County Council Meeting Minutes
July 14, 2009
County Council of
Regular Meeting Minutes
July 14, 2009
The County Council of Dorchester County met in regular session on July 14, 2009 with the following members present: Present were Jay L. Newcomb, President; William V. Nichols, Vice President; Effie M. Elzey; Ricky Travers; and Rick Price. Also present were E. Thomas Merryweather,
The Council adjourned from a Regular Session and convened in a closed Executive Session pursuant to the State Government Article pursuant to §10-508(A)(1) to discuss the appointment, employment, assignment, promotion, discipline, demotion, compensation, removal, resignation, or performance evaluation of appointees, employees, or officials over whom it has jurisdiction; pursuant to §10-508(A)(3) to consider the acquisition of real property for a public purpose and matters directly related thereto; and pursuant to §10-508(A)(7) to consult with counsel to obtain legal advice on a legal matter.
Voting in favor of the closed Executive Session were all Council members.
INVOCATION AND PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
Councilman Travers led the invocation and the pledge of allegiance.
CALL FOR ADDITIONS OR DELETIONS TO AGENDA
The Council approved a request from Ms. Baynard to add a request for additional funds to refurbish existing AED units to the agenda.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES-JUNE 30, 2009
The Council approved the minutes for June 30, 2009 as presented.
APPROVAL OF DISBURSEMENTS
The Council approved vouchers as presented with Councilman Travers abstaining from payments made to Simmons Center Market and Councilman Newcomb abstaining from payments made to Old Salty’s.
FINANICAL REPORT: CASH AND INVESTMENTS
Councilman Newcomb reported total cash and investments as $1,164,930.16.
EXECUTIVE SESSION SUMMARY
The County Council of Dorchester County convened in an Executive Session at 5:00 p.m. on April 28, 2009 in a closed session at Room 110, County Office Building, 501 Court Lane, Cambridge, Maryland, pursuant to the State Government Article, §10-508(A)(1) to discuss the appointment, employment, assignment, promotion, discipline, demotion, compensation, removal, resignation, or performance evaluation of appointees, employees, or officials over whom it has jurisdiction; pursuant to §10-508(A)(3) to consider the acquisition of real property for a public purpose and matters directly related thereto; and pursuant to §10-508(A)(7) to consult with counsel to obtain legal advice on a legal matter.
Motion made, seconded and carried to conduct a closed session pursuant to the above. All members of the Council voted in the affirmative to conduct the closed session for the purposes stated above and to discuss the topics listed above.
Action taken at the closed session: 1) discussed funding for a part time position in Election’s Office and agreed to add an individual to payroll as an on-call part time employee by a 5 to 0 vote; 2) discussed the proposed execution of a contract for a grant employee for the Harriett Tubman Underground Railroad Byway; 3) discussed a request for expressions of interest from the State of Maryland for State owned property at the Cambridge Marine Terminal that has been declared excess property and agreed to obtain more information by a 5 to 0 vote; 4) after discussion with legal counsel agreed to intervene in a Petition for Judicial Review regarding a Planning and Zoning matter filed in the Circuit Court by a 5 to 0 vote; 5) discussed personnel issue with Public Works Director-no action taken.
The above information is being provided to the public pursuant to and in compliance with Section 10-509(b) and (c) of the State Government Article.
COMMENDATIONS-RETIREMENT-GOTHLEE JOHNSON, JR.,
The Council presented a commendation congratulating Gothlee Johnson, Jr. on his retirement and recognizing his 21 years of dedicated service to
FY09 BUDGET AMENDMENT REQUEST-BOARD OF EDUCATION
The Council approved the FY 2009 budget amendment request of Frederic Hildenbrand, Superintendent of Schools, to reallocate $550,000 to Instructional Salaries and Wages ($375,000) and Fixed Charges ($175,000) as follows: $99,111 from additional revenues (mainly from the State Quality Teacher Incentive program) and $450,889 from the following categorical expenditures: $40,000 from Administration, $150,189 from Mid Level Administration, $155,000 from Instructional Materials, $35,000 from Other Instructional Costs, $25,000 from Transportation, $16,500 from Operation of Plant and $29,200 from Maintenance of Plant. The Council acknowledged that expenses were lower in these categories due to a directed effort to limit spending and that the expenses were higher in the Instructional Salaries & Wages and Fixed Charges categorical expenditures due to higher than anticipated costs including State quality teacher incentive payments, substitutes, extra duty pay, payouts for sick and vacation accrued leave, increased employee participation in health plan, tuition reimbursements and higher unemployment claims.
