Meeting Minutes

Meeting Minutes
posted: 02/24/11

County Council Meeting Minutes


February 1, 2011

County Council of Dorchester County

Regular Meeting Minutes

February 1, 2011

 

The County Council of Dorchester County met in regular session on February 1, 2011 with the following members present: Present were Jay L. Newcomb, President; William V. Nichols, Vice President; Ricky Travers; Rick Price and Tom Bradshaw. 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 pursuant to §10-508(A)(10) to discuss public security, if the public body determines that public discussion would constitute a risk to the public or to public security, including: (i) the deployment of fire and police services and staff; and (ii) the development and implementation of emergency plans;  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)(4) to consider a preliminary matter that concerns the proposal for a business or industrial organization to locate, expand, or remain in the State; 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.

 

REGULAR SESSION

 

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 the addition of a request to advertise for part time on call employees for the Visitor’s Center to the agenda.

 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES- JANUARY 18, 2011

 

The Council approved the minutes of January 18, 2011.


APPROVAL OF DISBURSEMENTS

 

The Council approved vouchers as presented.

 

FINANICAL REPORT: CASH AND INVESTMENTS

 

Councilman Newcomb reported total cash and investments as $ 6,175,026.75.

 

EXECUTIVE SESSION SUMMARY

 

The County Council of Dorchester County convened in an Executive Session at 4:45 p.m. on February 1, 2011 in a closed session at Room 110, County Office Building, 501 Court Lane, Cambridge, Maryland, pursuant to the State Government Article pursuant to §10-508(A)( 10) to discuss public security, if the public body determines that public discussion would constitute a risk to the public or to public security, including: 

(i) the deployment of fire and police services and staff; and (ii) the development and implementation of emergency plans;  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)(4) to consider a preliminary matter that concerns the proposal for a business or industrial organization to locate, expand, or remain in the State; 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 an update from Sheriff James Phillips regarding public security matters-took no action; 2) discussed procedures followed by 911 Center personnel – deferred for further consideration; 3) approved the request of Interim Emergency Medical Services Manager to hire individuals to fill a vacant Paramedic position and a vacant Emergency Technician I position and to hire eight individuals as on call Paramedics by a 5 to 0 vote; 4) denied the request of the Interim Emergency Medical Services Manager to increase the hourly compensation of an employee by a 5 to 0 vote and approved a change in the supervisory status of an employee; 5) discussed the request of the Tourism Director to seek additional on call staff for the Visitors’ Center and agreed to discuss in open session; 6) continued discussions with legal counsel regarding EMS appropriations to volunteer fire companies-took no action.

 

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

 

COMMENDATION-STELLA THOMAS-EASTERN REGIONAL SCHOLAR TEAM

 

The Council presented a commendation to Stella Thomas for being selected as a member of the 2011 Pop Warner Eastern Region Scholar Team for her academic excellence and athletic merit.  Ms. Thomas accepted the proclamation.

 

PROCLAMATION-NATIONAL OUTDOOR SHOW MONTH                                                                                          

The Council presented a proclamation declaring February 2011 National Outdoor Show Month.  Miss Outdoors Alyssa Eckels, Susan Windsor, Lori Huber, Cindy Paul, Bud Foxwell, Jen Curran and Marlene Meninger, were present to accept the proclamation.

 

INTRODUCTION-NEW BUSINESS-ERIC PLOEG

 

Keasha Haythe, Economic Development Director, introduced Eric Ploeg and advised that he plans to open a new business called Hot Spot Cold Eats in the building that was formerly occupied by the Shell Quick Mart on Route 50.     Mr. Ploeg explained that the building will be renovated into two separate but adjoining areas with one area being the restaurant and the other a retail store from which he hopes to sell local products.  He said that hot dogs, soft pretzels, and boardwalk fries are some of the items that will be served at the restaurant with both exterior and interior seating.   He estimated that four to six employment opportunities will be created with the potential for additional job growth in the future.   In response to a question from Councilman Travers, Mr. Ploeg said the anticipated opening date of the business is April 1, 2011.  The Council thanked Mr. Ploeg for providing information regarding his plans to open Hot Spots Cold Eats in the County and wished him success with his business.

