County Council Meeting Minutes
September 20, 2011
County Council of
Regular Meeting Minutes
September 20, 2011
The County Council of Dorchester County met in regular session on September 20, 2011 with the following members present: Present were Jay L. Newcomb, President; William V. Nichols, Vice President; Rick Price and Tom Bradshaw. Also present were Jane Baynard,
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; and §10-508(A)(14) before a contract is awarded or bids are opened, discuss a matter directly related to a negotiating strategy or the contents of a bid or proposal, if public discussion or disclosure would adversely impact the ability of the public body to participate in the competitive bidding or proposal process.
Voting in favor of the closed Executive Session were all present Council members.
INVOCATION AND PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
A moment of silence was held due to the passing of James W. Phillips, Jr., the father of Sheriff James Phillips, and former Hurlock Town Council Member, William “Bill” Mills. Councilman Price led the invocation and the pledge of allegiance.
CALL FOR ADDITIONS OR DELETIONS TO AGENDA
The Council approved the following additions to the agenda: the continuation of a discussion regarding funding for mosquito spraying for the current season and requests to advertise for an interim on-call Emergency Medical Services Supervisor and a Grants Monitor.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES- SEPTEMBER 6, 2011
The Council approved the minutes of September 6, 2011.
APPROVAL OF DISBURSEMENTS
The Council approved vouchers as presented with the exception of payments to certain volunteer fire companies that have not provided the required reports or documents, including any companies which are not up to date with Worker’s Compensation roster submissions, and the Secretary Volunteer Fire Company due to its members’ failure to respond to the Council’s Advanced Life Support agreement request. The Council authorized staff to release only the minimum payments required by State law to those volunteer fire companies and to withhold State 508 fund distributions pursuant to agreed upon policy. Council recognized that this action is supported by statements made by representatives of the Volunteer Firemen’s Association at a recent meeting. The Council requested that staff provide an update in the weekend pack on the status of these distributions.
FINANICAL REPORT: CASH AND INVESTMENTS
Councilman Newcomb reported total cash and investments as $2,665,481.85.
EXECUTIVE SESSION SUMMARY
The County Council of Dorchester County convened in an Executive Session at 4:30 p.m. on September 20, 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; and §10-508(A)(14) before a contract is awarded or bids are opened, discuss a matter directly related to a negotiating strategy or the contents of a bid or proposal, if public discussion or disclosure would adversely impact the ability of the public body to participate in the competitive bidding or proposal process.
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.
Councilman Newcomb read an amended Statement of Closing for September 6, 2011 clarifying the Council convened in an Executive Session at 4:00 p.m. to conduct a personnel hearing and agreed to reconvene in Executive Session at the conclusion of open session to address one personnel issue. He noted that these items had previously been omitted by staff.
He noted that the Council convened into an Executive Work Session on September 8, 2011 to discuss two personnel issues and took no action and convened into an Executive Work Session on September 15, 2011 to discuss one personnel/public safety issue and one economic development issue and took no action.
Councilman Newcomb advised that prior to this open meeting Council convened into an Executive Session at 4:00 p.m. to conduct a personnel hearing and convened into an Executive Session at 4:30 p.m. to discuss the following items: 1) discussed possible leasing of space for certain County offices – took no action; 2) discussed long term ownership issues regarding the Dorchester
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.
PRESENTATION-E-VERIFY-BRAD BOTWIN-HELP SAVE
Maureen Harper, a resident, introduced Brad Botwin, Founder and Director of Help Save Maryland.
Mr. Botwin stated his objective to provide the Council with an overview of the financial, social and educational cost of illegal immigration at the State and Federal levels and to encourage the use of the program in order to preserve and expand local employment opportunities for County citizens. He noted that Help Save Maryland is a volunteer, multi-ethnic, nonprofit organization and said the organization participated in seeking a State referendum regarding in-state college tuition for illegal aliens and in opposing legislation to allow illegal aliens to obtain drivers’ licenses. He said it is his understanding that illegal immigration directly and indirectly cost Dorchester County $8 million per year including costs for public education, healthcare and jail costs.
