POCOMOKE CITY: Four vie for two council seats in April 2 election

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BY JANET BERNOSKY, Eastern Shore Post —

Four residents are vying for two Pocomoke City Council seats in the Tuesday, April 2, election.

Voting will take place at the Pocomoke branch of the Worcester County Library, 301 Market St.

Elections will take place for Districts 4 and 5. Council members serve a four-year term and are paid $500 per month.

District 4 has had a vacant seat for nearly a year, after former Todd J. Nock, a councilman, was elected and took his oath of office as mayor in April 2023.

In District 4, zoning and planning commission member Nola Tullar is running against Brooke Cottman, daughter of former councilwoman Tracey Cottman, who served three terms on council from 2006 to 2015.

In District 5, nine-year incumbent Esther L. Troast is being challenged by her longtime friend and neighbor, businessman C.L. Marshall.

Nola Tullar

Tullar, 67, is from Washington, D.C. She has been a Worcester County resident since 1999 and a Pocomoke City resident since 2014.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Old Dominion University. She is a former project manager for a large commercial and residential real estate firm in the Washington, D.C. area.

Tullar said she expected her role on council to be a full-time commitment.

Tullar’s platform is to decrease crime while also increasing the safety of citizens in her district and the city.

She is looking forward to working with and supporting Police Chief Arthur Hancock in his efforts.

“Progress for Pocomoke” is also important, she said.

Specifically, if elected, she hopes to address the backlog of offers from developers facing council.

She is a proponent of increasing permanent housing options for residents.

She said attracting new permanent residents to Pocomoke, including government employees and contractors from the Wallops area and people moving from northern Worcester, is important because it further serves to increases the city’s tax base.

She also recognizes the need to seek out funding sources to support these endeavors.

“I am committed to move Pocomoke City forward, so we can live, work, and play together, as we deserve, in this great community we call home,” Tullar said.

Brooke Cottman

Cottman, 28, is a Pocomoke City native and attended elementary, middle, and high school in the city, graduating in 2013.

She hold a bachelor’s degree in biology, with a minor in chemistry, from Barry University in Florida.

She works remotely in client services for a software company.

Cottman’s platform, which she called “Breaking Barriers with Brooke,” is committed to supporting residents living in her district and other areas of the city who feel unseen or unsupported.

This can be achieved through transparency between council and the public, she said.

Listening to the needs of constituents and residents will shape her direction on council, she said.

She is also focused on supporting Pocomoke’s youth, including programs like the Boys and Girls Club, to give them direction and a safe place to go.

Cottman is looking forward to working with Hancock on other aspects of youth safety.

“Investing in our youth is investing in our future. As a Pocomoke City native, born and bred, having attended Pocomoke schools my entire educational career, I am passionate about nurturing the potential of the young people in our community,” she said.

Esther L. Troast

Troast, 70, the District 5 incumbent, is a native of Hallwood and has been a Pocomoke City resident for 45 years.

She graduated from Atlantic High School in Oak Hall and the Dixon School of Professional Floral Design in Ohio. She has taken business courses online and in person at Eastern Shore Community College.

Troast is a former owner of florist businesses in Bloxom and Hallwood. She is a seasonal employee at Enchanted Florist, Pocomoke City; is an antiques dealer; and worked in food service for 26 years at the former Upper Deck restaurant. Her last 12 years were spent in management.

Troast said she is passionate about the safety and well-being of Pocomoke City’s youth.

She said she fully supports the Boys and Girls Club expansion and its plans to assist the city in the construction of a recreation center.

She said she appreciates that the recreation center will accommodate the needs of other Pocomoke residents as well, including seniors.

Troast is also concerned about the need to improve and expand the city’s infrastructure.

“With decades-old infrastructure, issues will happen sooner than later. We need to be prepared for future growth. It takes a tremendous amount of time and money, and we must be committed,” she said.

She said Pocomoke City is perfectly positioned as a hub, connecting to Salisbury and points north, with Berlin, Snow Hill, and Ocean City to the east, and Accomack County to the south.

She said its geography makes Pocomoke City attractive for businesses and industry.

Troast hopes to remain on council to further impact these improvements. Citing her knowledge and experience during her tenure on council and beyond, coupled with the fact that she never places her vote without thorough research, Troast believes she will continue to play a vital role in accomplishing this goal.

C.L. Marshall

Marshall, 60, a native of Sanford, has lived in Pocomoke City for 35 years. He graduated from Broadwater Academy and earned a bachelor’s degree in business from Elon University in North Carolina.

Marshall is owner of Tangier Sound Charters and author of several hunting- and fishing-related books, including a collection of short stories and a cookbook.
Marshall is chair of the Pocomoke City Board of Zoning Appeals.

Marshall said transparency in local government is important.

He said he believes it is vital for taxpayers to be informed regarding the workings of city council.

“If elected, I want to be proactive, rather than reactive. It’s my intent to be a driving force in providing and promoting unity and cooperation between our council, our mayor, and our residents,” he said.

Marshall said he has a vision for responsible development to attract permanent residents and businesses to Pocomoke, including those associated with NASA and other government agencies at Wallops and the local Pocomoke Industrial Park, but also from Delaware and northern Worcester County.

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