County Council Meeting Minutes
September 6, 2011
County Council of
Regular Meeting Minutes
September 6, 2011
The County Council of Dorchester County met in regular session on September 6, 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,
The Council adjourned from a Regular Session and convened in a closed Executive Session pursuant to 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; pursuant to 10-508(A)(7) to consult with counsel to obtain legal advice on a legal matter; and 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.
Voting in favor of the closed Executive Session were all Council members.
INVOCATION AND PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
Councilmen 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. The Council agreed to restructure two requests from Delmarva Community Services, a request for a resolution of support for its application for Maryland Tax Credits and a request for a payment of lieu of taxes (PILOT) for a proposed housing development, to a specific presentation to Council prior to the discussion on legislative proposals for the 2012 Maryland General Assembly Legislative Session.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES- AUGUST 16, 2011
The Council approved the August 16, 2011 minutes.
APPROVAL OF DISBURSEMENTS
The Council approved vouchers as presented with Councilman Travers abstaining for payments made to Simmons Center Market.
FINANICAL REPORT: CASH AND INVESTMENTS
Councilman Newcomb reported total cash and investments as $2,675,551.51.
EXECUTIVE SESSION SUMMARY
The County Council of Dorchester County convened in an Executive Session at 4:30 p.m. on September 6, 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)(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; pursuant to 10-508(A)(7) to consult with counsel to obtain legal advice on a legal matter; and 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.
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 public safety issues with the Sheriff-took no action; 2) discussed concerns of coverage of administrative duties at Detention Center – took no action; 3) discussed the proposed Emergency Services Director position-agreed to continue discussion in a future work session; 4) discussed the vacant Public Works Director position– agreed to continue discussion in a future work session; 5) discussed information from Highway Division staff regarding personnel and workload –agreed to continue discussion in future work session; 6) discussed a request to purchase County owned property-agreed not to proceed; 7) agreed to communicate with the State Department of Business and Economic Development regarding long range plans for the Dorchester Regional Technology Park by a 5 to 0 vote; 8) reviewed legal advice regarding the Mid Atlantic Power Pathway Public Service Commission Motion to Intervene-agreed to seek motion to dismiss via Special Legal Counsel by a 5 to 0 vote; 9)
agreed to set up a work session to discuss certain public safety issues with staff by a 5 to 0 vote.
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.
PROCLAMATIONS-LIBRARY SIGN UP MONTH-SEPTEMBER
The Council presented a proclamation declaring September 2011 Library Sign Up Month. Frances Cresswell, Assistant Director of the Dorchester County Library, accepted the proclamation.
PREPAREDNESS MONTH-SEPTEMBER 2011
The Council presented a proclamation declaring September 2011 as Preparedness Month. Steve Garvin, Emergency Planner, accepted the proclamation.
The Council adjourned into Legislative Session.
Bill No. 2011-4 AN ACT OF THE COUNTY COUNCIL OF DORCHESTER COUNTY, MARYLAND PURSUANT TO THE AUTHORITY OF TITLE 15, SUBTITLE 8 OF THE STATE GOVERNMENT ARTICLE OF THE ANNOTATED CODE OF MARYLAND TO REPEAL CHAPTER 88 OF THE DORCHESTER COUNTY CODE ENTITLED CODE OF ETHICS AND TO REENACT CHAPTER 88 OF THE DORCHESTER COUNTY CODE ENTITLED ETHICS PROVISIONS FOR THE PURPOSE OF ENACTING A NEW PUBLIC LOCAL ETHICS LAW FOR DORCHESTER COUNTY ELECTED OFFICIALS, EMPLOYEES OR APPOINTEES, RELATING TO PUBLIC ETHICS ON A LOCAL LEVEL, INCLUDING CONFLICTS OF INTEREST, FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE AND LOBBYING DISCLOSURE, ESTABLISHING A LOCAL ETHICS COMMISSION; AND SPECIFYING CERTAIN PERSONNEL AND CHARACTERISTICS OF IT; PROVIDING CERTAIN DUTIES, RESPONSIBILITIES, POWERS AND PROCEDURES TO THE LOCAL ETHICS COMMISSION, TO PROVIDE FOR THE ENFORCEMENT OF THE ORDINANCE; AND GENERALLY RELATING TO THE REGULATION, CONTROL AND SUBJECT MATTER OF CONFLICTS OF INTEREST FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE, LOBBY DISCLOSURE AND ETHICAL CONDUCT ON THE PART OF DORCHESTER COUNTY OFFICIALS, EMPLOYEES AND APPOINTEES.
