Wild Turkeys in Maryland Headed West … nope going back East

by admin on November 25, 2021

Thanksgiving is a good time to celebrate — forget about fracking!

Support Withdrawn for Western Maryland Secession

From an Article by Brenda Ruggiero, Garrett County Republican, October 28, 2021

QAKLAND, MD — Garrett County, along with Allegany and Washington, made national headlines when lawmakers released letters requesting that Western Maryland become part of West Virginia.

Since that time, though, members of the group have withdrawn their support of the proposal. The Republican lawmakers included state Sen. George Edwards and Delegates Wendell Beitzel, Jason Buckel, Mike McKay and William Wivell.

Letters were sent Oct. 5 and Oct. 14 to West Virginia Senate President Craig Blair and House Speaker Roger Hanshaw, asking “that you consider adding us as constituent counties to the State of West Virginia. We believe this arrangement may be mutually beneficial for both states and for our local constituencies.”

The five Maryland legislators traveled to Charleston, W.Va., in September to discuss the matter, and were reportedly told that a letter requesting the move would be required to start the process.

Speaking to The New York Times, Beitzel said there is a “strong sense of unrest and unhappiness among people in our rural area of the state,” and that constituents have been asking to secede from Maryland for years. He cited fracking, mask mandates and the teaching of racial issues in schools as topic of concern to local residents, the newspaper reported. However, on Oct. 22 — the day after the announcement — Buckel wrote a letter that also was signed by Edwards which withdrew their support.

“I believe that our intentions have been misconstrued, and that in fact the entire effort may be foolhardy,” the letter stated. “While this letter reflects only my own perspective, Sen. Edwards and I have communicated that he shares my ultimate conclusion and would similarly withdraw any participation in any further efforts in this process.”

Buckel stated he was not in a position to give the initiative his full attention, and believes he did not have the opportunity to truly analyze the various documents or their import.

“As you are aware, I did not personally attend any meetings with or engage in communications with our West Virginia counterparts,” Buckel wrote. “I am not in support of attempting to institute any process at this time to facilitate any transfer of Allegany County to West Virginia.”

The letter stated that Buckel indicated he could support a non-binding referendum for the voters of the three western counties to have an opportunity to express their opinions as to whether or not they would like to see further efforts pursued with the ultimate goal of being able to join the state of West Virginia.

“I would not support any legislative efforts or other efforts to attempt to make such a maneuver without a full public referendum of the three counties having previously occurred,” Buckel said. “I believe, clearly, that we have allowed ourselves to move too far, too fast on this issue, motivated by the political calendar of our counterparts in West Virginia rather than by a prudent strategy.”

Buckel and Edwards withdrew support on Oct. 22, and Wivell, Beitzel and McKay did the same this week, news outlets reported. According to published reports, Beitzel stated that with so many members dropping their support, it was obvious nothing was going to happen. Beitzel was unavailable for comment.

On Oct. 22, West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice and West Virginia legislative leaders announced their support for the Maryland secession proposal. A press release from Justice’s office noted the “unprecedented period of success for West Virginia under Justice’s leadership, including GDP growth, low unemployment and a plan for high-speed broadband.”

“We’ve got it going on right now in West Virginia,” Justice said. “We are knocking it out of the park. Why wouldn’t you want to come? We want everyone to know that we are standing here with open arms. We welcome these counties and would be tickled to death to have them and the great folks of that incredible state.” Justice also stated that he was working on calling a special session soon to consider a resolution on the offer.

Gov. Larry Hogan’s spokesman, Mike Ricci, stated in a tweet shortly after the initial announcement: “This has probably left a lot of people confused — including many Western Marylanders — and we certainly hope that the legislators will provide some clarity here.”


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