KENT COUNTY, MARYLAND
Board of County Commissioners
JANUARY 22, 2002
The Honorable Board of License Commissioners met today with the following present: Larry B. Beck, W. Michael Newnam, and Ronald H. Fithian, presiding.
T. Edward Robinson, County Administrator, was also in attendance.
Minutes of the previous meeting were approved.
W. Roger Williams, Treasurer, reported a balance of $7,439,303.00
CHESTERTOWN MAYOR & COUNCIL
Correspondence was received from W.S. Ingersoll, Town Manager, Chestertown, which was also forwarded to residents in vicinity of Mill Street and MD 213 relating to a problem with vultures and with a survey inquiring if a program to remove vultures from the area is preferred. The Commissioners advised that they would not be participating in the survey, as the decision should be left to local residents.
COMMISSION ON EDUCATION, FINANCE EQUITY AND EXCELLENCE
Correspondence was received from Montgomery County Council, responding to the Thorton Commission recommendations on State education funding, expressing their concern and providing a copy of a letter to Governor Parris Glendening requiring consideration be given to recommendation to modify the Thorton Commission funding proposal, in fairness to all students.
Correspondence went forth to Lieutenant Governor Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, requesting her support for State Capital assistance in the amount of $500,000 through the Administration's Fiscal Year 2003 Capital Budget for the proposed Kent County Community Center.
Correspondence was received from Charles "Chip" MacLeod, Project Consultant, with additional figures that dramatically reflect the small percentage of funding Kent County has received from the Maryland Public School Construction Program as compared to the rest of the State. He advised that these figures should be helpful in bolstering the argument to award Kent County assistance for the Community Center project.
DEPARTMENT OF WATER AND WASTEWATER SERVICES
Wayne Morris, Director, Department of Water and Wastewater Services, appeared to report on the following issues:
Millington Water Expansion Project - Mr. Morris provided an update on the meeting with the County Administrator, Dr. Costella, Superintendent of Schools and Frances "Faye" Miller, Assistant Superintendent of Administrative Services, Tony Cucina, Supervisor of Environmental Services, on the Millington Water expansion project. He advised that all parties concurred that the water project would be a benefit and the construction of a water tank on Millington Elementary School property would be presented at the March 4 Board of Education meeting for approval. Mayor Hager will also be requested to attend this meeting.
Fairlee Service Area - Mr. Morris advised of the request from Winfield Cooper, Georgetown Road, to reclassify his property to vacant lot status. He confirmed that the structure was removed and recommended the reclassification. The Commissioners concurred. In response to Commissioner Fithian's inquiry, Mr. Morris advised that vacant lot status rendered a lower bill, specifically charging for debt service and maintenance rather than usage.
Edesville Service Area - Mr. Morris provided an update on the January 21 meeting with the Edesville Community Civic Association to discuss connection of the Edesville wastewater system to the Rock Hall system. Commissioner Fithian and Ed Robinson, County Administrator, were also in attendance. He advised that approximately 35 residents were in attendance and the majority of the civic association in attendance were in agreement to move forth with the connection to be used should emergency measures be needed. Mr. Morris advised that he will contact the Rock Hall Engineer to proceed with a feasibility study/survey.
Office Relocation - As requested by Mr. Morris, the Commissioners approved for Mr. Morris to move back to the Public Works Building, 709 Morgnec Road, due to administrative problems experienced as to separation of his office and his support staff. This approval was given contingent upon that the Alcoholic Beverage Inspector's Office will remain as is at the 709 Morgnec location. The Commissioners also requested that the Fiscal Supervisor, Department of Water and Wastewater, be relocated to the Budget and Accounting Office.
Litigation - At 9:18 a.m., a motion was made by Commissioner Beck, seconded by Commissioner Newnam and made unanimous by Commissioner Fithian to go into executive session to discuss potential litigation in accordance with State Government Article, Section 10.508 of the Annotated Code of Maryland.
The executive session adjourned at 9:20 a.m.
FIRE CHIEF'S ASSOCIATION
Commissioner Fithian and Ed Robinson, County Administrator, attended a meeting of the Fire Chiefs Association on Friday, January 18, held at the Millington Fire Hall. In follow-up to concerns expressed by local volunteer fire companies relating to new State requirements, representatives of the Maryland State Fireman's Association, as well as representatives of MOSHA, were in attendance to review new State requirements. It was advised that an Opinion from the Attorney General's Office specified that the requirement for physicals applied (only) to volunteer firemen who work regularly with paid fireman, therefore, dismissing the issue locally.
HUMAN RELATIONS COMMISSION
In follow-up from November 20, Dr. Hennesey and Rev. Gonzalee Matthews, representing Chester Valley Ministers Association, appeared. Chestertown Mayor Margo Bailey, Susanne Hayman, Human Resource Director, Jack Canan, Coordinator, Housing and Community Development, were also in attendance. Dr. Hennesey reported on her discussion on the formation of a Human Resource Commission (HRC) with representatives of the incorporated towns at the December Council of Governments (COG) meeting. She advised that although the time allotted was insufficient to fully explain the mission of a HRC, no specific concerns were expressed.