Mr. Merryweather explained that a public hearing is being conducted on proposed legislation to repeal and re-enact Chapter 88 of the Dorchester County Code entitled “Code of Ethics” pursuant to a change in State law enacted during the 2010 General Assembly session. Mr. Merryweather said the intent of the new State law is that local jurisdictions’ Ethics Ordinances must be at least “equal” to State law where prior State law only required a local jurisdiction’s Ethics laws to be “similar” to the State. He said he used the State Ethics Commission’s Model B draft ordinance, specifically designed for rural counties, to develop the local draft bill. He noted that the proposed legislation was sent to the State Ethics Commission for review and comment and to-date no response has been received. Mr. Merryweather recommended that the Council allow for public comment but defer taking any action to enact the bill until the State Ethics Commission reviews and comments on the proposed bill.
Charlotte Hughes, a Dorchester County resident, said she has not had the opportunity to review the bill but is hopeful that it will benefit County residents.
In response to a question from Pete Macinta, a resident, Mr. Merryweather explained that the model used to fashion the local bill was designed for rural counties while another model offered was designed for urban areas. Mr. Macinta expressed his opinion that members of commission should be elected.
The Council deferred action on this bill until the State Ethics Commission has reviewed the draft legislation.
BILL NO. 2011-5 – AN ACT OF THE COUNTY COUNCIL OF DORCHESTER COUNTY, MARYLAND PURSUANT TO THE AUTHORITY OF ARTICLE 25A(5)(J)
Mr. Merryweather advised Council and the audience that a public hearing is being held on an amendment to the notification section of the County’s Property Maintenance Ordinance relating to due process in notifications regarding potential clean up actions that will result in a lien on the property. He explained that, pursuant to the proposed legislation, a title search by legal counsel will be required at the point a second violation notice is sent to a property owner of a potential clean up of their property in order to ensure that all interested persons, including but not limited to mortgage and lien holds, heirs and tax certificate holders, are made aware of the pending clean-up. Mr. Merryweather noted that the legislation as drafted will result in additional costs in the form of legal services being incurred by the property owner which will be a lien on the
property if left unpaid. He cautioned that, in some cases those legal expenses may be more that the cost to correct the violation. Mr. Merryweather advised that in the interest of disclosure staff should revise the property maintenance notification form to include the additional legal costs that may be incurred in bold print if this bill is enacted.
In response to questions from Mr. Merryweather, Steve Dodd, Planning and Zoning Director estimated that, on average, at least one property maintenance violation notice is sent out each month. Gene Harper, Zoning Inspector, based on an inquiry from Mr. Merryweather said approximately 10% of the property maintenance violations require that the County initiate a cleanup of the subject property in some fashion.
Wendell Foxwell, a Dorchester County resident, questioned whether the amendment will require that the property owner cleanup the property prior to transferring a deed. Mr. Merryweather said this legislation only addresses the removal of trash, rubble and junk as defined in Chapter 121 of the local code. He further explained that there is a County nuisance ordinance to address issues relating to overgrown weeds and grass and any items relating to the condition of a house or structure are addressed under the International Building Code. Mr. Dodd said the County’s Health Department staff are charged with enforcement the nuisance ordinance.
