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Board of County Commissioners

April 16, 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 $5,825,832.00.


The Commissioners were notified of a public information meeting on April 18, 6:30 p.m. at Chestertown Middle School, Chestertown, to provide citizens with a status update for the accelerated mustard agent disposal project at the Aberdeen Chemical Agent Disposal Facility.


Correspondence was received from Carla Martin, Community Planner, advising the Planning Commission recommended approval of the following applications for an agricultural land preservation district:

Green Forest Farm, LLC, for their 228 acre farm located on 137219 Bloomfield Road, in the Second Election District; and Johnson Farm LLC, for their 227.94 acre farm located 13870 Massey Road in the First Election District.

A public hearing is scheduled for April 30, 2002 at 9:30 a.m.


As a result of unresolved matters at the April 8 meeting, the Public Landings and Facilities Board (PLFB) continued the meeting on April 15. Carter Stanton, Director, Public Works, appeared and reported on the following PLFB recommendations:

Mr. Stanton reported that a total of 47 slips will be offered to the public on a first-come first-served basis on May 6. Of the fifty slips at Bayside Public Landing, there will be fifteen 50' slips, thirty two 26'-36' slips (to be offered "as is") with the stipulation that if a slip is expanded contract will not be renewed, 2 slips will not be used due to extenuating circumstances, and one slip shall be designated for police/DNR vessel. Mr. Stanton advised that the PLFB recommended regulating a vessel assigned to a slip may be 2' longer than the length of the slip and defined any vessel 38' and larger shall be assigned to one of the fifteen 50' slips.

Mr. Stanton forwarded a draft copy of the public notice to be advertised specifying further circumstances surrounding the May 6, slip assignment. He specifically noted that the County reserves the right to assign slips accordingly.

Mr. Stanton advised of his plan to assign numbers to waiting applicants the morning of May 6 and to provide waiting list forms and receipts to all applicants who were not assigned a slip and so desire to be placed on the waiting list. He also noted that he expected the process to assign slips to take longer than the normal work day.

In follow-up from last week's discussion relating to reducing the size of the boat launch ramp from 40' to 20', Mr. Stanton advised that the PLFB concurred with installing a single boat ramp. He noted that the Purchasing Coordinator was in the process of obtaining the cost difference.

Mr. Stanton reported that a survey of Bayside Public Landing had been completed.


Correspondence was received from Gordon Sampson, Principal, Kent County High School, and Judy Revel, Director, Kent County Chamber of Commerce, announcing the Academy of Finance program to be offered at the High School. The four year program, in conjunction with the business community, is designed to provide high school students with the financial studies relating to knowledge and understanding of working businesses. The Kent County High School and the Chamber of Commerce will host a brief meeting on this program at the high school on April 22 at 4:30 p.m.

The Commissioners received a copy of the Summary Report: Achievement Matters Most, which is the compilation of recommendations from the Visionary Panel for better Schools and Achieve Inc., and new federal requirements from the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.


The Commissioners held a budget work session with Carter Stanton, Public Works Director, and Division Heads as well as John Hall, Extension Director. Pat Merritt, Director of Budget and Accounting, was also in attendance.


The County Administrator reported that he will be meeting with County Administrators and fiscal representatives of the participating counties on April 17 as it relates to the proposed budget submitted by Chesapeake College.


The Quarterly Status Reports for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) were received from Kay Pinder-Almen, Administrative Aide. Mrs. Pinder-Almen reported on the status of Phase I Housing Improvement Program (HIP), Fairlee Manor Improvement Project, Chestertown Foods Project, Phase II Housing Improvement Program and Phase III Housing Improvement Program Project. The Commissioners approved and Commissioner Fithian executed the report.


In follow-up to discussions relating to public safety at Woods Edge Apartments, Susanne Hayman, Director, Human Resources, and Sheriff Price appeared to report on April 11 meeting held discuss strategies and potential grant funding sources for creating a community policing program in Kent County. The following were in attendance: Commissioner Fithian, Ed Robinson, County Administrator, Sheriff John Price, Anne Livie, Director, Local Management Board, Carmen Pratt, Congressman Gilchrest staff member, Greg Leyko, Governor's Office of Crime Control and Prevention, and Ben Lieu, Conciliations Specialist, Community Relations Service, U.S. Department of Justice.

