County Council Meeting Minutes
November 1, 2011
County Council of
Regular Meeting Minutes
November 1, 2011
The County Council of Dorchester County met in regular session on November 1, 2011 with the following members present: Present were Jay L. Newcomb, 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)(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)(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
A moment of silence was held for Nick Lyons, a County employee whose son passed away. Councilman Price led the Invocation and the pledge of allegiance.
CALL FOR ADDITIONS OR DELETIONS TO AGENDA
The Council agreed to add to the agenda a discussion regarding an Intercept Agreement with the Secretary Volunteer Fire Company and the County to Manager’s Comments.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES- OCTOBER 11, 2011, OCTOBER 18, 2011
The Council approved the October 11, 2011 minutes and the October 18, 2011 minutes.
APPROVAL OF DISBURSEMENTS
The Council approved vouchers as presented with the understanding that the remainder of the FY 2012 County fire appropriation for the Secretary Volunteer Fire Company, less any revenue owed to the County during the time there was no valid Advanced Life Support Intercept Agreement between the County and the fire company, will be approved but will not be remitted to the company until satisfactory execution of an ALS Intercept Agreement between the County and the company to facilitate billing for ALS services. The Council recognized its September 20, 2011 decision to release only the minimum payments required by State law to those volunteer fire companies that are not up-to-date with all reporting or submission requirements.
FINANICAL REPORT: CASH AND INVESTMENTS
Councilman Newcomb reported total cash and investments as $12,904,053.18.
EXECUTIVE SESSION SUMMARY
The County Council of Dorchester County convened in an Executive Session at 4:30 p.m. November 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)(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)(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)(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 a matter related to a previously held personnel hearing -acknowledged that employee has been approved for disability retirement and therefore will be removed from County payroll effective November 1, 2011; 2) discussed information regarding interviews for the Public Works and Emergency Services Director vacancies- agreed to proceed with interviews of additional qualified applicants; 3) discussed the personnel costs of a possible grant opportunity for the Local Management Board-agreed to continue discussion in open session; 4) confirmed the Sheriff’s hiring of an individual to fill a vacant Security Officer position for the Circuit Court by a 4 to 0 vote; 5) discussed two existing leases for County departments/agencies – took no action; 6) discussed a matter relating to an existing business – asked Finance Director for more information; 7) discussed a staff recommendation regarding a public safety matter - took no action; 8) discussed an issue relating to Emergency Medical Services billing-agreed to consider an Intercept Agreement with Secretary Volunteer Fire Company to the open meeting agenda.
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.
PROCLAMATION-HOME CARE & HOSPICE MONTH-NOVEMBER 2011
The Council presented a proclamation declaring November 2011 Home Care & Hospice Month. Rita Holley, Director, Shore Home Care & Hospice, accepted the proclamation. She acknowledged that the following individuals are present: Barbara Cole, Home Health Supervisor; Pam Kunz, Community Liaison of Shore Home Care & Hospice; Alice Ofano, Social Worker; Catherine Wallace, Nurse; Hilary Colburn, Nurse; and Delores Rossy, resident.
COMMENDATION-BETHANY BRINSFIELD-4H COMPETITION
The Council presented a commendation to Bethany Brinsfield, a Dorchester County resident, who received first place honors at the Maryland State Fair and individually placed third in the Nation at the 2011 National Junior Convention. Ms. Brinsfield accepted the commendation.
PROCLAMATION - NATIVE AMERICAN HERITAGE MONTH-NOVEMBER 2011
The Council presented a proclamation declaring November 2011 Native American Heritage Month. Guy Wells, Governor's Commission of Indian Affairs, accepted the proclamation. Reverend Trish Hopkins, National Native American Veterans Association & Southern Tuscarora Ancestor, presented a Native American Ceremonial Pipe to the Council and thanked the Council members for their dedication to the observance and preservation of Native American Heritage.
