The Honorable Board of County Commissioners met today with
the following present: Roy W. Crow and William W. Pickrum, 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 $4,602,088.00.
At 1:00 p.m., the Commissioners held a budget work session with Jack Canan,
Housing and Community Development Coordinator. Pat Merritt, Budget and
Accounting Director, and Ed Robinson, County Administrator, were also
At 3:35 p.m., the Commissioners went into a budget work session with Pat
Merritt, Budget and Accounting Director, and Ed Robinson, County Administrator.
BOARD OF EDUCATION (BOE)
Dr. Bonnie Ward, Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Joan Buffone, Assistant
Superintendent, and Frances Miller, Assistant Superintendent for Administrative
Services, appeared at 2:00 p.m. and presented the Fiscal Year 2004 Unrestricted
and Restricted Budget Amendments as promised to the Commissioners at their
January 13th meeting. Pat Merritt, Director of Budget and Accounting,
was also in attendance.
Ms. Miller reviewed the Unrestricted Current Expense of the revised December
and March Adjustments. (There were no changes in the Unrestricted Current
Expense in the January and February Budgets.) Ms. Miller indicated that,
as per the request of the Commissioners, a revised format of the budget
was adopted to provide information in a more "reader friendly" format,
and presenting an expenditure item for each revenue item. She also noted
that the adjustment for December is an amended report providing detail
for the distribution of the salary increase. In the March amendment, there
were no changes in revenue. The expenditure changes requiring the Commissioners'
approval were explained in detail.
A motion was made by Commissioner Crow, seconded by Commissioner Livie,
and passed by the majority of the Board to approve the following recommendations
of the BOE:
- The increase in administration: special education legal fees by $35,780
and a decrease represented by the unfulfilled position for a psychologist
(the position remains unfulfilled).
- The increase in the unemployment line item in fixed charges and a decrease
in the teacher reserve in instructional salary.
- Grant # 45 - A reduction of the Alternative School funding in the amount
- Grant # 11 - Serv America grant that provides funds to support service
learning program as awarded in the amount of $9,680.
Dr. Buffone initiated the next discussion by announcing that the BOE has
requested a one-year grant of $500,000 for the Distance Learning and Telemedicine
Program (DLT) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Rural Utilities
Service for the development of expanded services to four rural communities
in Kent County. She explained the threefold purpose of this initiative
- To provide access to technology through distance learning centers in
high poverty, isolated outlying rural communities in the County.
- To extend educational resources (teachers of specialized courses, continuing
education classes, library resources, etc.) to rural schools and under-served
populations in isolated rural areas.
- To expand the use of educational technology in the community and schools
of the County to better meet the needs of the school staff, community
members, parents, and students.
This initiative will also provide technology equipment for distance learning
laboratories and video conferencing facilities in the County's three middle
schools and the Millington Elementary School. A fifth center will be at
the Sultana offices, a partner in the project. The video conference package
allows users to see live PC presentation and the presenter simultaneously.
Dr. Buffone explained that, in order to qualify for funding, the school
district must seek partnerships with County-wide agencies. The following
will be asked to participate as partners: The County Government, the County
Chamber of Commerce, the County Public Library, the County Volunteer Fire
Departments and Emergency Services (911), the County Council of Mayors,
Sultana Projects, Inc., Chesapeake Community College, and Washington College.
Responding to various questions posed by the Commissioners, Dr. Buffone
indicated that the USDA Rural Utilities Service DLT Program consists of
two opportunities which she asked the Commissioners to consider, especially
given the County's plans for building a community center in conjunction
with the County High School building and campus: a grant opportunity up
to $500,000 with a 15% match; or a loan/grant combination (10:1 Loan/Grant)
up to $10 Million Loan.
When asked by the Commissioners if she would anticipate a request from
the BOE to the County for additional funds for this project, Dr. Buffone
responded that she did not anticipate such a request. No action was taken
at this time.
Dr. Ward initiated discussion concerning the forward final renovations
for the County High School, specifically to formally reduce the current
three-phase (3 year) renovation project to a two-phase (2 year) renovation
project. Responding to numerous questions posed by the Commissioners and
Mrs. Merritt concerning the schedule of the County's funding of these
renovations, Ms. Miller indicated that the exact amount of funding and
the schedule of funding from the County would be determined when the BOE
is able to identify the final scope of the entire project and when the
BOE becomes informed of the exact funding it can expect from the State.
