County Council Meeting Minutes
January 19, 2010
County Council of Dorchester County
Regular Meeting Minutes
January 19, 2010
The County Council of Dorchester County met in regular session on January 19, 2010 with the following members present: Present were Jay L. Newcomb, President; Effie M. Elzey, Vice President; William V. Nichols; Ricky Travers; and Rick Price. Also present were E. Thomas Merryweather, County Attorney; Jane Baynard, County Manager and Donna Lane, Executive Administrative Specialist.
The Council adjourned from a Regular Session and convened in a closed Executive
Session pursuant to State Government Article 10-508(A)(4) to consider a preliminary matter that concerns the proposal for a business or industrial organization to locate, expand, or remain in the State; 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; 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 Price led the invocation and the pledge of allegiance.
CALL FOR ADDITIONS OR DELETIONS TO AGENDA
The Council approved the addition to the agenda of a request made by Delegate Adelaide Eckardt for a letter of support for proposed legislation regarding land acquisition by the State of Maryland Department of Natural Resources.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES-JANUARY 4, 2010 BUDGET WORK SESSION, JANUARY 5, 2010
The Council approved the minutes for January 4, 2010 budget work session as presented.
The Council approved the minutes for January 5, 2010 as presented.
APPROVAL OF DISBURSEMENTS
The Council approved vouchers as presented with the exceptions of two requested payments for Shore Leadership for staff in the Economic Development and Tourism departments for further clarification.
FINANICAL REPORT: CASH AND INVESTMENTS
Councilman Newcomb reported total cash and investments as $3,560,647.31.
EXECUTIVE SESSION SUMMARY
The County Council of Dorchester County convened in an Executive Session at 4:30 p.m. on January 19, 2010 in a closed session at Room 110, County Office Building, 501 Court Lane, Cambridge, Maryland, pursuant to the State Government Article 10-508(A)(4) to consider a preliminary matter that concerns the proposal for a business or industrial organization to locate, expand, or remain in the State; 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; 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) received a presentation from a company regarding an economic development proposal-took no action; 2) discussed items relating to personnel-took no action; 3) confirmed the hiring of an individual to fill a vacant Senior Assistant State’s Attorney position and an individual to fill a vacant Assistant State’s Attorney position by a 5 to 0 vote; 4) discussed a personnel matter in the Public Works Department –took no action; 5) discussed a matter regarding public safety- requested additional information; 6) discussed with legal counsel a matter relating to the sale of a County owned property-requested additional information.
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.
The Council presented a commendation congratulating Calvin Stack on his retirement and recognizing his 33 years of dedicated service to Dorchester County. Mr. Stack accepted the commendation.
PROCLAMATION-MENTORING MONTH-JANUARY 2010
The Council presented a proclamation declaring January 2010 as Mentoring Month. Jessica Mimms, Big Brother/Big Sisters, and Dr. Gwendolyn Handy, Dorchester County Schools Mentoring Program, accepted the proclamation.
PUBLIC HEARING-WATER AND SEWER AMENDMENT-MADISON WOOLFORD SANITARY DISTRICT
E. Thomas Merryweather, County Attorney, advised that a public hearing was being held on an amendment to Dorchester County’s Comprehensive Water and Sewer Plan filed by the Sanitary District to add seven new parcels and delete two properties from the No. 7 Madison Woolford Sanitary District.
Steve Dodd, Planning and Zoning Director, explained that a proposed water and sewer map of improved properties for the No. 7 Sanitary District was developed in 2004 using a 2000 community sanitary survey conducted by Dorchester County Health Department staff. He said that the seven properties to be added to the service area were either inadvertently left off that list or have been improved since the 2000 survey. He noted that since the 2000 survey dwellings have been demolished on two other properties and the properties are now vacant, namely 1609 Heliport Road and 4623 Harrisville Road. He said that in order to be considered part of the service area a property must be improved by a dwelling unless located in priority funding areas. Mr. Dodd explained that the construction of a new sewer line for Madison and Woolford is intended to alleviate environmental health concerns due to failure of the existing on-site septic systems.
He advised that the Planning Commission reviewed the proposed amendment and agreed to forward a favorable recommendation to the Council. Mr. Dodd explained that if the Council approves the amendment, it will be forwarded to the Maryland Department of Environment for final approval.
Mr. Dodd acknowledged that Robert Tieder, Chairman of the Sanitary Commission, Amanda Pollock, Project Engineer, and K.D. Applegarth, Sanitary District employee, were present.
