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We’ve quoted elected officials and other VIPs and, most often, the regular people whose stories appear week in and week out on our pages. Here’s what they had to say this year ...


“It just doesn’t make any sense at all. I can’t believe it. It’s just impossible to even comprehend that he could be involved in something like that. It just doesn’t fit with what I know about that boy.”

Calvert County Board of Education member Eugene Karol on John Robert Reeves, a Prince Frederick native involved in a murder-suicide in Coronado, Calif. on New Year’s Day.

“I’d hate for the only jobs in Calvert County to be working at Walmart. Or you could work for county government, I guess.”

Huntingtown resident Paul Harrison on his and his wife Tracy’s struggle to obtain a home occupation permit for her basement hair salon.

“There’s no doubt there’s something amiss in the procedures that are set forth in the ordinance when decisions that affect a lot of people are made and nobody knows about it.”

Calvert County Planning Commission attorney John Yacovelle during a request for an appeal hearing of an approved site plan for the Solomons Island Winery to add a patron area/tasting room and parking.

“Kelly had to comply in order for us to eat.”

Kimberly McConkey as a witness for a trial in Calvert County Circuit Court filed against her husband, Kelly. Board of Education President Rose Crunkleton, who was running against Kelly McConkey for District 3 of the board, challenged McConkey’s residency.


“I just wanted it resolved by the courts so it wouldn’t be hanging over our head for 10 months while we campaigned.”

Crunkleton after a Calvert County Circuit Court judge ruled in favor of McConkey.

“You’re going to lose some of the better workers you have because they can’t make ends meet. What they’re asking for is a little extra to say, ‘We know you’re struggling.’”

Calvert Association of Educational Support Staff negotiator Renee Stuart during contract negotiations with the Calvert County Board of Education negotiation team over support staff salary increases.

“This is one more feather in our cap. ... We keep winning, they keep appealing. But this confirms everything.”

Joe Kurley, Tiki Bar general manager, after the Calvert County Zoning Board of Appeals ruled in favor of the Tiki Bar regarding a remand for a determination of the parking area between the buildings on the east and west sides of the bar’s property. The county and a neighbor have taken the Tiki Bar to court multiple times.

“There’s no closure.”

Resident Tammy Thatcher regarding the details of Southern Memorial Gardens filing for bankruptcy and what it means for the cemetery’s clients.

“We’re making it harder and harder for our farmers to farm. By moving these offices farther away all we are doing is causing our farmers to pack up and leave. And if we keep doing this we’re not gonna have farming in Calvert County and we’re not gonna have farming in Southern Maryland.”

Bill Clark, Calvert County Soil Conservation District manager, on the proposed closure of the Calvert County office of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency. The office officially closed in August.

“If you’re gonna have a wreck, have it in Calvert County ‘cause you’re gonna get a lot of help.”

Stephen Waugh as he thanked the first responders who aided in his rescue after his plane crashed at the Chesapeake Ranch Estates airport in November 2011.

“Every jurisdiction is doing everything they can to notify everybody they can that if we are forced to take on teacher pensions ... it will crowd out all other expenses.”

Commissioner Susan Shaw (R), during one of her commissioners’ reports, urging local agencies to fight the Maryland General Assembly’s proposal to shift a portion of the funding of teacher pensions to the county.


“This issue is not about supporting education or teachers; it’s about the state taking responsibility for its actions. Counties simply cannot bear the burden without adversely affecting tax payers.”

Commissioners’ President Gerald R. “Jerry” Clark, during a press conference before a commissioners’ meeting about a state proposal to shift part of teacher pension costs onto local jurisdictions.

“She has a sign hanging over her desk in her office that really sums up her life. It says, ‘You can always catch up on your sleep.’ And she never wanted to miss anything.”

Chesapeake Beach councilman Bob Carpenter about his late wife and former town events coordinator, Pat Carpenter, who died suddenly of complications from a chronic illness.

“You can turn on the TV and people are being mean to each other all the time. We as adults need to model the behavior we want our kids to see and it’s tough because there are a lot of stressors out there.”

Calvert County Public Schools Executive Director of Administration Kim Roof about the rise of bullying through social media in the schools.

“We were trying to get information out as quickly as possible and as we refined the numbers that’s how we adjusted. We wanted to make sure we got information out as accurate as we could early in the investigation.”

Dan Williams, deputy health officer for the Calvert County Health Department, on various reports and press releases sent out containing conflicting information about three members of a Lusby family who died and one who became ill, all from complications from the flu.

“We do not know at this time if it’s a fetus or a newborn. … It’s very unusual.”

Calvert County Sheriff Mike Evans (R) about the state of an infant found in the trunk of a car on Hallowing Point Road in Prince Frederick.

“Sooner than later the impact of your decision to not fund a decent and reasonable raise for our teachers and staff will place us behind the rest of Maryland counties in educational achievement and quality teaching, and eventually people will not move their families to Calvert County for the quality of Calvert County Public Schools. And this will come back to haunt you.”