When asked if there might be any possibility that the finalized amount
and schedule of payment from the County would be altered, Ms. Miller answered
that there might be unforeseen circumstances in which funding from the
County might be requested before the funding from the State is received,
such as unanticipated delays in the State's administration. Dr. Ward expressed
her hope that by June 2004, the BOE would be able to provide the Commissioners
with a rough schedule of figures of what could be needed by the BOE, thereby
providing the Commissioners some parameters within which to prepare a
Commissioner Crow advised that, except for inflation, a two-year program
of renovations would represent a savings in the costs of contractors,
project managers, architects, and building supplies, and both he and Commissioner
Livie advised that additional savings in construction costs could be expected
by including the plans for the community center with the plans of the
high school renovations project. The Commissioners assured Dr. Ward that
they would inform the BOE as to what funding the County will be able to
expect from the State for the construction of the community center.
At the request of the Commissioners, Sheriff John Price appeared. Susanne
Hayman, County Attorney/Human Resources Director, was also in attendance.
Due to potential liability issues, Ms. Hayman advised that the Local Government
Insurance Trust (LGIT) and Les Stellman, Personnel Attorney, recommended
that the County revise its personnel policies and procedures to remove
staff of certain elected officials, i.e., staff of the State's Attorney's
Office and the Sheriff's Office from the definition of "County employee."
The basis for this is the Maryland Tort Claims Act and case law, which
say that staff in these offices are State as opposed to local employees.
Ms. Hayman distributed a copy of the Maryland Tort Claim Act which defines
the Sheriff and deputies as State personnel.
The Commissioners gave assurance that all staff members would still be
provided with the same health and pension benefits they currently enjoy
and that the only major impact would be to place them on "at will" status
which would remove them from protection of the County grievance and disciplinary
Ms. Hayman advised there are other jurisdictions whereby the Sheriff entered
into a MOU with the County government covering benefits (leave, health
insurance, pension, etc.) and payroll functions for all staff. Ms. Hayman
stated she would provide Sheriff Price with a copy of Caroline County's
agreement for Sheriff Price's review and consideration.
Ms. Hayman further advised that although the Tort Claims Act states that
the Sheriff and deputies are State employees, and does not state that
administrative staff of the Sheriff's Office are State employees, LGIT's
legal staff advised that Sheriff's administrative staff may be exempted
from the definition of "County employee." This is what occurs, for example,
in Caroline County. If administrative staff is exempted from the definition
of County employee, they can be covered by an employment contract.
Sheriff Price indicated that he understood there were legal provisions
making the Sheriff and deputies State employees for certain purposes,
and that the deputies would have the protection of the statutory Law Enforcement
Officers' Bill of Rights and another State statute (the meaning of which
he considers somewhat vague) that provides deputies' employment cannot
be terminated without just cause.
Sheriff Price stated that given the political nature of elected offices,
he would like his staff to have all the protection they can reasonably
have for their continued employment. Sheriff Price requested that his
non-sworn administrative staff particularly not be exempted from the definition
of County employee in the County's Personnel Policies and Procedures because
he feels that in a political environment, the staff that carries over
from one administration to the next should have some type of protection
for keeping their jobs, even though the elected official can refuse direction
or supervision from the County Commissioners. He acknowledged that this
is a difficult problem and that the County assumes additional liability
by keeping the administrative staff subject to the County's personnel
discipline and grievance provisions. He indicated that he would review
the Caroline County MOU and comment.
As a result of research made with the State Retirement and Pension System,
Ms. Hayman reported that the Courthouse security officer positions will
be required to be placed in the State pension system.
Robert H. Strong, Jr., State's Attorney, appeared and referred to correspondence
dated March 31 from the County Administrator advising Mr. Strong of the
Board of County Commissioners' determination to remove State's Attorney's
staff from the definition of "County employee" in the County's personnel
policies and procedures effective July 1st.
The Commissioners explained that currently Kent County has a dual employment
system in which State's Attorney's office staff are county employees in
addition to being state employees. During this past year, this type of
system has caused considerable difficulties and expense for county government
as a result of a protracted personnel matter. If the County did not have
this dual employment system, the difficulty and expense would not occur.
Therefore, the Commissioners decided to follow information and advice
received from the County's personnel attorneys and LGIT, the County's
The County Commissioners explained that the State's Attorney's administrative
staff would have all the benefits of County employment except for the
County's grievance and progressive discipline provisions. Mr. Strong expressed
his objection to this proposal and does not feel it to be legal. Mr. Strong
advised that he will submit his opinion in writing.
