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 4, 2013, at 6:45 p.m. in the Commissioners’ Hearing Room, R. Clayton Mitchell Jr., Kent County Government Center, 400 High Street, Chestertown, Maryland, on the proposed Fiscal Year 2014 Budget beginning July 1, 2013.
County Commissioners, Ronald H. Fithian, William W. Pickrum, and William A. Short, were in attendance as well as Ernest Crofoot, County Administrator and County Attorney, and Patricia Merritt, Chief Finance Officer.
Notice of the public hearing was read into record by Commissioner Fithian. Commissioner Fithian shared some recent history regarding the decline of the economy, and the reward of preparing for the decline as the economy starts to slowly improve. Commissioner Fithian invited any members that wished to speak sign the testimony log.
Ms. Merritt presented the budget highlights in a power point presentation. The budget hearing presentation can be viewed by accessing a link entitled “Fiscal Year 2014 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 thirty-six people, comprised of various department heads, county employees, members of the media, and citizens. Eight individuals signed up to testify.
Commissioner Short shared that the Board felt that school safety officers were important to help deal with drug issues, public safety, etc. Commissioner Fithian shared that Kent County has taken a position to not become dependent on State funding. Commissioner Pickrum summarized that the State is not a reliable funding source and the elimination of the highway user funds is a perfect example.
Karen Miller, District Manager, and Lewis McDonald, Soil & Water Conservation District, shared the value of assistance provided to Kent County Farmers. Ms. Miller requested a 2% increase to the four Conservation employees and the cost of the valuation, $7,623.00, required to move District’s employees out of the County’s pension plan and into their own pension plan. After much discussion Commissioner Fithian stated the request would be assessed.
The Commissioners are scheduled to adopt the Fiscal Year 2014 Budget and Tax Rate on June 11, 2013.
This hearing was taped for reference and adjourned at 8:04 p.m.
Sondra M. Blackiston, Clerk
Approved: Ronald H. Fithian, President
The County Commissioners
of Kent County, Maryland