Mr. Tieder advised Council members that the Madison Woolford sewer extension project began in the 1990s and that construction is currently underway. He explained that the estimated project completion date is January 17, 2011, although he believes the project may be finished in advance of the timeline.
Elwood B. Haas, a Dorchester County resident, advised that he owns the Heliport Road property that is being recommended for deletion from the service area. He explained that when he purchased the property in 2002 he agreed to demolish the dwelling pursuant to the request of the Planning and Zoning staff because it was deemed unsafe. He said that he is opposed deleting his property from the Madison Woolford Sanitary District because it did have a dwelling on it in 2000 and demolished the house at the direction of County staff. He explained that there is currently a septic system on his property but that he wants the option to hook into the new sewer line system after his property is improved. He said that he intends to build a house on that property within the next two to three years. Mr. Dodd confirmed that there was a dwelling on the property in 2000 and that the property was demolished at the direction of Planning and Zoning staff in keeping with local law.
In response to a question from Mr. Merryweather, Ms. Pollock said that federal and state grant funding is being used to fund the construction of the new sewer line and that grant requirements dictate that the new sewer system will not service an unimproved property unless it is located in a priority funding area.
Mr. Haas questioned why he will not be able to tie into the new system, particularly in light of the fact that his property is close to the waterfront, and hooking into the new sewer line will prevent possible runoff into local waterways.
In response to a question from Councilman Travers, Mr. Dodd confirmed that Mr. Haas’ property would be eligible to tie into the new sewer system if the unsafe structure had not been demolished.
In response to questions from Councilman Newcomb, Mr. Dodd stated that the Council can proceed with approval of the amendment without removing Mr. Haas’s property but noted that he will not be eligible to install grinder pump and to extend the line to his property using available grant funds but would have to fund those costs personally.
Mr. Merryweather explained that if Mr. Haas is not included in the service area and wants to hook into the system in the future he will have to individually file for a water and sewer amendment. Mr. Tieder stated that he will then need to obtain permission to do so from the Sanitary District, the City of Cambridge and the Maryland Department of Environment and will be responsible for purchasing and installing the grinder pump. He said that it his understanding that the line and a “T” hook up will be placed in front of his property as part of the sewer extension project.
Mr. Teider explained that the City of Cambridge Council has agreed to grandfather the properties located in the No. 7 Sanitary District from any pending increase to that municipality’s impact fees which will save property owners $450.
In response to a question from Councilman Travers, Mr. Dodd explained that owners of unimproved property not in the service area can install a septic system on their property to service a new dwelling, once constructed, at their cost.
Mr. Sam Adkins, a Dorchester County resident, expressed concern about the proposed placement of the sewer line on property he owns on Route 16, Church Creek Road, adjacent Gary’s Body Shop. He explained an employee with George, Miles and Buhr, the engineering firm hired for the sewer extension project, has asked him to grant a 300 to 400 foot right of way on his property. He said that he will not grant the right of way unless an alternative site is identified for the installation of the septic line because the current site encompasses a large portion of this property. Mr. Merryweather advised that he is preparing a plat of Mr. Halls’ property to show him how the line will be installed in order to alleviate his concerns.
Councilman Nichols questioned whether the owner of 4623 Harrisville Road, one of the properties to be removed, has expressed concern about the removal of their property from the water and sewer plan. Mr. Dodd said he has not talked to the owner. He noted that a house was located on that property in 2000 and was demolished in 2004 or 2005.
Mr. Tawes Harper, a Dorchester County resident, expressed concern about the City of Cambridge Council members’ decision to increase impact fees.
In response to a question from Mr. Frank Whirley, Mr. Tieder advised that property owners in the Madison Woolford sewer area who are hooked up to the new system will pay an annual user fee of $500 and no more than $250 per year in bond indebtedness. Mr. Whirley expressed his opinion that the $750 fee was excessive. Mr. Tieder noted that the $500 fee was paid to the City of Cambridge and cannot be reduced. He explained that the Sanitary District staff will be responsible to maintain the line and grinder pumps. Mr. Whirley stated that it was his understanding there are another 1,000 homes in the Madison and Woolford area that need to be hooked up to new sewer lines. Mr. Tieder said that no additional federal and State funding is available to accommodate those additional homes based on the approved service area which specifically defined the amount of available grant funding.