In follow up to Mr. Strong's request for employment of a Victim Witness
Coordinator, he requested that the position be amended to a 20 hour per
week employee rather than the 17.5 originally requested to meet the County's
threshold for the position to have health insurance benefits. He also
expressed his objections to having this position grant funded due to time
involved in required grant administration and grant oversight.
The Commissioners advised that because of budget restraints and VOCA's
approval of grant funding for this position, the tax payers should not
be burdened with this expense. The Commissioners advised that Mr. Strong's
request will be taken under advisement during the budget process.
At 3:10 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 3:15 p.m.
The Board of County Commissioners convened their evening town meeting
at 6:00 p.m. at the Millington Fire Hall with the following present: Roy
W. Crow and William W. Pickrum, presiding. Commissioner Scott D. Livie
arrived later at 7:00 p.m.
THE TOWN OF MILLINGTON
Mayor Dennis Hager appeared and welcomed everyone to the Commissioners'
Meeting in Millington, which included approximately 30 interested citizens.
He expressed his appreciation to the Commissioners for their willingness
to hold their meetings quarterly in the municipalities, describing this
effort as a way of reaching out to the citizens in order to become better
informed of issues specific to the respective communities.
Mayor Hager concluded his remarks by noting that "we're all in this together"
and emphasizing the importance for the citizens of Millington to have
clean water and an up-to-date sewer system. Commissioner Pickrum, speaking
on behalf of the Board, stated that it is the desire and in the interest
of the Board to hold meetings in the municipalities and to see and meet
as many of the citizens as it can.
BLACKBIRD-MILLINGTON CONSERVATION CORRIDOR
Gail Owings, Director of Planning and Zoning, appeared and announced that
there are community planning workshops during 2004 in the Blackbird-Millington
Conservation Corridor, the next one scheduled to take place on April 26th
at 6:30 p.m. at the Millington Elementary School. Mrs. Owings described
the purpose of these workshops as an opportunity for residents, farmers,
hunters, fishermen, engineers, conservationists, families, etc. to define
the future of the Corridor, to help it remain rural and natural in character,
and to prevent it from becoming developed.
Mrs. Owings described the Blackbird-Millington Conservation Corridor as
a band of open space that stretches across the Delmarva Peninsula, from
the Cypress Branch and Millington area to the Delaware Bay at the mouth
of the Blackbird Creek. She explained that the Corridor is home to a wonderful
diversity of plants and animals and ecological systems and is in need
of protection from being fragmented and squeezed by development pressure
from all directions.
For more information about the Blackbird-Millington Conservation Corridor
and the community workshops (which are sponsored jointly by The Nature
Conservancy and the University of Delaware), the public may contact Judy
Hopkins at firstname.lastname@example.org or (302) 653-9078.
DEPARTMENT OF ASSESSMENTS AND TAXATION
Correspondence was received from the Department of Assessments
and Taxation, providing a list of properties in Kent County that are under
DEPARTMENT OF WATER AND WASTEWATER SERVICES
Millington Service Area
William E. Zier, of Millington, inquired of the Commissioners as to whether
or not he was legally obligated to hook up his home to the new water and
sewer system. Commissioner Pickrum responded in the affirmative, adding
that the obligation was under State law. Mr. Morris added that said law
also requires that the existent well be pumped out and be filled with
sand in order to prevent the well from ever becoming a health or safety
Patty Gore, a resident of Millington, expressed her concern that there
are many residents in Millington who are not be able to pay for the cost
of the services of the new water and sewer system.
Commissioner Pickrum emphasized that residents of Kent County who are
not able to afford their water and sewer services should contact the Commissioners'
Office or the Office of Housing and Community Development and schedule
an interview in order to determine a payment schedule or other form of
assistance. These emergent situations will be addressed on a case-by-case
Janice Hassell, a resident of Millington, as per the correspondence she
and Kirk Hassell sent to the Commissioners, expressed her appreciation
to Mr. Morris and to the Commissioners for bringing sewer service to their
area and for making the construction phase of the project as unobtrusive
Sandra Cummings, of Millington, spoke and issued complaint that the grinder
pump was installed 450 feet from her house, and expressed concern as to
potential plumbing problems given the distance between the pump and her
house. She also issued complaint that the grinder pump was installed in
a different location (450 feet away from her house) than the location
originally communicated to her (50 feet away) by the McCrone's employees.