Debbie Russ, president of the Calvert Education Association, the union representing Calvert teachers, addressing the county commissioners during a budget hearing. The proposed budget included $107.4 million in funding to the school system, which was less than the request of $111.9 million.

“You really can’t go anywhere and not see the fruits of his labor. It’s a beautiful place and it has a lot to do with his vision.”

County Administrator Terry Shannon on the late Frank Jaklistch, former director of the Calvert County Department of Planning and Zoning for 28 years.


“The fact that the board is willing to spend about $600 to $800 for a special ballot for my removal at this late date is ludicrous. All I want is to continue serving the community to the end of my term and to run again for the [Drum Point Property Owner’s Association] … without obstruction from the board. This is all a smear campaign conducted by the board simply because I vote for what is best for the community, not what is best for the board.”

Former DPPOA member Tricia Powell during a general membership meeting, during which residents argued whether she should be removed from the board.

“I try to make my class interactive where kids are thinking instead of just writing and copying. … My style of teaching isn’t all about test scores — it’s about kids thinking and enjoying what they’re learning and it just so happens that your kids get good test scores when they like what they’re learning.”

Windy Hill Middle School math teacher Dawn Caine, who was named 2012 Calvert County Teacher of the Year.

“It’s a tremendous blow to the business. A majority of our business is based off bingo. It’s unfortunate because the town and state will lose money, and jobs will be lost.”

Ryan Hill, managing partner of the Crooked I in Chesapeake Beach, about a new law passed during the 2012 Maryland legislative session that shut down the business’s gaming center.

May“We want to make sure that however we proceed with that piece of property, that we do it in the best interest of the community. ... At some point in time I’m sure this board will come out to the community and convey just what we’re looking to do.”

Commissioner Clark on the old Calvert Middle School property, when Bargo LLC withdrew a proposed text amendment that would have allowed for the building of a large home improvement store in the Prince Frederick Town Center.

“I had to retire. As my wife says, I reached constitutional senility, and then the next day there’s a miracle cure and I can come back.”

Calvert County Circuit Court Judge Warren Krug on his retirement after 18 1/2 years as a judge because the Constitution of Maryland states judges must retire at age 70. Krug was appointed as a retired judge to the Seventh Circuit.

“I just believe I’m very fortunate. I’m very humbled because I believe every principal in the county is deserving of an award of this nature. ... I’m still in shock.”

Sylvia Lawson, Northern High School principal, after receiving The Washington Post Distinguished Educational Leadership Award after nearly completing her first year as principal for the school.

“It strikes me that our functions do include more than just planning and zoning. The department’s name should probably reflect these larger responsibilities.”

Chuck Johnston, the director of the then-named Department of Planning and Zoning, when he made his case to the Calvert County Board of County Commissioners to change the department’s name to Community Planning and Building, which was approved 4-1 with Commissioner Clark opposing. The name change took effect July 1.

“There are times we have to make sure people live where they say they live. When we do investigations, we do not take the investigations lightly. It’s a commitment to the people in this county.”

Kim Roof of CCPS about prohibiting 7-year-old Sierra Hammond from attending Mount Harmony Elementary School after an investigation led the school system to believe she did not live in Calvert County.

“After 30 years, we decided that we had to kind of just end it on a high note. It was a wonderful experience … but sadly, some things have to come to an end.”

Gerald Donovan about he and his brother, Fred Donovan, deciding not to continue the annual Celebration of Life Gala, a fundraiser started 30 years ago by the brothers to raise money for cancer research.

“In these economic times when a lot of places are having a lot of problems, I think it shows that in Calvert County our conservative budget process is the way we should be going. We’re very happy.”

Commissioner Clark on the county keeping its AAA bond rating.


“It’s very emotional. There are so many of us that are survivors that cancer has touched. It’s overwhelming to be part of this association, Relay For Life.”

Breezy Point resident Betsy Jackson during the Calvert County Relay For Life Event, which raised more than $300,000.

“What they’re teaching them is that if you enjoy this, you can come back every week and enjoy this [at church services]. I grew up in [Mega Week] so it’s very bittersweet, but it’s exciting because we have no clue what God will do next.”

Chesapeake Church Director of Communications Jacqueline Miller about the end of Mega Week Vacation Bible School.

“Words do not do justice for the amount of pride he would have felt for what so many people have done for him today.”

Ramona Crowley-Goldberg during a dedication ceremony of the Sheldon E. Goldberg Center for Breast Care. Her husband was Dr. Sheldon Goldberg, who was the breast center’s medical director and one of the driving forces behind its opening in January 2010. He died last July in a rafting accident in Montana.


“It is summer with summer heat. Thunderstorms are likely to occur, and when those storms occur there are sometimes extreme conditions.”

Emergency management and safety division chief John Fenwick after an unexpected intense storm, identified as a derecho, moved through and heavily damaged the area June 29.

“It’s something with the state that’s going to put what we’ve done in complete disarray.”

