By a 3-2 vote with Commissioners Earl “Buddy” Hance (R) and Steve Weems (R) dissenting, the Calvert County commissioners on Tuesday appointed Lisa Williams to fill the vacant seat created due to Trent Wolfersberger’s resignation.
The commissioners also unanimously reappointed Richard Holler to the commission.
During comment prior to the vote on Williams, Hance noted that former commissioner Pat Nutter had applied and has “vast experience, knowledge” and would “hit the ground running.”
Following the vote, some locals — including Susan Dzurec and Myra Gowans — weren’t happy with the decision, noting that Williams is the daughter of local developer Anthony Williams.
On Wednesday, Commission President Kelly D. McConkey (R) said he didn’t know why the county staff recommended Williams but added that she doesn’t work for her father and has never worked for him.
“She would have to recuse herself if something pertaining to her father came up,” he said. “When we look at any applicant, we don’t look at what their father’s doing. We look at their experience.”
McConkey said Williams has worked for government pretty much since she graduated high school.
In an email, county Communications Director Linda Vassallo said Williams has an “extensive background as a public servant for the [U.S.] General Services Administration, Office of Human Resources Management, and ... career in real estate which has enhanced her knowledge of residential and commercial development.”
McConkey described those who complained about Williams’ appointment as “the same group of people that’s against everything we do. There’s no collusion here. We have to make tough decisions.”
He added that Williams is only one member of the planning commission that makes recommendations to the commissioners.
On Wednesday, Weems said he voted against Williams because he supported Nutter, whom he served with on the board of commissioners for eight years (2010-18). In addition to being a former commissioner, Weems noted that Nutter has also served as a member of the board of appeals and was a county zoning officer. He’s now retired.
David Bury also applied to be a planning commissioner. The job pays $500 per meeting and typically meets once a month.
Wolfersberger resigned because he was looking at business opportunities outside the county and wouldn’t have time to serve on the planning commission, McConkey said.
Wolfersberger served less than half a year on the commission after he was appointed to replace Carolyn McHugh.