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Board of County Commissioners

December 3, 2002

The Honorable Board of County Commissioners met today with the following present: Larry B. Beck, W. Michael Newnam, Ronald H. Fithian, presiding.

Ernest S. Cookerly, County Attorney, and Edward Robinson, County Administrator, were also in attendance.

Minutes of the previous meeting were approved.

W. Roger Williams, Treasurer, reported a balance of $8,010,365.00.

The following items of business received attention before the new Board took their oath of office.


Correspondence was forwarded to James Conrad, Executive Director, Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation, recommending application submitted by Triangle Farm Limited Partnership (Martha Langenfelder and Jennifer Debnam) to establish and Agricultural Preservation District.


Carter Stanton, Director, Public Works, forwarded an estimate to install panic alarm systems in both the Assessment Office, County Government Center, and Public Works Building. The estimated cost for the project is as follows:

Public Works Building - $1,548.00

Assessment Office - $2,369.00

Commissioners' Office - $550.00

Planning Office - $550.00

A motion was made by Commissioner Beck, seconded by Commissioner Newnam, and made unanimous by Commissioner Fithian to approve the expenditure as presented in the approximate amount of $5,287.00 from Contingency Fund.


The Commissioners reappointed Bobby G. Harvey as a member of the Board of Zoning

Appeals for a three year ending January 7, 2006.


The Commissioners approved zoning change for Kingdon Gould from Rural Residential to Community Residential.

Correspondence was received from the Kent County Planning Commission declining to endorse the recent changes proposed by the Commissioners to the Land Use Ordinance. They further noted that the changes are not consistent with the goals and objectives in the 1996 Comprehensive Plan.

In follow-up from last week, Mrs. Owings presented the proposed ordinance and maps including the amendments requested by the Commissioners. There were approximately 20 interested persons in attendance.

Delegate Mary Roe Walkup was in attendance and questioned the procedure and extent of the recent amendments. She inquired if the changes were significant and requested the changes be explained. Mrs. Owings gave a brief synopsis comparing the proposed ordinance as of the November 12 public hearing to the proposed ordinance to be considered for vote today. Mrs. Owings advised that the proposed change to Agricultural Zoning was to remove any conflicts of residential dwellings from the agricultural industry. As requested by the Commissioners, the provision of enclaves (as in the current ordinance) was inserted into the proposed plan. She explained the workgroup reviewed the enclave option and felt it was not consistent with the Comprehensive Plan having agricultural land with density of 1 dwelling per 10 acres causing a potential conflict for agriculture and housing. Delegate Walkup expressed concern that the amendments were not in the best interest of preserving farmland. Commissioner Beck advised that a public hearing took place on November 12 and the amendments (relating to agricultural lands) did not change the ordinance from 1989. Delegate Walkup inquired of Mr. Cookerly as to procedural correctness and the impact of a significant change after the public hearing. Mr. Cookerly advised that minor changes were acceptable, however, significant changes, according to case law indicate the need to be readdressed. He further noted that the definition of a significant change was subject to interpretation.

Third reading was held on Code Home Rule Bill No. 6- 2002 which is an Act to repeal and reenact with amendments the Zoning Ordinance for Kent County and amendments thereto, Zoning Maps and Part III of the Code of Public Local Laws of Kent County, revising, recodifying and consolidating all of the regulations governing land use in Kent County; adding new statements of purpose as follows: to enhance the Kent County employment base, provide efficiency in the process of development, protect the county's significant historic structures and areas from destruction or encroachment; creating five (5) new zoning districts - Rural Character, Community Residential, Intense Village, Employment Center, Industrial District Critical Area - LDA; changing conditional uses to special exceptions; replacing Limited Marine District with Marine District; removing the Planned Industrial and Intense Marine Districts; removing authority for private piers on parcels of more than twenty (20) acres where there is no main dwelling, except in the marine district; removing affordable housing district; classifying the dates used in determining density in and outside of the Chesapeake Bay Critical Area; establishing a buffer modified map, Flood Plain maps, Airport Safety Zone Map and to be known collectively as the Land Use Ordinance for Kent County, Maryland, to be Part III of the Code of Public Local Laws of Kent County, Maryland.

Ballots were distributed for voting. Upon their return, all ballots were marked favorably. This Bill was unanimously passed and will become effective January 17, 2003 contingent upon approval by the Chesapeake Bay Critical Areas Commission.


Water and Sewer Plan Amendment - Wayne Morris, Director, Department of Water and Wastewater Services, appeared. In follow-up to request received last week from Kent Lawrence, the Commissioners again reviewed application for amending the Water and Sewer Plan. Mr. Morris reiterated the original request received was to amend the map to include the Lawrence property in the planned area for possible future water and sewer service per the October 29 Comprehensive Water and Sewer Plan Amendment public hearing. He felt this request was consistent with Smart Growth. He also noted that the Kent County Health Department may want to include other properties in the service areas sometime in the future. He advised that the amendment did not guarantee the availability of sewer allocations. A motion was made by Commissioner Newnam, seconded by Commissioner Beck and made unanimous by Commissioner Fithian to the approve application for Kent Lawrence Associates Developers LLC, and amend the Water and Sewer Plan as presented, without the guarantee of sewer allocations.

Debt Service - As requested by the USDA, Rural Housing Service, the Commissioners approved and Commissioner Fithian signed Authorization Agreement for Preauthorized Payments transferring Federal Identification Number of various loans previously under the name of Kent County Sanitary District, Inc.