Ms. Hayman reported that Mr. Leyco indicated of possible grant funding available from the Governor's Office of Crime Control and Prevention for community policing. He advised that he would research the matter and report back to Ms. Hayman. Ms Hayman recommended a police officer grant that would fund a community policing position and advised of $25,000 funding for a new officer for a three year term.

Sheriff Price reported that he and Mr. Lieu visited Woods Edge Apartments, met with management and obtained the apartment management's policy and procedures for review. Mr. Lieu spoke of the benefits of hiring a grant writer to ensure the County applies for and participates in available State and Federal funding.

Ms. Hayman advised that discussion was held relating to contributing remedies other than police action. She advised that community policing was community driven and that avenues to fund citizens patrols should also be investigated.

Commissioner Fithian requested additional information on the law enforcement position grant so that they could plan for the future. Ms Hayman advised that by next week she and Sheriff Price would provide an estimate of additional funding required if a law enforcement grant were awarded. Commissioner Fithian reiterated the need for the financial impact for budgetary reasons.


The Commissioners received correspondence from Charles "Chip" MacLeod, Project Consultant, advising the Community Recreation Center Bond Bill Request was included on a list of "Community-Based Regional Initiatives" as part of Senate Bill 288 (the Maryland Consolidated Capital Bond Loan) with project funding available July 2003 with funding being designated in the State's Fiscal Year 2004 budget. The amount for the Community Recreation Center was held at $500,000. It is Mr. MacLeod's feeling that the project could begin now, however, the Commissioners feel there is still some uncertainty in receiving funding in 2004.


The Commissioners were notified that Rudolph Brown, member of the Kent County Election Procedure Committee, resigned, due to health reasons, effective immediately.


John Plaskon, Executive Director, Crossroads Community, Inc., Risa Andrews, and Joyce Benton, appeared to discuss the proposed use of U.S. Coast Guard properties as alternative living units located in Foxley Manor Avenue, and on Rolling Road, both located in the incorporated town of Chestertown. Jack Canan, Housing and Community Development Coordinator, Susanne Hayman, Human Resources Director, and approximately three interested citizens were also in attendance.

Mrs. Andrews expressed her opposition to additional group homes in Kent County. She noted of the group homes per capita of population was extreme and commented on state-wide clients being housed in Kent County. She advised of a meeting on April 19 scheduled by Crossroads Community Inc., to further discuss the matter and requested the Commissioners to attend and support their opposition on behalf of the citizens of Kent County.

Mrs. Andrews further expressed her concern of public safety for a community still affected by the murder of two police officers by an alleged mentally ill person.

Ms. Benton advised that as an realtor and as resident near the Federally owned homes, she expressed concern for property values in the area as well as public safety. She noted that within several blocks there were eighteen women living alone.

Commissioner Newnam inquired as to the specific process for selling the homes. Mr. Plaskin advised that the McKinney Act ensures Federally owned homes be made available for homeless housing. The application process takes 90 days followed by a 25 day period before a final decision is rendered.

Commissioner Fithian requested Mr. Plaskon describe the intended use for the homes. Mr. Plaskon advised that the homes will house mentally ill clients, three clients per home and one staff member.

Commissioner Fithian inquired as to the support Mayor and Council of Chestertown have offered due to the homes in question being within the Incorporated Town of Chestertown. Ms. Benton advised the Mayor and Council wrote a letter of opposition to the homes being sold with the intent to be used for homeless/mentally ill. She further noted that the Town of Chestertown would prefer the homes be returned to the tax roles.

Mr. Plaskon stated that as Executive Director, Crossroads Community, Inc., he has to meet the needs of the clients we are obligated to serve.

Commissioner Fithian advised that although the matter in question was not within County jurisdiction, one of the Commissioners would try to attend the meeting and assist if possible.

Commissioner Fithian thanked all for attending.


In follow-up from a request by Ken Beatty, Director, Delmarva Space Training Center for use of the "Hearse House" located on Calvert Street, Chestertown, to house space historical and educational memorabilia and equipment, Mr. Beatty forwarded information relating to his plans for the building. He has scheduled to meet with the Commissioners next week.