 

INTRODUCTION-EXCHANGE STUDENT

 

Sheriff James Phillips introduced Fabio Nuejhr, a foreign exchange student from western Germany, and explained that he has spent the last two weeks working with himself and his deputies to learn about law enforcement in Dorchester County as part of his senior high school project.  He noted that several years ago Mr. Nuejhr participated in a student exchange as a part of a program with the County’s Sister Partnership agreement with Duren County and attended North Dorchester High School and advised that, at that time he became interested in law enforcement.   Sheriff Phillips stated that in addition to shadowing deputies, Mr. Nuejhr had the opportunity to witness the security preparations for the January 21, 2011 presidential visit.   Corporal Andrea Robinson said she was Mr. Nuejhr’s guide during his visit and that he was able to observe her while she performed her duties as school resource officer.   She noted that he also took part in law enforcement activities and classes at Wor-Wic Community College.  Mr. Nuejhr expressed his appreciation to the Sheriff, Ms. Robinson and the Sheriff’s Office staff for allowing him the opportunity to visit the County to learn about law enforcement.   The Council thanked Mr. Nuejhr for his time and interest in law enforcement and wished him success in his future endeavors.

 

MANAGERS COMMENTS

 

REQUEST FOR EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES APPROPRIATION-DORCHESTER COUNTY VOLUNTEER FIREMEN’S ASSOCIATION

 

The Council acknowledged the receipt of a written request from Keith Adkins, President of the Dorchester County Volunteer Firemen’s Association, for the release of the FY 2011 emergency medical services appropriation to local volunteer fire companies and agreed to consider the release of those funds at its March 1, 2011 meeting. Ms. Baynard clarified that the budget appropriations to each fire company are $12,211 and not $12,300 as noted in Mr. Adkins’ correspondence.

 

2011 COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT-DORCHESTER COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIP FOR CHILDREN AND FAMILIES

 

The Council approved the request of Nancy Shockley, Local Management Board Director, to accept funds in the amount of $452,196 from the Governor’s Office of Children (GOC) for administration ($142,924) and program costs ($309,272)  and to execute the 2011 Community Partnership Agreement with a grant period of July 1, 2010 through June 30, 2011.   The Council acknowledged that administration funds include $65,000 in GOC Funding,  $77,924 in earned re-investment funds and the distribution of the remaining funds to the following programs: Youth Services Bureau, $65,926; Girls Circle (Teen Pregnancy Project), $50,000; Communities Mobilizing for Change on Alcohol, $22,000; School Based Mental Health, $80,000; Quest After School $75,000 and Teen Ambassadors After School, $16,976.

 

BID AWARD-CONSULTANT-HARRIET TUBMAN UNDERGROUND RAILROAD BYWAY WEBSITE-TOURISM

 

A motion to award the bid for the development of a Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway website to Bay Country Communications, a local company, provided there are sufficient funds within the FY 2009 Maryland Heritage Area Authority grant entitled “Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway Interpretive Plan” and the FY 2009  Federal Highway Administration grant to the State, Managing and Marketing Maryland’s Byway Strategic Priorities was denied with Councilmen Newcomb, Bradshaw, Travers and Nichols opposing.  The Council approved the recommendation of Amanda Fenstermaker, Tourism Director, to award the bid to Costa DeVault at the  price range of $51,000 to $55,300 to be paid with funding from Federal Highway Administration and Maryland Heritage Area Authority grants.  Councilman Price opposed.  Council acknowledged that the Costa DeVault bid is not the low bid but that staff has advised it is the only bid to meet all bid requirements and that the company has extensive experience with other byway projects and Federal requirements.

 

BOARD APPOINTMENTS

 

Charter Review Commission

 

The Council approved the appointment of Bruce Coulson to the Charter Review Commission as the District 1 representative and deferred the appointment of additional members to the Charter Review Commission representing Districts 2 and 3 and two at large members, to its February 15, 2011 meeting.

