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2020 Town Election Ballot Information & Candidate Statements

Dear Town of Upper Marlboro Residents,

The Town Elections are fast approaching, be sure to come out to vote on Monday, January 6th, 2020! Polls are open from 1:00 PM until 8:00 PM at the Upper Marlboro Town Hall located at 14211 School Lane Upper Marlboro, MD 20772. 

Below are both the Candidate Statements, Advisory Questions, and Sample Ballot for the coming Town Election.  Please reach out to the Town Offices at 301-627-6905 or Clerk@UpperMarlboroMD.gov with any questions or concerns. 

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 This election, the Town of Upper Marlboro Board of Town Commissioners is asking for our resident’s input on the following four (4) non-binding straw-poll questions. Your selections will be tallied by the Board of Town Commissioners to help assist them in deciding whether or not to proceed with the proposed legislative actions and Town Charter amendments outlined below.  Again, these questions are non-binding and meant only to be a means by which the Board may evaluate our resident’s opinions on current issues at hand, at this point in time.

ADVISORY BALLOT QUESTION # 1 – Changing/proposing an amendment to the Town Charter to formally provide for and authorize the usage of the title “President” or “Mayor” interchangeably.

Background Statement:  The Town of Upper Marlboro’s elected officials are known as “commissioners” and the Town CEO’s legal title is “President of the Board of Town Commissioners.” This title causes some confusion, as the majority of citizens are most familiar with the title “Mayor.” The Charter Amendment would allow the CEO to officially and legally use either the title “President” or “Mayor” to help reduce confusion, and to more effectively communicate the proper status or role of this particular municipal elected official. Such a change to the Charter will not change the powers of the CEO’s office or the structure of Town government.   

Shall the Town Board of Commissioners amend the Town Charter to formally authorize the use of the titles “President” or “Mayor” interchangeably, as the Town’s chief executive officer (CEO) and others deem appropriate? 

  ADVISORY BALLOT QUESTION # 2 – Changing/proposing amending the Town Charter to hold the Town’s General Election in the month November rather than in January.

Background Statement:  Residents who have run for the office of Commissioner in the Town of Upper Marlboro have routinely expressed frustration with Election Day being held on the first Monday of January.  It has been noted that the date discourages potential candidates and voters who are either out of Town or hampered by inclement weather when trying to campaign or arrive at the polls to vote.

Shall the Board of Commissioners explore amending the Town Charter to move the Town’s General Election from the month of January to November? 


 ADVISORY BALLOT QUESTION # 3 – Changing/proposing amending the Town Charter to increase the number of elected Commissioners from three (3) to five (5) members.

Background Statement:  Currently the Town of Upper Marlboro has a Board of Commissioners made up of three (3) Commissioners, and if just two (2) Commissioners happen to discuss Town business with one another, the Maryland Open Meetings Act considers that encounter to be a quorum of the elected body which requires an official meeting and compliance with the Act’s public notice requirements and other formalities.  For most municipalities who have five (5) or more members of the governing body, the meeting or simultaneous communication between two (2) elected officials regarding municipal business is not considered to be a quorum; however, for the Town of Upper Marlboro Board of Commissioners it is, which makes pre-decisional conversations or coordination among elected officials difficult if not legally impermissible. Increasing the number of commissioners would also increase the number of individuals available on the governing body to study or coordinate various municipal initiatives.

Shall the Board of Commissioners explore a change to amend the Town Charter to increase the number of elected Commissioners from three (3) to five (5)?

ADVISORY BALLOT QUESTION # 4 – The Board of Town Commissioners is seeking input from residents on what they would like to see happen to the Old Marlboro Elementary School and Primary School Site located at 14524 Elm Street.

Background Statement: On November 19, 2019, the County Council of Prince George’s County sitting as the District Council adopted Resolution CR-98-2019 approving a Minor Amendment to the 2010 Prince George’s County Historic Sites and Districts Plan to remove the Old Marlboro Primary School (Historic Site 79-019-51) and the Old Marlboro High School (Historic Site 79-019-52) from the functional plan, which guides and controls certain zoning and land use decisions in the County.  This decision of the County Council removed the site’s historic preservation protections for these two vacant and deteriorating buildings and makes them eligible for demolition. In their place, the County and the Circuit Court wish to build a new academy for at-risk youth. The Town has requested that these vacant historic County-owned structures and land be turned over to the Town for mixed-use development that may benefit the residents, guests and workforce of the Town.  Notwithstanding any future re-development of the site, the Doctor William and Sarah Beanes Cemetery Tomb (Historic Site 79-019-22) designation on site has not been removed and will continue to be protected and preserved.

My preference for the future of the Old Marlboro Elementary School and Primary School Site is one of the following results: (Check One.)

A. Rehabilitate & Preserve the Structures for Mixed-Use Development.  ____

B. Rehabilitate & Preserve the Structures and allow the placement of a school for at-risk youth. ___ 

C. Demolish the structures and build a new school for at-risk youth. ___

Please contact the Office of the Town Clerk at 301-627-6905 or at
Clerk@UpperMarlboroMD.gov with any questions or concerns regarding these non-binding questions.

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