The Honorable Board of License Commissioners met today with
the following present: Roy W. Crow, Scott D. Livie, and William W. Pickrum,
T. Edward Robinson, County Administrator, was also in attendance.
Minutes of the previous meeting were approved.
W. Roger Williams, Treasurer, reported a balance of $5,475,122.00.
BOARD OF EDUCATION (BOE)
Dr. Bonnie C. Ward, Superintendent, Kent County Schools, appeared and
presented the BOE's proposed Fiscal Year 2005 Unrestricted Budget of $22,327,112.00.
The amount requested from the County is $14,289,943.00. She apologized
that the budget adjustments promised to the Commissioners at their January
13th meeting were overdue, and expressed her hope that she will have them
ready for presentation at the Commissioners' meeting soon, with corrections
made and in a "reader friendly" format. She conveyed the greetings of
James Sieman, President, and Alan Hanifee, Vice-President, of the BOE,
who could not attend due to professional and family commitments.
As indicated in her correspondence to the Commissioners dated March 24,
2004, Dr. Ward explained that the FY 2005 Unrestricted Budget was prepared
by a group effort including Frances W. Miller, Assistant Superintendent
of Administrative Services, and Dr. Joan Buffone, Assistant Superintendent
for Curriculum and Instruction, both of Kent County Public Schools. Dr.
Ward noted that said budget contains an additional $1,138,968 in revenues
over the current FY 2004 Unrestricted Budget of $21,188,143. This represents
an increase of 5.38%.
Dr. Ward reported also that the increased State funding of $383,871 will
be used to help the mission of successful learning for all students as
well as the new requirements of the "No Child Left Behind" law. Dr. Ward
explained that the BOE was faced with the following challenges in the
preparation of its budget: a teacher and administrative staff shortage,
the difficulty of recruitment of teachers, and the effort required to
maintain a standard of professional and organizational excellence. She
added that these challenges are evident throughout the State.
Commissioner Livie referred to the County-produced CD Rom, which was produced
as a marketing tool to showcase the County's economic development. He
invited Dr Ward's participation in the further enhancement of the CD to
include more information about the County's schools and other educational
opportunities for the families of business leaders and professionals who
are considering establishing their businesses in the County. Dr. Ward
agreed to participate in the project.
Dr. Ward also accepted Commissioner Livie's invitation to assist with
a project that would link the County and the BOE's websites.
Dr. Ward continued her review of the FY' 05 Proposed Budget, noting that
the budget meets most, but not all, of the BOE's needs. She believes that
the most critical needs are met: the support of staff, a safe environment
for students and staff, and the recruitment and continued professional
development of highly qualified teachers. An example of the need to recruit
more teachers and staff is the transition to all-day Kindergarten, required
by the State to commence in the fall of 2007.
In response to the Commissioners' questions, Dr. Ward explained that all
of the counties in the State are in competition with one another in the
recruitment of teachers; there is no effort by the State to pool resources
even though the entire State is faced with the same challenge to recruit
teachers. Dr. Ward reported that of the students enrolled in teacher colleges,
one-half do not graduate; the other half graduate, but leave their careers
after five years. Effective incentives for the recruitment of teachers,
she explained, are competitive salaries and programs that support teachers'
professional development, for example, mentor programs.
Dr. Ward indicated that teacher salaries represent the core of the BOE's
budget needs at 80% of the entire budget. She emphasized that the BOE
is doing all that it can to limit class size, to hire new, quality teachers
and to maintain them with competitive salaries.
Commissioner Livie emphasized that the BOE will have to prioritize its
needs as all departments have done in the County, by targeting its key
areas and issues. Commissioner Crow commented that when a percentage increase
in teacher salaries is made across the board, the result is the widening
of the gap between the salaries of teachers with seniority and the newly
Commissioner Pickrum expressed the appreciation of the Board for Dr. Ward's
letter which reported the BOE's funding request. Commissioner Livie concurred,
adding that the Board is excited about the opportunities for partnership
with the BOE, and cited as examples the proposed Community Center, the
High School renovations, etc. He also expressed the gratitude of the Board
to the BOE which shared the expertise of Steve Wilson, the BOE's Information
Technician, who served as a member of the County's IT Review Committee
during its interviews of candidates for the IT specialist position.
