laura mitchell

Don Rush

A big crowd that included state and local leaders showed up for the swearing of Salisbury Mayor Jake Day and the newly elected city council members last night at the Cypress Street Fire Station.

creative commons

With the terrorist attacks on Paris last week that saw around 130 people killed many others injured many are trying to take in the meaning the events. Delmarva Public Radio's Don Rush spoke with local officials to get their reactions and their concerns.

Don Rush

Mayor-elect Jake Day will be taking the helm in the wake of yesterday’s city election which also saw a dramatic change in the city council.

Day ran unopposed as did council vice president Laura Mitchell.

The Mayor-elect said, “This is going to be a different council and they’re all going to have to work together. I am excited for them. They have to be a team. And, we have to be a team as a city.

For voters there was a myriad of issues on their minds:

Don Rush

Salisbury voters will be going to the polls today to choose a Mayor and for the first time five council members running in five separate districts.

In District 1 incumbent Shanie Shields faces challenger April Jackson and Sarah Halcott.

In District 2, a new minority-majority seat, there are four candidates who include Keyvan Aarabi, Marvin Ames, Muir Boda and Justin Gregoli.

In District 3 two incumbents Tim Spies and Jack Heath are vying for the seat along with Kevin Lindsay.

Don Rush

With the Salisbury city council elections just around the corner it was realtors, developers and landlords who were providing candidates with campaign funds.

Roger Mazzullo who is challenging Mayor Jim Ireton in District 4 pulled in $3,450.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that 90 percent of that came from landlords, their employees or business associates.

Ireton has been a strong critic of the landlords in Salisbury and has proposed rent stabilization measure which was tabled by the city council.  

The mayor has raised $870.

Don Rush

Last night heroin addiction brought out around fifty family members and elected officials in a candlelight vigil at the Salisbury Riverwalk Park. They were parents, spouses and siblings who talked of their struggles and their determination to fight what has become the rising use of heroin and other drugs.

The vigil was sponsored by the group Shoulder to Shoulder to Beat Heroin Addiction.

City Council Vice President Laura Mitchell whose loved one has been fighting addiction took center stage breaking down at times as she urged the community fight the deadly epidemic.

creative commons

The rise in heroin addiction has led more than 200 parents and family members to come out tonight for a candlelight vigil at the Salisbury Riverwalk Park at 5:30 p.m. tonight (9/16).

Many have lost loved ones to the epidemic or have loved ones who are still battling their addiction.

Among those in attendance tonight will be City Council Vice President Laura Mitchell whose loved one has been battling heroin.

Don Rush

City Council President Jake Day made it official.

He is running for Mayor of Salisbury in this year's municipal elections.

Day announced his bid for the city’s top job at Headquarters Live in downtown Salisbury to a crowd that crossed party lines.

He has only been in office for a little over two years and was swept into office with the man he is trying to replace Mayor Jim Ireton.

Jim Ireton

But, he had nothing but praise for the incumbent.


Conservative blogger Joe Albero has posted the picture of a pill bottle on his web site with the name of County Council at-large candidate Laura Mitchell on the label.

The drug is for methadone.

There is no text except for a post line that reads “The Laura Mitchell Smoking Gun.”

Mitchell, who was elected to the Salisbury City Council in 2011, confirmed the authenticity of the bottle and said she briefly took the drug to treat migraine headaches.

official photo

There are 12 candidates who have applied to fill the seat on the Salisbury City Council vacated by Terry Cohen who abruptly left the council due to personal obligations.

The four remaining council members interviewed all of the candidates yesterday afternoon during a three and a half hour session.

Council member Tim Spies told the Salisbury Daily Times that he was pleased with the variety of the candidate’s backgrounds.

Don Rush

During the Salisbury City Council’s quarterly community meeting, revitalization of the downtown area took center stage.

Covering the walls of Parker Place, an antique store,  were designs for buildings and space in the downtown area that have been developed by architecture students at the University of Maryland.

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.

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.

salisbury police department

The Salisbury City Council approved a new $50 million budget yesterday that raises the local property tax by percent and spends that money on putting more than 15 police officers on the streets.