Mr. Botwin stated that the E-Verify program is a free system operated by the Department of Homeland Security and the Social Security Administration and encouraged the Council and local businesses to use the program both for employment screening and for the awarding of contracts for services in the community.
Councilman Price questioned how the program can assist in the day to day operations of local government to which Mr. Botwin said posters can be placed in government buildings regarding the use of the system which may deter illegal immigrants from applying for employment opportunities. In response to a question from Councilman Price, Mr. Botwin expressed his belief that the use of the E-Verify program will assist in ensuring that local businesses and contractors remain competitive in obtaining contracts.
Councilman Bradshaw questioned whether any concerns have been expressed by State representatives regarding the use of the program. Mr. Botwin noted that although he has not heard any negative comments from State representatives.
Mr. Botwin thanked the Council for the opportunity to speak regarding the E-verify program.
PLAN MARYLAND PRESENTATION-MARYLAND DEPARTMENT OF PLANNING
Chuck Boyd, Planner, Maryland Department of Planning, noted that Rich Josephson, Director of Planning Services, and Tracy Gordy, Principle Planner, Lower Eastern Shore Regional Office, are present. He provided a presentation on the draft PlanMaryland document which he identified as a plan to improve the way in which state agencies and local governments can work together to accomplish common goals and objectives for growth, development and preservation. A copy of the presentation is attached to these minutes.
In response to a question from Councilman Price, Mr. Boyd noted that the comment period on the draft plan has been extended through November 9, 2011. Councilman Price advised that he has heard concerns from several residents regarding the development of the PlanMaryland document by State representatives, even though they are not familiar with local jurisdictions. Mr. Boyd stressed that the proposed PlanMaryland document only identifies a framework for State agencies to work with local governments and also clarified that no action is being taken that will affect funding nor will any decisions to implement the plan at the State level take place until at minimum January 2013 with respect to the proposed plan. He said the draft plan does not create new law but is intended to work within existing law and also said it establishes no policies. He said it sets the process by which implementation strategies will be developed in the future. In response to a question from Councilman Bradshaw, Mr. Boyd explained that State staff will not identify growth areas within local jurisdictions if local jurisdictions choose not to do so. Councilman Bradshaw expressed concern about the regulatory actions taken by the State in prohibiting property owners from enjoying their land and cited one particular incident in which an individual has spent a substantial amount of money to adhere to State regulations in order to add poultry houses to his property to increase his income and had met with significant obstacles due to State regulations.
The Council thanked Mr. Boyd for the presentation on the draft PlanMaryland document.
FINAL DISCUSSION-LEGISLATION-2012 MARYLAND GENERAL ASSEMBLY LEGISLATIVE SESSION/STATE HIGHWAY-REPLACEMENT OF
Ms. Baynard noted that this is the final discussion on proposed legislative initiatives for the 2012 Maryland General Assembly Legislative Session before Council meets with local legislators on October 11, 2011 at 6 p.m. She advised that the legislative discussion will be followed by the Annual Transportation meeting with Maryland Department of Transportation representatives at 7 p.m.
The Council agreed to add the following amendments to Article 2B of the Annotated Code of Maryland from the Board of License Commissioners as local initiatives for the 2012 legislative session: 1) amend Section 6-301 to clean up changing outdated language “Commissioners” to “Council” and “Treasurer” to “Finance Director”; and 2) amend Section 13-101 to limit any holder of any class of retail alcohol beverage license or their employee to use their alcohol training certification at one establishment only.
The Council also agreed to add the following discussion items with the local legislators: proposals from the Mid Shore Regional Council to support for funding the Rural Maryland Prosperity Investment Fund and to seek full funding of the legislative authority State share for local regional councils.