Mike Waal, President of the Chestertown Chamber of Commerce, appeared
and inquired as to whether or not the BOE has considered recruiting teachers
from the private sector's unemployed individuals, to which Dr. Ward responded
in the affirmative, citing the "Resident Teacher Program" which is a teacher-certification
process for retired or unemployed professionals, sponsored and monitored
by Chesapeake College.
The Commissioners extended their appreciation to Dr. Ward for her attendance
Correspondence was received from Dr. Bonnie C. Ward, Superintendent, Kent
County Public Schools, expressing her thanks to Commissioner Pickrum for
meeting and discussing with her the ways in which the County and the Public
Schools can support each other to improve the services provided to the
County's children. Dr. Ward indicated that the BOE also met with the staff
of Parks and Recreation and have established a collaborative summer program
for Kent's children.
Dr. Ward, in response to the request of the Commissioners, provided the
amount of the full cost of funding the mid-year salary increase (1% and
one step) that was given to the Kent County Public Schools staff in January
2004. She reported that the cost of funding that salary increase for a
full year in Fiscal Year 2005 for all staff (certified and support staff)
Commissioner Crow reported that three "outstanding" companies have been
interviewed for project manager and construction manager for the High
School Renovation Project. Given the caliber of these companies, he expressed
his optimism that this project will move forward very well, and that the
County may be able to project a savings of $500,000 in expenses given
the potential of these companies to reduce the time-line projected for
At 1:25 p.m., the Commissioners held budget work sessions with the following:
W. Roger Williams, Treasurer, Warden Ron Howell, Lorraine Sexton, Personnel
Coordinator, Lori Kern, representing Maury, Donnelly, and Parr, Inc. (health
insurance broker), Susanne Hayman, County Attorney/Human Resources Director
and Janice Fletcher, Executive Assistant to the Commissioners. Pat Merritt,
Budget and Accounting Director, and Ed Robinson, County Attorney, were
also in attendance. The budget work session adjourned at 5:30 p.m.
CHESAPEAKE FIELDS INSTITUTE (CFI)
As presented by P.A.M. Schaller, Director of Economic Development, the
Commissioners approved for grant application to be submitted to the Maryland
Economic Development Assistance and Authority Fund, for the request of
$52,500 for the purpose of having a Feasibility Study conducted for CFI.
CHESTER VALLEY MINISTERS ASSOCIATION (CVMA)
A motion was made by Commissioner Crow, seconded by Commissioner Livie,
and made unanimous by Commissioner Pickrum to approve the request of Rita
Brantley, representing the CVMA, permitting the CVMA to stop at the Cross
Street and High Street sides of the Court Yard during the procession planned
through Chestertown, marking the "14 Stations of the Cross" on Good Friday,
April 9, 2004, from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.
COASTAL AND WATERSHED RESOURCES ADVISORY COMMITTEE (CWRAC)
Correspondence was received from Richard Robinson, Chair, CWRAC, requesting
that the Commissioners appoint a replacement and a replacement alternate
local government citizen representative from Kent County to serve on this
Advisory Committee. The CWRAC advises the Secretary of the Department
of Natural Resources and the MD Coastal Program on Coastal Program policy
issues and is the main organization that citizens can contact to discuss
their ideas and opinions about coastal resource issues. CWRAC also makes
recommendations on various program issues, such as Tributary Strategies
and Critical Area Legislation.
COMMISSION ON AGING
Correspondence was received from, Nellie D. Greenwood, indicating her
resignation as a member of the Commission on Aging, after serving on the
Commission for 20 years. A letter of appreciation will go forth to Mrs.
Greenwood. At the recommendation of Mrs. Greenwood, the Commissioners
approved Nancy Fernwalt to serve the unexpired term ending December 31,
CSAFE COMMUNITIES CONSOLIDATED GRANT
Correspondence went forth to Margo G. Bailey, Mayor of Chestertown, from
T. Edward Robinson, County Administrator, in support of the Mayor and
Council's continued primary leadership role for the 2005 CSAFE (Cooperative
Supervision and Focused Enforcement, formerly known as "Hot Spots") Communities
Consolidated Grant. He indicated that the County supports this project
through Parks and Recreation youth activities, and that the Town's leadership
role in this and all related grant projects will increase programming,
fiscal, and administrative efficiency.
