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Tap Into The Tavern benefits Perryville's historic Rodgers Tavern Museum

PERRYVILLE — Pam Gable has been spending her winters in New Orleans since 2008, so the part-time Perryville resident is quite familiar with festivals.

Gable attended the 4th annual Tap into the Tavern festival Saturday afternoon on the grounds of the historic Rodgers Tavern Museum along Broad Street and she complimented the organizers of the event, which, according to her, greatly served the Town of Perryville and its citizens.

“I live part-time in New Orleans and we love festivals. A festival is just about an everyday thing there,” Gable said, before turning her focus to Saturday’s local event and commenting, “But in Perryville, this is a big deal. This is a fun, family-oriented thing. It brings the community together. It also brings in tourists and that brings in money — and that helps the community.”

Gable and her friends and family were among the scores of people who turned out for the four-hour-long outdoor festival to raise money toward the general operating costs of Rodgers Tavern Museum, which is a three-story (not counting the attic) stone building that was built approximately in 1740.

“It was purpose-built to be a tavern, unlike most (historic) taverns that started out as someone’s home and then were changed into a tavern,” explained Jennifer Pitts, one of the people who oversees the Rodgers Tavern Museum.

Fittingly, event planners offered scheduled tours of the Rodgers Tavern Museum to visitors during Saturday’s festival — just one of the many attractions that day.

A regional five-piece band called Mad Decent played a lively, wide-ranging set, covering songs by Led Zeppelin, Stevie Wonder, The Cure and many others. Several attendees relaxed on lawn chairs or on the grass, facing the stage, and cheered on the super-tight band.

Plenty of vendors were on the grounds, selling craft beer and wine created at local, area and regional breweries and wineries. Other vendors sold an array of fresh food, including artisan cheeses and all types of mac-and-cheese combos.

In addition, there was a silent auction of movie and sports memorabilia featuring merchandise autographed by film stars and Hall of Fame players. The silent auction was run by BW Unlimited Charity Fundraising, which is owned and operated by Cecil County resident George Wooden, a retired Maryland State Police trooper. The company attends fundraising events all over the United States.

Perryville resident Bruce Marihart, who clearly enjoyed listening to Mad Decent while having a drink, said that he was glad he attended the event. Marihart expressed surprise that he hadn’t set foot on the Rodgers Tavern Museum grounds until Saturday.

“This is the first time I’ve ever been here, and I’ve lived right down the road for nine years. I could crawl home,” Marihart joked. “It’s pretty cool.”

(From March 25 through Nov. 30, Rodgers Tavern Museum is open to the public for tours from 10:30 a.m to 5:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. And from Dec. 1 through March 24, Rodgers Tavern Museum is open to the public for tours from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturdays. The tours are free.)

Phyllis Kilby announces write-in campaign against Culberson for District 4 County Council

ELKTON — Kilby Creamery owner Phyllis Kilby announced last week that she is running a write-in campaign against incumbent Donna Culberson for the District 4 County Council seat in November.

“I am running because I am very concerned with the direction the county is going right now,” said Kilby. “What I am seeing is mismanagement, lack of transparency and a need for checks and balances.”

Kilby’s background in Cecil County government dates back to 1998, where she served on the Board of County Commissioners for eight years. Kilby says that, from her perspective as someone who formerly served in county government, voters need an alternate option for council representatives or else the results from the primaries will make the council a ‘rubber stamp’ for the county executive. To change that, Kilby is running her campaign unaffiliated from any party.

“I see county politics as not a partisan thing, it is problem solving,” said Kilby. “There are problems in the county and we all need to work together to solve them.”

Kilby notes that – amongst all of her concerns with the county’s direction – she is the most unhappy with how the Sheriff’s deputies have been treated.

“We are training deputies and putting money into them just for them to stay here for one or two years before they go off to make thousands of dollars more in a different county,” said Kilby. “I do not blame them, they have to feed their families, but we need to do something about deputy retention because it is costing us money.”

Outside of law enforcement retention and better treatment of first responders, Kilby is also interested in asking questions that challenge the decisions of the administration. She also plans to work towards maintaining agriculture in Cecil County while making it a profitable endeavor and creating a diverse economy through large and small businesses.

“I know county government is not strictly a business, but there are aspects of it that are a business,” said Kilby. “You are providing a service to voters, but there are things that you need to run like a business and that requires looking long term at how you’re spending money and not only at the short term.”

Continuing, Kilby says that with a lack of checks and balances, questions remain unasked by the council which will continue to cost the county money.

“I am sincerely invested in this because I feel like someone needed to do something, there needed to be another choice for council and someone has to start asking questions to get the county back on track,” said Kilby.

Voters can expect to receive a sample ballot that will list the write-in candidates for the election once election time is close. Given that she will not be officially listed on the ballot, Kilby says campaigning is going to require a lot of effort – something she is not worried about.

“My biggest fear is that people won’t know that I am running but I am going to give it a really good try and I really think we can win.” said Kilby. “There are still a lot of people out there that remember when I was a county commissioner and I was responsive to the public.”