Amid the unusual ugliness of the campaign for president of the Easton Town Council, one person stands out for his personal decency and longtime service. That is former Mayor Bob Willey, who also served at one time as town council president.
For the 20 months remaining in the term created by the election of current Mayor Megan Cook, I endorse Willey. He will work well with Cook and inject stability and experience as the town of Easton grapples with medical care, growth and economic development.
The despicable mailers financed by Scott Wagner underscore the pressing need to restore civility and dignity so important to a place that prides itself on friendliness. The harsh mailers attacking Willey belong elsewhere, where politics is rough, ready and repulsive.
Willey is neither flashy nor bombastic. He loves his hometown. He deserves election to a post that he once occupied.
I am disappointed that former Council Member Al Silverstein failed to take a stronger stand during his Friday interview in the Talbot Spy against Wagner’s attacks on a person that Silverstein considers a friend. In fact, his hands-off approach is appalling.
Silverstein has a strong voice and forthright manner; he failed to use both in the current controversy surrounding Wagner’s use of Silverstein’s comments about Willey in a letter to the Spy.
Kevin Bateman and Frank Gunsallus very well may have political futures in local politics. For 20 months, however, Willey’s steady hand is necessary for the proper governance of Easton.
I watched the 90-minute candidates forum hosted by the Talbot Spy and moderated by Spy columnist Craig Fuller. I spoke with several residents. The result is this endorsement.
A vote for Willey has layered implications. One is the election of a competent town council president. The other is restoration of civility amid examples of cruel politicking.
Columnist Howard Freedlander retired in 2011 as Deputy State Treasurer of the State of Maryland. Previously, he was the executive officer of the Maryland National Guard. He also served as community editor for Chesapeake Publishing, lastly at the Queen Anne’s Record-Observer. After 44 years in Easton, Howard and his wife, Liz, moved in November 2020 to Annapolis, where they live with Toby, a King Charles Cavalier Spaniel who has no regal bearing, just a mellow, enticing disposition.