The Council also agreed to discuss the following topics at the Annual Transportation meeting: replacement of Dover Bridge and Back Landing Bridge; speed limit concerns at Reid’s Grove and Route 331 Intersection; Route 331 drainage issues; and a discussion regarding the local budget impact due to the loss of highway user revenues. Based on a suggestion by Councilman Price, Council agreed to discuss possible State Highway Administration assistance for County road projects that have been delayed due to the loss of State funding. Additionally, based on information provided by Bruce Coulson, member of the Dorchester County Shoreline Erosion Control Group, the Council added the James Island Restoration Project to the list of discussion based on it being delayed until 2028 due to federal funding constraints. The Council also agreed to send a letter to local and federal legislators supporting the island restoration project.
LEGISLATIVE SESSION –
Introduced Bill No. 2011-7 - AN ACT OF THE COUNTY COUNCIL OF DORCHESTER COUNTY MARYLAND TO AMEND CHAPTER 155, ENTITLED ZONING ORDINANCE, SECTION 155-50, LL, SUPPLEMENTAL USE REGULATIONS, SECTION 155-13, TERMS DEFINED, AND SECTION 155 ATTACHMENT 1, TABLE OF PERMITTED USES OF THE DORCHESTER COUNTY CODE TO ADD SOLAR ENERGY SYSTEMS, UTILITY SCALE AS A SPECIAL EXCEPTION USE IN THE AC, AGRICULTURAL CONSERVATION, AC-RCA, AGRICULTURAL CONSERVATION-RESOURCE CONSERVATION AREA, RC, RESOURCE CONSERVATION, B-2, GENERAL BUSINESS, I-1, LIGHT INDUSTRIAL AND THE I-2, HEAVY INDUSTRIAL ZONING DISTRICTS, ADD THE DEFINITIONS OF SOLAR ENERGY SYSTEMS, UTILITY SCALE AND SOLAR ARRAY, AND INCLUDE SUPPLEMENTARY USE REGULATIONS FOR SOLAR ENERGY SYSTEMS, UTILITY SCALE.
Ms. Baynard said the legislation before Council for introduction is a text amendment to the County’s Zoning Ordinance to Chapter 155 entitled “Zoning Ordinance” of the County Code to add solar energy systems, utility scale as a special exception use in the Agricultural Conservation (AC); Agricultural Conservation-Resource Conservation Area (AC-RCA), Resource Conservation (RC), General Business (B-2), Light Industrial (I-1) and Heavy Industrial (I-s) zoning districts; to add definitions of solar energy scales, utility scale and solar array and include supplemental use regulations, to the Planning Commission for its review and recommendation.
In response to a question from Councilman Price, Rodney Banks, Assistant Planning and Zoning Director, explained that the proposed amendments will not apply to the municipalities in the County although municipal representatives have the opportunity to adopt any amendments the Council approves. Based on a question from Councilman Price, Mr. Banks explained that the Planning Commission members held five to six monthly meetings on this legislation and incorporated some of the public comments and suggestions into the draft legislation.
The Council agreed to proceed with publication of a public hearing on this matter.
Ms. Baynard noted that at its August 16, 2011 and September 6, 2011 meetings the Council deferred the request of Dr. Barbara Viniar, President, on behalf of the Chesapeake College, 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 along with a commitment to fund construction of the project in FY 2014. She noted that since those deferrals the Kent County and Queen Anne County Commissioners approved the use of the fund balance and agreed to commit to the construction costs while the Talbot County Council and the Caroline County Commissioners deferred decision on the request until FY 2013 budget discussions. The Council deferred the request of Dr. Viniar 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 FY 2013 budget discussions. The Council expressed its support of the Queen Anne’s County Commissioners’ suggestion for representatives from supporting counties, Chesapeake College and Shore Health/University of Maryland Medical System to meet to determine funding options and strategies for the local match and to verify procedures for ensuring availability of deferred State funds. The Council acknowledged that the State of Maryland will hold funds allocated for the project design until FY2013.