DEPARTMENT OF WATER AND WASTEWATER SERVICES
Wayne Morris, Director of the Department of Water and Wastewater Services,
appeared and reported on the following:
Millington Service Area - Patricia Gore, resident of Millington,
appeared and, speaking on her own behalf and on behalf of other property
owners in Millington, expressed complaint about what she believes to be
a situation in which property owners in Millington were forced to hook-up
to the new water and sewer system. Susanne Hayman, County Attorney, was
also in attendance. Mrs. Gore explained that, in her opinion, many property
owners in Millington have been prematurely billed for water and sewer
services to which they have not yet been connected.
She also issued complaint about what she believes to be the inaccurate
installations of grinder pumps. She inquired as to whether or not it is
legal to be billed for services not being used, to which Ms. Hayman responded
that it is legal for the County to bill the property owners for the benefit
of the new water and sewer services in Millington, so long as the charge
is not arbitrary or capricious ( e.g., using the charge in question to
make a profit). Ms. Hayman pointed out that, concerning said water and
sewer treatment services, that the County is losing revenue.
Mrs. Gore indicated that the cost for residents to have connection made
to the new system ranges from $2,000 to $3,000, and that the cost to receive
the new services is a burden to many property owners.
To Commissioner Crow's question as to whether or not the employment of
local plumbers would be less expensive for Millington residents than that
of the County's contractor, Mr. Morris responded that it might be less
expensive. Mr. Morris emphasized that the work of a private contractor
must comply with local and State regulations, but so long as regulations
are met, local plumbers may be utilized.
To other concerns expressed by Mrs. Gore, the Commissioners responded
that they have explained to the residents of Millington the necessity
for the new water and sewer system, given the history of failing septic
systems in that area which are polluting the water supply. The failing
septic systems in Millington have had to be addressed because they constitute
a health hazard most immediately to the community's drinking water.
Further, they advised that the Board will be pro-active about Mrs. Gore's
concerns and will discuss with Jack Canan, Coordinator of Housing and
Community Development, about possible sources of financial assistance
for those residents of Millington who are not able to bear the cost of
the connection of their property to the new water and sewer system.
Mrs. Gore requested that this discussion, with the inclusion of Mr. Canan,
be continued at the Commissioners' meeting scheduled to take place in
Millington on Tuesday, April 13th, at 6:00 p.m.
Mr. Morris commented on Mrs. Gore's concerns, indicating that, given any
type of construction project, there is always the possibility of errors
made by workers regardless of how diligently they work.
Commissioner Livie requested Mr. Morris' attendance at the Commissioners'
meeting in Millington on April 13th.
Mr. Morris reported that a bid opening took place on March 23rd for the
new water and sewer system contract in Millington, and that he recently
was informed that the estimate on which the bid was based was underestimated
by approximately $1 Million due to the sky-rocketing cost of steel and
the State Highway Administration's requirements for the restoration of
roads. Mr. Morris advised that he will determine options of handling this
situation and will be forth-coming with more information for the Commissioners.
In terms of the status of the alleged leaking sewer lines in Millington,
Mr. Morris reported that a camera crew is in the process of checking the
lines for leaks.
The Commissioners approved and Commissioner Pickrum signed Water and Wastewater
System Grant Agreement with the United States Department of Agriculture
to grant a sum not to exceed $1,200,000 as it relates to the Millington
Worton Service Area - The Commissioners approved the request of
William M. Crowding, Registered Surveyor, representing Ernest Robinson,
for one sewer and water allocation for 9.5 acres of his 9.9 acre parcel
of land located at 25000 Lambs Meadow Road, Worton, on Tax Map 20, Grid
4A, Parcel # 247.
Spring Cove/Green Lane Service Area - To the Commissioners' questions
as to whether or not the properties in the County that are being billed
for connection to water and sewer services are in fact connected to those
service systems, Mr. Morris indicated that there is no mechanism of enforcement
for those property owners to have that connection made. The new water
and sewer systems were installed to prevent the continuation of a health
hazard. Mr. Morris reported that there is a data bank of the property
owners that should have been hooked up to the new systems.
The Commissioners expressed their determination that these files be reviewed
and the respective properties be investigated as a means of enforcement.
Correspondence was received from Deborah A. Thomas, Capital Program Planning
Division, Water Quality Infrastructure Program, Water Management Administration,
of the Maryland Department of the Environment, (MDE), confirming receipt
of Mr. Morris' pre-application for funding assistance from the MDE for
the Allen's Lane Sewer Project.