LEGISLATIVE PROPOSALS-2012 MARYLAND GENERAL ASSEMBLY-BOARD OF LICENSE COMMISSIONERS
Councilman Newcomb excused himself from a discussion regarding legislative proposals to amend Article 2B of the Maryland Annotated Code submitted by James Lurz, Liquor Inspector, on behalf of the Board of License Commissioners because he currently holds a liquor license in Dorchester County. Because Vice President Nichols was not present, the Council agreed that Councilman Rick Price would conduct this portion of the meeting.
Jane Baynard, County Manager, noted that at its October 17, 2011 meeting, the Board of License Commissioners approved the submission to the Council of two legislative proposals to amend Article 2B of the Annotated Code of Maryland and one legislative proposal for comment only. She said, if approved, any legislative proposals will provided to the local delegation for submission during the 2012 Maryland General Assembly Legislative Session.
The Council agreed to provide to the local legislators proposed legislation to amend Article 2B, Section 11-510 (b) (6), to change the hours of a Class "B" beer, wine and liquor license on Sunday only, to allow establishments holding this class of license to serve alcohol beginning at 10 a.m. instead of 12 noon. The Council acknowledged that the closing time requirement of 12 midnight will remain the same. The Council also agreed to submit legislation to add a new paragraph number (6) to Article 2B, §6-301 (k) and renumber the existing paragraphs (6, 7 and 8) to require that when any event held at Sailwinds is open to the public will require all persons 21 years and older will receive a wristband if they want to consume or purchase alcoholic beverages. The Council acknowledged that this legislation is being sought in order to require that that entity to provide the same wristband identification as other clubs since Sailwinds is governed by a Board but has no other class of membership.
Ms. Baynard noted that the legislative proposal that was submitted by the Board of License Commissioners to Council for comment only was proposed by Adam Tolley, President, East New Market Volunteer Fire Company. She explained that the legislation will add a new paragraph number (7) to Article 2B, §6-301 (k) and renumber the existing paragraphs (7 and 8) to allow a volunteer fire company, a volunteer ambulance company or a combined volunteer fire and ambulance company to obtain a Class "C" license. Based on a question from Councilman Price, Councilman Travers noted that volunteer fire companies are currently able to obtain a one or two day special license for events whereas the proposed legislation will give those companies an option to obtain an annual Class “C” license. The Council requested that an opinion regarding this legislation be obtained from the Dorchester County Volunteer Fireman’s Association before submitting any comments to the Board of License Commissioners.
Councilman Newcomb re-joined the meeting.
BID AWARD-LIGHTING FIXTURES-MAINTENANCE
The Council approved the request of Ed Bozel, Grants Coordinator, and C.R. Newman, Maintenance Supervisor, to award the bid for replacing light fixtures at the County Office Building with high efficiency light fixtures to Chuck’s Electrical Service, Inc., the lowest bidder at the cost of $41,750. The Council acknowledged that grant funds from the Maryland Energy Administration will cover 100% of the costs for the replacement of these light fixtures. The Council further acknowledged that Chuck’s Electric will furnish and install (500) 1’x4’ lay-in T8 fluorescent light fixtures and retro-fit kits for (40) 1’x4’ fluorescent fixtures in hard ceilings as well as provide for demolition and disposal of 500 light fixtures and documentation of the proper disposal of ballasts and T12 lamps. Additionally, the Council requested that Mr. Bozel and Mr. Newman provide them a report regarding whether there are any other opportunities to structure a project in any other County building or facility to use the remaining grant funds totaling $157,250.
The Council deferred an appointment to replace Barbara “Bobbi” Hall, as the At-Large Member and Chair, on the Redistricting Commission until its November 15, 2011 meeting. The Council acknowledged that Ms. Hall recently submitted her resignation based on an opinion obtained from Deputy Administrator Ross Goldstein, State Board of Elections, that serving as a member of the Redistricting Commission is a conflict with her employment at the Dorchester County Elections Office,. The Council members acknowledged that it is their responsibility to appoint both a chair and an At-Large member and that the two appointments do not have to be represented by the same person. The Council acknowledged its October 18, 2011 direction to the Redistricting Commission to suspend meetings until a decision is made regarding these appointments.
