Meeting Minutes

Meeting Minutes
posted: 12/08/10

County Council Meeting Minutes


November 23, 2010

County Council of Dorchester County

Regular Meeting Minutes

November 23, 2010

 

The County Council of Dorchester County met in regular session on November 23, 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.

 

REGULAR SESSION

 

EXECUTIVE SESSION

The Council adjourned from a Regular Session and convened in a closed Executive

Session pursuant to 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;  10-508(A)(3) to consider the acquisition of real property for a public purpose and matters directly related thereto and  §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 present Council members.

 

REGULAR SESSION

 

INVOCATION AND PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

Councilman Nichols led the invocation and the pledge of allegiance.

 

CALL FOR ADDITIONS OR DELETIONS TO AGENDA

 

There were no additions or deletions to the agenda.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES- NOVEMBER 9, 2010

The Council approved the minutes of November 9, 2010.

APPROVAL OF DISBURSEMENTS

The Council approved vouchers as presented with Councilman Travers abstaining from payments made to Simmons Center Market.

 

FINANICAL REPORT: CASH AND INVESTMENTS

 

Councilman Newcomb reported total cash and investments as $8,724,548.11.

EXECUTIVE SESSION SUMMARY

The County Council of Dorchester County convened in an Executive Session at 4:30  p.m. on November 23, 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)(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;  10-508(A)(3) to consider the acquisition of real property for a public purpose and matters directly related thereto and  §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 present 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) approved a request from an existing full time EMS employee to transfer to a part time on call position after retirement requirements are met by a 3 to 0 vote; 2) discussed managerial coverage of Emergency Medical Services Department during vacation leave-took no action; 3) continued consideration of issues pertinent to a recent personnel hearing and agreed to uphold the administrative decision by a 4 to 0 vote with one Council member recusing themself;  4) approved a request of the Public Works Director to retain temporary employees in lieu of permanently filling vacancies in the Public Works Department by a 4 to 0 vote; 5) approved a request of the 911 Center Director to hire individuals to fill two vacant 911 dispatcher positions at the 911 Communications Center by a 4 to 0 vote; 6) received information from staff relating to a long term marketing plan for Technology Park – agreed to uphold prior commitments with MEDCO and received information from staff regarding a State proposal to develop land in Dorchester County-took no action; 7) discussed with legal counsel a matter relating to emergency medical services billing-took no action; 8) received information from staff regarding a grant application relating to the potential expansion of a local business – agreed to obtain more 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.

 

REGULAR SESSION

PROCLAMATION-SHORE HOME CARE AND HOSPICE MONTH-NOVEMBER 2010                                          

 

The Council presented a proclamation declaring November 2010 as Shore Home Care and Hospice Month.  Rita Holley, Director of Shore Home Care Home Health & Hospice, and Barbara Cole, Clinical Supervisor, accepted the proclamation.   Ms. Holley acknowledged that Pam Kunz, Community Liaison, was also present.

 

AUDIT PRESENTATION   

 

Michael Spears, Finance Director, introduced Herb Geary, Partner, and Roy Geiser, Senior Auditor, of TGM Group, who prepared the financial audit for Dorchester County for the year ending June 30, 2010. 

 

Mr. Geiser stated that the financial audit was an unqualified opinion and that the audit process went smoothly.  He discussed with Council generally the financial standing of the General Fund and the Landfill and Airport Enterprise funds.  He explained that since the last audit was conducted property tax revenues increased by over $2 million while income tax decreased by $4 million and highway user fund revenues decreased by $3.2 million.

 

Mr. Geiser advised that there is a new governmental accounting standard known as GASB 54, effective January 1, 2011, which establishes new balance reporting and government fund type definitions.    He explained that as a result of that new standard unreserved and undesignated fund balances will be considered “unassigned” funds and funds designated for capital projects will now be considered “committed” funds.  He said that transfer tax funds, which are used for the Circuit Court House and public school construction, will be considered “restricted” funds and that the County’s Reserve Fund and Tourism Marketing Fund will be reclassified as part of the County’s General Fund.

 

Mr. Geary thanked the Council for the opportunity to participate in the FY 2010 audit process.  He commended County staff, including the Finance Office staff and Jane Baynard, County Manager, on their preparation and assistance in the audit process and noted that Dorchester County is the first county his staff has worked with that has completed its audit process.  