Wayne Morris, Director, Department of Water and Wastewater Services, appeared to report on the following issues:

Edesville Service Area - Correspondence was received from William Crowding, II, Registered Surveyor, on behalf of Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Hawkins, requesting a sewer allocation for one of the two additional lots to be sub-divided. One of the two sub-divided lots currently has a sewer allocation. Per Mr. Morris recommendation, the Commissioners approved this request.

Quaker Neck Service Area - Mr. Morris provided a copy of correspondence from Kent Lawrence, Lawrence and Associates, Chestertown, requesting sewer allocations for 12 proposed lots on Lovers Lane. Mr. Morris advised that no allocations were available, and Mr. Lawrence would be placed on a waiting list for any future service opportunities. The Commissioners concurred.

Tolchester Service Area - Mr. Morris forwarded information from Maryland Department of the Environment, and Water Management Administration, regarding the Tolchester Wastewater Treatment Plant.

General - Mr. Morris reviewed correspondence received from Shari Wilson, Smart Growth Coordinator, Maryland Department of the Environment, responding to Mr. Morris' request for funding assistance advising that in view of his presentation demonstrating economic needs of Kent County's infrastructure, efforts will be taken to determine the possibility to fund, via refinancing, a project outside a funding priority area.

Millington Water and Wastewater Expansion Project - Mr. Morris reported of a meeting with Millington Mayor Dennis Hager to discuss the draft operational agreement for the expanded water/wastewater project.


Discussion was held on correspondence received from the Economic Development Advisory Board as to interest in seeking contracts for a retirement village development. The Commissioners concurred with this concept and the Economic Development Advisory Board will be so advised.


The Commissioners approved and Commissioner Fithian executed the a Memorandum of Agreement by and between the Kent County Commissioners and the Maryland Emergency Management Agency. This agreement serves as the formal Grant Award Notice for the Fiscal Year 2000/2001 State Domestic Preparedness Equipment Program. Kent County was awarded $62,089.22 for the purchase of protective and other equipment for responders. A copy of this information was forwarded to Pat Merritt, Director, Budget and Accounting.


The Commissioners approved and executed correspondence to Harry Sewell, Assistant Secretary, Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, as prepared by Kay Pinder-Almen, Housing Specialist, responding to his invitation to create a On-Behalf-Of Bond Program (OBO) for the housing needs of the County. The OBO program for Kent County will adopt the maximum limits of FHA maximum mortgage amount $132,000 and MMP maximum purchase price and maximum loan amount of $144,336, with maximum income for one/two person being $87,600 and maximum income for a three or more person household being $102,200.


In follow-up from March 12, John Vail, Senior Policy Advisor, Justice Management Division, U.S. Department of Justice, appeared to formally execute an Assignment Agreement by and between Mr. Vail, the County, the Deputy Attorney General representing the U.S. Department of Justice. Susanne Hayman, Human Resources Director, was also in attendance. Under the Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA), Mr. Vail will continue his career working with local government, at no expense to the County, while maintaining his employment with the Federal government to facilitate the transfer of skill between Federal, State and local governments. Mr. Vail has offered to assist with grant writing for community policing program in addition to seeking accreditation of CALEA for the Sheriff's Office and other tasks assigned. Having recently acquired a second home in Kent County, Mr. Vail expressed his appreciation for Kent County and his enjoyment of the idea to work here.

Commissioner Fithian reiterated the benefits of the Intergovernmental Personnel Act and confirmed that the Justice Department would continue to pay his salary while working for Kent County. Mr. Vail advised that in his experience the Department of Justice continues to pay complete salary and benefits.

The Commissioners approved and Commissioner Fithian executed the employment agreement effective May 6, 2002 through July 3, 2003.


At 1:30 p.m., a motion was made by Commissioner Beck, seconded by Commissioner Newnam and made unanimous by Commissioner Fithian to go into executive session with Pat Quinn, State Highway Administration, and Jim Wright, County Engineer, to discuss potential land acquisition in accordance with State Government Article, Section 10.508 of the Annotated Code of Maryland.

The executive session adjourned at 1:40 p.m.


At 11:20 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 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 documentation received from the Department of Environment and Ethics Commission.