Mrs. Cummings also issued complaint that she will have to pay for the
unanticipated length of the piping for the hook-up of her house to the
grinder pump. She recommended to the Commissioners that, in the future,
when the installation of water and sewer systems is conducted, a County
Water and Wastewater Services Department representative be present at
the site of installation.
Responding to Mrs. Cummings' concern and those of others, Mr. Morris assured
the residents that the grinder pumps and the piping hook-ups will work
properly. Commissioner Livie added that if anyone discovers that their
hook-up to the new water and sewer system is not working properly, they
should contact the Commissioners' Office. He further stated that, following
the County's evaluation of the problem, should the cause of the problem
be determined to be an engineering or installation mistake, the County
would pay for the costs required to rectify the mistake. He encouraged
people with further complaint or concern pertaining to the new water and
sewer system to stay after the meeting's adjournment and to speak with
the Board and with Mr. Morris.
Commissioner Pickrum explained that because the County is small demographically,
its residents have, therefore, relatively greater costs to bear for the
expensive supplies and installation of its water and sewer systems.
Memorandum was received from P.A.M. Schaller, Director of Economic Development,
with recommendation that Kent County create focus on agriculture, following
suit with Cecil County's creation of an Agricultural Advisory Board; the
creation of a full-time agricultural person to promote and coordinate
cooperation with planning and zoning and tourism in terms of events and
lobbying, for example; and the establishment of the Agricultural Marketing
Professionals Society which is a group of eight counties (Cecil, Howard,
Frederick, Carrol, Garrett, Montgomery, Harford, and the Tri-County Council
of Southern MD).
The Commissioners signed letter to be forwarded to boat owners, not currently
residing in Kent County, to give consideration to establish a business
presence in Kent County.
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ADVISORY BOARD
Notification was received that George E. Smith has relocated out of the
County and resigned as a member of the Economic Development Advisory Board.
The Commissioners approved appointment of James E. Gillespie to serve
the unexpired term ending January 1, 2005.
FOOD LION, LLC
At the recommendation of Gail Owings, Director of Planning and Zoning
Administration, the Commissioners approved to accept the following performance
bonds from the Westchester Fire Insurance Company for the account of Food
Lion, LLC: Stormwater Management in the amount of $95,300.00, Landscaping
and Afforestation in the amount of $50,300.00, Sediment Control in the
amount of $25,300.00. These bonds are to guarantee compliance with County
A press release was received via electronic mail from Karen Smith, Esq.,
Director of Intergovernmental Affairs, with the following information:
Governor Ehrlich, Jr. signed today 64 pieces of legislation including
a transportation initiative which will invest $237 Million per year in
road and transit projects across the State. For a complete list of bills
signed by the Governor, please contact http://www.gov.state.md.us.
HOTEL RENTAL TAX
Correspondence was received from Ronald H. Fithian, Town Manager of Rock
Hall, indicating that at the April 8th regular meeting of the Rock Hall
Mayor and Council, the Mayor and Council voted a unanimous "no" to the
proposed hotel tax increase. Mr. Fithian noted that this decision was
based on the discontent of business owners in Rock Hall.
HOUSING IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM
The Commissioners approved and signed contract with H & H Builders, Inc.
for the rehabilitation of three homes situated in several locations within
the County as Housing Improvement Program projects, Phase IV, Group 2,
for work ranging from the repair/replacement of roofs and upgrade of electrical
systems to the improvement of bathrooms and installation of replacement
windows in the amount of $69,314.00.
KAREN SOMERVILLE CONCERT
Jim Urda, Commissioners' Representative on the Commission for Aging, appeared
and announced the April 24th concert of Karen Somerville and "Friends"to
take place at the Queen Anne's County High School, the proceeds from which
will benefit the Chester Valley Mediation Center, the Kent Family Center,
and Families First (a program of Queen Anne's County).
PARKS AND RECREATION
The following people, representing the Rock Hall teams of the Babe Ruth
Softball League, appeared and requested a ball field in which to practice
and play that is safe and maintained: parents Jeannie Edwards and Beverly
Beck, Penny Usilton (parent and President of the Babe Ruth Softball League),
and Harriet Creighton (parent and Vice-President). Jeff Troester, Director
of Parks and Recreation, was also in attendance.