 

In response to a question from Councilman Price, Mr. Geary explained that debt service for public school construction is the main reason government wide assets decreased by $6.6 million.

 

Mr. Spears thanked Robert Willey, Assistant Finance Director, Mr. Geary and Mr. Geiser for their assistance during the FY 2010 audit process.  He expressed his belief that the $1.9 million unrestricted, unreserved FY 2010 balance in the County’s General Fund at will have to be used for the FY 2012 budget in addition to any FY 2011 Reserve Fund balance that may be available at the end of that fiscal year.

 

The Council thanked Mr. Geary and Mr. Geiser for the audit presentation and Mr. Spears and County staff for their participation in the audit process. 

           

LEGISLATIVE SESSION

 

The Council adjourned into Legislative Session.

 

Council introduced Bill No. 2010-21. AN ACT OF THE COUNTY COUNCIL OF DORCHESTER COUNTY MARYLAND, ACTING PURSUANT TO ARTICLE 25A, CHARTERED COUNTIES, SECTION 5T, BUILDING ORDINANCES, OF THE ANNOTATED CODE OF MARYLAND, AND TITLE 12, OF THE PUBLIC SAFETY ARTICLE OF THE ANNOTATED CODE OF MARYLAND, TO ADD NEW SECTION 65-6 (Y) TO ARTICLE IV OF CHAPTER 65 OF THE DORCHESTER COUNTY CODE TO DELETE IN ITS ENTIRETY SECTION P2904, DWELLING UNIT FIRE SPRINKLER SYSTEMS, OF THE INTERNATIONAL RESIDENTIAL CODE FOR ONE AND TWO FAMILY DWELLINGS.   

 

E. Thomas Merryweather, County Attorney, said the bill is to seek an exemption for Dorchester County to the Maryland Building Performance Standards Code amendment, effective January 1, 2011, which will require that all new single family homes have automatic sprinkler systems.    The Council acknowledged that local legislation must be enacted prior to January 1, 2011 in order for County residents to be exempt from the requirement.

 

The Council agreed to proceed with publication of the public hearing on this matter.

REGULAR SESSION

 

The Council adjourned into Regular Session.

MANAGERS COMMENTS

CHESAPEAKE COLLEGE FY 2011 BUDGET SPENDING AUTHORITY REQUEST

 

Ms. Baynard advised that Council received a written request from Barbara Viniar, President of Chesapeake College, to increase spending authority for FY 2011 by $480,692  using unbudgeted and unexpected revenues of which approximately $850,000 is anticipated  ($400,000 in State funds and approximately $450,000 in tuition and fee revenue for the following: instruction ($370,000), academic support ($37,600), student services ($30,000), institutional support ($28,092) and plant operation ($15,000).   She said that Dr. Viniar is also asking to use $746,000 of the College’s unrestricted fund balance ($2,909,574 as of June 30, 2010) for the following:  computer/academic hardware and equipment (231,000); computer software ($138,000); training ($117,000); and maintenance and repairs ($260,000).  She further explained that Dr. Viniar is requesting that the Council approve the revised FY 2011 budget resulting from the increased spending authority and unrestricted fund balance appropriation. 

 

Based on staff’s recommendation, the Council agreed to deny Dr. Viniar’s requests at this time and request that a collective meeting between members from the five supporting counties and Chesapeake College staff be held to discuss the requests.   The Council acknowledged that the Queen Anne County Council members’ denied Dr. Viniar’s request on behalf of the college and requested a return of the fund balance to all supporting counties. 

 

RESOLUTION-SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT PLAN REVISION-PUBLIC SCHOOL RECYCLING

 

Based on a request from Chuck Weber, Public Works Director, the Council accepted a resolution acknowledging its September 21, 2010 approval of a revision to the County’s Ten Year Solid Waste Management Plan to include recycling in County public schools.   The Council acknowledged that the Maryland Department of Environment has requested that the resolution be executed to formally recognize the plan amendments.