She advised that it was her understanding that the towns did not necessarily need to approve the formation of a County HRC, only to advise if a conflict was imminent. Commissioner Fithian advised the purpose for her meeting with town officials was to seek their support. Commissioner Beck concurred that all incorporated towns should be made aware of the possible new committee. Commissioner Newnam stated that this Board has agreed to move forward with the formation of an HRC, however, it was his understanding there were many questions raised and it is important that the Towns be briefed to know the extent of the HRC's authority. Dr. Hennesey questioned how this should be addressed. Commissioner Fithian advised that all citizens have a right to benefit from a HRC, however, each Town should have the opportunity to understand the intent and how it may affect their citizens. Ms. Hayman advised that since each incorporated town has its own government, they should be made aware that a County HRC would be addressing their citizens concerns through mediation. She also advised that each Town should be given the opportunity to have their own HRC. Commissioner Fithian reiterated Commissioner Newnam's statement that commitment has been made to form an HRC and he wishes to ensure all local governments are apprised of the procedure.
Rev. Matthews advised that incorporated towns may be more apt to support an HRC if the Commissioners advocated the concept. Mayor Bailey advised that a letter delineating the mission of the HRC would serve as further introduction of the matter to Town Councils. Commissioner Fithian requested Ms. Hayman to draft a letter to be sent to the five incorporated towns, advising of a proposed County HRC. Ms. Hayman advised she would draft correspondence explaining chronology, expenses and pertinent issues for the Towns to evaluate. Commissioner Fithian advised Dr. Hennesey that a draft of the correspondence would be forwarded to her for review. Once a response is received from the towns, Delegate Walkup will be contacted with request to introduce legislation to allow meeting of the HRC to be closed to the public. Dr. Hennesey and Rev. Mathews thanked the Commissioners for their support.
At 10:05 a.m., a motion was made by Commissioner Beck, seconded by Commissioner Newnam and made unanimous by Commissioner Fithian to go into executive session with Ernest S. Cookerly, County Attorney, for legal counsel in accordance with State Government Article, Section 10.508 of the Annotated Code of Maryland.
Items of discussion included litigation, mooring buoy regulations, ethics commission, nuisance ordinance and admissions/amusement tax.
The executive session adjourned at 10:15 a.m.
LONG COVE PUBLIC LANDINGS
The Commissioners received correspondence from John Riggs, III, Rock Hall, advising that he feels he has been unjustly treated having received approximately $1,000 in fines at Long Cove Public Landing. Commissioner Fithian noted that Mr. Riggs has a history of receiving fines and continues to dock his boat illegally/ use public landing slips rented by others. Carter Stanton, Director, Public Works, reported that of the five marinas offering slips to the public, Mr. Riggs does not rent a boat slip, nor has he ever applied for a slip. Commissioner Fithian requested a response go forth to Mr. Riggs advising that one of Mr. Stanton's responsibilities is to protect the rights of watermen who do rent boat slips.
At 8:55 a.m., a motion was made by Commissioner Beck, seconded by Commissioner Newnam and made unanimous by Commissioner Fithian to go into executive session to discuss personnel matters in accordance with State Government Article, Section 10.508 of the Annotated Code of Maryland.
The executive session adjourned at 9:18 a.m.
At 10:35 a.m., a motion was made by Commissioner Beck, seconded by Commissioner Fithian and passed by the majority of the Board to go into executive session with Sheriff Price to discuss personnel matters in accordance with State Government Article, Section 10.508 of the Annotated Code of Maryland. Commissioner Newnam was not in attendance during this executive session due to a business obligation with his employer, Verizon.
The executive session adjourned at 11:05 a.m.
The Commissioners agreed to seek legal opinion on borrowing procedures as it relates to financing of pension costs.
Correspondence was received from Gail Owings, Director, Planning and Zoning Administration, advising of the final subdivision review of KRM Development Corporation's Worton Project to be held at the Thursday, February 7, Planning Commission meeting.
The Commissioners executed a Proclamation for 1st Sergeant Kenneth Thrasher, Maryland State Police, retiring after 23 years and three months of committed law enforcement service. 1st Sergeant Thrasher dedicated 12 years of his career providing support to the citizens of Kent and Queen Anne's Counties.
STATE HIGHWAY ADMINISTRATION
Correspondence was received from Stuart Bates, Chief, Maryland State Highway Office, modifying the project agreement with the Kent County Health Department, Substance Abuse Prevention Program, with the additional funding in the amount of $3,000, totaling $67,700.
The County Administrator advised that he attended a meeting with Bernadette Van Pelt, Tourism Director, Russ Carlow, Judy Reveal and Susan Lasater, representing the Chamber of Commerce, to discuss participation in the Visitor Center to be located on MD 213 and Cross Street in Chestertown. Mr. Robinson advised another meeting is scheduled for January 24, with the Chestertown Town Manager to further discussions on the role of Kent County Tourism in the proposed Visitors' Center.
Mr. Robinson advised that a proposed Memo of Understanding by and between the County and the Town of Chestertown relating to the Visitors' Center would be forthcoming. Commissioner Fithian advised that he anticipates County tourism operations to remain the same, independent of the location of the Tourism Office.
There being no further business to claim their attention, the Board adjourned to meet again on Tuesday, January 29, 2002
Please contact Joyce Laskey or Janice Fletcher at (410) 778-7435 or by e-mail with any questions or comments.