UPDATE-DORCHESTER CAREER AND
Gary McCabe, Assistant Superintendent for Administration, provided the Council with an update on the Dorchester Career and Technology Center Project. Mr. McCabe advised that the Dorchester County Board of Education members are utilizing the State-approved Construction Manager at-risk method and have selected Whiting Turner as Construction Manager. He explained that Whiting Turner publicly bid the construction project and has selected subcontractors for the project. He acknowledged that two subcontractors are from
Greg Ritter, Whiting Turner, Dorchester Career and Technology Center Project Manager, acknowledged that the following individuals were present: John Nelson, Vice President of Whiting Turner, Chris Hauge, School Facilities Engineer, Tim Brooke, Controller, Dr. Henry Wagner, Assistant Superintendent and Mike Lynch, Board of Education Facilities Planner.
In response to a question from Councilman Newcomb, Mr. McCabe clarified that the $1,057,576 that is budgeted but will not be used will revert to the County and not the State. He explained that it is County money because the State provides funding for construction costs up to a percentage of square footage and the proposed building is larger than that square footage. He stated that they are working on compiling a list of possible uses for the $1,057,576 which will be provided to the Council for consideration.
Based on a question from Councilman Nichols regarding the hiring of local individuals, Mr. Ritter reiterated that two of the subcontractors are from
Councilman Travers questioned how many
Councilman Travers asked if any of the alternatives previously discussed have been included in the project. Mr. Hague stated that the upgrades include a connecting canopy from the Center to Cambridge South Dorchester, additional ceramic tiled walls, alternative flooring throughout the main corridors, an upgrade to a 30 year roof warranty, the installation of an internet protocol security system and a five year elevator maintenance agreement.
Councilman Nichols advised that he had received numerous calls regarding the condition of the track at
The Council requested that Mr. McCabe provide the Council with a list of all sub-contractors for the project.
REQUEST FOR APPROVAL OF MEMBERSHIP-DRUG AND ALCOHOL ABUSE COUNCIL-ROBBIE HANSON
The Council approved a request of Robbie Hanson, Field Supervisor II, Division of Parole and Probation, to approve the following membership of the Drug and Alcohol Abuse Council for a term of four years: John Winslow, Director of the Dorchester County Addictions Program, Executive Committee Member; Sandra Wilson, Director of the Dorchester County Health Department Prevention Program; L. Wesley Fuhrman, Director of Warwick Manor Behavioral Health; James Gillespie, Supervisor of the Detention Center D.A.R.T. Program; Don Satterfield, Warden, Dorchester County Detention Center, Co-Chairman; Nancy Shockley, Local Management Board Director; Dr. Martin Brandes, Eastern Shore Hospital Center; Madeline Moore, Youth Services Director; Portia Johnson Ennals as Citizen Representative, a representative of the Student Council from the Cambridge South Dorchester High School and a representative from the North Dorchester High School. The Council acknowledged that this approval of membership is part of the two year strategic plan process for the Drug and Alcohol Abuse Council.
The Council acknowledged that although Council members will attend meetings there will be no formal naming of a County Council representative for the Board and requested that Mr. Hanson keep them apprised of meeting dates and times.
The Council adjourned to Legislative Session.