 

ELLIOTT ISLAND WETLAND RESTORATION PROJECT-CHANGE ORDER NO. 2-PUBLIC WORKS

 

The Council approved Change Order Request No. 2 of Environmental Concern, Inc., contractor, to extend the contract completion date for the Elliott Island Wetland Restoration project from September 26, 2010 to May 31, 2011 with no increased contract cost.  The Council acknowledged that the Maryland Department of Environment as funding agency will have to approve change order.    The Council further acknowledged that the extension is due to delays in bridge reinforcement, actual spoil sand availability, follow up phragmites control, equipment vandalism associated with the boat arson at Eliotts Island dock and unfavorable weather and tide conditions.    The Council recognized that the contractor will continue with sill construction and sand placement over the winter months.

 

ROADWAY PAVEMENT LINE STRIPING CONTRACT-FINAL CHANGE ORDER #2                                                            

 

The Council approved the request of Mr. Weber to execute a change order (Change Order No. 2) to the contract between the Dorchester County Council and Alpha Space Control, Inc. to adjust the contract amount to cover the final completed footage of under 1.1 million feet of line striping which was applied on approximately 155 miles of County road in order to utilize the remaining project funding of $7,002.12 by shifting unused funds that were originally designated for contracting with the State Highway Administration (SHA) for construction management and material testing.  

 

The Council acknowledged that the State Highway Administration’s as the funding agency will have to approve change order and that funding for the project is from

a Maryland Department of Transportation American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Grant.

 

ROAD CONSTRUCTION AGREEMENT RELEASE-WILCKENS-PLANNING AND ZONING

 

The Council approved the request of Rodney Banks, Assistant Planning and Zoning Director, to execute a Road Construction Agreement Release between the County Council of Dorchester County and Gary Wilckens, Personal Representative of the Estate of Lena Wilckens,  to release Mr. Wilckens from the obligations of a Road Construction Agreement dated February 27, 2007 and recorded among the Land Records of Dorchester County, Maryland in Liber MLB 793, folio 699, to construct a public road known as “Plantation Court”.    The Council acknowledged that Mr. Wilckens has abandoned plans to subdivide the property to build the “Plantation at Newhart Mill” subdivision and that the final plat was never recorded.

 

RESOLUTION OF SUPPORT-HARRIET TUBMAN STATUE-NATIONAL STATUARY HALL

 

Ms. Baynard noted that Councilwoman Elzey was contacted by Dr. Lynette Long, President of Equal Visibility Everywhere, who advised her that the members of EVE and Maryland National Organization for Women are seeking proposed State legislation to replace one of Maryland’s two current statues at the national Statuary Hall with a statue of Harriet Tubman.  She said that Dr. Long is requesting the Council’s support through the execution of a resolution for the replacement of a John Hanson statute with the Harriet Tubman statue.    The Council agreed to discuss the possible execution of a resolution of support during its December 21, 2010 discussion regarding legislative proposals for the 2011 Maryland General Assembly Legislative Session.

 

TRAVEL REQUEST-ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

 

The Council approved the request of Keasha Haythe, Economic Development Director, to travel to the International Economic Development Council’s Leadership Summit entitled “Innovation and Competitiveness: Unlocking Your Region’s Future” to be held on January 23 to January 25, 2010 in San Diego, California.  The Council acknowledged that the total cost of the conference including registration, airfare, hotel accommodations and meals is $1,800 of which $1,300 will come from the Economic Development FY 2011 budget under the lodging and meals line item with Ms. Haythe contributing $500 of her person funds for the remainder.  

 

MARYLAND STATE POLICE PURCHASING AGREEMENT-EASTERN SHORE INFORMATION CENTER

 

The Council approved the agreement between Dorchester County Sheriff’s Office, the County’s Finance Department and the Maryland State Police Grants Management section to allow the Sheriff’s Office staff to purchase equipment and supplies for the Eastern Shore Information Center which will be housed in the Salisbury Police Department.  The Council acknowledged that the grant funds available for these purchases are $50,000 and that the Maryland State Police will provide a list of the equipment and supplies that are eligible to purchase under the grant.  The Council further acknowledged that all purchases will be made in accordance with the County’s purchasing rules and regulations and that the County will be fully reimbursed by the Maryland State Police Grants Management Unit.