Adult Public Guardianship Review Board
The Council, based on the recommendation of William D. McDonnell, Social Services Director, made the following appointments to the Adult Public Guardianship Review Board: 1) the appointment of Lorraine Caldwell to replace John Thomas, who passed away in August 2011; 2) the appointment of Dr. Allen H. Peck to replace Dr. Michael Fadden; and 3) the reappointments of Wendy Wilson and Shirley Moore. The Council acknowledged that all of these individuals’ terms will expire on August 30, 2014.
REQUEST TO USE SCHOOL STREET ATHLETIC FIELD-2011 TURKEY BOWL
The Council approved the request of William McAllister, on behalf of the Cambridge Lacrosse Club and the Dorchester Foundation for Athletic and Academic Excellence, to use the School Street Athletic Fields on Saturday, November 26, 2011 from 12 noon until 6:30 pm for the 40th Annual Turkey Bowl lacrosse game. The Council acknowledged that the Cambridge Lacrosse Club and Dorchester Foundation for Athletic and Academic Excellence will be responsible for insurance coverage for the event.
BID AWARD-STONE-PUBLIC WORKS
The Council approved the request of Roy Mills, Highway Division Manager, to advertise requests for proposals for supplying crushed stone used in blacktopping, tar and chip and for other stone requirements to the Highway Division of the Department of Public Works, for the period of January 1, 2012 through December 31, 2012. The Council acknowledged that the current bid expires December 31, 2011.
REQUEST TO ADVERTISE FOR BIDS FOR NEW WELL-PUBLIC WORKS
The Council approved the request of Mr. Mills to advertise for bids for the replacement of the existing well at the Highway building on Handley Road. The Council acknowledged that funding for the well is approved in the Highway Division’s current year budget. Additionally, the Council recognized that there is debris in the existing well, which was drilled in 1961, and that it is also emitting an odor.
2012 RENTAL ASSISTANCE APPLICATION-MD DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT-LMB
The Council approved the request of Nancy Shockley, Local Management Board Director, to accept the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development 2012 Rental Assistance Agreement in the amount of $40,000 to be used to provide rental assistance to families who can demonstrate financial hardship. The Council acknowledged that there is no local match and an allowance for up to 10% of the total award is available for administrative costs. The Council further acknowledged that Delmarva Community Services acts as the Community Action Agency for Dorchester County and provides full implementation of the program while Local Management Board office staff provide management and oversight and process all rental allowance payments. Additionally, the Council acknowledged that the administrative allowance will be split equally between Delmarva Community Services and Dorchester County government in order to offset a portion of the cost incurred by the County for the processing of checks.
REQUEST FOR USE OF EARNED REINVESTMENT FUNDS-LOCAL MANAGEMENT BOARD
The Council approved the request of Ms. Shockley, on behalf of the Dorchester Community Partnership for Children & Families, for the use of up to $400,000 of earned reinvestment funding as part of an 18-24 month planning and implementation award to the Dorchester County Health Department-School Based Wellness Centers to obtain a license to operate as an Outpatient Mental Health. The Council further acknowledged that the Health Department will be instructed to structure its proposal not to exceed $300,000 with the understanding that if additional earned reinvestment funds are not expended it will remain in the fund for future projects. Additionally, the Council acknowledged that a portion of the funding received will be used to hire a temporary employee assigned to the County’s Local Management Board Office to monitor the program. The Council further acknowledged that Ms. Shockley will proceed with seeking approval for use of these funds from the Governor’s Office for Children and once approved.
FY12 MANAGEMENT GRANT-MARYLAND HERITAGE AREAS AUTHORITY-TOURISM
The Council approved the request of Amanda Fenstermaker, Tourism Director, and accepted the FY 2012 Management Grant (formerly known as the “Operating Assistance” grant) from the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority in the amount of $100,000 for the continued operation and management of the Heart of Chesapeake Country Heritage Area under the Dorchester County Tourism Department. The Council recognized that the grant has a cash match of $78,715 ($62,045 from Tourism Operating Budget; $7,011 from the Federal Highway Administration National Scenic Byway Program’s “Managing and Marketing Maryland’s Scenic Byways” Grant; and $10,000 from the private sector) and an in kind match of $21,285. The Council also acknowledged that the funds will support the implementation of the Heritage Area’s mission to preserve and enhance Dorchester County’s historic, cultural and natural resources for the purpose of increasing heritage tourism.
