ELKTON — A special meeting of the Cecil County Board of License Commissioners was held Friday so the three-member panel could name a new chair.
With Kristen Ortt making the motion and newly-minted commissioner Bernard Chiominto seconding it, Stephen Miller was named the new chairman.
Miller, a retired Maryland state trooper, and Chiominto, a retired Cecil County Sheriff’s deputy, both live in Rising Sun. Ortt, who was appointed to the board in August 2018 to fill the seat left open by the resignation of Ed Cole last summer, is from North East. All three have been appointed by Cecil County Executive Alan McCarthy over the past two years.
Members of the liquor board serve staggered three-year terms. The chair earns $2,000 per year while the remaining two members each receive $1,500 annually for their service.
Liquor board members meet monthly to decide on the award of liquor licenses, and to oversee those who hold licenses.
“I know we all know each other enough,” Miller said of the composition of the board. “I know we’re all fair people.”
The need arose for a new chair after Tim Snelling, who had served 18 years on the board, was not reappointed last month to his seat by McCarthy. That decision came as a surprise to Snelling, who said he had been expecting to be reappointed after many years of service.
McCarthy said that he chose Chiominto from a pool of four candidates for his “active community affiliations and professionalism.”
In announcing his decision, McCarthy said the change was nothing against Snelling.
“I felt that it was time for a change on the panel, and believe that Mr. Chiominto will provide valuable, unbiased input,” McCarthy said via email.
McCarthy added that he would consider Snelling for a position on another county commission or board.
Chiominto said that he likes to stay busy and his role as a member of the liquor board would help keep him do so.
“This is an interesting agency within the county,” he said. “I like the duties they fulfill.”