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KENT COUNTY, MARYLAND


Board of County Commissioners

April 13, 2004

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.


BUDGET

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 in attendance.

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 of $28,715.19.

- 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 as follows:

- 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 budget.

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.


PERSONNEL

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 procedures.

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 liability carrier.

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 jhopkins@tnc.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 appeal.


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 hazard.

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 basis.


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 as possible.

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.


ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

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 regulations.


GOVERNOR'S OFFICE

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
EDESVILLE PARK

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 6, 2004.

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.


RECYCLING

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 Growth."

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 way.

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
Executive Assistant


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.




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