Friday, May 30, 2008

Salisbury v. Leer Case Available Here

Since Stuart Leer spoke during public comment Monday night (May 27) as a property owner who had gone through legal cases with the City, many constituents have asked us about the case and its costs. The case originally concerned whether Mr. Leer had reconstructed a porch in compliance with the City's Historic District requirements.

Mr. Leer was cited for performing work not approved by the Historic District Commission. In response, he appeared before the Commission and was denied approval for the porch reconstruction, already far in progress. Representing himself, Mr. Leer appealed to the Circuit Court in Wicomico County, where he won his case based on the bias of the Commission. The City then appealed the Circuit Court's decision to the Court of Special Appeals in Annapolis. Again representing himself, Mr. Leer won that case.

The "unreported" opinion of the Court of Special Appeals (special appeals cases often are not published, but can be obtained by request) is found on the website at right under Documents of Interest, below our pictures. The cost of legal expenses to the taxpayers of Salisbury breaks down as follows:

Historic District Commission Hearing $0.00 (city legal counsel was not present)
Circuit Court - Wicomico County $6,351.00
Court of Special Appeals - Annapolis $11,849.75
Total $18,200.75

We hope this information and the downloadable PDF file of the opinion transcript helps answer the many questions we have received. Citizens will find other portions of the May 27 meeting instructive concerning budget matters and other aspects of city government.

The audio of the May 27 council meeting is available on the city website now and will be available on our website later today. The PAC14 taping of that same city council meeting will likely replay Monday, June 2, at 6 p.m. PAC14 now carries streaming video of its programming.