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The Villages of Talbot County by Gary D. Crawford

The Eastern Shore is littered with rural villages. You can drive through the countryside admiring fields and forest, then come around a bend in the road and, all of a sudden, find houses. Usually they lie nestled under some shade trees, miniature communities. I don’t know about elsewhere, but folks here in Talbot County have a certain fondness for these places. Residents seem to like the sense of community they afford, and visitors sometimes pronounce them “charming.” Talbot County’s 2005 Comprehensive Plan mentioned the significance of the county’s villages: “Each [village] is an important part of the County culture and character that has evolved based on settlement patterns over time. In this respect, the villages perform a role that is complementary to that of the incorporated towns. Visually, they are an important component of Rural Character, providing a pleasing and appropriately scaled and textured contrast to the rural open character of the surrounding areas.” Being one of those rural characters myself, I couldn’t agree more. So, charming they may be. They’re

Downtown Fairbank. also “unincorporated,” which means the villages don’t exist as legal entities. That also means there are no local governments, no mayors, no police, no village laws, and no local taxes. All of which suits most people just fine. There are some down-sides, of course. For example, there’s the matter of “representation.” When a community really needs help, they must rely on the County Council and the staff members they employ. Since those folks are all up in Easton, it isn’t always entirely obvious that each and every one is always working diligently for my safety and comfort. Go figure! I mean no disrespect here, of course. Our county just has an awkward shape to it, with lots of people living way out on “necks.”


September 2013 ttimes web magazine  

Tidewater Times September 2013

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