 

Redistricting Committee

The Council deferred the appointment of the nominees to the Redistricting Committee which were provided by the Republican and Democratic Central Committees until its February 15, 2011 meeting.  The Council agreed to appoint Barbara Hall as the at large member for the Redistricting Committee.   Councilman Nichols expressed his concern about the lack of minorities on the list of nominees that were provided by members of each Central Committees.  Mr. Simering explained that although Republican Central Committee members asked several minorities if they were willing to serve on the Committee they received no positive response. 

TELEPHONE POLL CONFIRMATIONS    

 Ms. Baynard advised that in the interim between meetings, the Council, by means of telephone poll, took the following actions: 1) accepted a Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development Grant award in the amount of $60,000 which includes $10,000 for administrative costs with no County match to continue support of the County wide housing counseling and prevention activities for families threatened by foreclosure with Delmarva Community Services providing those services by a 5 to 0 vote; 2) agreed to send a letter of support for Senate Bill 25 entitled “Dorchester County-Land Acquisition-Approval Required” provided the bill is amended to require that the State  provide information about proposed land purchases of all property in Dorchester County, regardless of size, prior to acquisition, instead of requiring approval by the County Council by a 4 to 1 vote.  Ms. Baynard said it is her understanding that Senator Colburn has elected to proceed with the original bill.; 3) agreed to send correspondence to Governor Martin O’Malley requesting that consideration be made to restore highway revenues to local jurisdictions during FY 2012 budget deliberations by a 5 to 0 vote; 4)  agreed to submit to President Barack Obama, during his January 21, 2011 visit to the County,  a letter regarding the new Dorchester Regional Technology Park for which American Reinvestment and Recovery Act funds have been received, and invited him and his staff to visit the site during their visit by a 5 to 0 vote.

 

REQUEST TO ADVERTISE-ON CALL EMPLOYEES-TOURISM

 

The Council approved the request of Ms. Fenstermaker to advertise for on call employees

to assist in managing the Visitor’s Center during visiting hours.  

 

PUBLIC COMMENTS

 

There were no public comments.

 

COUNCIL’S COMMENTS/ADJOURNMENT

 

Councilman Price advised that there is a vacancy on the Social Services Board and that there are no special requirements on who can fill that seat.  He noted that the Board meets the third Tuesday of each month at 1:30 p.m.  

 

Councilman Newcomb acknowledged that Amy Craig, Clerk of the Court, was present.  Ms. Craig advised that she was joining several other Clerks of the Court in surrounding counties in testifying before legislators in support of continued funding for the Land Records Division at Circuit Court.   She said it is her understanding that although there may be sufficient funds for that Division in FY 2012 there may be a reduction in those funds in FY 2013 due to declining recordation tax revenues.    She confirmed Mr. Simering’s earlier comments that although the Republican Central Committee members asked several individuals who were minorities if they wanted to serve on the Redistricting Committee, they received no positive response.

 

Ms. Haythe advised Council that Economic Development staff is working with staff at the Black Gold potato plant to locate a building for them to use while the main facility is being renovated.  She said there is a possibility that they may be interested in leasing the building that was formerly occupied by ABC Distributing.

 

Councilman Newcomb noted that the next County Council meeting is scheduled for February 15, 2011 at 6 p.m.

 

With no further business to discuss, the Council reconvened into executive session to discuss two economic development items at 7:10 p.m.

 

ATTEST:                                                         DORCHESTER COUNTY COUNCIL:

 

______________________________            ____________________________________

Jane Baynard, County Manager                        Jay L. Newcomb, President

 

                                                                        ____________________________________

                                                                        William V. Nichols, Vice President

 

                                                                        ____________________________________

                                                                        Ricky Travers

 

                                                                        ____________________________________

                                                                        Rick Price

 

                                                                        ____________________________________

                                                                        Tom Bradshaw

 

Approved the ______day of _______________, 2011.