Tolchester Service Area - Mr. Morris recommended that, given that
no Public Works Agreement and Allocation Fee of $2,900.00 was received
from Catherine Adams for her sewer allocation for Tax Map 35D, Parcel
# 363 by the deadline of February 27, 2004 (as per notice of same sent
to her in a letter dated January 30, 2004 by Mr. Morris), her sewer allocation
for Tax Map 35D, Parcel # 363 should be rescinded.
Commissioner Crow recommended that Mr. Morris send a letter via certified
mail to Mrs. Adams indicating that she must respond before the end of
April 2004 in order to secure her allocation. The Commissioners advised
that this procedure, of sending correspondence of this nature via certified
mail, become a policy of the Department of Water and Wastewater Services
for the purpose of accurate communication.
Correspondence went forth to Kay Lochary of Rock Hall in response to her
request for a sewer allocation for Tax Map 35A, Parcel # 98, advising
that her request will be placed on a list to be reviewed in the order
in which it was received once the new Tolchester Growth Management policy
Fairlee Service Area - Notice went forth to residents that on Tuesday,
April 6, 2004, the water distribution system will be flushed and that,
thereafter, a flushing schedule will be established on a semi-annual basis
during the Spring and in the Fall of each year, unless otherwise determined
by the Department of Water and Wastewater Services (in which case residents
will be notified). All hydrant flushing will be performed between 9:00
a.m. and 12 noon. All residents were asked to refrain from washing laundry
during these times in order to prevent clothes from becoming stained from
sediment and/or iron that will be scoured from the water mains during
Edesville Service Area - Notice also went forth to residents of
Edesville indicating that on Tuesday, April 20, 2004, their water distribution
system will be flushed between 9:00 a.m. and 12 noon, advising of the
same conditions and cautions.
Edesville Service Area/Kennedyville Service Area - Wayne Morris,
Director of Water and Wastewater Services, appeared late in the day to
announce that Rural Development has approved funding for the Edesville
and Kennedyville Service Areas. Congressman Gilchrest and Senators Milkulski
and Sarbanes have agreed to make a public announcement of these grant
awards on Monday, April 19, at 1:00 p.m. at the County Government Center.
Water and Wastewater Plan - Memorandum was received from James
M. Wright, Jr., County Engineer, recommending, along with Mr. Morris,
that a workshop be conducted with the Commissioners pertaining to the
2004 Update of the Comprehensive Water and Sewerage Plan. The workshop
has been scheduled for April 20th.
Bay Broadband Communications - The Commissioners approved and signed
Memorandum of Understanding by and between the County Commissioners and
Bay Broadband Communications (BBC) whereby the County agrees to rent tower
space to BBC, on a non- exclusive basis, provided that technical plans
when submitted by BBC for specific towers are satisfactory to the County
and provided that the County and BBC reach agreement on lease terms. It
was also noted in the MOU that BBC proposes to locate its principal office
and create jobs in Kent County.
A memorandum was received from P.A.M. Schaller, Economic Development Director,
advising that George Smith will be moving out of the County and has resigned
as a member of the Economic Development Advisory Board.
HOTEL RENTAL TAX
Commissioner Crow inquired of Bernadette Bowman, Director of Tourism
Development, about the incorporated Towns' responses to the County's request
that they support and sign a Memorandum of Understanding, committing themselves
to the contribution of their share of the proposed 2% increase of the
Hotel Rental Tax to the County. (A draft Memorandum of Understanding [MOU]
was distributed in February to the Towns' for their review and consideration.)
Mrs. Van Pelt reported that the only communication that she has received
was from the Kent County Lodging Association which indicated that their
members have decided to sponsor a letter to be sent to the Towns, requesting
them to waive the 2% and contribute the same in support of the County's
HOUSING IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM (HIP)
A bid opening was conducted at 9:30 a.m. in the Commissioners' Hearing
Room for sealed bids received from qualified contractors for the rehabilitation
of three homes situated in several locations within the County as HIP
projects, Phase IV, Group 2, for work described as ranging from the repair/replacement
of roofs and upgrade of electrical systems to the improvement of bathrooms
and installation of replacement windows.
Bids were read by Commissioner Crow as follows:
H & H Builders, Marydel, DE......................................... $69,314.00
Quinnworks Quality Building, Centreville, MD..................................
