jim ireton

Tom Hunt

It’s called the Downtown Trolley.

And, Salisbury City officials were out yesterday to inaugurate its service that will run from Salisbury University to the downtown area Thursday through Saturday 7 p.m. through 2 p.m. for a dollar a ride.  

Mayor Jim Ireton told the gathering that the trolley was part of the revitalization of the downtown area.

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The Wicomico Branch of the NAACP will be holding a forum on police conduct.

It comes in the aftermath of Michael Brown’s death at the hands of a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri.

It is to be held at the Chipman Cultural Center Thursday evening with goals to engage citizens in developing strategies to deal with charges of police misconduct as well as sustaining the relationship between police and the community.

In addition, the meeting hopes to address racial profiling.

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Salisbury may soon allow bed and breakfasts to operate in the Historic Newtown Community.

The City Council took up the idea last night during its works session and recently got the attention of city leaders during a Newtown Association dinner last October.

Supporters say that a bed and breakfast could be better for the neighborhood -- especially in dealing with abandoned and foreclosed homes as well as the problem of single-family homes conversions into rental properties.  

Council President Jake Day says he believes they could really benefit the community.

Salisbury City website

Salisbury Council member Terry Cohen says she is resigning citing family obligations in the coming months.

Her resignation date is effective August 8th.

Cohen made the announcement at the end of last night’s meeting.

She said in the last ten months or so she and her family have had major life changes that include a recent tragic loss.

Cohen said what lies ahead will demand too much attention to continue on the council at the level she demands of herself.

Cohen was elected in 2007 and won a second term in 2011.

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Salisbury kicks off Safe Streets Week.

Mayor Jim Ireton and Police Chief Barbara Duncan announced that the city will be participating in the National Night Out.

The City of Salisbury will hold a Safe Streets Prayer Service at Saint Francis De Sales Catholic church to commence this week’s activities to fight crime.

Tomorrow neighborhoods around the city are being invited to join with thousands of other communities across the nation for the 31st Annual National Night Out.

Don Rush

Salisbury is moving toward drawing up five separate districts for its city council from the two districts it now has.

Council President Jake Day along with council Vice President Laura Mitchell and council member Shanie Shields voted to put the plan on the August 11th meeting agenda.

Supporters of the plan say they want the system in place for the September 9th primary next year.

But objections came from to other council members.


Wicomico County Executive Rick Pollitt says he would like to get together with Salisbury City officials at Salisbury University Bosserman Center for Conflict Resolution to hammer out a new fire-service agreement.

The old agreement expired four years ago but the Salisbury fire department still responds to fire and medical calls in parts of the county.

At issue is the city demand that the county come up with more cash for its services.


Salisbury police could have 15 more police officers out on the streets within the next 18 months.

At least that’s what Mayor Jim Ireton and Police Chief Barbara Duncan are pushing for.

Duncan said the new personal would consist of 10 new officers and moving five additional officers back out on patrol.

They would be replaced by five additional civilians.


Mayor Jim Ireton told an audience gathered on the campus of Salisbury University last night that the state of the city was sound.

The Mayor along with City Council President Jake Day declared Salisbury the Capital of the Eastern Shore touting accomplishments with of the previous year during his state of the city address.

The Mayor also touted last year’s downtown New Year’s Eve party in downtown that drew 33-hundred “the crowning achievement of the year.”

Don Rush

The battle over the store “Red Light District" in Salisbury is over.

The store which bills itself as a romantic superstore has cleared the regulatory hurdles which would have forced it to close.

It’s an adult-themed retail chain that came to North Salisbury Boulevard last August and was immediately hit with city code violations incurring $750 in fines.

City officials would not approve the Red Light District sign unless it qualified as an adult store.

Don Rush

Salisbury has a new assistant city administrator.

Terrence Arrington has been on the job two weeks and lists a long list of tasks that he has gotten from the Mayor and interim city administrator.