PUBLIC HEARING- BILL # 2009-6
TO GRANT A PROPERTY TAX CREDIT AGAINST THE COUNTY PROPERTY TAX IMPOSED ON PROPERTY OWNED BY THE CEDAR MEADOWS ROD AND GUN CLUB, INCORPORATED AND TO GRANT A PROPERTY TAX CREDIT AGAINST THE COUNTY PROPERTY TAX IMPOSED ON PROPERTY OWNED BY THE CAMBRIDGE SKEET AND GUN CLUB, INCORPORATED
E. Thomas Merryweather,
There was no public comment.
The role call on the enactment of Bill No. 2009-6 was as follows: Elzey- aye; Price-aye;
Newcomb- aye; Travers- aye; Nichols- aye
PUBLIC HEARING - BILL # 2009-7
AN ACT TO AUTHORIZE AND EMPOWER DORCHESTER COUNTY, MARYLAND, TO BORROW UP TO $6,579,873 ON ITS FULL FAITH AND CREDIT, AND ISSUE AND SELL ITS BONDS OR OTHER OBLIGATIONS IN ONE OR MORE SERIES FROM TIME TO TIME THEREFOR, TO BE USED TO FINANCE, REIMBURSE OR REFINANCE COSTS OF CERTAIN SCHOOL PROJECTS PROVIDED FOR IN THE FISCAL YEAR 2008 AND FISCAL YEAR 2009 CAPITAL BUDGETS AND COSTS OF ISSUANCE OF SUCH BONDS OR OTHER OBLIGATIONS; AUTHORIZING THE COUNTY COUNCIL TO ADOPT ONE OR MORE ADMINISTRATIVE RESOLUTIONS PRIOR TO ISSUING ANY SUCH BONDS OR OTHER OBLIGATIONS IN ORDER TO FIX, PRESCRIBE, DETERMINE OR PROVIDE FOR THE DETAILS OF SUCH BONDS OR OTHER OBLIGATIONS AND THE ISSUANCE AND SALE THEREOF; EXEMPTING SUCH BONDS OR OTHER OBLIGATIONS FROM THE PROVISIONS OF SECTIONS 10 AND 11 OF ARTICLE 31 OF THE ANNOTATED CODE OF MARYLAND; PROVIDING FOR THE LEVY OF TAXES UPON THE ASSESSABLE PROPERTY WITHIN THE COUNTY SUFFICIENT TO PAY THE DEBT SERVICE ON SUCH BONDS OR OTHER OBLIGATIONS; AUTHORIZING THE ISSUANCE FROM TIME TO TIME OF ONE OR MORE SERIES OF GENERAL OBLIGATION BOND ANTICIPATION NOTES IN AN AGGREGATE PRINCIPAL AMOUNT NOT EXCEEDING $6,579,873 IN ORDER TO FINANCE, REFINANCE OR REIMBURSE PROJECT COSTS ON AN INTERIM BASIS; AND GENERALLY PROVIDING FOR AND DETERMINING VARIOUS MATTERS IN CONNECTION WITH THE GENERAL OBLIGATION BONDS, OTHER OBLIGATIONS AND BOND ANTICIPATION NOTES AUTHORIZED HEREBY.
Mr. Merryweather stated that a public hearing was being held on Bill No. 2009-7 to authorize and empower Dorchester County, Maryland, to borrow up to $6,579,873 on its full faith and credit, and issue and sell its bonds or other obligations in one or more series from time to time therefore, to be used to finance, reimburse or refinance costs of certain school projects provided for in the fiscal year 2008 and fiscal year 2009 capital budgets and costs of issuance of such bonds or other obligations. He explained that a bill had been previously approved authorizing the sale of these bonds or other obligations and that Bond Counsel had advised that the bill needed to be re-advertised in order to enable them to give an unqualified bond opinion.
Michael Spears, Finance Director, stated that the bonds and/or other obligations will finance costs for the design of the
The role call on the enactment of Bill No. 2009-7 was as follows: Elzey- aye; Price-aye;
Newcomb- aye; Travers-aye; Nichols- aye.