Mr. Dodd advised that, Council should be aware that in the event a property owner corrects a property maintenance violation after the second notice is received but prior to the County’s taking action to clean up the property, they will likely still incur legal costs that will ultimately become a lien on the property if unpaid. He also expressed his opinion that the proposed amendments to the Property Maintenance law will cause delays and will be more expensive to implement.
Donald Gray, a Dorchester County resident, expressed concern about multiple calls to Planning and Zoning staff regarding properties on Merryweather Drive. He questioned whether a registered letter is sent to a property owner before County staff may their property. Mr. Dodd said that, pursuant to Section. 121-10 of the County’s Code, once a violation occurs or the office receives a formal complaint, Planning and Zoning staff have the right to enter and inspect a property.
Bob Harper, a resident, expressed concern that a property owner may be faced with additional costs if legal services are incurred, particularly when the costs to correct a violation may be less than the legal expenses.
Mr. Gray noted that he has recently reported to the Planning and Zoning staff that there were several residents who have untagged vehicles in their yards and to his knowledge no action was taken regarding those reports. Mr. Harper explained that, according to the County Code, a property owner may have an untagged vehicle(s) on their property for a number of reasons which include allowing the owner to make repairs to have the vehicle, pending vehicle inspections or when trying to sell the vehicle. Mr. Gray expressed his opinion that enforcement of the Property Maintenance Ordinance should be consistent.
The Council voted not to proceed with Bill No. 2011-5 with the following role call: Newcomb-aye; Bradshaw-aye; Nichols-aye; Travers-aye; Price-aye.
Bill No. 2011-6 AN ACT OF THE COUNTY COUNCIL OF DORCHESTER COUNTY, MARYLAND PURSUANT TO THE AUTHORITY OF ARTICLE 25A, SECTION 5(S) OF THE ANNOTATED CODE OF MARYLAND AMENDING SECTION 25-2(B) OF CHAPTER 25 OF THE CODE OF PUBLIC LOCAL
Mr. Merryweather explained that there have been concerns expressed by County staff that the existing ordinance to implement a County-wide burn ban in Dorchester County may be cumbersome with regard to the requirement to enact based on publication in a newspaper of general circulation in the County. He said that this provision may cause a delay in initiating a burn ban in an emergency situation and, as a solution, this draft legislation will expand that notification and due process to allow publication on the County’s website and via local radio and television stations. Council agreed to introduce Bill 2011-6 and to proceed with publication for a public hearing.
RESIDENTS CONCERNS-PROPERTY TAXES/PLANNING AND ZONING-DONALD GRAY
Mr. Gray reminded Council of concerns he expressed during the public hearing on proposed legislation regarding the Property Maintenance Ordinance with regard to consistent enforcement of local laws.
Mr. Gray discussed with Council his concerns with the economic climate in the County and the ongoing blight of vacant buildings in and around Cambridge. He also expressed a concern with the lack of recovery in the housing market and a slow growth in the County’s population. Mr. Gray noted that all of these factors contribute to a lack of economic growth as well as his doubts regarding the success of the Regional Technology Park to attract new jobs to the area. He cautioned Council that without economic recovery and job creation, the County will continue to face significant budget challenges. Councilmen Newcomb and Nichols reminded Mr. Gray that, while they share his concerns with economic stability, they want to remind him that the State of Maryland’s actions to capture Highway User Funds for use in the State’s General Fund was the
primary factor that caused the local government to have to consider revenue enhancements in order to balance the FY 2012 budget. Councilman Nichols reminded Mr. Gray that he had warned of the economic downturn several years ago and further stated that, while the housing market is soft, the resulting assessment declines are not a function of County government but, rather, are an action of the State Assessment’s office.
Lastly, Mr. Gray advised Council that he believes that certain home renovation work is being done in the County by out-of-County contractors who do not have appropriate permits. Mr. Dodd explained that a roofing permit is easily obtained from his office and can be acquired by either the contractor or the home owner. When asked by Council members if anyone filed a formal complaint, Mr. Gray stated that, while the Planning and Zoning office was contacted, the caller did not file a formal complaint.