The parents indicated that they are appreciative for the ballfield in
Edesville Park provided by the County since 2001; however, they believe
that it is currently not a safe or presentable field, describing the playing
field as not much more than a muddy swamp and the team benches and spectators
bleachers as surrounded by standing water. They explained, that there
were times that, because the conditions of the field are poor, the teams
were unable to host their games and they were not able to find suitable
replacements. The women distributed photos of the ballfield taken on April
Mr. Troester advised that his department's goal was to have all of the
County's ballfields ready for practices by April 1, 2004; however, given
the recent rains, Parks and Recreation was not able to properly prepare
the Edesville ballfield until April 8th. He acknowledged the complaint
concerning the standing water by indicating that Edesville Park is in
a low-lying area and, given the record amount of rain the County has experienced
during the past year, the problem of standing water continues. Mr. Troester
advised that he is researching possible resolutions with the help of the
County's Soil Conservation Department.
No further action was taken at this time.
Notice was received that a Household Hazardous Waste Collection and Electronics
Recycling Event will be held on April 25th at the Centreville Middle School
along with other Earth Day celebration events..
UPPER SHORE AGING, INC. (USA)
As per the request of the Commissioners and Pat Merritt, Director of Budget
and Accounting, at the Budget Work Session on April 6, 2004, Carl E. Burke,
Executive Director of USA, provided the following information: Requested
Local Operating Allocations for USA, Inc. - Fiscal Years 2004 and 2005:
Kent, Caroline, and Talbot County; Uses of Kent County General Operating
Support for Area Agency on Aging (AAA) USA, Inc.; USTAR Public Transportation
Service Overview, Kent County, April 2004; and USTAR Kent Ridership Data
to Date, Fiscal Year 2004.
In his accompanying correspondence, Mr. Burke indicated that once USA
has firm state and federal allocation figures for Fiscal Year 2005, it
will develop budget plans for the Senior Center and for the AAA Administration
and will send forth the same to the Commissioners.
WATER AND SEWER PLAN
Mike Johnson, a resident of Chesapeake Landing, appeared and, referring
to presentations made at the Water Resources Forum (March 29th) and to
the minutes of the Commissioners' Meeting on March 16th, expressed his
disapproval of any plan to construct high density development in Chesapeake
Landing and any plan to install a water and sewer system in Chesapeake
Landing. Wayne Morris, Director of the Department of Water and Wastewater
Services, Gail Owings, Director of Planning and Zoning, Jack Canan, Coordinator,
and Robin Spielman, Administrative Aide, both of Housing and Community
Development, were also in attendance.
Mr. Johnson expressed his opinion that high density housing development
and/or the construction of affordable housing units as well as the installation
of a water and sewer system in Chesapeake Landing would devastate the
natural environment of that community. Mr. Johnson reiterated many of
his comments which he wrote to the Commissioners in his correspondence
via electronic mail dated April 2nd and which were recorded in the minutes
of the Commissioners' Meeting of April 6th.
Commissioner Pickrum conveyed his assurance to Mr. Johnson that there
is no plan to re-zone any aspect of Chesapeake Landing, and that he, himself,
has no interest to change the zoning in Chesapeake Landing. He noted that
the Comprehensive Water and Sewer Plan is being evaluated and in the process
of being updated, and that Chesapeake Landing, a major subdivision with
existing infrastructure and failing septic systems, is being considered
during this updating process.
To Mr. Johnson's comment that the minutes of the March 16th Commissioners'
Meeting do not reflect Commissioner Pickrum's statement above, Commissioner
Pickrum emphasized that the comments made by the Board at the referenced
March 16th Commissioners' Meeting were made as contributions to the discussions
which took place in a public venue in which it is appropriate for and
expected of the Board to express and convey their individual questions,
opinions, and concerns.
Commissioner Crow confirmed that some existing septic systems in Chesapeake
Landing are failing and that their status, therefore, constitutes a health
hazard in general. Therefore, a water and sewer system would be preferable
to service any new construction of housing in Chesapeake Landing. He also
indicated that the Commissioners are considering the reclassification
of the Priority Funding Area (PFA) classification in Chesapeake Landing.
Wayne Morris, Director of the Department of Water and Wastewater
Services, gave assurance that before any consideration of an installation
of a water and sewer system in Chesapeake Landing is made, a feasibility
study would first have to be conducted..
Responding further to Mr. Johnson's concerns, Commissioner Pickrum emphasized
that the County must be pro-active, especially in terms of areas in which
the current septic systems are failing, such as in Chesapeake Landing.
It is within the jurisdiction of the State to force the County to construct
and/or maintain properly-functioning water and wastewater services; therefore,
Commissioner Pickrum reiterated that the County must take pro-active leadership
in protecting the health of its citizens in these regards.