As recommended by Mr. Canan, the Commissioners approved to award contract
to the lowest bidder, H & H Builders.
Correspondence was received from John W. Droneburg, Director, Maryland
Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), advising that the Federal Emergency
Management Agency, (FEMA) has established a deadline of one year from
the date of the disaster declaration for obligating all Hazard Mitigation
Grant Program (HMGP) funding.
He also advised that Kent County's applications are being processed as
expeditiously as possible, given the federal program's administrative
requirements which he outlined in his letter. The total amount of funding
requested as represented by the 65 project applications was $24 Million;
the HMGP award to the State of Maryland was $5.5 Million.
KENT COUNTY ARTS COUNCIL
Leslie Prince Raimond, Director, Kent County Arts Council, appeared and
requested the County's continued level of support of the Arts Council
in the amount of $5,000.00 for Fiscal Year 2005. In addition to Ms. Raimond,
the following individuals appeared in support of the Arts Council: Carla
Massoni, Dr. Ann Hennessy, Peter Heck, Jane Jewell, Mark Mumford, Sue
Matthews, Lolli Sherry, Jim Landskroener, Gia Campana, Christine Bowman,
Jasper Colt, Sarah Colt, Jane and Gordon Chapman. Bernadette Bowman,
Director of Tourism Development, and Pat Merritt, Director, Budget and
Accounting, were also in attendance.
Ms. Raimond expressed the gratitude of the Arts Council for the County's
financial support in the years past, noting that many counties in the
State do not financially support the arts community. She emphasized the
importance of the Arts Council and the art community in general by stating
her opinion that they promote and enhance the quality of life and the
economic development of the County.
Ms. Raimond introduced a packet of promotional materials produced by the
River Arts Alliance which will function as a tool for communication among
visitors, residents, and members of the arts community. She reviewed some
of the recent programs and activities of the Arts Council, noting the
Arts Council's relationship with the Community Arts Alliance of Maryland
and the Mid-Atlantic Symphony, and announced a new CD produced by the
Arts Council. She reported that the Arts Council received two grants from
the MD Endowment for the Arts which is indicative of the recognition the
Arts Council is receiving at the State level.
Ms. Raimond invited and encouraged the Commissioners to attend any and
all events sponsored by the Arts Council.
Carla Massoni, owner of the Carla Massoni Gallery, Chestertown, announced
a new program, "First Fridays'", sponsored by the Kent County Office of
Tourism Development, the Kent County News, and the Downtown Chestertown
Association. Ms. Massoni explained that "First Fridays'" is a celebration
of art, antiques, literature, designers, and theater in downtown Chestertown,
from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on the first Friday of each month, featuring
special events, exhibitions, and extended hours of the participating businesses,
galleries, theater, etc. For a full list of special activities and openings
on specific "First Fridays", the public can visit the Kent County web
site: www.kentcounty.com. Ms. Massoni distributed copies of the brochures
produced for "First Fridays'" promotion.
Mark Mumford, band leader of the Kent County Marching Band, and Clerk
of the Circuit Court, said that it was important for the citizens of the
County to realize that an important source of financial support for the
arts community would come from the incorporated Towns' contribution to
the Hotel Rental Tax, noting the delegation of Bernadette Bowman, Tourism
Director, by the Commissioners who has visited the Town Councils, encouraging
their support of the Hotel Rental Tax. The greatest contributor to the
County's Marching Band is the Arts Council.
Mrs. Van Pelt concurred about the importance of the Hotel Rental Tax,
expressed her belief that the arts are a large part of what is marketed
in the County's tourism industry, and praised Ms. Raimond's efforts which
have strengthened the Arts Council.
Dr. Ann Hennessy, of Rock Hall, expressed her opinion that the economy
of Rock Hall could not survive without the arts community, and outlined
just a few of the many arts-related activities sponsored by residents
of Rock Hall, such as "FallFest."
Commissioner Crow, on behalf of the Board, expressed his gratitude to
Ms. Raimond and all the supporters of the Arts Council who were present
for their attendance and input.
At the invitation of Commissioner Crow, Nelson Reichart, Assistant Secretary
for the Office of Real Estate, Maryland Department of General Services,
appeared for the purpose of assisting the County in the economic and real
estate development of the LaMotte Property. P.A.M. Schaller, Director
of Economic Development, was also in attendance. Mr. Reichart praised
the research, content and production of the LaMotte Property Committee's
Report, highlighting the leadership of Mr. Troester.
