Annapolis Notes - March 7

March 06, 2011
  • From left, Sen. Christopher B. Shank, Del. Neil C. Parrott and Del. LeRoy E. Myers Jr. talk to members of the Washington County Republican Club in Annapolis on Wednesday.
By Andrew Schotz/Staff Writer

Washington County? Really? Darn!

FirstEnergy’s acquisition of Allegheny Energy means a return to the past.

The old name of Potomac Edison is back in Western Maryland.

There again will be a regional headquarters in Washington County — at the existing Williamsport Service Center, near Halfway.

Last week in Annapolis, Del. Kevin Kelly, D-Allegany, toyed with Allegheny representative Dan Tompkins as he talked to the Western Maryland delegation.

About the new headquarters, Kelly asked, “Williamsport? In Washington County?”

“That’s correct,” Tompkins said.

“Well — damn,” Kelly said softly.

“I’ll be very candid,” Kelly continued. “I’m a hometown boy. I wanted it in Cumberland. I don’t care where he stuck it now.”

Other lawmakers chuckled as Kelly acted annoyed.

He took one last stab at the end of Tompkins’ presentation, asking, “But, Dan, that Williamsport thing’s finalized, correct?”

“Yes,” Tompkins said.

“Whoop-de-do,” Kelly said.

Del. Andrew A. Serafini, R-Washington, kept the gag running several minutes later, as the Maryland Rural Health Association’s executive director told the delegation about her organization, including a conference it held at the Rocky Gap lodge near Cumberland.

“You had that conference at Rocky Gap, not in Williamsport, Maryland, is that correct?,” Serafini asked wryly.

A roundabout pat on the back

In an apparent attempt at modesty, University System of Maryland Chancellor William E. “Brit” Kirwan got a little tongue-tied last week.

During a House subcommittee hearing on the USM central office budget, Kirwan said, “I was taught by my parents not to pat yourself on the back, but ...”

Then, he mentioned praise and recognition the University System has received for its work.

He pointed to a graph showing the percentage of the University System’s budget spent on its central office and how it compares favorably to other states’ systems.

“And as you can see, we are third from the top,” Kirwan said. “By that, I mean the bottom. By that, I mean we spend the third-least amount of money as a percent of the system budget.”

“Go ahead and say it: third best,” Del. John L. Bohanan Jr., D-St. Mary’s, the subcommittee chairman, said, causing the audience to laugh.

“Third best. Thank you,” Kirwan said. “I was stumbling for the right word.”

“I’ll say it for you,” Bohanan said.

A boost from home

Several members of the Washington County Republican Club watched and took pictures at Wednesday’s Western Maryland delegation meeting in Annapolis.

After the meeting, Republican lawmakers representing Washington County spoke to the group about the General Assembly’s latest business, including the debate over a same-sex marriage bill and a proposed ban on septic systems in large subdivisions.

Del. Neil C. Parrott said it was fun to see new leaders in the club.

Sen. Christopher B. Shank said having the Republican group visit “buoys our spirits.”

— Andrew Schotz,

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