The Council approved the request of Bob Tenanty, Airport Manager, to execute Change Order No. 7 for the Dorchester County Tech Park Utility and Infrastructure Improvements Contract, to eliminate six foot benches and bench pads along the bituminous trail and replace 3,300 feet of six foot bituminous trail with four feet wide concrete sidewalks along roads in the Park. The Council acknowledged that the contract period is being extended for 75 days to end October 22, 2011. The Council further acknowledged that the Cambridge Planning Commission approved these changes to Tech Park Development Plan in April 2011. Additionally, Council recognized that the Change Order reduces the total contract amount from $3,469,444.87 to $3,336,746.35 which is under the June 2010 Council approved contract amount of $3,374,440.
SPECIAL EVENTS AGREEMENT –TRIATHLON
The Council agreed to enter into a Special Events Agreement between The Columbia Triathlon Association, Inc., the County Council and the Dorchester County Sheriff to provide public safety services for the Chesapeake Man Endurance Festival on September 24, 2011 from 6 a.m. to midnight. The Council acknowledged that pursuant to the agreement the following public safety services will be provided by
EXPANSION OF SANITARY DISTRICT FOUR
Based on a recommendation from Robert Tieder, President, Dorchester County Sanitary Commission, the Council requested that a letter be sent to William Forlifer, Environmental Health Officer, requesting his assistance with the expansion of Sanitary District Four, in order to serve properties in the corridor between Bucktown Road and the Route 16 Bypass which are currently on independent systems not served by municipal sewage. The Council acknowledged that some of these properties are in the City and others are in the County and due to poor soil conditions in the area there have been multiple septic system failures. The Council recognized that Mr. Tieder has expressed his belief that any grant funds remaining from the Madison Woolford sewer extension project could be used towards the expansion of this district.
REQUEST TO FIX SCALES-LANDFILL OR REQUEST TO WAIVE BIDS FOR SCALE REPAIR – LANDFILL
The Council approved a request from Perry Hall, Landfill Foreman, and agreed to waive bids and award the bid for scale repairs at Beulah Landfill to Widgeon Enterprises, Inc., the lowest bidder, at the cost of $19,575 from the FY 2012 Landfill Enterprise Fund.
FUEL BID AWARD
Robert Willey, Assistant Finance Director, explained that as part of the FY 2012 budget process the Council directed staff to consolidate fuel purchases for all County vehicles under one contract along with costs for heating oil for the Board of Education. He said a request for bids to supply fuel to the County was published in late August 2011 with a pre-bid meeting being held on August 15, 2011 and a bid opening on September 13, 2011. He noted that Bill Wise, a County resident, volunteered as an independent consultant for the County. Mr. Willey stated that eight bids were received.
The Council agreed to award the bid for supplying gasoline, diesel and heating fuel to Dorchester County to Aero Energy, the lowest bidder on the gasoline and diesel fuel, which are the primary commodities used by the County. Council instructed Finance
staff to develop and present a fiscal policy for implementation to the County’s distribution system. Based on the recommendation of staff, Council also requested that staff seek competitive prices to add a second fuel pump to the fuel dispensing system at the Public Works building on Handley Road.
The Council agreed to send a letter to Mr. Wise expressing appreciation for the assistance he provided throughout the entire bidding process. Councilman Newcomb clarified for the record that Mr. Wise is no longer employed in the fuel industry.
REQUEST TO PURCHASE AIR CONDITIONING UNIT - 911 CENTER
Ms. Baynard explained that at Council’s August 16, 2011 meeting, Kim Browning, 911 Communications Chief, provided the Council with a request to purchase two portable air conditioning units under the United States General Services (GSA) Contract for the 911 Center Equipment room and the police dispatching side of the room. She explained that the Council had deferred the request and asked that staff seek competitive pricing from at least three vendors for one large air conditioning unit as an addition to the central system in order to compare to the portable units to determine the best solution. In response to a question from Councilman Nichols, Chris Abbott, IT Technician, noted that the air conditioning unit currently in operation at the 911 Communications Center does not adequately cool the equipment room and that temperatures vary in the dispatch center. Ms. Baynard noted that the quote provided by the recommended bidder does not include electrical work which may be required. Mr. Abbott explained that as a result of the additional investment of options he believes the addition of duct work, included in the quotes, will correct air flow problems in the Center.