The Council approved the proposed amendment to the Dorchester County Comprehensive Water and Sewer Plan filed by the Dorchester Sanitary District amending the service area for Sanitary District #7 by adding parcels 1502 Deep Point Road, 916 Parsons Drive, 4911 Laurie Lane, 1530 Taylors Island Road, 1424 Taylors Island Road, 1652 Taylors Island Road, 1658 Taylors Island Road. The Council agreed to not remove 1609 Heliport Road from the service area but did approve the deletion of the parcel known as 4623 Harrisville Road. The Council requested that a resolution be drafted for its review and consideration at its February 2, 2010 meeting.
AMENDMENT TO RULES AND REGULATIONS/RESOLUTION-COUNTY PAY POLICIES
Ms. Baynard explained that amendments to the County’s Rules and Regulations and Resolution adopting County pay policies were distributed to County departments for comments. She noted that the proposed amendments are based on recommendations from the task force formed by the Council, pursuant to its September 8, 2009 decision to eliminate leave from the overtime calculated. She said that in order to implement that new policy overtime thresholds have to be identified.
Councilman Newcomb stated that the Council chose to look at the overtime calculation based on significant reductions in State aid and budget revenues which have caused the Council to reduce the FY 2010 budget by $3.2 million and will cause a FY 11 budget structural deficit of $4.7 million. He said that in FY 2009 overtime costs countywide totaled in excess of $500,000. He noted that the Council, prior to this meeting, reviewed comments regarding the proposed fluctuating work week for the 911 Center and Emergency Medical Services Departments. He asked Council if they want to proceed with this section of the proposed pay policy. The Council agreed to remove the fluctuating work week proposal from the draft resolution.
Wayne Cook, a Dorchester County employee, noted that he had signed up to present comments on the proposed pay policies but because the Council made the decision to eliminate the fluctuating work week method he will defer his comments until he has had an opportunity to re-read the resolution.
Sheriff James Phillips expressed concern that the change in the County’s overtime policy will still affect the County’s public safety employees despite Council’s prior decision to remove the fluctuating work week method from the proposed pay policies. He said that he was against changing the overtime threshold for the Sheriff’s Office to 171 hours over a 28 day period which will the ability of deputies to incur overtime. He also expressed concern that the proposed pay policies could result in grant funds not being used to pay overtime costs noting that grants are given to small communities to cover certain tasks. He said he was also concerned about obtaining pre-authorization before overtime is incurred for law enforcement and public safety employees because emergency situations may arise without warning. He expressed his opinion that the resolution should be revised to include all departments and agencies.
Sheriff Phillips said it was his understanding that many counties do not utilize the threshold of 171 hours over a 28 day pay period for overtime calculations and asked Council to consider continuing to pay overtime on a daily basis. He expressed his opinion that adopting the pay policy resolution and amendments to the County’s Rules and Regulations will not save money, will destroy morale and will limit the ability of public safety staff to respond to an emergency. He said that he verified with an attorney that he does not answer to the Finance Director and the Human Resources and, as an elected official, does not seek approval from these departments to carry out the functions of law enforcement.
Robert Murphy, a Dorchester County resident, said he was opposed to the adoption of the Resolution and suggested the Council eliminate personal days and cut back on the office hours to save on overhead costs. He expressed his opinion that reducing or eliminating overtime will adversely affect employees. He questioned whether Council has been financially impacted due to the current budget constraints. Councilwoman Elzey stated that the Council is not reimbursed for mileage or other expenses. Councilman Nichols explained that even when Council members attend meetings in other cities, i.e. Salisbury and Annapolis they do not receive reimbursements for travel or mileage.
Bonnie Foxwell, a Dorchester County 911 dispatcher, said that she has been advised that she is one of the top County employees to receive overtime pay in FY 2009. She said she received $10,000 in overtime for that fiscal year and expressed her opinion that the additional pay compensates her for the dedication she gives to Dorchester County residents by being one of the “first” responders in an emergency. She said that the 12 hour shifts worked by dispatchers can be hectic and often times dispatchers must work through breaks and meal time.
Jason Shorter, Emergency Medical Services Director, thanked the Council on behalf of the staff in the Emergency Medical Services departments for not moving forward with implementing a fluctuating work week policy in that department.
Don Satterfield, Warden of the Dorchester Detention Center, noted that he has worked for 29 years as a County employee and has worked in the Sheriff’s Office and at the Airport as Airport Manager in addition to the Detention Center. He said that a National Sheriff’s Association survey conducted at the request of the 1990 County Commissioners prior to the construction of new Detention Center noted that there must be seven Correctional Officers scheduled per shift. He explained that emergencies in the Detention Center can happen any time requiring sufficient manpower. He said that currently there are two Detention Center employees on medical leave, two Correctional Officer vacancies and one administrative vacancy which further limit the ability of the Correctional Officers to perform their duties. He expressed his concern that some employees may obtain other employment if there are not compensated for the hours they work and that training costs will rise if that happens.
