In 1634, the Ark and Dove arrived from England and disembarked its passengers onto what they named St. Clément's Island just offshore what would become the 7th District of St. Mary's County and the founding of the State of Maryland. They immediately conducted a Mass of thanksgiving for their safe passage and arrival on this promised and blessed land. These Catholic settlers seeking religious freedom, as an historic first through their wisdom and grace, observed religious tolerance for everyone of all religious denominations.
51st Blessing of the Fleet Program Guide cover by Elizabeth Lord, graphics artist & designer: Illustration © 2018 by Elizabeth Lord, all rights reserved
The Religious Freedom Trail Byway Begins at Coltons Point in the 7th District
St. Clément's Island and piers are State of Maryland property. However, the Blackistone Lighthouse is privately maintained and operated by the St. Clément's Hundred. The Hundred restored the Blackistone Lighthouse with the able assistance of Don Cropp of Colony Builders.
St. Mary's County is a peninsula bounded by land with Charles County to the north. The water boundaries are the Wicomico River to the west, the Potomac River to the south protruding into the Chesapeake Bay, and the Patuxent River to the east. Across the Wicomico is Cobb Island, part of Charles County, and further across is Virginia. On the Potomac River are three islands in addition to St. Clément's Island: Bullock Island, St. Catherine Island, and St. Margert Island all privately owned. The most mysterious is St. Catherine Island owned as an island retreat by the Jefferson Islands Club http://www.jeffersonislandsclub.com/ for the Washington political elite movers & shakers dedicated to bipartisanship - Good luck with that! Calvert County lies to the east across the Patuxent River.
The 7th District also is a peninsula protruding to the southwest off of St. Mary's County. It is bounded by land to the northeast by the "North County" that includes a division by Chaptico Creek. Historically, it does not include the town of and area of Chaptico, but some 7th District designations include Chaptico as part of the 7th District such as a USPS zip code. Another land boundary is Route 234 that starts at Chaptico and ends at the town of Clements. The water boundaries are the Wicomico River to the west, the Potomac River to the south, and St Clément's Bay to the east where Leonardtown lies just beyond.
Access to the Wicomico waterfront on the west is from Route 238 Maddox Rd. Access to the St. Clément's Bay waterfront to the east is from Route 470 Oakley Rd. Access to the Potomac River waterfront to the south is primarily from Route 234 Coltons Point Rd. and Route 512 Bushwood Wharf Rd.
The 7th District USPS Zip Codes
The 7th District covers six USPS Zip Codes - Abell, Avenue, Bushwood, Chaptico, Clements, and Coltons Point. The Chaptico and Clements Post Offices serve individuals and businesses outside of the historic 7th District geographic area. Attached are factoids of the 7th District by the six Postal Codes that include population, population increase or decrease, unemployment rate, medium income, medium home price, median age, and average commute time. The population statistics are slightly inflated as they include individuals from Chaptico and Clements outside of the 7th District geographical area.
7th District and County Income
The 7th District medium income is consistent with that of the rest of St. Mary's County. According to the US Census Bureau, the medium income of St. Mary's County is $80,053, which makes it the 46th wealthiest county of the 3,144 counties in the US and in the top 15%. The Maryland 5th Congressional District of Congressman and US House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer is the 18th wealthiest in the US and among the top 5%. Yet, a third of St. Mary's County residents receive some sort of government financial assistance suggesting a socio/economic disparity among residents likely where the more affluent are prominent on the miles of waterfront properties.
In addition to the 7th District historic geographic area, and the USPS Postal Code areas, there are third and fourth designations both political of the 7th District.
The third designation is the 7th District St. Mary's County Precinct Voting District area, and the fourth designation is the Board of County Commissioners District area.
The third designation, the voting Precinct area, is smaller than the 7th District's historic geographical area by about a third and that of the postal code area. The area of exclusion is the upper most part or the 7th District extending to Chaptico. The demarcation is not by street or creek, but appears to be a line drawn across the map.
To make voting and representation in the 7th even more complicated and confusing, the fourth designation, that of the St. Mary's County Board of County Commissioners District and map, differs from the Precinct area and map, and is larger than either the historic 7th District area or the Precinct area as noted in the below attachments.
John E. O' Connor is the County Commissioner who officially represents the 7th District although like all the other County Commissioners he is elected at-large by everyone in St. Mary's County.
The Honorable John E. O' Connor 301-475-4200 ext. 71353 email@example.com
Attached is the St. Mary's County Voting Precinct Map and the St. Mary's County Board of Commissioners District Map.