And the Salisbury Daily Times reports that on that list is revitalizing the downtown area.

Other tasks include revising the city’s emergency management plan and changing how the city applies for grants.

Don Rush

The crime rate in Salisbury is at its lowest level in at least 10 years.

Part One crimes that include homicide, rape and robbery dropped to just 2,091 this past year -- close the target of 2,000 set by city officials in their efforts to bring down the crime rate.

There were three homicides in all of Wicomico County this year, compared with five in the county last year.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that of the 10-year span from 2004 to 2013, this was the first year there were no homicides within the city limits, though two were close to the city line.

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Mayor Jim Ireton has decided to reopen the search to fill the Salisbury’s City Administrtor’s job now occupied by Tom Stevenson on an interim basis.

Council President Jake Day said yesterday that there was no consensus on the council to conduct interviews after Ireton submitted the names of Stevenson and former assistant administrator Lore’ Chambers.

Ireton dismissed Chambers after a public exchange.

He said he nominated her along with Stevenson because he promised he would do so with the departure of longtime City Administrator John Pick.

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SALISBURY, Md. (AP) - Many city employees in Salisbury haven't had a raise in six years, but a new analysis shows the cost of benefits is substantially increasing city spending.

An analysis by The Daily Times shows spending on salaries, benefits and employee costs have jumped 52 percent in the past decade, from $17.4 million in 2004 to $26.6 million.

There hasn't been a hiring spree, though. The city added just 45 staff members over the past 10 years, an increase of 13 percent.

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Former Assistant City Administrator Dr. Lore’ Chambers has filed suit for $750-thousand against the city of Salisbury and Mayor Jim Ireton after being fired from her job in July.

The lawsuit alleges that Ireton verbally berated her when she expressed interest the city administrator job.

WBOC reports that Chambers claims that the Mayor would not let up physically stalking her, yelling at her and otherwise trying to intimidate her in a public setting.

Don Rush

In what some are calling “a house cleaning” Mayor Jim Ireton has moved to replace three members of the Housing Board that voted to overturn a city order that would have forced the owners of the old Salisbury Mall property to remove a hill-size pile of rubble.

Ireton did not like the September 16th Mall decision.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that one of the ousted board members called the move “a hostile takeover.”

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Mayor Jim Ireton has given the Salisbury the city council a proposal to increase wages.

Mayor Ireton says it's about getting to the average of what everybody who does these positions throughout the mid-Atlantic region is making."

In August the Salisbury Daily Times reported that 80 percent of Salisbury's nearly 4,000 city employees earn less than the midpoint of their pay ranges.

This comes after his office found more than a million dollars in savings, 700,000 of which will be allocated to the wage increases.

Don Rush

It can stay.

That’s the unanimous vote from a three member city panel for the 20-foot tall pile of crushed concrete at the old Salisbury Mall property.

But the House Board of Adjustments and Appeals said that the owners of the vacant lot must meet with police city housing officials and neighbors within 45 days to deal with their concerns.

1 and a half acre pile is primarily made up of crushed concrete left over from the 2008 demolition of the Civic Avenue mall.

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Mayor Jim Ireton has called for the removal of the pile of rubble left behind by the 2008 demolition of the old Salisbury Mall.

Ireton said Neighborhood Services and Code Compliance has gotten 44 complaints ranging from tall grass and suspicious people to a drunken driver.

Salisbury Mall Associates LLC has asked the Housing Board of Adjustments and Appeals the pile be allowed to remain indefinitely.

A Monday hearing by the Board was postponed because of a scheduling conflict.

Don Rush

The new adult-theme store in  Salisbury is taking its case to the public.

Outside the shop on North Salisbury Boulevard there are two small signs with red letters against a yellow background.

One reads, “Freedom of Speech” and the other “It’s Not Yours to Take.”

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the city will not approve the sign outside reading “Red Light District” unless the store qualifies as an adult retail outlet.