The Council introduced AN ACT OF THE COUNTY COUNCIL OF DORCHESTER COUNTY MARYLAND TO AMEND CHAPTER 155, ENTITLED ZONING ORDINANCE, SECTION 155-50, KK, SUPPLEMENTAL USE REGULATIONS, SECTION 155-13, TERMS DEFINED, AND SECTION 155 ATTACHMENT 1, TABLE OF PERMITTED USES OF THE DORCHESTER COUNTY CODE TO ADD SMALL WIND ENERGY SYSTEMS AS AN ACCESSORY USE IN ALL ZONING DISTRICTS, ADD THE DEFINITION OF SMALL WIND ENERGY SYSTEMS, TOTAL HEIGHT, FAA, AND WIND TURBINE, AND INCLUDE SUPPLEMENTARY USE REGULATIONS FOR SMALL WIND ENERGY SYSTEMS.
Mr. Merryweather advised that a proposed bill that will amend Chapter 155 entitled “Zoning Ordinance” of the Dorchester County Code to add the definition of small wind energy systems as an accessory use in all zoning districts and to include supplementary uses regulations for those systems was before the Council for introduction. He explained that a public hearing had been previously on a bill to amend Chapter 155 to add small wind energy systems to the
The Council agreed to proceed with publication of a public hearing on this matter.
The Council agreed to declare August 11, 2009 as a Special Legislative Day in order to hold public hearings on this bill.
SUPPLEMENTAL ROAD CONSTRUCTION AGREEMENT-OAKLEY CHASE
The Council approved the request of Chuck Weber, Public Works Director, to execute a Supplemental Public Road Construction Agreement between the County Council of Dorchester County, Maryland and Cedar Pointe Investments, LLC and Oakley Chase, LLC for improvements to
The Council asked Mr. Weber to contact Bobby Powell regarding concerns with guardrail placement on a portion of Palmers Mill Road.
Councilman Newcomb provided pictures to Mr. Weber of trash receptacles at the Hoopersville Causeway that were not emptied prior to the 4th of July holiday. The Council requested that Mr. Weber ensure that in the future all trash receptacles at County docks are emptied before holidays.
Based on a request by Councilman Newcomb, the Council agreed to forward a letter to the Commissioners of the City Cambridge requesting that repairs be made to the bumpy area at the yield sign at the intersection of
REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS-CONSULTANT SERVICES-LODGECLIFFE CANAL-PUBLIC WORKS
The Council approved the request of Mr. Weber to advertise a solicitation for expressions of interest for consultant services for the Lodgecliffe canal project which includes dredging, jetty extension and a demonstration site at Horn’s Point for the beneficial reuse of dredge material. The Council acknowledged that funding for the design and bidding work has been included in the County’s FY09 budget in the amount of $40,000.
REQUEST TO ADVERTISE-GALESTOWN FISH LADDER CONSTRUCTION-PUBLIC WORKS
The Council approved the request of Mr. Weber to advertise and solicit construction bids for the installation of a fish ladder at the Galestown Dam. The Council acknowledged that the designs for the project have been approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service and the Maryland Department of Environment and that County staff are waiting for a permit modification as a formality from the Maryland Department of the Environment Dam Safety Division. The County further acknowledged that because the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) previously approved the scope of work for the Galestown Dam reconstruction to include the fish ladder, the County should be reimbursed for 75% of the cost of the project with the 25% County share being covered by a no interest Maryland Department of Transportation loan.
The Council acknowledged its prior decision to reorganize the Dorchester County Revolving Loan Fund to be managed by the Eastern Shore Entrepreneurship Center and approved the request of Keasha Haythe, Economic Development Director, to appoint the following individuals to serve on the Dorchester County Revolving Loan Fund Committee for a two year term: Michael LeMire, Miles and Stockbridge, Ted Brooks, Brooks & Company, Bill Marshall, National Bank of
MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING -
The Council approved the request of Ms. Haythe to execute a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between
FISCAL POLICIES AND PROCEDURES-BALANCING THE OPERATING BUDGET; FRAUD, WASTE AND ABUSE-FINANCE
The Council agreed to consider a resolution to implement a fiscal policy entitled “Balancing the Operating Budget” at its July 28, 2009 meeting. The Council acknowledged that the policy is designed to define a balanced operating budget, encourage commitment to a balanced budget under normal circumstances and to provide for disclosure when a deviation from a balanced operating budget is planned or when it occurs.