The majority of 7th District registered voters are Democrats. St. Mary's County may be considered a "Southern" county, but unlike other Southern counties it is politically Democratic likely due to its majority Catholic population that historically aligns with Democrats.
There are 2,187 registered voters in the 7th District with 1,335 Democratic (61%), 595 Republicans (27%), 237 Unaffiliated (11%) and 20 others Libertarian, Green etc. (1%).
However, of these registered voters, in the 2018 Gubernatorial election, 1,075 casts votes (49%) where 888 voted Republican (83%), 179 Democrat (17%), 8 other (0%).
The 2016 presidential results were similar.
These election results may not accurately portray the normal voting trends in the 7th District given the popularity of Governor Hogan among Democrats statewide, and the Trump v Clinton appeal or lack thereof among 7th District voters. However, I do not expect similar 2020 presidential results given the current disenchantment and low poll numbers with the president among principled conservative and moderate Republican and Democratic voters that characterizes those of the 7th District.
Substandard and Dangerous State Roads
There are five major State roadways in the 7th District. Route 234 is the northern most boundary of the 7th District running 4.3 miles from Chaptico to Clements, it is adequate as it has acceptable shoulders, and has a top speed limit of 55MPH. Route 242 Coltons Point Rd. runs 8.8 miles from Clements to Coltons Point, has acceptable shoulders from Clements to Route 238 in Bushwood, and the speed limit ranges up to 50MPH where it has shoulders to 40MPH where it has no shoulders. From Route 238, Coltons Point Rd. to Coltons Point runs 5.3 miles of substandard road with no shoulders with a 40MPH speed limit. Route 238 Maddox Rd. runs 7.1 miles from Chaptico to Bushwood and is marginally acceptable as it has shoulders, although not full size, and has a top speed limit of 50MPH. Route 470 Oakley Rd. runs 3.8 miles from one point off of Coltons Point Rd. to where it meets up with that road again farther towards Coltons Point, is substandard with no shoulders, and with a top speed limit of 50MPH. A fifth road is Route 512 Bushwood Wharf Rd. that runs 1.6 miles from Coltons Point Rd. to Bushwood Wharf, is substandard with no shoulders, and has a top speed limit of 50MPH. All roads with a speed limit of 40MPH and above should have shoulders that meet accepted standards, and for 50MPH roads, shoulders are a must.
Thus, the 7th District has 10.7 miles of substandard, hazardous, and even dangerous State roads with no shoulders and speed limits between 40MPH and 50MPH. With no shoulders it is easy even under the best light, weather, and road conditions to edge on to a no shoulder and run into a deep ditch with no escape as these roadways are notorious for their deep ditch gullies that even contain telephone poles. One evening during a rainstorm I ran off the road into a deep gully at a curve on Coltons Point Rd. near Holy Angels Church. Tug & Pull (T&P) got me out the next day. I asked T&P if it often pulls cars out of these ditches and it said that is a noted part of its business. A lady friend of ours went off of Oakley Rd. into a ditch and hit a telephone pole destroying her car and sending her to the hospital with life threating injuries from which thankfully she recovered.
Attached is a petition for you to fill out and email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or mail to me at 37145 Gibson Rd., Bushwood, MD 20618 imploring the State to upgrade these roads to a safe driving condition with shoulders. I shall send them on to the proper State officials. Additionally, please call or contact our State governor and elected officials to initiate action. As Matt Morgan and Jack Bailey are Republicans, they are in well positioned to influence our Republican Governor to act to safeguard us upgrading our 7th District roads.
And while the State is upgrading and safeguarding all our State roads with actual shoulders, why not improve them with designated bike/jogging lanes at least on one side of the roads to attract visitors to the 7th District and County that would help our local economy. We do get bikers and runners from time-to-time on these dangerous roads, heaven help them, and we could have more tourists venturing all the way to the Coltons Point Museum as a scenic byway tourist attraction.
The Honorable Matt Morgan, Delegate, State of Maryland, House of Delegates, 6 Blandon St., Office 310, Annapolis, MD 21401
PO Box 135, Charlotte Hall, MD 20622 1-800-492-7122 Matt.Morgan@house.state.md.us
The Honorable Jack Bailey, Senator, 402 James Senate Office Building, 11 Bladen Street, Annapolis, MD 21401
410-841-3673 | 301-858-3673 | Toll-free in MD: 1-800-492-7122 ext. 3673 Fax: 410-841-3395 | 301-858-3395 email@example.com
The Honorable Larry Hogan, Governor, State of Maryland, 100 State Circle, Annapolis, MD 21401
410-974-3901 & 1-800-811-8336