Letter: Voting his conscience
The volunteer boards provide an important part of the citizen government that we are blessed with in the United States. I’m privileged to serve on Mathews Wetlands Board and we take our responsibility very seriously.
We currently have a contentious issue before us. On Friday evening, another member of the board and I received a phone call from a member of the Mathews County Board of Supervisors. The call was very unpleasant as the board member was belligerent and demanding, questioning my ability to make a qualified decision, suggesting that I didn’t know how to assess wetlands.
The county ordinance and State Code direct the Wetlands Board to weigh the public good (protection of the wetlands) with the private interest (mostly erosion control). Overarching the responsibility is the No Net Loss of wetlands that was written into the code in 2000.
It was obvious that the supervisor was strongly in favor of the project and demanded that I support it. The supervisor was extremely argumentative and overbearing and refused to accept that I had a responsibility to uphold the law. Ultimately the conversation became so unpleasant that I said, "I will vote my conscience. Good night, Mrs. Putt."