Smipkins Pick Cecil County Charter Government Foe, Zeauskas, for Charter Advisory Panel

January 24, 2012

The Cecil County Republican Central Committee has named its chairman, Chris Zeauskas, to a seat on the Charter Government Advisory panel, county officials were told Tuesday. Zeauskas criticized the Charter form of government in the 2010 election season, when voters overwhelmingly approved Charter.

Two seats on the advisory panel were vacated recently when Commissioners Tari Moore (R-5) and Diana Broomell (R-2) were advised they should resign because their announced candidacy for County Executive this year could be considered a conflict of interest.

The advisory panel is drafting proposed regulations and rules for operations of the County Council and its interactions with the County Executive when the Charter form of government replaces the current County Commissioner form of government after the 2012 elections.

The County Commissioners decided last week that the two vacated seats on the panel should be filled upon the recommendation of the county’s Democratic and Republican central committees, with each committee getting to name one member.

Zeauskas phoned county officials to inform them that he would be taking the GOP seat, several sources told Cecil Times. How he was selected, and by whom, was unclear, since the full Republican Central Committee has had few public meetings since a “slate” of candidates backed by the Smipkin political organization– led by state Del. Michael Smigiel and Sen. E.J. Pipkin, both R-36– took control of seven out of nine seats on the GOP committee in the 2010 election.

Meanwhile, the Cecil County Democratic Central Committee was scheduled to meet Tuesday evening to discuss potential nominees for their seat, according to committee chairman John Ulrich. He said the Democrats were seeking someone independent of the party committee itself and that a choice would be made by a majority vote of the party panel.

“I’d never make a unilateral decision” about such an appointment, Ulrich said, adding that the Democrats wanted to reach a broad consensus on a candidate to sit on such an important panel.

[UPDATE: The Democrats decided, by a majority vote of the Central Committee, to name Wyatt Wallace to the Charter advisory panel, Ulrich said. Wallace is president of the Cecil County Democrat Club and is a volunteer serving on the county Planning Commission.]

Selection of members for the advisory panel became a heated issue among the County Commissioners last year, especially when the usually silent Commissioner Michael Dunn (R-3) launched a tirade against Joyce Bowlsbey, who chaired the committee that drafted the charter document and helped promote the idea to county voters.

[SEE previous Cecil Times report here:

Dunn likened her to a “fox in the henhouse” and insisted that she be banned from the advisory panel. Dunn, who has a seat on the Charter advisory panel and will keep it since he is not running for another office this year, was echoing the sentiments of his political mentors, Smigiel and Pipkin, who strongly opposed Charter government and attacked Bowlsbey’s role in the process.

Putting Zeauskas on the advisory panel will add another Smipkin voice critical of the Charter form of government. Last year, Zeauskas posted comments on the “Someonenoticed” blog in Elkton criticizing charter. On 9/30/10, he wrote, “The truth about what happens when Charter is adopted is that the size and power of government is grown, along with it’s [sic] budget. “

Zeauskas also ran as a candidate in the 2010 Republican primary for County Commissioner against Moore, who defeated him soundly.

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15 Responses to Smipkins Pick Cecil County Charter Government Foe, Zeauskas, for Charter Advisory Panel

  1. Sara Pierce on January 24, 2012 at 9:47 pm

    I’m confident John Ulrich and the rest of the Dem Central Committee will make an appropriate and balanced choice for the appointment! Unlike the Smipkin crew, no one controls the local Dems, especially John Ulrich, and their decision will be based on qualifications alone, not misguided loyalties to quasi-influential factions of a divided party.

    • Just a chimp on January 25, 2012 at 7:08 pm

      John Ulrich will absolutely do the right thing, no cronyism. I’d love to see either Joyce Bowlsbey, Carl Roberts or Nelson Bolender take that seat.

  2. Rick O'Shea on January 25, 2012 at 8:28 am

    The SMIPKIN party is associated with the GOP in Cecil County only in use of the GOP label to hoodwink voters. Hopefully Mullin will be voted out, Broomell and MAD Mike Dawson will be rejected as County Exec, and Smigiel will be rejected for Circuit Court Judge.

  3. Tom Kenny on January 26, 2012 at 7:56 am

    Talk about your “fox in the henhouse.” I wonder if Mike Dunn has any words of wisdom on this appointment. Ooops, who am I kidding? I feel another “do over” coming on.

  4. Joe on January 26, 2012 at 11:24 am

    The record needs to be set straight: the Republican Central Committee did not choose Chris Z, he chose himself. There was no meeting, no phone calls or emails.