Melva Urban, Lois Kuck, and Jim Bedell, residents of Chesapeake Landing,
spoke, concurring with the opinions expressed by Mr. Johnson. Given that
the County is being governed by the policy of Smart Growth, Mr. Bedell
questioned the rationale for changing the policy as it pertains to Chesapeake
Landing. He expressed his opinion that the County should focus on getting
its current water and sewer services up and running efficiently before
it begins to develop new areas. He stated, "Let us be smart about Smart
Commissioner Pickrum responded to Mr. Bedell's statements by noting that
when lagoons were installed to function in the process of water treatment,
they were considered to be state-of-the-art. Today, they do not have that
reputation. He continued by stating that the County is doing the research
into more effective and efficient technology for handling water and sewage.
Rex Kershaw, of Allens Lane, Rock Hall, stated that he was satisfied with
the mound system which he had installed on his property, and that he does
not want a public sewer system installed on Allens Lane.
Lois Kuck expressed her opinion that the construction of affordable housing
in Chesapeake Landing will change the dynamics of the community in a negative
Thomas J. Tontarski, President, Chesapeake Landing Community Association,
read a prepared statement representing the Board of Directors of the Chesapeake
Landing Community Association as follows:
The Board of Directors of the Chesapeake Landing Community Association
express extreme concern over the Kent County Commissioners focus on Chesapeake
Landing as a community in need of a sewer and water system and labeled
as an "affordable housing" community of 800 units. Such an action would
environmentally affect the eco system unique to the area, create the destruction
of the substandard road system, further strain the manpower resources
of both public safety and code enforcement capabilities and create an
even greater uncontrolled surface water runoff problem in this water access
community. We believe that concentrating "affordable housing" into a community
not zoned or deeded as such will place restrictions on the use of resident
property that we believe is a taking of our rights as citizens of Kent
County. Such an action should be the concern of all Kent County residents.
We further believe that an attempt to segregate and isolate affordable
housing in one community is contrary to creating a balance in the County
as well as exercising an archaic approach to satisfy such a need. We feel
that the Commissioners have not exhausted alternative programs that can
satisfy their desires and goals without having such an impact on ANY one
area of Kent County. For these reasons, we cannot emphasize enough, that
the Kent County Commissioners must rethink their plans for such a project.
Commissioner Livie arrived later in the meeting and responded to concerns
raised by Mike Johnson, particularly pertaining to Commissioner Livie's
use of the phrase "fast track" when he described his interest for the
County to acquire PFA classification for the 800 lots of Chesapeake Landing
and "fast track the project for affordable housing." (cit. Minutes, Commissioners'
Meeting, March 16, 2004).
Commissioner Livie conveyed his apologies for arriving late at the meeting.
He concurred with the rest of the Board and with Mr. Morris that, before
any decisions are made concerning Chesapeake Landing, a feasibility study
would have to be conducted first. He stated that the feasibility must
be conducted because Chesapeake Landing represents an existing subdivision
with existing, failing septic systems, a situation which, for the health
and well-being of its residents, must be rectified. He emphasized that
wastewater and sewage is feeding into the aquifer, which will therefore
flow into the residents' drinking water.
Commissioner Livie, concurring with the previous statements of the Board,
expressed his opinion that Kent County is in need of much more affordable
housing than what it offers currently, adding that the County has priced
its young adults out of the possibility of home-ownership in the County.
Commissioner Pickrum reported that 25% of the County's population is over
60 years of age.
Denise Tontarski, a resident of Chesapeake Landing, expressed her concern
that a significant number of the County's resident young adults are leaving
the County because there are so few employment opportunities available
for them or because the wages offered are too low.
Participating in a discussion concerning the significant reduction of
County's public school enrollment, Donna Bedell, a resident of Chesapeake
Landing and a public school teacher employed in the County, expressed
her opinion that the reason for the reduction is due to the little support
the public schools receive out of the County's tax base. She believes
that parents of school-aged children are enrolling their students in private
schools in the County because they are of the opinion that private schools
offer a better quality of education than the public schools in the County.
At the conclusion of the meeting, Commissioner Pickrum thanked everyone
for their attendance and for their input. He and Commissioner Crow stated
that they will continue to encourage the inclusion in the minutes of a
record of the discussions that do and should occur at Commissioners' meetings,
although the only legally required inclusions are the record of motions
made and of the actions taken on the motions.
The meeting adjourned at 8:10 p.m.
There being no further business to claim their attention, the Board adjourned
to meet again on Tuesday, April 20, 2004.
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.