Piney Neck/ Skinners Neck Service Area - The Commissioners approved and executed a sewer allocation for Mr. and Mrs. John Daniels.


The Commissioners approved and Commissioner Fithian signed Contract by and between the County Commissioners and Lotte Bowie representing Loblolly Productions for the production of a CD-ROM for purpose to present the benefits of living and working in Kent County and dispensing relevant information to business owners who are interested in moving their business to Kent County as well as those who are interested in starting a new business in the County.


In follow-up from correspondence received November 12 from Charles S. Frentz, Executive Director, Oyster Management Recovery Partnership, requesting consideration be given for Kent County to contribute $20,000 for proposed new sites for oyster restoration, Commissioner Fithian expressed his desire to fund the project. He advised that $10,000 was included in the FY 03 budget. Commissioners Beck and Newnam concurred to approve allocation of $10,000. It will be recommended to Mr. Frentz to submit a budget request for

FY04 for the remainder of funds needed.


At the recommendation of Jeff Troester, Director, Parks and Recreation, the Commissioners approved to employ Genevieve Jones, in the following positions: Facility Supervisor, at Hourly Grade 4, Step A, Beyond the Bell Program Supervisor, at Hourly Grade 4, Step G, Beyond the Bell Program Assistant, and Special Events Assistant at Hourly Grade 1, Step G, contingent upon successful completion of employment requirements.


Ernest S. Cookerly, County Attorney, appeared and expressed his appreciation in serving as County Attorney for the Commissioners. He acknowledged the Commissioners' actions to which he believed always reflected the best interest of the citizens of Kent County. Mr. Cookerly also thanked the Executive Assistant and Commissioners' Office staff for the luncheon given in his honor and support over the past years.

Commissioner Fithian again thanked Mr. Cookerly for his thirty-four years of service to the County in the capacity of County Attorney.

Commissioner Fithian recognized the Commissioners' Office Staff for their dedication, support and efficiency in operations.

The County Administrator expressed his gratitude for having served for the Commissioners for the past four years.


Correspondence was received from the Department of the Environment, Water Management Administration, advising that Duck Puddle Farms, Felix Rutoske, Middletown Delaware, has applied to appropriate and use an average 216,000 gallons per day. The water will be taken a well in the Monmouth aquifer for farm irrigation. Inquiries should be made to Matthew Pajerowski, Chief Water Rights Division, (410) 537-3590.

Correspondence was received from the Department of the Environment, Water Management Administration, advising that a public hearing for a request by Joseph Colen has applied to construct a 350 foot long stone revetment and to mechanically dredge a 25 foot long by 4 foot depth channel will be held on December 5 at 10:00 a.m. in the Commissioners Hearing Room at Kent County Government Center, 400 High Street, Chestertown. Any questions relating to the application permit may be directed to Charles DeRose at (410) 537-3851.


The Commissioners appointed Lynn Cusimano as a member of the Workforce Investment Board to fill an unexpired term ending June 30, 2004.


The Oath of Office for the Board of County Commissioners was administered by Mark L. Mumford, Clerk of Circuit Court, at 9:30 a.m. in the Circuit Court Room, Courthouse.

A brief reception was held at the Prince Theatre immediately following the swearing-in ceremony.

The meeting convened at 1:00 p.m. with a motion by Commissioner Crow, seconded by Commissioner Livie to nominate Commissioner Pickrum as President of the Board. Commissioner Pickrum made this motion unanimous.

Commissioner Pickrum announced the Board's intent to provide more convenient public access to meetings by having evening meetings on a quarterly basis in the incorporated towns in the County. Commissioner Pickrum advised the meetings would be informational in nature. He reported the first meeting would take place in Millington.

Commissioner Livie advised that the Board's agenda would be reorganized to have the closed sessions at the end of the agenda to provide more continuity during the meetings.

Commissioner Pickrum stressed the importance of input by constituents. Commissioner Crow echoed that sentiment by continuing a pro-active role in governing. Commissioner Pickrum advised that politics would be kept separate and apart; the main interest of this Board is Kent County.


Commissioner Pickrum advised that Ed Robinson would remain the County Administrator for the time being.


The Commissioners announced that Ernest S. Cookerly has agreed to remain as County Attorney during the interim period while this position is being advertised.


In follow-up from November 19 bid award to Unruh Excavating, Inc., for demolition and disposal of various structures at 315 Middle Street and 337 West Street, Millington, the Commissioners approved and executed a contract for the project.


The Commissioners received correspondence from David C. Bay, Chairman, Board of Directors, Magnolia Hall, advising that Magnolia Hall has joined Chester River Health System combining the Board of Directors. In that light, he reported that a Commissioner to serve as ex officio position on the Board of Directors is no longer required.


A workshop was held with the Commissioners and Leslie R. Stellman, Personnel Attorney, to discuss the legal aspect of County Government. Susanne Hayman, Director of Human Resources, and Lorraine Sexton, Personnel Coordinator, were also in attendance.


Marjorie C. "Marcie" Brown was appointed to replace William S. Sutton to serve as the County Commissioners' representative on the Planning Commission for a four year term beginning today and ending December, 2006. William S. Sutton was appointed to serve the unexpired term of Ms. Brown on this Commission ending January 7, 2003. Mr. Sutton will then resume his five year appointment as a regular member of this Commission beginning January 7, 2003.

There being no further business to claim their attention, the Board adjourned to meet again on December 10, 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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