By Rachel Ravina, Staff Writer
(March 21, 2019) Worcester County Library Director Jennifer Ranck approached the podium during Tuesday’s county commissioner meeting in Snow Hill requesting funding to purchase audio-visual shelving for the county’s Ocean City Branch.
Ranck said the old units were crumbling and added there was funding in the library’s budget to cover the costs. She got that, with officials unanimously voting to approve the $19,247.32 request.
She also received vocal support from Commissioners Joseph Mitrecic and Chip Bertino on her handling of an impeachment lecture at the Berlin branch that was scheduled to occur March 6, but later pulled.
“Thank you for the handling of the situation down at the library,” Mitrecic said.
Mitrecic added he’d “seen some of the [unsavory] emails” written following the lecture announcement and cancellation. Bertino also said he felt Ranck was “put in the crosshairs unnecessarily.”
The lecture was part of a series on the U.S. Constitution hosted by Howard Sribnick, the president of the Worcester County Library Foundation and a former Worcester County Democratic Central Committee chairman.
The Main Street Patriots Eastern Shore, MD took to Facebook on March 1, posting a caption above an article entitled, “America’s Second Civil War Has Already Begun,” and wrote, “how many of you local folks will be at the Berlin library on Wednesday … for the primer (hosted by Democrats of course) on how to either impeach Trump or remove him from office via the 25th Amendment? They will collude and conspire to take away your vote (Trump won here in Worcester County by almost a 2 to 1 margin), will you be there to stand up for the truth?”
“Someone should take them out,” another person commented.
The session was canceled and Ranck cited safety concerns on social media.
“When people threatened to disrupt the presentation, we thought that would raise a safety issue for those who may be trying to attend the program, or just those who were using the library at that particular time on that particular day,” Ranck said in a previous interview.
During Tuesday’s meeting, she said it was a “passionate topic,” to which Bertino agreed, adding there was “a lot of energy.”
Bertino said he also thought Ranck “handled [herself] professionally, as did the library board, and I thank you very much.”
Vanessa Alban, a member of the Republican Women of Worcester County, on Tuesday expressed her own concern with the partisanship of the lecture, referring to Sribnick’s previous affiliation with the Worcester County Democrats.
“There was a lot of undue influences for them to put that on,” she said, and added others felt “it wasn’t appropriate.”