The Council thanked everyone for their comments and agreed to hold a budget work session to discuss the proposed amendments to the County’s Rules and Regulations and Resolution regarding pay policies.
BID AWARD-CRUSHED STONE
The Council approved the request of Chuck Weber, Public Works Director, to award a bid for supplying crushed stone for the 2010 calendar year to Dorchester Dumpin’ Company, LLC, the second lowest bidder, contingent upon receipt of a performance bond. The Council rejected the bid of A&J Concrete Construction & Materials Supply, the lowest bidder, due to the fact that the bid was for slag in lieu of stone.
AUTHORIZATION TO SEEK BIDS-ASPHALT OIL
The Council approved the request of Mr. Weber to send a request for proposals for supplying asphalt oil for the 2010 calendar year, including PG64-22 hot mix oil, CRS2 tar and chip oil and MC250 cold patch oil, to the following companies: E. Stewart Mitchell, Inc., Fleet Supply, Inc., Gerald A. Barrett, Inc., Gardner Asphalt Corp. and Grainger.
Based on concerns expressed by Councilmen Newcomb and Travers, the Council asked Highway Division staff to be diligent in filling potholes and take into consideration the fact that the stretch of roadway by the old Crapo school near Foxwell Cemetery becomes icy doing snow events. The Council acknowledged that Mr. Weber is still working on identifying possible solutions to a flooding problem on Delaware Line Road, particularly near a property owned by Robin Hughes.
CHANGE ORDER REQUEST-TIME EXTENSION-GALESTOWN DAM FISH LADDER CONSTRUCTION-PUBLIC WORKS
Based on a request presented by Mr. Weber on behalf of George and Lynch, Inc., contractor, the Council approved a Change Order between the County and George & Lynch, Inc. for the Galestown Dam Fish Ladder construction project for a time extension of 90 days with a completion date of March 30, 2010. The Council acknowledged that the change order is necessary because of recent weather events including significant rainfall and unseasonably cold weather conditions have prevented the installation of the fish ladder.
GRANT AWARD-ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT STRATEGIC PLAN-ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Pursuant to the request of Keasha Haythe, Economic and Development Director, the County Council accepted a grant award from the Department of Business and Economic Development (DBED) in the amount of $40,000 for the creation of an Economic Development Strategic Plan for Dorchester County. The Council members acknowledged at its June 16, 2009 meeting they agreed that $9,000 from the FY09 Contingency Fund will be applied towards the local match commitment of up to $10,000 and that $1,000 will be used from the Economic Development FY10 advertising budget.
REQUEST TO AMEND LOCAL MANAGEMENT BOARD RESOLUTION, BY-LAWS, MEMBERSHIP AFFILIATION, NAME CHANGE
The Council approved the request of Nancy Shockley, Local Management Board Director, on behalf of the Dorchester Community Partnership for Children and Families (formerly Local Management Board), to amend Resolution No. 349 entitled “Establishing a Local Management Board for Child and Family Services” by making the following amendments: 1) changing the membership from 20 to 21 (excluding LMB Director and County Finance Officer) with 18 voting members and 3 non-voting members; and 2) changing the Council representative to a Council member of designee or the County Manager or his/her designee. The Council recognized that the non-voting members include Judge Wilson, Chief Malik & Sheriff Phillips. The Council acknowledged that due to an Ethics Commission ruling, Judge Wilson was removed from this committee as a voting member. The Council further acknowledged that even though the resolution changes Judge Wilson to non-voting status, the State Ethics Commission members are currently reviewing whether he is able to serve as a non-voting member.
The Council acknowledged its October 6, 2009 approval of changing the name of the Board from the Local Management Board to the Dorchester Community Partnership for Children and Families.
The Council also approved Ms. Shockley’s request on behalf of the Board to revise the by-laws to include the name change, the additional of a fiscal year date (July 1 – June 30) as required by the Governor’s Office for Children and the designation of voting vs. non-voting members.
The Council further approved the recommendation of the Board to change the membership affiliation of Kitty Nelson from Public provider to Private (Community) representative.
LOCAL MANAGEMENT BOARD FINANCE COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATIONS-REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS
Based on a request from Ms. Shockley on behalf of the Local Management Board (LMB) Finance Committee, the Council approved the Committee members’ recommendation to advertise a Request for Proposals for community based programs ($118,887).