Mr. Reichart distributed copies of a RFP (request for proposals), a request
for letters of interest, and a joint development solicitation, each representing
the development of a site in the State and which could serve as informative
samples. He also provided the names of two development advisors located
in the Annapolis area who would be able to help the County to define the
parameters of the LaMotte property development in order to fit the County's
needs, to help the County write proposals, and to provide the tools to
evaluate potential economic packages.
Mr. Reichart explained that consultants for economic development should
not be confused with land planners, who would consult about drainage issues,
for example. The consultants that he recommended would assist the County
in its determination of how to market the LaMotte property and to hone
the County's vision for the use of the property. He also encouraged the
County to contact the Maryland Department of the Environment as a source
of grant funding as well as for its advice concerning "green buildings."
Commissioner Livie expressed the Board's interest in a mixed-use of the
property, concurring with Mr. Reichart that the County is in need of assistance
with its discernment of the feasibility of potential markets specific
to Chestertown and its environs.
The Commissioners thanked Mr. Reichart for his attendance and for his
The Commissioners approved payment of bill received in the amount of $2,500
(within budget) for survey conducted by Michael A. Scott as it relates
to the LaMotte property.
At 12:15 p.m., a motion was made by Commissioner Crow, seconded by Commissioner
Livie and made unanimous by Commissioner Pickrum to go into executive
session with Jeff Troester, Parks and Recreation Director, to matter relating
to land acquisition in accordance with State Government Article, Section
10.508 of the Annotated Code of Maryland.
Susanne Hayman, County Attorney, was also in attendance.
The executive session adjourned at 12:25 p.m.
At 1:00 p.m., a motion was made by Commissioner Crow, seconded by Commissioner
Livie and made unanimous by Commissioner Pickrum to go into executive
session with Susanne Hayman, County Attorney, for legal counsel in accordance
with State Government Article, Section 10.508 of the Annotated Code of
Items of discussion included potential litigation and an issue reported
concerning a potential conflict of interest.
The executive session adjourned at 1:10 p.m.
MARYLAND DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE (MDA)
Correspondence was received from Lewis R. Riley, Secretary, MDA, providing
the Commissioners with background of and the purpose of the SFMNP. This
program is a federally-funded program that enables the State to issue
checks redeemable at SFMNP farmers' markets located throughout Maryland,
including Kent County. Senior recipients can buy fresh produce directly
from farmers' markets and they learn healthier eating habits. The program
benefits both the needy and the local farmers.
Mr. Riley explained that federal funding enables the MDA to reach only
a portion of the needy seniors in each county, adding that it would be
possible for local funds to expand the coverage for a particular region.
Kent County may have access to such funds.
Mr. Riley invited the County to consider targeting its senior populations
and offered the assistance of the MDA in this regard. The MDA administers
the current SMNFP and would work with the County to distribute any designated
funds for this purpose. Should the Commissioners have interest in this
approach, they were asked to respond with a financial commitment by April
MID-SHORE MENTAL HEALTH SYSTEMS, INC. (MDMHS)
The Commissioners approved the recommendation of Nancy Zinn, Executive
Director, MDMHS, that Robert Denison, Janice Brathwaite, and Julia Jerscheid
be reappointed for a second, three year term from July 1, 2004 to July
1, 2007 on the Regional Mental Health Advisory Committee.
At 12:35 p.m., a motion was made by Commissioner Crow, seconded by Commissioner
Livie and made unanimous by Commissioner Pickrum 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 1:00 p.m.
Correspondence was received from Gail Owings, Director of Planning and
Zoning, advising that the Worton Project Site Plan, submitted by KRM Development
Corporation, was removed from the April 1st Planning Commission Agenda
and was rescheduled for review upon submission of needed information as
required by the County Land Use Ordinance.
Commissioner Livie read the Proclamation announcing April 2004 as Fair
Housing Month in Kent County. Jack Canan, Coordinator, Robin Spielman,
Administrative Aide, and Harold Coleman, Housing Specialist, all of the
Housing and Community Development Office, were in attendance. The Commissioners
approved and signed Certificate of Appreciation in recognition of Reverend
Frederick W. Jones, Jr. for his spiritual guidance, dedication and accomplishments
during his twenty years of service at the Bethel African Methodist Episcopal
At 12:25 p.m., a motion was made by Commissioner Crow, seconded by Commissioner
Livie and made unanimous by Commissioner Pickrum to go into executive
session with Sheriff John Price to discuss a matter concerning public
security in accordance with State Government Article, Section 10.508 of
the Annotated Code of Maryland.