 

COUNTY IDENTIFICATION/INVENTORY SYSTEM PURCHASE REQUEST-EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT

 

The Council approved a request from Wayne Robinson, Emergency Management Director, to purchase an Inventory module that will allow staff to inventory all County owned mobile/portable radios, Emergency Medical Services equipment for County ambulances, and any equipment purchased through Homeland Security Grants at a cost of $17,085 which includes the following: laptop, scanner, label printer, supplies, carrying case and software, on-site delivery installation, training and extended three year software maintenance contracts.  The Council recognized that the funds for this purchase will come from the FY08 Homeland Security Grant.    The Council acknowledged that the system will allow staff to keep track of equipment that is currently provided to Volunteer Fire Companies and to units that are assisting Dorchester County on a mutual aid basis.  The Council further acknowledged that the system can be expanded to allow for providing inventory capabilities to other County departments and agencies.

 

PUBLIC COMMENTS

Delegate Rudolph Cane asked that he be provided a copy of the Council’s December 21, 2010 regular session meeting minutes in reference to its discussion regarding possible legislative initiatives for the 2011 Maryland General Assembly Legislative Session, once the minutes are approved. 

 

COUNCIL’S COMMENTS

The Council approved Councilman Travers reappointment of Wendell Foxwell to the Board of Zoning Appeals.  The Council acknowledged that Mr. Foxwell’s term will expire on December 31, 2013.

 

At the recommendation of Councilman Price, the Council agreed to discuss incorporating local history courses into Dorchester County public schools with Board of Education members and staff at its next meeting with Board of Education representatives scheduled for November 30th for the monthly Dorchester Career and Technology Center progress report.   

 

Councilman Newcomb noted that the Council will be sworn in on December 7, 2010 followed by a short County Council meeting related to Council administrative functions only.

 

PRESENTATIONS-COUNCILWOMAN ELZEY

The following individuals conveyed their thanks and appreciation to Councilwoman Elzey for her 16 years of service to Dorchester County as a Council member:  Councilman Price; Tom Bradshaw, a Dorchester County resident and Council member-elect; Chuck Weber, Public Works Director; Keasha Haythe, Economic Development Director; Robert Tieder, Chairman of the Dorchester County Sanitary Commission; C.R. Newman, Maintenance Director; Glenn Payne, Board of Education member, Becky Dennis, Human Resources Director, Roger Harrell, Health Officer;  Dave Wilson, Executive Director of Resource Conservation and Development; Portia Ennals-Johnson, a Dorchester County resident; Bruce Coulson, a Dorchester County resident; Wendell Foxwell, a Dorchester County resident; Brett Wilson, Circuit Court Judge; Doris Lewis, Register of Wills; Carolyn Todd, Orphans Court Judge; George Ames, Orphans Court Judge; and William Jones, State’s Attorney; Robert Willey, Assistant Finance Director;  John Mason, Business Attraction and Expansion Manager; Donna Lane, Executive Administrative Specialist;  Mr. Merryweather; and Ms. Baynard.  

 

Councilman Newcomb acknowledged that the County’s Emergency Medical Services employees have given Councilwoman Elzey the flower arrangement.

 

Sheriff James Phillips presented a plaque to Councilwoman Elzey commending for her service to Dorchester County and her support of the Sheriff’s Office.

 

The following presentations were made to Councilwoman Elzey: 1) resolution of respect from the City of Cambridge presented by Mayor Victoria Jackson-Stanley; 2) citation on behalf of the Maryland General Assembly presented by Delegates Adelaide Eckardt, Rudolph Cane and Jeannie Haddaway; 3) Senate Resolution presented by Senator Richard Colburn; and 4) congratulatory letter present by Linda Prochaska, Special Assistant, on behalf of Senator Barbara Mikulski.   Councilman Newcomb noted that Senator Benjamin Cardin was unable to attend the meeting but that had advised that he will be presenting a citation to Councilwoman Elzey at a later date.  The Council members presented to Councilwoman Elzey a card, flowers, commendation and plaque commemorating her years of service.

 

ADJOURNMENT

With no further business to discuss, the Council adjourned.

 

ATTEST:                                                                                DORCHESTER COUNTY COUNCIL:

 

______________________________    ____________________________________

Jane Baynard, County Manager                              Jay L. Newcomb, President

 

                                                                                                ____________________________________

                                                                                                Effie M. Elzey, Vice President

 

                                                                                                ____________________________________

                                                                                                William V. Nichols

 

                                                                                                ____________________________________

                                                                                                Ricky Travers

 

                                                                                                ____________________________________

                                                                                                Rick Price

Approved the ______day of  ___________, 2010.