RESOLUTION OF SUPPORT REQUEST-MARYLAND TAX CREDITS-DELMARVA COMMUNITY SERVICES;
Santo Grande, President/CEO and Andy Hollis, Assistant Chief Operating Officer addressed Council to discuss the Chesapeake Grove project, to be located adjacent to the Delmarva Community Services building on Route 16 in Cambridge. Mr. Grande explained that his organization is seeking a resolution of Council for support of an application to the Department of Housing and Community Development for an application under that Department’s Community Investment Tax Credit program. He explained that the program offers an opportunity for non-profit organizations to apply for tax credits that can be earned by local businesses who contribute to the construction of the multigenerational center at a rate equal to 50% of the value of their contribution of cash, goods and real estate. Council approved the resolution of support for Delmarva Community Services.
REQUEST FOR PAYMENT IN LIEU OF TAXES-DELMARVA COMMUNITY SERVICES
Mr. Grande discussed with Council a request for a payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) for a multi unit Chesapeake Grove Intergenerational Housing proposal. He explained that the request is a part of Delmarva Community Services’ application to the State Department of Housing and Community Development’s Low Income Housing Tax Credit program which requires local government support. Mr. Grande explained that his organization has participated in program since 2006.
Mr. Grande said that the first phase of the project is to construct a 29 unit apartment building. In response to a question from Council, Mr. Grande explained that the requested PILOT would likely be $50 per unit. He said the deadline for DCS to make formal application is September 20, 2011.
Mr. Grande noted that the Chesapeake Grove complex is intended to be provide housing both for residents that need income assistance as well as offer market rate units. There
will also be a segment of the units targeted to support the multigenerational families within the local community. Mr. Grande stated that studies indicate a need for a continuation of some form of subsidized housing in Dorchester County, particularly for seniors.
Councilman Travers expressed a concern that there may already sufficient subsidized housing in existence in and around Cambridge. Mr. Grande clarified that the focus of the units planned for Chesapeake Grove will be for existing residents and not to attract new residents to the area. IN response to a question from Councilman Travers as to whether the project can be limited to housing for senior citizens, Mr. Grande said that a project of that nature may possible but said he believes the multigenerational component is more attractive long-term than an age restricted complex.
In response to Councilman Nichols question regarding rental rates, Mr. Grande said the anticipated monthly fee will be between $300 and $800 per month but reminded Council that some unit rates will be determined by income levels.
Charles Davis, a local resident, asked whether local companies would be employed during the construction phase of the project. Bob Harper asked if the effect of the PILOT would be to exempt the units from real property taxes to which Mr. Grande replied that, if the PILOT is approved, the County would receive the $50 per unit per year. Mr. Harper questioned whether the PILOT could be justified based on the potential impact to local services such as roads and schools.
Council took no action to establish a payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) program for the Chesapeake Grove project pending additional information from the County’s Finance Office and further agreed that the County Manager may conduct a phone poll prior to the September 20, 2011 deadline.
DISCUSSION-LEGISLATION-2012 MARYLAND GENERAL ASSEMBLY
Ms. Baynard reminded Council that the annual meeting with the Eastern Shore Delegation to discuss possible legislative initiatives for the 2012 General Assembly session is scheduled for October 11, 2011. She stated that in preparation for that meeting, as well as for the annual transportation meeting with Secretary Swaim-Staley and staff from the Maryland Department of Transportation, a list of proposed legislative requests and talking points are currently being prepared for Council. She reminded Council members that, to-date, legislative items include: (1) to seek authority to transfer responsibility from the County’s Sanitary Commission to the County’s Finance Office for billing users of local sanitary districts for the Bay Restoration Fee; (2) to seek the establishment of a privilege tax on utility companies who use high voltage power lines in Dorchester County with the intended use of the resulting revenue to benefit rate payers as well as local tourism and economic development efforts; and (3) to request legislation to provide funding to local governments for the implementation of a County Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Watershed Plan. She said that the County’s Watershed
Implementation Team has also asked the County Council to request that the State legislators update TMDL regulations to provide for statewide consistency for septic system replacements and to emphasis that the deadline for the local approval and State implementation of the TMDL watershed plans are too aggressive. She said the Council has also agreed to discuss with legislators the immediate restoration to local governments of Highway User Funds in the State’s FY 2013 budget as well as the ongoing concerns with the possible transfer Teacher’s Retirement costs from the State to the counties. Ms. Baynard clarified that there still may be legislative requests coming forward from the Board of License Commissioners but none have been received to date. Ms. Baynard asked Council to bring any additional legislative requests or any topics of discussion with the State Department of Transportation officials to the September 20th meeting. Council accepted the current list with no additions.