The Council agreed to waive bids and approved Ms. Browning’s request to replace the current air handling system in the 911 Communications Center and awarded the bid for the replacement of the equipment to Webster Refrigeration, the lowest bidder, in the amount of $9,800. In response to a question from Councilman Newcomb, Ms. Baynard stated that funding can be identified in the Department’s Operating budget. The Council acknowledged that the Webster Refrigeration quote does not include electrical work and instructed staff to advise whether the cost is manageable.
GOVERNOR’S OFFICE OF CRIME CONTROL & PREVENTION GRANT AWARD–THERAPEUTIC INTERVENTION – LOCAL MANAGEMENT BOARD
The Council approved the request of Nancy Shockley, Local Management Board Director, to accept a Governor’s Office of Crime Control & Prevention Therapeutic Interventions Program grant award in the amount of $4,200, with no local match, to provide individual and group counseling to court-ordered youth, including mental health and substance abuse assessments and individualized service plans. The Council acknowledged that the services will be provided through the Dorchester County Health Department. The Council further acknowledged that the grant period is September 1, 2011 to June 30, 2012.
AFTER SCHOOL FY 2012 PROGRAM RECOMMENDATION – LOCAL MANAGEMENT BOARD
The Council approved the request of Ms. Shockley, on behalf of the Dorchester Community Partnership for Children and Families, to provide funding for after school programming to the New Beginnings Youth Center/Teen Ambassadors Program in the amount of $18,190 and to the YMCA/Teen Recreation, Empowerment & Knowledge (TREK) in the amount of $73,786 as a result of request for proposals for a total cost for after school programming in FY 2012 in the amount of $91,976.
REQUEST TO TRAVEL – LOCAL MANAGEMENT BOARD
The Council approved the request of Ms. Shockley for authorization to register herself and Mona Carey of the Health Department to attend training for the Child & Adolescent Function Assessment Scale, at the Oregon Ridge Lodge located in Cockeysville, Maryland, from September 25 to September 26, 2011 at the cost of $250 which includes an overnight stay and cost for an evening meal to be funded from the Youth Services Bureau Program budget. Ms. Shockley clarified that this training is required in order to remain compliant with new regulations established by the Governor’s Office for Children. The Council further acknowledged that Dorchester County Health Department is in process of becoming certified as the Youth Services Bureau for
SECURITY CAMERA REPLACEMENT – CIRCUIT COURT
The Council approved the request of Brett Wilson, Circuit Court Judge, to contract with Reed Security Systems, Inc. to replace one camera as part of the overall video surveillance system at the cost of $4,943.78.
The Council approved the request of Jackie Noller, Chair, Business Exchange Task Force, for the Dorchester County/German Partnership Initiative, to fly the Duren County flag at the Dorchester County Office Building during Crabtoberfest on September 24, 2011 provided proper flag protocol is followed. The Council acknowledged that the Duren Delegation is visiting from September 16 to September 25, 2011.
GERMAN PARTNERSHIP COMMITTEE REQUEST FOR USE OF COUNTY HIGHWAY SIGNS
The Council approved the written request of Kirsten Strohmer, Chair, Crabtoberfest Committee, and the German Partnership Committee to use large digital highway signs controlled by Dorchester County at locations on US Route 50 to direct individuals to Crabtoberfest Parking from 8 am. to 5 p.m. on the festival day, Saturday, September 24, 2011.