The Council also agreed to consider a resolution at its July 28, 2009 meeting to implement a fiscal policy entitled “Fraud, Waste and Abuse”, which clearly defines fraud, waste and abuse and procedures on how to report and investigate suspected misconduct and dishonesty by employees, elected officials, appointees, volunteers and vendors. The Council acknowledged that attached to the policy is a Code of Conduct form that will be provided to employees for review and acceptance.
The Council approved a request from Jeffrey and Sheila Fooks for a proposed conservation easement donation on their 37.2 acre property to the Maryland Environmental Trust and Eastern Shore Land Conservancy, Inc. and acknowledged that the easement may provide a 15 year tax credit on the land. Ms. Baynard noted that the impact to the County’s property tax base will be $41.66. Based on comments made by Mr. Merryweather, the Council requested that Mr. Spears a compile and provide a list of total conservation easements in Dorchester County to include the total amount of property taxes on each of those properties for the Council’s Friday, July 17, 2009 Information Pack.
PAST DUE MOSQUITO SPRAYING BILLS
The Council confirmed its June 30, 2009 decision to write off past due accounts for mosquito spraying from 1981-2004 in the amount of $3,096 for which there are no paper bills because of concerns expressed by the Council’s legal counsel that there is no mechanism in place to verify that these services were provided absent that . The Council acknowledged that, pursuant to the June 30th discussion on this matter, Mr. Spears will be providing to Council information on whether any of the past due accounts for landfill tipping fee charges do not have a paper back up for review and consideration and that a discussion on changing the billing process for mosquito spraying will be on an upcoming budget work session agenda.
GRANT AWARDS-COLLABORATIVE SUPERVISION AND FOCUSED ENFORCEMENT (CSAFE); 2010 WEATHERIZATION ASSISTANCE AMENDMENT-LOCAL MANAGEMENT BOARD
At the request of Nancy Shockley, Local Management Board Director, the Council
accepted the FY 2010 Collaborative Supervision and Focused Enforcement Grant award in the amount of $29,260 from the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention for the period of July 1, 2009 to June 30, 2010 with no local match. The Council acknowledged that this grant will be used to compensative overtime pay for additional patrol officers assigned to the Hope Community Project to conduct foot and bicycle patrols.
The Council also approved the FY 2009 Weatherization Assistance Amendment grant award in the amount of $134,237 for the period of July 1, 2009 to June 30, 2010 with no local match and agreed to enter into an agreement with the State of
EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT PERFORMANCE PROGRAM GRANT REQUEST
The Council approved the request of Wayne Robinson, Emergency Management Director, to execute a Memorandum of Agreement between the Maryland Emergency Management Agency and Dorchester County a FY 2009 Emergency Management Performance Program award in the amount of $62,306 with a 50% cash or in-kind match contingent upon Mr. Spears providing to Council clarification of the required match for the grant.
AMENDMENT TO RULES AND REGULATIONS-INCLEMENT WEATHER/EMERGENCY SITUATIONS-HUMAN RESOURCES
The Council acknowledged that at its June 2, 2009, after posting of an amendment to the County Rules and Regulations regarding inclement weather and emergency situations presented to Council by Becky Dennis, Human Resources Director, the Council requested that the section be revised and reposted. The revision states that essential personnel will receive no additional pay for working during announced closings and will only qualify for overtime when the employee reaches the overtime benchmark as allowed under Fair Labor standards. Non essential employees, according to the proposed revision, would have to use either accumulated leave or choose to not be paid for the day or days the County offices would be closed. After much discussion the Council agreed to defer consideration of overtime pay/paid leave to allow further study. The Council agreed to modify that section of the County’s Rules and Regulations to change titles of certain positions that are considered essential. The Council acknowledged that these changes need to be made for the Detention Center and Highway Division. The Council also agreed to amend the list of those local and regional media outlets that are notified when County offices are closed, opening late, closing early or under liberal leave as you noted in your memo to Council dated May 12, 2009. Ms. Baynard cautioned Council that, currently, two versions of the proposed amendment had been posted in departments and advised that any other proposals significantly different from the two previously posted amendments would need to be again distributed to departments.