Ms. Baynard noted that at its August 16, 2011 meeting, the Council approved the request of Dr. Barbara Viniar, President, on behalf of the College, to use $500,000 of the College’s FY 2011 fund balance to purchase a new phone switch and voice over internet protocol system (VOIP) for the Wye Mills campus but deferred the College’s request to use a portion of the fund balance for design costs of the Center for Allied Health and Athletics along with a commitment to the construction costs of the project in FY 2014. She noted that the Kent County Commissioners, since that meeting, have agreed to make a commitment to the project but also said that, to her knowledge, no other support County has voted to approve the expenditure or future commitment. Dr. Viniar concurred. Ms. Baynard also advised Council that comments from a member of the College’s Board of Trustees was included for their review in the weekend pack.
In response to a question from Councilman Nichols, Dr. Viniar said she needs a decision on the remaining request for the use of fund balance for the design of the Allied Health and Athletic Center prior to her September 22, 2011 in order that she can indicate a commitment to proceed with construction at a meeting with the State Department of Budget and Management on that date.
The Council deferred Dr. Viniar’s request for the use of $686,559 from the FY 2012 Unrestricted Fund Balance appropriation for the local share of the design cost for the Center for Allied Health and Athletics until its September 20, 2011 meeting. Council continued to express concerns with the future funding commitment for the construction phase of the project as well.
REQUEST TO EXECUTE SHA SPECIAL EVENTS PERMIT-DORCHESTER COUNTY VOLUNTEER FIREMAN’S ASSOCIATION TRAINING
The Council approved the written request of J. B. Tieder, on behalf of the Dorchester County Volunteer Fireman’s Association, and agreed to execute a State Highway Administration Special Events Permit for County-wide training on October 16, 2011as part of the incident management plan for this event. The Council acknowledged that no County road will be closed during this event.
FY12 WORK PLAN/BUDGET-NEIGHBORHOOD REVITALIZATION-DELMARVA COMMUNITY SERVICES
At the request of Mr. Grande, the Council reviewed the updated Community Services Block Grant funding working plan for FY12 and also agreed to the execution of the Chief Elected Official Certification form which certifies that the Council received the plan and budget.
COOPERATIVE AGREEMENT-BLACKWATER NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE
The Council approved the request of Suzanne Baird, Refuge Manager, and agreed to enter into a Cooperative Agreement between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Dorchester County to maintain public road access on Wildlife Drive within Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge and to develop, manage, enhance, maintain and restore wetlands as well as to allow Blackwater Refuge to apply for Federal funding over a five year period. The Council recognized that the Cooperative Agreement contains a Mutual Aid Agreement between Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge and Dorchester County.
REQUEST TO ADVERTISE FOR BIDS-BRUSH, TREE LIMBS, STUMPS, PALLET GRINDING –LANDFILL
The Council approved the request of Perry Hall, Landfill Foreman, to advertise for bids to grind piles of brush, tree limbs, stumps and pallets at the Beulah Landfill. Council acknowledged that the mulch by-product can be used in landfill activities by providing dry material on access roads during wet weather. Additionally, Council acknowledged that funding for this work will be from the FY12 Solid Waste Enterprise Fund budget.
