BREAKING: Dr. Rene Desmarais declines Wicomico County Executive appointment
WICOMICO CO., Md. – Salisbury cardiologist Dr. Rene Desmarais has declined the Wicomico County Executive appointment.
In a statement released late Monday afternoon, Desmarais says, “Thank you for the opportunity to become the next Wicomico County Executive. Although it would be a privilege to lead our great county, I must respectfully decline to accept the appointment. I wish you the best in your future selection.”
“We were surprised of course. I do wish Dr. Desmarais and his family the best. I’m sure it had to have been a terrible difficult decision for him because initially he committed to this. I’m sure it was equally as difficult to change his mind in this regard,” says John Cannon, the Vice President of the Wicomico County Council. “But I’m sure he’ll move on with it and we wish him the best.”
Cannon says he’s not too familiar with what went into Dr. Desmarais’ decision outside of what the release stated. “I think what we have to focus on now as a council is to try and get back together and see how we can regroup and get a new County Executive in Wicomico County.”
As for a timeline that citizens can expect, Cannon says, “The council is still trying to work through what processes might be in place for us to use. There could be a reconsideration at the September 1st meeting to reconsider the initial resolution and then look again at the candidates. We’re also looking at, as I understand it, the possibility of reintroducing the 45 days again with a new application process. I’m not so sure how that might play out and as we speak, the legal team is trying to see whether or not that is something we have as an option or whether that is something we want to go through.”
This comes after the Greater Salisbury Committee hosted an event on Monday morning expressing concerns about the selection process. “The process just didn’t look right and so we thought it was important to gather the community,” says Mike Dunn, the President and CEO of the Greater Salisbury Committee (GSC).
Organization officials and residents believe the council did not take public comment into account on Thursday, only taking those comments after they were done deliberating.
The other two candidates were Maryland Delegate Carl Anderton and former county employee Michele Ennis. “This is not about who was chosen. We would have been raising these concerns about the process regardless of the outcome,” says Dunn.