GRANT AWARD-SCHOOL BUS SAFETY ENFORCEMENT-GOVERNOR’S OFFICE OF CRIME CONTROL & PREVENTION-SHERIFF’S
The Council approved the request of Sheriff James Phillips, and agreed to accept a School Bus Safety Enforcement Grant award in the amount of $20,000 with no local match for the period of July 1, 2009 to June 30, 2010 from the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention. The Council acknowledged that the grant funds will be used to provide overtime for targeted patrols to address the problem of drivers illegally passing school buses.
The Council also approved the request of Sheriff Phillips and agreed to accept a Warrant Reduction grant award in the amount of $14,800 with no local match for the period of July 1, 2009 to June 30, 2010 from the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention. The Council acknowledged that the grant funds will be used to provide funds for overtime for the serving warrants on violent offenders with the focus on a backlog of 200 warrants.
TELEPHONE POLL CONFIRMATION
Ms. Baynard advised that in the interim between meetings the Council approved the following by means of telephone poll: 1) approved the request of Delmarva Community Services to submit a 2009 Emergency Shelter Grant application for $42,000 to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to assist families through Emergency Assistance programs and Transitional Housing Shelter programs offered through the Delmarva Community Action Center by a 5 to 0 vote with the local match of $5,000 to be paid through the FY10 budget allocation funds the County allocated to Delmarva Community Services; 2) agreed to execute a letter of support for Delmarva Community Services' grant application for funding in the amount of $143,400 through the Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program with no local match by a 5 to 0 vote; 3) accepted the FY 2009 Recovery Act Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Award in the amount of $73,945 with no local match of which $61,348 is for the City of Cambridge to purchase two police cruisers and $12,597 is for the Sheriff’s Office to purchase eight radar units by a 5 to 0 vote. The Council acknowledged that there is no local match and that the County will serve as applicant and fiscal agent; 4) agreed to execute a letter of support of the efforts of the City of Cambridge, in conjunction with the Pine Street Committee, Inc., to seek Community Legacy Grant funding in the amount of $10,000 for placement of a historical marker on the property of the Pine Street Empowerment Center where the old Pine Street Elementary School was located until it was destroyed by fire by a 5 to 0 vote; 5) agreed to execute a letter of support for the transfer of Maryland State Police Medevac Helicopter, Trooper 6, from Centreville to the Easton Airport by a 5 to 0 vote; 6) agreed to send a joint letter to the editor with the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy and the Dorchester Citizens for Safe Energy in response to comments made by Bob Jubic, Project Manager for the Mid Atlantic Power Pathway project by a 4 to 1 vote.
REQUEST FOR FUNDING-AED Units
The Council approved the request of Jason Shorter, Emergency Medical Services Director, for funds in the amount of $11,187 from the County’s FY 2010 Contingency Fund to continue to upgrade AED units that until this year were maintained by Cambridge Emergency Medical Services including the purchase of 20 pads, 40 multi function electrodes, 10 lithium batteries and a replacement unit to rotate which will cost $1,596 and will include a cover. The Council also approved his request to sole source with the vendor which supplied the original units. The Council acknowledged that, although the Council previously approved a request to use $8,000 of the $19,904 approved in the FY07 Emergency Medical Services Capital Budget to refurbish existing
There were no public comments.
At the request of Councilwoman Elzey, the Council agreed to contact Thomas O’Connell, Director of the Department of Natural Resources Fisheries Services, to inquire as to how the buy back of crabbing licenses will improve the crab population.