Susanne Hayman, County Attorney, and Brooke Eyler of Atlantic Security,
Inc. were also in attendance.
The executive session adjourned at 12:35 p.m.
Commissioner Pickrum, speaking on behalf of the Board of Commissioners,
extended formal recognition and appreciation on behalf of the citizens
of Kent County to Mr. Henry Zukowski for his 18 ½ years of service to
this community. The Commissioners presented Mr. Zukowski with a framed
plaque, and wished him a long and happy retirement. Others in attendance
for this recognition were Carter Stanton, Director of Public Works, Marty
Holden, Supervisor of Waste Management, and Tina Coleman, Administrative
Aide, both of the Department of Public Works, and co-workers, Sue McGinnis,
Lloyd Layton, Gregg Welch, and Maurice Lins.
Commissioner Pickrum noted receipt of correspondence that was received
from Jean W. Roesser, Secretary, Maryland Department of Aging (MD o A),
and sent to Carl E. Burke, Executive Director, Upper Shore Aging, Inc.(USA),
responding to Mr. Burke's request for financial support with a commitment
of $21,000 from the MD o A's Fiscal Year 2004 Senior Center Operating
Fund to assist USA, Inc. Memorandum was received from Jana Anderson, of
Chestertown, suggesting that the Senior Center facility be shared by seniors
and community children and youth for joint evening activities.
Correspondence was received from John F. Price, Sheriff, which was sent
to Dean Kindig, resident of Bay Shore Road, Chestertown, responding to
Mr. Kindig's letter of complaint, dated March 20, 2004 regarding an on-going
speeding problem on Bay Shore Road. Sheriff Price reported that he has
instructed his staff to perform periodic speed enforcement check in the
area in question. Sheriff Price also encouraged Mr. Kindig to speak once
again with the MD State Police, and request that they provide additional
coverage and enforcement in the area. Two letters were received via electronic
mail from Dean Kindig, both dated March 24th, expressing his appreciation
to Sheriff Price for his "speedy response and action."
Bernadette Bowman, Director of Tourism Development, appeared and presented
her report about the State Office of Tourism's Welcome Center Staff Seminar
which was hosted by and took place in Kent County on March 22, 23, and
24, 2004. Laurie Crossley, Administrative Assistant for the Tourism Development
Office, was also in attendance.
Mrs. Van Pelt read a quote published by the Kent County News of a comment
made by one of the participants who said that it was the best seminar
he had ever attended, and she reported her receipt of many phone calls
and e-mails conveying the positive experiences of the seminar attendees.
Included among these contacts, was a phone call from the State Office
of Tourism extending its gratitude to the Commissioners for enabling the
County to host the seminar and for the County's generosity. She presented
to the Commissioners "thank you" gifts of shirts from the State.
Mrs. Van Pelt reviewed the itinerary of the three days, emphasizing the
generous amount of cooperation and hospitality on the part of the County's
participating businesses and government leaders representing the County
and many of the participating Towns, inclusive of Delegate Sossi, Commissioner
Livie, County Administrator, Ed Robinson, Elizabeth Watson of the Eastern
Shore Heritage, William Ingersoll, Town Manager, Chestertown, Mayors Pisapia
(Galena) and Jacobs (Rock Hall), Councilmen Blake (Galena), Comfort Suites
of Chestertown, area restaurants, Rock Hall Trolleys, all of the County's
museums, and many others.
Boy Scouts of America/Chestertown Troop # 130 - Jeff Troester,
Director of Parks and Recreation, appeared and introduced the following
leaders of Chestertown Boy Scout Troop #130 (which is 75 years in existence):
Scout Master Art Elliott, former Scout Masters and current Assistant Scout
Masters, Bill Clark and Richard Budden, and Assistant Scout Masters Ted
Batchelor, Bob Ramsey, Mark Blyman, Rose Wallace, and Jeff Green. Along
with Mr. Troester, Mr. Elliott explained to the Commissioners the purpose
of the request of Troop # 130 to utilize a portion of Turner's Creek Park
for a designated pioneering site.
