtained a copy of Priceâ€™s statement, and in a further email exchange with Cecil Times, Price said that the full board was not advised or consulted in advance of the executive committeeâ€™s decision regarding Broomell.
He also said that there was no recent issue or problem that led up to the decision but thatâ€ť Some concerns were raised after her electionâ€ť among board members.
Broomellâ€™s job in Havre de Grace, which involved promoting the town to tourists and encouraging new business to locate in the community, has been a subject of some questions in Cecil County, especially in her election campaign for County Commissioner. Critics questioned whether she might have a conflict of interest when it came to attracting new business to Cecil County, or promoting business development in the Harford County town.
Broomell did not respond to phone and email messages from Cecil Times requesting her comment on the situation. [See UPDATE below]
However, her husband, Mark, who also serves on the board of the Main Street organization in Harford County, responded angrily in an email response to Price and on his own Facebook page. He accused the executive committee of â€ścowardess and mallice[sic] toward my wifeâ€ť and said she was treated â€świth less respect than a stray animal.â€ť
On Facebook, he wrote, â€śCanâ€™t believe people can be such low life scumbagsâ€ť
and said â€śThis is far from over. No one treats my wife like this.â€ť He also commented, â€śwhat they did is going to get them in a lot of trouble.â€ť
In his email to Cecil Times, Price said the question of a possible conflict of interest in Mark Broomell having a seat on the board of the organization while his wife served as its executive director was â€śnot to my knowledgeâ€ť a factor in the committeeâ€™s decision. Price said Mark Broomell was â€śa member of the Havre de Grace business community and has volunteered many hours to the Main Street organization.â€ť
The Broomells own a woodworking business in Cecil County.
Havre de Grace Main Street, Inc. is set up as a non-profit organization and its most recent filings with the Internal Revenue Service, for calendar year 2009, list Diana Broomell as executive director and state she was paid $18,262 in 2009. She assumed the position mid-year. The filings also showed the group had gross receipts of $102,379 in 2009.
[UPDATE: Shortly after this article was posted, Commissioner Broomell called to comment. She said she was â€śsurprisedâ€ť by the sudden committee action and that â€śI thought we had a good working relationship.â€ť
She said there were never any conflicts between her duties as a county commissioner and her Main St. job and in fact there were certain synergies as efforts to promote tourism in the region would benefit communities in both counties. â€śIf anything, I think it enhanced what I can do as a county commissioner,â€ť she said, since she was able to receive training and develop contacts in the tourism field that she can use to assist Cecil County tourism promotion.
She said she would not seek to get her job back by taking the matter to the full board and said she felt it was â€śtime for me to move on.â€ť She said she had received a salary of $22,000 a year with no benefits for a 32-hours a week work schedule.
Broomell said she would work with her husband in their woodworking business in addition to her duties as a county commissioner.