Our View: Whig Editorial

Thumbs up

To Chris Walker, who can be seen on one of Cecil County’s busiest intersections, wearing sunglasses and armed with a neon green “Just Smile” sign. Walker, who has been spotted with increasing frequency in recent weeks throughout the county’s highway corridor, isn’t looking for a handout or any special attention. No, he told the Whig that his goal is to share some happiness with the thousands who pass through the corridor every day. “Some people perceive it as ridiculous. But I’m having fun out here. It’s just so much fun being out here,” he said. “I want people to smile. It’s something that’s free and it can change someone’s day.” His project started after a low time in his life when he realized that even small actions and thoughts can help change someone’s mood. Now when he’s got some free time he tries to share that simple message with the rest of us. We think that’s a pretty uplifting goal and one worthy of a thumbs up, if not a smile too.

Thumbs down

To the loss of two local leaders in recent days. In Chesapeake City, lifelong resident Jayne Foard passed away Saturday at age 90. Foard is widely credited with helping spur the redevelopment and revitalization of the canal-side town. In the 1970s, the town was filled with boarded-up homes and rowdy bars after the rebuilt Chesapeake City Bridge largely avoided downtown and the widening of the C&D Canal led to the loss of more than three dozen homes in town. Foard, along with the late Allaire du Pont, began the rebound effort by buying up historic properties and finding new uses for them. Their foresight re-established and reinvigorated a commercial base in town that still thrives to this day. Without their efforts, Chesapeake City’s story may have turned out very differently.

Meanwhile, officials in Rising Sun learned that former Mayor Thomas Mumey passed away last month in Florida. Mumey, a two-term commissioner, was pressed into the leadership role following the conviction of the town’s mayor in an embezzlement case. He led ably, overseeing a refreshing of the town’s logo and the ending of non-resident voting in town, the latter of which may have cost him a re-election bid. Mumey’s time in office was also notable for his leadership in advancing the town’s plans for a new water and wastewater system as the town languished under a building moratorium. After the end of his elected service, he kept the town’s heritage alive by leading the town’s historic preservation commission.

The county is a little less brighter without the contributions of people like Foard and Mumey and our thoughts are with their families this week.

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