2011 PAVING PROJECT CONTRACT AWARD RECOMMENDATION-HIGHWAY
A motion to re-advertise a request for proposals for the paving of certain County roads based on the fact that only one proposal was submitted. failed with Councilmen Bradshaw, Price, Nichols and Newcomb opposing. The Council approved the recommendation of Roy Mills, Highway Division Manager, to award the bid for the 2011 Paving Project Contract Award to the lowest bidder, American Paving Corporation in the amount of $603,768 for paving sections of the following roads; Williamsburg Church, Maple Dam, Robbins, Cokesbury, Galestown-Reliance, Cordtown and Elliott Island
Road. Councilman Travers opposed. The Council acknowledged that the bid is based on a unit price of $82.24 per ton for overlay paving and $75.00 per ton for deep lift base paving which will be used on Maple Dam Road. Additionally, the Council acknowledged that funding for the work will be from the Department of Public Works FY12 budget.
2011 WEATHERIZATION ASSISTANCE GRANT AGREEMENT
The Council approved the request of Nancy Shockley, Local Management Board Director, and agreed to accept the 2011 Weatherization Agreement between the State of Maryland and Dorchester County for funds in the amount of $41,041 for the cost of providing weatherization services as follows: $37,404 for weatherization services; $1,769 for administrative expenses and $1,868 for training and technical assistance. The Council acknowledged that the term of this agreement shall be from July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2012.
HUMAN RESOURCES AND FISCAL POLICIES DISCUSSION/EXECUTION OF RESOLUTIONS
Ms. Baynard noted that at its August 16, 2011 meeting, the Council reviewed the several Human Resource and Fiscal Policies and agreed to consider a resolution to implement those policies at its September 20, 2011 meeting.
The Council executed a resolution to adopt a “Business Meals” policy to adopt guidelines for identifying “qualified business meals” including how and when expenses may be incurred by the County and/or County employees in order to ensure the proper use of County resources and the compliance with federal regulations.
The Council executed a resolution to adopt a “Vehicle Use for County Business” policy which defines the purpose for which vehicles may be used to conduct County business.
The Council executed a resolution to adopt a “No Smoking or Use of Tobacco Products-Dorchester County Employees” which will become effective January 2012 and prohibits all County employees from smoking or using any tobacco product on property owned, leased or used by the County. Councilmen Travers and Price opposed. Councilman Travers stated that his concern was with enforcement of the policy. In response to a question from Charles Davis, Ms. Baynard stated that violations of this policy may result in discipline as identified in the County’s Rules and Regulations. In response to a question from Pete Macinta, Ms. Baynard advised that this policy does not extend to facilities owned and operated by the Board of Education. Based on a question from Bob Phillips, Ms. Baynard stated that the policy does apply to all spaces leased by the County.
Amoss 508 funding – Director
The Council considered a resolution to implement a policy on the management of Amoss Fire, Rescue and Ambulance Funds (508 Funds) to require that the County disburse all 508 Funds directly to vendors eligible for funding under the program, on behalf of the local volunteer companies. Roy Weedon, Assistant Chief and Treasurer of the Lakes and Straits Volunteer Fire Company expressed his concern with the new policy and asked if the funds would be held in a separate account.
Keith Adkins President of Dorchester County Volunteer Fireman’s Association, asked the Council to defer the adoption of the policy and allow the local volunteer companies an opportunity to correct the reporting issues related to reports to the State of Maryland which was reported at a recent Volunteer Firemen’s Association meeting. He said that each company is facing difficult economic situations along with a reduction in the County appropriations and asked that the 508 policy for distribution of funds remain unchanged. He further stated that the policy does not define the mechanism for distribution of funds which could result in a delay to the local companies.
Bob. Phillips, Chairman of the Volunteer Firemen’s Chiefs’ Committee, also asked for the opportunity to have local company’s correct concerns with reports to the State on the expenditure of these funds. He also expressed concern that he was not made aware of t