Letters to the Editor, Nov. 11, 2020

The Dorchester Banner welcomes readers’ views on topics of public interest.

Judge Ames responds
Responding to the Dorchester Banner’s article of Oct. 28, “Caucus of African-American Leaders: Group wants government to reflect race,” by Editor Dave Ryan, I will address the section pertaining to the formal education of Dorchester Orphan’s Court judges, as I serve as an associate judge.

I begin my college training at the now University of Maryland Eastern Shore in Princess Anne in the fall of 1959. After one semester I left the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, enlisted and served honorably in the United States Air Force. My college training began again in 1975 after becoming a husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather.
I earned a living by being a school bus contractor, newspaper carrier, selling and recycling cans, mopping floors and on-call District Court commissioner. I also participated in volunteer groups to uplift the community.
My earned education is as follows: 1959 graduate of Somerset Junior/Senior High School Princess Anne, being the president of the class; 1978 Associate Arts Degree Humanities/Social Science Chesapeake College; 1982 Associate Arts Degree Law Enforcement Chesapeake College; 2003 Associate Arts Degree Ministry Christian World College of Theology; 2008 Bachelor Arts Degree Ministry Christian World College of Theology; 2011 Masters Arts Degree Christian World College of Theology; 2013 Doctoral Degree Ministry Eastern Shore Theology.
I restarted my college training at 33, which took me 38 years to complete at age 72, from 1975-2013.
Rev. Dr. George R. Ames
Cambridge

Passing of Doris Keene Lewis
The citizens of Dorchester County have lost a great public servant and a friend to all. Doris Keene Lewis passed away on Nov. 3, 2020, at the age of 81.
Almost up until her death, Doris could be seen at her post on the main floor of the Register of Wills in the Dorchester County Courthouse. While she had a private office in the back, she preferred to be out front with her loyal staff, Terry Wheatley and Roxanne Snelling.

For many years, she was the person to whom families would go when they lost a loved one. With skill and patience, she would guide them through the often daunting process of probate.
Her temperament was exemplary. But when dealing with estate attorneys she was all business. Doris never demanded respect but she clearly commanded it. And every attorney I know appreciated having Doris there to answer their tough questions.
But it wasn’t just her professional life that made her special. No matter what function I attended in the county, odds were high that she would be there too.
And she would be talking to everyone and she seemed to know everybody and all of the current news. She was a great asset to this county, to her church and to the many organizations she supported over the years.
I enjoyed my lifelong friendship with her and I will miss her. I guess that the time has come to pass her First and Final Accounting.
Raymond H Simmons Jr.
Attorney at Law
Cambridge

Hanson endorses Harrington
On Dec. 1, Cambridge residents will once again go to the polls for the general election to choose not only a mayor, but residents of the third ward will also select their city commissioner. This commissioner represents much of our town’s economic and cultural centers – Downtown Cambridge and Pine Street and the outlying neighborhoods.

Mr. Harrington lives in the 3rd Ward and is running for City Council. I strongly endorse Jamison Harrington, a gentleman born and raised on the Eastern Shore who attended Salisbury State University and then settled in Cambridge.
His educational background is in Information Systems and Urban Planning. He is employed with an engineering firm and uses drones and information technology to solve traffic flow problems.
Past commissioners established the Maple Street initiative that focused on the neighborhood restorations in the third ward. Mr. Harrington’s work experience is a positive to preserving and renovating houses, facades and buildings!
Jamison Harrington enjoys using his talents in photography to capture the beauty of Cambridge and the local people that call it home. His work has been exhibited in a number of galleries.
As any good planner, Jamison has a plan to move Cambridge forward! Public safety is the top priority of any local government and Jamison will support law enforcement.

Cambridge City Police and Rescue Fire Company work hard to serve and protect us. Jamison’s focus will be to ensure the public safety agencies have the staff and tools required to do their jobs effectively.
“We need to have competitive salaries to attract and retain quality employees,” according to Mr. Harrington. Mr. Harrington will advocate for more community based policing that focuses on building trust. Officers will be on our streets engaging with our youth and their families.
Quality jobs and, more importantly, careers vital to making Cambridge a place where we can live and raise a family will be the focus of his economic development. A partnership between Dorchester County’s Career and Technology Center is crucial in fostering a productive workforce and can be the catalyst for practical, usable trade skills development.
Economic gardening is an approach that Mr. Harrington wants to pursue. This focuses on local entrepreneurs and businesses hiring and training local youth to bring new wealth and economic investiture to the city economy.
The lack of clean, safe and affordable housing is a continuing problem. Mr. Harrington knows that we must address this problem to move our community forward.
His plan is to encourage home ownership. Home ownership encourages pride and strengthens Cambridge. The city already has incentives for first-time home ownership and more publicity and education is needed to alert interested residents.

Cambridge has a large stock of rental properties and code enforcement needs to be strengthened. Working with landlords and tenants to guarantee housing conditions are satisfactory will be an important part of the process.
Mr. Harrington believes that a decision by council behind closed doors has no place in democracy; our residents and stakeholders deserve to be well informed and have access to important information. “I want to leverage technology to enable open lines of communication to enable our citizens to become more involved with the decision making process.”
With his background in Urban Planning, Jamison believes that we need to make our streets attractive and memorable. People oriented streets encourage business activity and productive businesses means more jobs and more revenue for the city!
Crosswalks, lighting, traffic calming and well maintained sidewalks are key elements of safe and accessible streets that Mr. Harrington will study. He will advocate for Green infrastructure as it not only serves to beatify but it makes Cambridge more attractive to development.
According to Mr. Harrington, projects in the works here in Cambridge such as Sailwinds, Mace’s Lane, Pine Street Revitalization, Packing House and Cannery Park will serve as catapults for Cambridge to be seen as a tourist destination. He would like to see more public input.
Jamison knows that Downtown Cambridge is the essential focal point for a vibrant community. Pine, Poplar, and Race Streets are still underutilized and Mr. Harrington will work with local, state, and federal agencies to secure funding to help aspiring entrepreneurs and businesses set up here. He also supports the connection of Pine and High Streets to the downtown activities to make vibrant and flourishing neighborhoods.
Mr. Harrington wants to provide positive activities for Cambridge Youth. He is very much in favor of the Maces Lane renovation, The Empowerment Center and Parks and Recreation programs for our youth.
Jamison plans to meet with community church leaders for ideas and assistance for nurturing our youth and find other partnerships from organizations, Cambridge Police, and interested volunteers.
Mr. Harrington knows that for any town to be successful and grow all members need to be unified and not divided. Although a commissioner for the Third Ward he will work for the residents of ALL wards to make Cambridge a great place to live, work and flourish!
Third Ward residents please cast your vote for Jamison Harrington on Dec. 1.
Robbie Hanson, President
Cambridge City Council