The Council took no action on the Committee’s request to allocate for distribution between January 2010 and June 2011 $25,000 to update the Needs Assessment and $8,000 to purchase tele-conference equipment from Juvenile Services.
The Council did not approve the Committee’s request to move funds in the amount of $500,000 to the Foundation for Community Partnerships pending receiving further clarification. The Council requested that a presentation be made by Foundation members at a future County Council meeting. The Council suggested that the Local Management Board’s Finance Committee consider establishing a County foundation.
The Council acknowledged that the requests to allocate funds to a Community Partnership or place in staggered CDs and to reallocate distribution funds for the needs assessment and tele-conference equipment will be readdressed after a presentation by the Foundation for Community Partnership members’ presentation.
GRANT AWARDS-FY 2010 MARYLAND HERITAGE AREA AUTHORITY GRANTS-TOURISM
The Council approved the request of Amanda Fenstermaker, Tourism Director, to accept the following FY 2010 Maryland Heritage Area Authority Grants: 1) Marketing and Reviving Brand of Heritage Area grant in the amount of $50,000 with a cash match of $50,000 from the Tourism Department General Fund to promote and market the Heart of Chesapeake Country Heritage Area via regional internet and print sources and to update the brand image of the Heritage Area; 2) Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway Interpretive Wayside Signage Installation grant in the amount of $40,000 with a cash match of $120,000 from the Federal Highway Administration’s National Scenic Byways Program to develop and install road-accessible, interpretive wayside displays at approximately 17 sites along the Byway in Dorchester and Caroline Counties; and 3) Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway Interpretive Companion Audio Program/Tour grant in the amount of $20,000 with a cash match of $60,000 from the Federal Highway Administration’s National Scenic Byways Program to develop a audio tour for visitors that will interpret significant sites along the Byway including preproduction research, script, studio taping and production costs.
The Council requested clarification on who will maintain the road-accessible, interpretive wayside displays to be installed along the Byway in Dorchester and Caroline Counties.
LETTER OF SUPPORT REQUEST-AGRICULTURAL CURRICULUM
The Council approved the request of the Farm Bureau and Soil Conservation District Board to send a letter of support to the Board of Education to look favorably upon the requests of the farming community to develop an agricultural program at the Dorchester Career and Technology Center to encourage individuals to pursue careers in agriculture and related industries and to assist the members of the local Future Farmers of America (FFA) organization in the County be competitive in those career fields.
FY 2011 RURAL LEGACY APPLICATION APPROVAL-PLANNING AND ZONING
The Council approved the request of Rodney Banks, Assistant Planning and Zoning Director to submit applications for the Marshyhope Rural Legacy Focus Area and Nanticoke Rural Legacy Focus Area to the State for FY 2011 Maryland Rural Legacy Program grant funds. The County acknowledged that the Marshyhope area will be the priority application for the year.
Lindsay Rader, Attorney with Funk and Bolton and County Bond Counsel provided the Council with an overview of a proposed resolution to authorize the issuance and sale of the County’s obligation bonds with one series in the aggregate principal amount of $8,760,000, and the second in the aggregate principal amount of $12,070,000 to cover costs associated with the replacement of North Dorchester Middle School and the Dorchester Career and Technology Center.
In response to a question from Councilman Newcomb, Ms. Rader explained that if conditions are not favorable enough to warrant issuance of the bonds the sale can be canceled up to 9:30 a.m. on the date of sale. Michael Spears, Finance Director, noted that the issuance of the bond can be deferred six months to a year. Ms. Rader said that the Resolution also gives the County Manager the authority to reject any and all bids.
Ms. Rader advised Council that there was a typographical error in Section 5C on page 6 and that the section should say that the “Series 2010B bonds shall be subject to redemption prior to maturity at the option of the County, in whole or in part, on February 1, 2020” instead of February 1, 2010. She advised Council that she will email staff the corrected page.
In response to a question from Councilman Price, Mr. Spears advised that the bonds issuance is to pay for costs in the amount of $5.37 million for North Dorchester Middle School replacement and $15.3 million for the School of Technology replacement.
The Council adopted a Resolution authorizing the issuance and sale of two separate series of its general obligation bonds, one in the aggregate principal amount of $8,760,000, and the second in the aggregate principal amount of $12,070,000 pursuant to the authority of Section 5(P) of Article 25A of the Annotated Code of Maryland, the Charter of the County, Bill No. 2009-7 passed on July 14, 2009, effective September 11, 2009 and Bill No. 2009-10, passed on September 8, 2009 and effective on November 6, 2009 upon receipt of the corrected page. Councilman Price opposed. The Council further acknowledged that the bond issuance is for costs associated with the replacement of the North Dorchester Middle School and the School of Technology. Council recognized that the resolution calls for the County Manager to finalize and approve the bond sale.