The number of officers would go up from 92 to 102.

Council President Jake Day called the new spending a defensible investment.

And Council Vice President Laura Mitchell said she did not want to read about a crime that was preventable by putting more police on the streets.

Salisbury and Wicomico Work Out Snow Plow Plan

Feb 4, 2014
Don Rush

With at least two snow storms behind us and possibly more on the way Salisbury Public Works Director Mike Moulds told the council during a work session yesterday that there would be better coordination between the city and the county when cleaning up the local roads.

Moulds said the county has already agreed to the improved plan that would should ensure quicker response time during a storm.

Marking Veterans Day

Nov 12, 2013
Don Rush

NEW CASTLE, Del. (AP) - Delaware politicians say honoring the state's military veterans means much more than paying tributes on Veterans Day.

Gov. Jack Markell and members of Delaware's congressional delegation joined other officials Monday for the annual Veterans Day ceremony at the foot of the Delaware Memorial Bridge.

The elected officials sounded a common theme, saying Delawareans must do what they can to help veterans after they leave military service. That includes helping them find civilian jobs and taking care of homeless veterans.

official photo

The Salisbury Police Department wants to add the Taser Cam to its non-lethal arsenal.

If approved the Tasers would be worn on the belt and would have video capabilities that would visually capture events as they unfold.

Captain Scott Kolb with the department said these could be used like the in car camera in police cars.

Police Chief Barbara Duncan noted that the department was the only one on the Eastern Shore that does not have Tasers in its arsenal.

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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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.  

Democratic National Convention,

The Democratic National Convention gets underway tonight with an address by Michelle Obama. Salisbury City Council member Laura Mitchell, a delegate to the convention, spoke with Delmarva Public Radio about what she expects the First Lady will achieve in her speech and how Mitchell came to find herself on the convention tonight.  

 Mayor Jim Ireton says he intends to veto the budget approved by the Salisbury City Council despite the 4-to-1 super majority vote.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that Ireton told City Administrator John Pick to inform the Council he does not support this budget and to expect a veto.

The budget was approved with the dissent of Laura Mitchell. who  charged that the council majority had grossly overestimated some of next year’s projected revenues.

 A redevelop plan to turn the Residences at Rivers Edge into affordable homes got a thumbs down from the Salisbury City Council before the plan was even heard.

Council Vice President Debbie Campbell said that while she wanted to break the cycle of poverty in the city – in her words – subsidizing somebody’s house is not going to change their ability to earn and prosper.


There’s a seven hour work session set for today during which the Salisbury City Council will take up the controversial charter amendment that would increase minority representation on the council.

By a 3-to-2 vote the Council told the City Attorney Mark Tilghman to draw up a measure that would expand the majority-minority district to two at-large council members while leaving a second at-large district with 3-members.

In addition, the proposal would eliminate the staggered elections for the council members and the Mayor.




    The controversy over Salisbury's legal budget for the remainder of the current fiscal year will come up for scrutiny at night's City Council meeting.

     The Council is set to take a second and final vote on a measure that would add $30,000 for the City Attorney.

      However, at an April 16, meeting, Council members Laura Mitchell and Shanie Shields received a spread sheet showing that an additional $100,000 is needed to cover legal bills for the rest of the fiscal year.


            The Salisbury City Attorney’s office is expected to get a $100-thousand boost to its budget.

            Council member Laura Mitchell told the Salisbury Daily Times that the money will be needed to deal with the work that is left to be done.

            Currently, the City Attorney’s budget was $170-thousand with only $97-hundred remaining in the last three months of the fiscal year.



Salisbury City Council President Terry Cohen dismisses call for her and Council Vice President Debbie Campbell to step down from their leadership positions. Delamarva Public Radio's Jamyla Krempel prepared a report.     



            Salisbury City Council member Laura Mitchell is calling on Council President Terry Cohen and Council Vice President Debbie Campbell to step down from their leadership positions.

            Mitchell charged that many stake holders in the city have lost faith in them.