    This is no surprise since there has not been a real meeting of the committee since June 21, 2011. There was the fake cover meeting in November, held so Dunn did not have to go to the Patriot’s Forum, only not to show at the Central Committee meeting either. Following any rules is not the Smipkin Way; they consider them nit picking. I guess they do not want a meeting because they will have to explain [finances]…(CT edited to omit unsubstantiated allegation.) I am still waiting for an updated treasurer’s report. Totally gross.

    • Alexis on January 27, 2012 at 8:16 am

      Arrogance and contempt has permeated Team SMIPKIN. They don’t abide by rules or protocol because they have 7 of 9 votes. The same attitude is shown by the Three Amigos. Stop the Smipkins. Vote out Mullin. Reject Broomell and MAD Mike Dawson for County Exec.

  5. Ron Lobos on January 27, 2012 at 10:54 am

    I see that there are many here who have the same concensus. You’re all tired of being bullied around. So am I. I am appealing to all of you to come and join us at the Cecil County Patriots meeting on Feb. 2. This needs to be a non partisan effort and we need to join efforts in order to prevail. If we don’t all join hands, Democrats, Republicans and Independents alike, the Smipkins will continue to rule. Both parties have their disagreements, but there is one thing we do agree on: the Smipkins must go. The meeting is at 7p.m. at County Bldg

  6. Jackie on January 27, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    Since there was no committee vote, and that was clearly the criteria for selecting a new charter member, there needs to be some accountability on this. This does not seem to be a valid appointment by a committee who was elected to represent Republicans in Cecil County. It needs to be challenged.

    There is a faction of Republicans in Cecil County, who, to the detriment of us all, have disregarded the principles of their party and their obligations as public servants and have embraced a … self-serving agenda. I hope the voters will join together in expelling this faction from representing us on April 3rd. These few have done more to undermine the credibility of Republicans than the opposite party could have ever accomplished.

  7. Al Reasin on January 27, 2012 at 9:04 pm

    The Cecil County Patriots meeting on Feb. 2 will have all of the candidates who have accepted our invitation to speak and engage in a Q&A session. The meeting is at 7 p.m. at County Bldg Senior Center in the rear of the building, however entry is only via the main entrance during off hours.

    It would appear that the Cecil County Democratic Central Committee adheres to democratic principles and to the rules more than the Republican Central Committee. Good for the Democrats. Shame on the Republican Central Committee leadership but apparently they have no shame.

    I agree that the “appointment” of Chris Zeauskas is improper and violates the commissioners’ decision to fill the open positions with the selections from each parties’ central committee. The president of any central committee is NOT the committee; that is unless Chris Zeauskas has designated himself the Dear Leader of the Cecil County Republican Central Committee.

    Chris Zeauskas is not my leader, that’s for sure.

    • Joe on January 28, 2012 at 11:29 pm

      Judging by what I just reviewed on the state election board website, I guess we are lucky he was not appointed to a fiscal advisory board! This might have made ENRON and Bernie look good.

  8. Rick O'Shea on January 29, 2012 at 9:37 am

    Zeauskas should pledge to not accept an appointment to the County Council seat vacated by Broomell or Moore if either is elected County Executive. The same ethical standard that caused them to resign from the charter panel should apply to Zeauskas. No foxes in the henhouse, right Commissioner Dunn? Zeauskas would probably appoint himself to the County Council, as he apparently did in this case.

    • Joe on January 29, 2012 at 10:31 pm

      He could only fill Tari Moore’s seat since he does not live in Broomell’s district unless he buys a house there or someone one buys it for him.

      • Alexis on January 30, 2012 at 8:36 am

        If Broomell is elected, Smigiel and Pipkin, through their Smipkin Central Committee pawns, would appoint MAD Mike Dawson, who lives in her district, as the replacement.

  9. Joe on February 7, 2012 at 11:21 pm

    ,for the record (since the Republican Central Committee does not bother) neither I nor Ted K. were polled in any manner by the Chairman, Chris Zeauskus, on the matter of this appointment. I reckon that Mullin and Dunn are in a special category, being that they claimed during the Commissioner meeting of 7 February that they were polled. Maybe the problem is that Chris Z. does not know how to count past five. Congrats to Diana Broomell for standing up to the Smipkin machine. I think the island may get hit with a tidal wave.

  10. 1Citizen on February 9, 2012 at 6:54 pm

    Mr. Zeauskus, in your short time as RCC Chair you’ve compiled a dazzling record of self-service, incompetence, and disregard for procedure and law. Thanks for showing your true colors before you ever have another chance to run for anything.

    Don’t worry, I’m sure E.J. can always use a sign-planter.

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