Commissioner Clark regarding the Sustainable Growth and Agricultural Preservation Act, or septic bill, which requires the county to place all if its land in one of four tiers and to limit major residential subdivisions with septic systems in the most rural tier.


“We are deeply saddened by this tragic event. Our hearts and prayers go out to [the family]. … We’ll investigate this case to get all the facts of exactly what happened.”

Sheriff Evans during a press conference after three people were found dead in an apparent murder-suicide inside an Owings home. Frank Hayward Jr., 32, his wife Cynthia, 31, and their 2-year-old daughter, Natalee, were found dead on the first floor of the home. Frank Hayward III, 12, was found alive and suffering from cuts to his neck and severe burns.

“I think the issue here is she had too many to take care of [properly]. It’s impossible for any person to take care of that amount of rabbits.”

Calvert County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Steve Jones on the owner of Bunny Magic Wildlife and Rabbit Rescue Inc. The Lusby rescue was raided after a complaint was filed by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and more than 200 rabbits were seized.

“We’re going to live by that decision, but we still believe it would have been a worthwhile project for the Mid-Atlantic region.”

Mid-Atlantic Power Pathway project spokesman Matt Likovich comments after the PJM Interconnection Board of Managers decided to cancel the MAPP project following a recommendation by the PJM Transmission Expansion Advisory Committee to do so. The project would have been among the largest of its kind and was proposed for location in the Parkers Creek watershed.


“It will be similar to Calvert High School, but different in that it won’t be disruptive to students and staff.”

Calvert County Public Schools Director of School Construction George Leah on the construction of a new Northern High School, which is currently projected for fiscal years 2015 and 2016. The current facility was built in 1972.

“It took me a long time to get the experience and the background and the knowledge to go into their office at the top level and not take their guff and say, ‘No, you’re treating my constituents wrong.’”

Del. Anthony J. O’Donnell (R-Calvert, St. Mary’s) on challenging U.S. Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md., 5th) for his seat in congress. O’Donnell ultimately lost the race.

“It’s not terrible. It’s still swimmable, fishable, you can still eat the fish, but we’d like to reverse the trend or at least level it out.”

Calvert County Environmental Planner David Brownlee in a report to the Calvert County Planning Commissioner about the county’s watershed water quality.


“We’re very excited and very grateful for this opportunity. I’m really looking forward to getting to work on making our schools safer and better.”

Board of Education member-elect Joe Chenelly after he, McConkey and incumbent Tracy McGuire were elected to the Calvert County Board of Education. McConkey beat District 3 incumbent Crunkleton and Chenelly is taking the District 1 seat of William “Bill” Chambers, who did not seek re-election.

“Over these past few weeks, Marylanders joined together to affirm that for a free and diverse people of many faiths — a people committed to religious freedom — the way forward is always found through greater respect for the equal rights and human dignity of all.”

Gov. Martin O’Malley after Maryland voted to legalize same-sex marriage, which was Question 6 on the election ballot. Calvert County, however, voted against the act by 54.76 percent.

“Does it upset me? No. It’s political. ... It’s the name of the game. We’ll figure out how to make it work.”

Commissioner Clark on representatives of the state legislature still wanting to debate having five election districts despite the commissioners wanting to keep three.

“This truly will affect every citizen in North Beach. ... Everybody will experience that traffic and everybody will experience what we’re going to see. I do believe it has a big upside to it.”

North Beach Town Council member Mike Benton on plans for an arts center and hotel to be built in North Beach.


“It’s hard to believe it’s been two years and nothing has come out of it ... but we’re still hopeful and prayerful that the Lord will touch the heart of the person or persons that did it.”

Delois Johnson, the sister of Sandra R. Long, who was found murdered in her car on Nov. 30, 2010. The case remains under investigation.

“It’s sad to leave but I know I’m leaving you in good hands and it’ll be interesting to see what comes down the pike.”

Crunkleton at her last meeting as a member, and the president, of the Calvert County Board of Education, during which both she and Chambers were honored.

“The rules were crystal clear; there were no gray areas. ... Huntingtown agreed to these rules; they chose not to follow them for whatever reason.”

Greg Disney, the spokesman of the Calvert County Youth Football League board and the commissioner of the Beach Buccaneers, on the decision of the Calvert County Board of County Commissioners to let an “illegal” player finish the season on a Huntingtown 12 and under football team. Both Disney’s board and the Calvert County Division of Parks and Recreation had initially decided that the player was too old for his team and asked the team to forfeit every game in which he had played.

“We don’t have enough information to know if 2005-2009 truly represents a higher rate of long-term breast cancer mortality or if this was just [an] unfortunate period of time with a higher than typical number of deaths.”

Calvert County Health Officer Laurence Polsky on the results of a five-year study naming Calvert County second highest in the state behind Garrett County for breast cancer fatalities.

“It’s preparation and experience and training.”

Calvert County Board of County Commissiners newly elected President Pat Nutter (R) on being elected into the leadership role.