FY 2011-2012 BOAT SLIP LEASES
The Council approved the renewal of the boat slip rentals for
Based on recommendations from Councilmen Bradshaw and Nichols, respectively, the Council reappointed Laura Layton to the Planning Commission as the District 5 representative and Octavene Saunders to the Council for Senior Citizens Services as the District 2 appointment. The Council acknowledged that Ms. Layton’s term will expire on September 28, 2016 and Ms. Saunders’ term will expire on December 31, 2014. The Council acknowledged that the following board appointments are being deferred until recommendations can be obtained by the supporting entities: Citizen Review Panel, Recreation and Parks Board, Public Guardianship Review Board; Social Services Board and Upper Shore Workforce Investment Board.
TELEPHONE POLL CONFIRMATIONS
Ms. Baynard noted that in the interim between meetings, the Council approved the following items by telephone poll: 1) agreed by a 5 to 0 vote not to pursue acquiring the former group home held by the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services located at 6606 East New Market Elwood Road, Hurlock; 2) agreed by a 4 to 0 vote with 1 abstention to proceed with a letter supporting Senator Barbara Mikulski’s efforts to persuade the Department of Labor to rescind its plans to increase H-2B wages; and 3) approved by a 3 to 2 vote a payment in lieu of taxes of $50 per unit for the proposed 29 unit Chesapeake Grove Complex which is being constructed on Bayly Road by Delmarva Community Services.
Ms. Baynard reminded Council that at its July 19, 2011 meeting Council agreed to provide additional funds for the 2011 mosquito spray season due to representatives of the Department of Agriculture’s report that there were not sufficient funds as of July 2011. She said that, at that time, Council had agreed to provide the County’s share of a 50,000 acre spray in the amount of $45,000 with the understanding that additional spray needs would be referred to Council for approval. She also stated that representatives from the Department of Agriculture have stated that they believe at least one additional spray of 30,000 acres will be required with the understanding that a third application may be necessary. Ms. Baynard said that, at the request of Council, staff has determined that funds remain in the County’s FY 2011 budget sufficient to provide for the costs of the first two spray blocks. She also reminded Council that Department of Agriculture officials have identified $7,000 of County funding entitled “Source Reduction Private Land” in the State budget that will not be utilized. The Council agreed that those identified funds be applied to the continued aerial spraying with the understanding that any spray requests after the second application be provided to Council for approval and identifications of funds.
REQUEST TO ADVERTISE-ON-CALL INTERIM EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES SUPERVISOR
The Council agreed to advertise in-house for an on-call Interim Emergency Medical Services Supervisor due to fact that a current employee has requested to be relieved of that temporary duty as of October 15, 2011.
REQUEST TO ADVERTISE-GRANTS MONITOR
The Council agreed to advertise a full-time Grants Monitor position based on the pending retirement of the individual currently serving in that position.
In response to a question from Mr. Simering, Councilman Newcomb and Ms. Baynard stated that the hangars at the Airport are leased rather than marketed for sale.
Reverend George Ames commended the Council for their service to Dorchester County and its citizens. He encouraged residents to promote Dorchester County and suggested that job fairs be held in the County as a possible solution to the high unemployment rate.
Mr. Abbott noted that he is a member of the Sailwinds Board of Directors and expressed his willingness to approach the other Board members regarding holding a job fair at Sailwinds during a week day.
Councilman Bradshaw noted that the following individuals who are in the local 4-H program received awards at the State Fair: Drew McCullough, sixth place for Horticulture and Isaiah Brinsfield, 3rd place for Horticulture in the Junior Division; Jacob Brown, 13th, Sharon McCullough, 12th and Grace Brinsfield, second place in the team competition in the Intermediate Division. He noted that Bethany Brinsfield also placed first in the State for flowers, trees, pests and in the test competition. He explained that several individuals from the local 4 H team, including Bethany Brinsfield, will practice for three Saturdays and will then compete in San Deigo, California on October 7 to October 11, 2011 at the Natio