LETTERS OF SUPPORT-2010 MARYLAND GENERAL ASSEMBLY LEGISLATIVE SESSION
The Council agreed to execute a letter of support for the following legislation for the 2010 Maryland General Assembly Legislative Session: 1) Senate Bill 36 entitled “Dorchester County-Bay Restoration Fee-Lien Against Property” to establish an unpaid Bay Restoration Fee as a lien; 2) Senate Bill 40 entitled “Dorchester County-Membership of Sanitary Commission” to add a sixth member to the Sanitary Commission to represent the newly established Madison Woolford Sanitary District; 3) Senate Bill 41 entitled “ Dorchester County-Alcoholic Beverages-Clubs-Membership as requested by the Board of License Commission to amend club membership requirements with Councilman Newcomb abstaining; and 4) Senate Bill 47 entitled “Dorchester County-Alcoholic Beverages-Restaurant Seating Requirement contingent upon the bill being amended to lower the maximum seating requirement for all County restaurants, hotels or motels with specified restaurant facilities from 75 seats to 50 seats with Councilman Newcomb abstaining.
The Council acknowledged that the Board of License Commissioners received a copy of Senate Bill 47 at its January 11, 2010 meeting and will be discussed at its February 8, 2010 meeting.
The Council acknowledged that Delegate Adelaide Eckardt recently provided a copy of a proposed bill for the Council’s consideration for possible introduction that prohibits the State Department of Natural Resources from acquiring land for open space purposes in Dorchester County unless the County Council of Dorchester County approves the purchase. The Council agreed to execute a letter of support for the proposed bill.
CHESAPEAKE COLLEGE FY 2010 BUDGET CONCERN-SPENDING AUTHORITY
The Council approved the request of Dr. Barbara Viniar, President of Chesapeake College, to increase spending authority to $200,000 in the instruction function with no additional funds being provided by Dorchester County. The Council acknowledged that the increase will assist in contracting with the necessary adjunct instructors to teach during the spring 2010 semester.
The Council further agreed that the Caroline and Queen Anne Commissioners and the Talbot County Council members have also approved Dr. Viniar’s request for spending authority.
EXECUTION OF RESOLUTION-RULES FOR OPEN MEETINGS RECORDINGS
The Council acknowledged its December 1, 2009 decision to approve a policy The Council agreed to execute a resolution for a policy regarding recording, photographing and videotaping open session meetings by tape recorder or other recording device based on its December 1, 2009 decision to adopt the Resolution. The Council acknowledged that the Resolution requires an individual to provide notification of the use of such equipment prior to use. The Council requested that a copy of the Resolution be provided to all County Committees and Board that meet on a regular basis.
TELEPHONE POLL CONFIRMATIONS
Ms. Baynard noted that in the interim between meetings the Council took action on the following by means of telephone poll: 1) agreed to hire special legal counsel to represent the County at a Board of Zoning Appeals hearing regarding an appeal relating to the County’s excise tax by a 4 to 1 vote; 2) confirmed its December 1, 2010 decision to seek legislation to amend Chapter 715 of the 1994 Laws of Maryland which authorizes the County Council to enact a local County transfer tax to remove the June 30, 2014 sunset provision by a 4 to 1 (1 no answer) vote. Ms. Baynard confirmed letters have been sent to Delegation and Senator to continue to pursue this legislation.
There were no public comments.
In response to a question from Councilman Price, Ms. Baynard advised that staff is in the process of scheduling a discussion on public access to a parcel of land on Green Point Road on an upcoming County Council meeting agenda.
Based on a request from Councilman Price, the Council agreed to send a letter to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources requesting that they allow additional time for the public to provide comments on Governor Martin O’Malley’s Oyster Restoration and Aquaculture Development plan and on implementation of new land leasing requirements.
Councilman Newcomb requested that staff research to determine if the Council has previously sent a letter to the Board of Education asking them to develop a curriculum for emergency services.
Based on a recommendation by Councilman Nichols, the Council appointed Dwight Cromwell to the Council for Senior Services. The Council acknowledged that his term will expire on December 31, 2012.
Councilman Newcomb read a press release regarding the proposed Base Flood Elevation Determination for t