But, if it does, it is within 1-thousand feet of homes and a house of worship…which would keep it from opening.

Don Rush

Mayor Jim Ireton says he expects the issue a sign for a lingerie store will be decided in court.

The conflict began when the store applied to put up a sign reading “Red Light District”.

It was not granted and eventually the store put up a sign anyway including the phrase “Romantic Superstore” without notifying the city.

The Mayor is asking for projected sales, accounting information and a detailed inventory of the store’s merchandise.

He wants to ensure that it is not an adult retail store.

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There’s a new sign out along Route 13 in Salisbury.

It reads “Red Light District, Romantic Superstore.”

And its display windows feature mannequins dressed in lingerie.

It’s part of the ongoing battle between the owner of the lingerie store and Mayor Jim Ireton just what kind of sign will be allowed – and the nature of the store itself.

Ireton says the store owner did not get the needed permission from the city for the sign.

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The President of the Wicomico County NAACP is demanding an explanation from Mayor Jim Ireton for his dismissal of Lore’ Chambers.

She had been assistant city administrator for Salisbury for the last 5 years.

President Mary Ashanti said her organization was “extremely disappointed and dismayed” by the Mayor’s actions.

When asked by the Salisbury Daily Times as to whether Ashanti considered the firing an act of discrimination she replied that given Chambers is African American it is “a matter of protocol.”

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There will be no Red Light District sign hanging in Salisbury.

Instead, the store on North Salisbury Boulevard will get be called “Red Light Lingerie.”

The change in name follows the city’s rejection of Red Light District because  Mayor Jim Ireton says, it has too much of a negative connotation.

He says that’s especially the case since the city has tried to clean up the area that was the location for the infamous Thrift Travel Inn that had problems with prostitution.

The store sits across the street.


The firing of assistant city administrator Lore’ Chambers by Salisbury Mayor Jim Ireton may have violated the city charter.

That’s the conclusion of Council Vice President Laura Mitchell who is normally an ally of the mayor.

She cited a specific provision that lays out the protocol for terminating rank-and-file employees.

She told the Salisbury Daily Times that either an employee is a department head who serves at the advice and consent of the council or they are subject to a department head.

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Some mixed results in the crime report for Salisbury.

In the Safe Streets Zone newsletter midway through the year violent crimes have declined slightly.

Aggravated assaults are down from 128 last year to 101 this year.

Rapes are also down from 11 last year to 7 this year while robberies edged down from 57 to 55.

The figures are only from Salisbury police and the Wicomico County sheriff’s Office.

That means the first murder that took place on Patrick Street is not counted because it was handled by state police.

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Lore’ Chambers, who had served as assistant city administrator in Salisbury since 2008, has been fired by Mayor Jim Ireton.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that she confirmed her dismissal but declined further comment including what options she might take.

The paper reports that Ireton said state law precludes him from talking about personnel matters but emphasized that he took action according to the city codes and charter.

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The U.S. Supreme Court ruled today the federal government cannot discriminate against married same-sex couples. On his way back from the Maryland Association of Counties meeting, Mayor Jim Ireton told WSCL this decision was part of extending rights to all people.  Delmarva Public Radio's Don Rush:

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Even as longtime Salisbury City Administrator John Pick prepares to depart this week Mayor Jim Ireton says he wants to add a new position directly under the administrator.

It would be the second such position and would provide a salary of between $61-thousand to $98-thousand.     

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that a memo signed by top city departments including the police and fire chiefs said the additional position is needed because of technological advances as well as increasing mandates and overall growth of the government.  

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Mayor Jim Ireton has delivered a plan to the Salisbury City Council for the future of the Linens of the Week property dividing it up into five home lots and donating them to an affordable housing developer.

The plan would change the zoning classification for the property and some surround lots to residential.

The proposal is expected to go before the Planning and zoning Commission on Thursday.