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Blase Crisfield


THE TOWN'S MAYOR has just been arrested and charged with perjury, insurance fraud and theft. The city manager has been asked by the local council to resign for costing the community money by missing grant-application deadlines. Crisfield should be in turmoil. Instead, folks in that isolated crabbing town on the lower Eastern Shore are blase about the whole thing.

Yet Mayor Donald W. Gerald has been charged with serious crimes. And City Manager Harry T. Phoebus may have been inexcusably remiss in applying for state grants. Where is the local outrage?

The three members of the City Council were infuriated enough with Mr. Phoebus' shortcomings to demand his resignation. But no one seems ready to run Mayor Gerald out of town.

Maybe it's the lazy summer days in the town of 2,500 on the lower Chesapeake. Maybe it's the laissez-faire attitude of conservative shoremen toward most worldly matters. And maybe these good people, like many Americans, have been numbed into complacency by the chicanery and skulduggery over the years by elected officials on the state and federal levels.

Pub Date: 8/14/96

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