"Pioneering" is the name of one of the merit badges offered by the Boy
Scouts of America and represents approximately nine specific achievements
that are required of a Boy Scout in order to be awarded the Pioneer merit
badge, for example the ability to splice rope and tie knots, a demonstrated
use of rope-tackle, and the construction of a project using spars and
ropes. Achievement of the Pioneering badge is usually conducted in a primitive
The Troop Leaders indicated that Troop # 130, with a membership of 60-plus
boys, will abide by the "leave no trace"policy, assuring their respect
of the condition of the property.
The Commissioners approved the recommendation of the Parks and Recreation
Advisory Board, made at its March 2004 meeting, and the Executive Board
of the Kent Museum, Inc., made on March 23rd, to grant permission to Boy
Scout Troop # 130 to utilize a portion of Turner's Creek Park as a designated
pioneering camping site. The portion they will use is located on the east
side of Turner's Creek Road, behind the Kent Museum. (This portion of
the Park is leased to the Museum.)
The Troop Leaders invited the Commissioners to participate in the first
Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network - Jeff Troester, Director of Parks
and Recreation, informed the Commissioners that Turner's Creek County
Park was approved as a Chesapeake Bay Gateway Site by the Chesapeake Bay
Gateways Network, of the National Park Service. Mr. Troester noted that,
given this recognition, Turner's Creek County Park is now eligible to
benefit from Gateway grants which could assist with the restoration and
renovation of the Kent Museum located at this site.
Correspondence was received from Charles C. Cawley, County Administrator,
Caroline County, which was sent to Lenny Howard, Chief of Regional Planning,
MD Transit Administration, requesting, on behalf of the County Commissioners
of Caroline, Kent, and Talbot Counties, additional time to ascertain if
a regional transportation solution could be reached before decision is
made about on the three options advised by the MD Transit Administration.
Mr. Cawley advised that if a regional solution fails to materialize, Caroline
County will liquidate the building and return to the MTA their original
$650,000. However, he added, this outcome would probably end public transportation
in Caroline County.
Commissioner Pickrum noted the memorandum that was received via electronic
mail from Philip W. Hoon, a resident of Walnut Road, Chestertown. Mr.
Hoon requested that, due to its deterioration, Walnut Road be patched
and repaired or, preferably, resurfaced.
Commissioner Pickrum reported that the current fiscal year represents
the first time in which the State will not be providing funding to county
roads divisions; in previous years, revenue for roads came to local governments
from the State's Highway Users' Tax Fund. Therefore, Kent County cannot
expect $42,000 from the State for its roads division.
Commissioner Crow acknowledged this status, adding that there is currently
a bill being considered by the State legislature to raise vehicle registration
fees; therefore, there may be more funding available. He added that citizens
can expect the re-funding of the Highway Users' Fund in the next fiscal
A motion was made by Commissioner Live, seconded by Commissioner Crow,
and made unanimous by Commissioner Pickrum to approve the request of Butch
Crew, Weed Control Coordinator, for the purchase of a 2004 Chevrolet 2500
4x4 pickup, which meets the weed control requirements, to replace the
current pickup. The Weed Control Committee recommended this purchase at
the price of $17,776.00 and indicated that there are more than sufficient
funds in their budget to pay for the vehicle.
Jeff Troester, Director of Parks and Recreation, described what he believed
to be a safety hazard at Worton Park: the parking of visitors' vehicles
along MD Route 297. Of the two options to resolve this hazardous situation
considered by Mr. Troester, he recommended that the 1+ acres of the County's
land which are adjacent to the Worton arena and garage be used as a parking
lot for park visitors, and that a crosswalk be designated from the new
parking lot to the Park proper. Mr. Troester advised that Sheriff Price
was supportive of a designated crosswalk.
Responding to Commissioner Crow's question as to whether or not all the
fields in Worton Park are being utilized as sporting fields, Mr. Troester
answered in the affirmative. This matter will be further discussed.
There being no further business to claim their attention, the Board adjourned
to meet again on Tuesday, April 6, 2004, at 1:00 p.m.
THE COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
OF KENT COUNTY, MARYLAND
Janice F. Fletcher
Approved: William W. Pickrum, President
Please contact Ileana Lindstrom or Janice Fletcher at (410)
778-7435 or by e-mail with
any questions or comments.