In compliance with and pursuant to Section 6-308 of the Tax Property Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland, the County Commissioners of Kent County held a public hearing on Tuesday, June 7, 2011, at 6:00 p.m. in the Commissioners’ Hearing Room, Kent County Government Center, 400 High Street, Chestertown, Maryland, on the proposed Fiscal Year Budget beginning July 1, 2011.
The Kent County property tax rate will remain at $1.022 per $100 of assessed property value. This rate is $.0091 cents below the constant yield property tax rate of $1.0311. This means that the County will generate $256,071 less revenue by not adjusting its property tax rate to the constant yield level.
County Commissioners, Ronald H. Fithian, William W. Pickrum and Alexander P. Rasin, were in attendance as well as Susanne Hayman, County Administrator, and Patricia Merritt, Chief Finance Officer.
Notice of the public hearing was read into the record by Commissioner Fithian as well as the procedures for testimony.
Commissioner Fithian commented on the budget process and how rewarding it was to work with each department and everyone who benefits from county funding. On behalf of the Board of Commissioners and the citizens of Kent County, Commissioner Fithian thanked all involved in the process.
A power point presentation was given by Ms. Merritt. The budget hearing presentation can be viewed by accessing a link entitled “Fiscal Year 2012 Proposed Budget Presentation” at www.kentcounty.com/gov/ or by contacting the Commissioners’ Office at 410-778-4600, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
In attendance were various department heads, members of the media, and concerned citizens.
Commissioner Fithian invited the individuals who signed the testimony log to comment on the budget. The following individuals testified:
Ms. Valentine expressed gratitude to the Commissioners for the county’s funding for programs that the Extension Office provides to the citizens of Kent County.
Mr. Mike Kilgus, Vice President for Administrative Services, Chesapeake College, expressed appreciation for Chesapeake College’s proposed funding and commented on the importance of future funding for the Allied Health Program and Athletics, Capital Improvement Projects.
Mr. Walter Gould, Mr. Allan Schauber and Ms. Shirley Devaris expressed concerns over increased fees at the landfills and suggested other areas where the county could possibly reduce costs.
Ms. Leslie Raimond, Executive Director, Kent County Arts Council thanked the Commissioners for their continued support.
Ms. Charlotte Staelin, Mediator, Community Mediation Upper Shore, thanked the Commissioners for their continued support.
Mr. Tim Lloyd expressed concerns with the increase in funding to Animal Control and suggested that a monthly report would be helpful to understand how the citizens’ tax dollars are spent. Commissioner Pickrum reminded the citizens that reporting is available to anyone with an interest and one only needs to ask for the information.
Commissioner Fithian spoke on behalf of the Board, expressing appreciation to Ms. Merritt for all her efforts throughout the year and especially during the budget process as the county’s chief financial officer. He also thanked everyone in the audience for attending the budget hearing and participating in the budget process.
Commissioner Rasin invited the audience to contact the Commissioners Office if they have an interest in serving on a budget committee in the future.
Commissioner Pickrum reviewed the challenges presented in the previous years and those indicated for the coming year, and he stressed the difficulty in trying to maintain the services that the residents of Kent County require and desire.
The Commissioners are scheduled to adopt the Fiscal Year 2012 Budget and Tax Rate on June 14, 2011 at 6:10 p.m.
This hearing was taped for reference and adjourned at 7:02 p.m.
Sondra M. Blackiston, Clerk
Approved: Ronald H. Fithian, President
The County Commissioners
of Kent County, Maryland