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The Cassell Saga Continues...
Search for Cassell’s college record comes up empty
The Star Democrat

November 6, 2006 

CENTREVILLE — A search for a Queen Anne’s County commissioner’s record of attendance at the University of Maryland, College Park came up empty, at least so far.

The Star Democrat obtained a copy of a one-page form faxed by the University of Maryland’s Office of the Registrar dated Nov. 3 to a citizen who asked to verify if Commissioner Ben Cassell attended the university. The citizen who sent the request asked to remain anonymous. A staffer at the registrar’s office confirmed the fax was sent. 

The reply from the university said the search by the registrar’s office included all electronic student records from 1964 to the present. An “X” was marked next to a line which said, “After a thorough search, we are still unable to locate a record at the University of Maryland College Park day campus.” 

An “X” was marked next to another line which said, “We have been unable to locate a record for you. Please forward a copy of any documentation that you may have showing proof that you attended the College Park campus.”

An “X” was marked next to another line which said, “The U. of Maryland College Park campus has no record of attendance for this student.”

Cassell completed a questionnaire on May 31, 2002 from the Queen Anne’s County Responsible Growth Political Action Committee, when he first ran for county commissioner. In response to a question about his professional and educational background, Cassell wrote he attended the University of Baltimore, and he had a bachelor of arts degree in marketing from the University of Maryland.

The records and transcripts office of the University of Baltimore has a record showing Cassell attended the university from September 1964 to December 1965. 

Brief descriptions of elected and appointed county officials, including their professional experience and education, are contained in a packet of materials for a 2005 county bond issue. The account for Cassell states he has a bachelor’s degree in marketing, but no college was mentioned.

Cassell couldn’t be reached for comment late Friday afternoon. In a phone interview Thursday morning, he said he had a bachelor of science degree in marketing from the University of Maryland, College Park, and graduated in 1968.

“I don’t understand why the records aren’t there,” he said. 
Queen Anne’s County is going to the bond market later in November to borrow money for capital projects, including the Matapeake Middle School. County Manager Paul Comfort was asked if the county’s bond issue would be affected if it turned out Cassell did not have a B.S. degree as claimed.

“That’s not material to the bond,” said Comfort. He said he talked with County Finance Director John Borders, who contacted the law firm that serves as the county’s bond counsel. If proven inaccurate, the information about the college degree is not a material fact to the bond, said Comfort.

Comfort said he also asked County Attorney Patrick Thompson if there were other implications to the county, and Thompson wasn’t aware of any. 

Cassell, a Republican, is running for re-election to a second term against Democrat Carol Fordonski. 

The Star Democrat


And asks if You will "JUST SAY NO" to 
CASSELL and his developer/ realtor "Friends"? 

When you see the misleading negative attack ads and mailings in these last days before the Primary don't forget, there is always more to the story. . . .  Mike has always held that certain Executive (Closed to the Public) Sessions are improperly held or unnecessary, and he refuses to attend these meetings.  He has missed only 1 regular meeting.  Mike's voting record is being attacked in a "Friends of QAC" ad .  There are legitimate reasons for every "no" vote.  For example Mike has always held that the Four Seasons process and maps were flawed and the courts are now agreeing as you'll read below in the release from Citizens Alliance.

Here are some of the votes attacked and Mike's reasons for his votes.  If you have questions on any of his votes email  or call him.  We'll hit some of the major votes attacked here:

  • A “no” vote on the Church Hill Pavilion was because Mike wanted indoor plumbing (instead of porta-potties) for the park, before a Pavilion.  Bathrooms were built at Mowbray Park, and are in the works now at Church Hill because of Mike's insistence;
  • A "no" vote on water for senior housing in Sudlersville was because at that time water approval was tied in with a proposed adjoining development of several hundred housing units; 
  • A "no" vote on the "plan to save the Chesapeake Bay" was a vote by Mike and Gene Ransom against levying the $2.50/month "flush fee" (TAX); 
  • The vote on the Sudlersville Middle School was "no" to a STUDY to study a study . . . Ransom and Mike voted to keep RENOVATIONS in the budget, not to have another study;
  • Mike voted no to post-Isabel repairs to the EMS building because the building is IN A FLOODPLAIN and was illegally built on deed-restricted property (watemans' marina), he saw no reason to throw more money into this building when it made more sense to build elsewhere;
  • A “no” vote on the proposed NEW EMS "garage" was a vote against a $600,000 building - 50% over budget and overpriced in the first place --- after Mike’s suggestion to “build a Morton Building” the price is now down to $100,000, a savings of 1/2 million TAXPAYER dollars, and he thinks the price could even be lower; 
  • Vote "against down zoning Critical Area Land from Intense to Resource Conservation" was for about 2 acres in Gibson's Grant on the same inaccurate map as Four Seasons, and you don't amend a map you know is wrong; 
  • Any "no" votes on vehicle purchases were because NEW vehicles were not necessary, in most cases either sufficient #'s of vehicles were already available, repairs could be made or the vehicles in question were already out of service anyway.  Mike insisted we do a "count" of county-owned vehicles, and it turns out Mike was correct, that we own nearly 50% MORE vehicles than we thought we had;
  • Mike abstained from voting on protective vests for Detention Center guards because he felt proper procedure wasn't being followed, it was an out-of- budget item and a "no bid" contract;
  • A vote to grant sewer allocation for a 13 unit townhouse project on Thompson Creek Rd. was a UNANIMOUS agreement to re-capture sewer allocation APPROVED IN 1984 to a new builder who wanted to complete the project which already had all its approvals!
  • Mike explained his vote on Ellendale in November 2003 in a letter to KIDL, here is a link to that letter: 
As you can see, the “Friends of QAC” didn’t tell the whole story!  Please keep this in mind while you go to the polls.  And remember, if you have any questions about Mike’s voting record ASK HIM.

NOTE FROM KIDL WEB GUY!  Please read the reply from Cassell regarding the Ellendale vote immediately following Koval's.  What Cassell says... and then what he does, like night and day.  Is this the kind of man we want in Centreville for four more years?  I say no thank you Mr. Cassell, I say let the voters dismiss you with gratitude...

Read more about who is behind the  "Friends of QAC" PAC 

 We received a copy of the following release to KIDL from the Citizens Alliance to Save Our County this morning. 


The Court of Special Appeals has denied KHovnanian’s motion to vacate Judge Sause’s injunction against the Four Seasons Project. 

In a one-page Order entered on September 5, 2006, the Court summarily rebuffed a 101-page filing by KHov’s lawyers seeking to overturn Judge Sause’s injunction. 

The Judge had stopped all work on the project, pending resolution of appeals from his judgment that accurate Critical Area rezoning maps for the project had never been produced and that therefore no “Growth Allocation” for the project had ever been completed.

Because of the September 5 order, the appeals will now go forward with the Judge’s injunction remaining in effect. 

Due to the courageous efforts of citizen plaintiffs, backed by the full resources of the Queen Anne’s Conservation Association, the Four Seasons project may well be ultimately stopped by the courts.

More immediately, the next County Commissioners will now have a clear opportunity officially to reconsider this illegitimate project (approved in 2002 by lame-duck Commissioners after they had been voted out of office in large part because of their support for Four Seasons). 

The three-person majority of the current Commissioners, Cassell-Cupani-Smith, have repeatedly pushed the project forward, against the determined but out-voted opposition of Commissioners Mike Koval and Gene Ransom.

The Primary Election on September 12 gives every Kent Island voter the chance to get a fresh reconsideration of Four Seasons -- by getting rid of its relentless Commissioner champions:  Cassell, Cupani, Smith.

I urge KIDL, as the original opponents of this grotesque project, to communicate to your members what is at stake on September 12.

Jim Campbell, Treasurer, Citizens Alliance to Save Our County PAC 

Koval Responds To " Friends of QAC" ad

Citizens Alliance to Save Our County PAC Candidate Endorsements   |  |  |

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