The executive session adjourned at 11:45 a.m.


Correspondence was received from Delegate Al Redmer, Jr., providing status and expressing appreciation for supporting HB 1176: Dredge Deposits - Creation of Artificial Islands in the Chesapeake Bay - Prohibited Use as Part of Management Plan.

The Commissioners sent forth correspondence to Speaker of the House, Casper Taylor, expressing concern that some Kent County proposed legislation (SB 395 and HB 344/SB138) was not recognized by the legislative body in the voting process despite testimony from both citizens and local government.


Mrs. Margaret Briscoe, Mrs. Rosalie Kuechler and Mayor Dennis Hager were appointed as members to the "Maryland You are Beautiful" Local Committee.


The Commissioners received the initial draft of the Midshore Solid Waste Management Study for review by all participating County Administrators before finalization.


Susanne Hayman, Human Resources Director, provided an update on the status of the Internal Revenue Service issues relating to the County joining the State Pension System. She advised that a final decision relating to the IRS is anticipated to be forwarded by May 22. Ms. Hayman further advised that according to Sherlynn Matesky, representing the State Pension System, the July 1 deadline for joining the plan, is an attainable goal. Ms. Hayman reported that she contacted the pension attorney to expedite the legal research on tax exempt financing.

The Commissioners requested Ms. Hayman to contact VALIC to alert them of official notice that will be forthcoming as to withdrawal of funding contributed by the County to individual accounts for county employees. Commissioner Fithian requested that she contact representatives of the State Pension System as soon as possible to begin scheduling informational meetings for county employees since the proposed implementation date is July 1.


At 8:35 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 8:45 a.m.

At 9:35 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 to discuss personnel matters in accordance with State Government Article, Section 10.508 of the Annotated Code ofMaryland.

The executive session adjourned at 9:50 a.m.

At 11:10 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 to discuss personnel matters in accordance with State Government Article, Section 10.508 of the Annotated Code of


The executive session adjourned at 11:20 a.m.


Rebecca Woodall, Treasurer, Tidewater Chapter, and Marie Bradley, District Treasurer, International Association of Administrative Professionals, appeared to request the Commissioners to proclaim April 21-27 as "Administrative Professionals Week in Kent County" and ask that all businesses join in recognizing and honoring administrators, paying special attention to Secretaries Day on April on April 24.

Ms. Bradley advised of the charitable works and scholarships the organization hosts. Ms. Woodall invited local administrative professionals to participate in their organization.

Commissioner Fithian read and presented the proclamation as requested.

Robert H. Campbell, III, Chairman, and Robert H. Campbell, II, Auctioneers Association of Maryland, Inc., appeared to request the Commissioners proclaim April 20, 2002 National Auctioneers Day. Mr. Campbell advised that he considers auctioneers the voice of the free market and auctioneers support the community by conducting auctions, charity or otherwise.

Commissioner Fithian read and presented the proclamation to Mr. Campbell.


At the recommendation of the Chief Enforcement Officer, the Commissioners approved to release Performance Bond from the Travelers Casualty and Surety Company of America for the account of YMCA of Deleware (Camp Tockwogh) in consideration of satisfactory compliance in accordance with the Kent County Sediment Control Ordinance.


Sheriff Price advised that with the assistance from the Drug Task Force, a Deputy would be attending a three day specialized training at a nationally accredited facility.


The Commissioners received the Tourism Progress Report for the month of March, as prepared by BernadetteVan Pelt, Tourism Director. Mrs. Van Pelt forwarded a copy of the Kent County 2002 Calender of Events.


In follow-up from October 2, 2001, Gail Owings, Director, Planning and Zoning Administration, and Carla Martin, Community Planner, forwarded three copies of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) by and between the Department of Natural Resource and the Commissioners for the Urieville Lake Restoration Forum project. The contract, as part of a grant from the Department of Natural Resources, is to develop a proposal for solutions at Urieville Lake. The Commissioners approved and Commissioner Fithian signed the MOU as presented.

There being no further business to claim their attention, the Board adjourned to meet again on Tuesday, April 23, 2002


Please contact Joyce Laskey or Janice Fletcher at (410) 778-7435 or by e-mail with any questions or comments.

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