REQUESTS FOR PROPOSALS-CONTINUED DISCUSSION-HVAC SERVICES-FINANCE
Ms. Baynard explained that as part of the FY 2012 budget process the Council directed staff to consolidate certain services under one contract, including HVAC services. She noted that based on this directive, Robert Willey, Assistant Finance Director, provided the Council with a draft request for proposals for HVAC services at its October 18, 2011 meeting. She explained that at that meeting the Council deferred consideration of the request for proposals to allow Mr. Willey the opportunity to incorporate changes suggested by C.R. Newman, Maintenance Supervisor.
Mr. Willey discussed with Council certain components of the proposed bid he felt needed specific clarification. He confirmed that the new draft has also been amended to include an allowance to reject any and all bids if in the best interest of the County and an inclusion of an requirement that services are to be bid and invoiced on the basis of flat rate per service for routine maintenance and for time and materials for repair work. He said the request for proposals has also been revised to include a provision that any repair parts used must include warranty coverage similar to the original part. He questioned whether Council is agreeable with requiring the vendor to provide a cost estimate to the County before proceeding with repair.
The Council agreed to amend the HVAC Request for Proposals with the exception that the threshold for the submission of an invoice on repair parts noted on page three be changed from $25 to $300 and that Mr. Willey serve as primary contact for the bid. The Council agreed that “Attachment A” should be amended to remove all references to the Courthouse and County Office Building because they are already under an agreement with the manufacturer, Carrier, for HVAC service. The Council further agreed that “Attachment A” should be amended to eliminate all references to electric baseboard heat and window air conditioners and agreed to remove all references to refrigeration units at the Detention Center. The Council accepted the proposed bid duration with the understanding that all dates will be amended to conform to the actual issuance date. The Council requested that Mr. Willey advise all affected Department Heads so that they are aware that the request for proposals is being advertised and assure them they will be notified of any subsequent bid awards.
DISCUSSION-POSSIBLE CLOSURE OF EASTON POSTAL SERVICE DISTRIBUTION CENTER
The Council agreed to send a letter to the Consumer Affairs Manager of the Baltimore District of the United States Postal Service; Senator Barbara Mikulski; Senator Benjamin Cardin; and Congressman Andy Harris, stressing its continued opposition to the consolidation or closing of the postal operations from the Easton, Maryland Processing and Distribution Facility.
TRAFFIC SAFETY COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATIONS
Ms. Baynard presented the Council with recommendations from the Traffic Safety Committee members based on items discussed at an October 28, 2011 meeting. The Council approved the Committee’s recommendation for the placement of “Child at Play” signs on Hoopers Neck Road provided the property owner pays for 50% ($75) of the signage cost.
Ms. Baynard noted that at its October 18, 2011 meeting, the Council approved the Committee’s recommendation to install “Dangerous Intersection” signs at the Cordtown Aireys Intersection and on Aireys Road and on Old Route 50 for a total of four signs. She said the Committee has reconsidered its previous recommendation after discussions with Sheriff James Phillips and legal counsel and are now recommending the installation of one cautionary sign on Cordtown Road. The Council approved the Committee’s revised recommendation to not proceed with dangerous intersection signage at the Cordtown Rd/Aireys Rd/Aireys Rd Spur intersection and instead place one cautionary sign on Cordtown Road alerting drivers to stop ahead and proceed with caution.
TELEPHONE POLL CONFIRMATIONS
Ms. Baynard stated that in the interim between meetings Council, by means of a poll, took the following action: agreed to be included in legislation being introduced by Senator Richard Colburn for the Caroline County Commissioners, which is enabling legislation to allow counties access to the National Crime Database for background checks regarding employments issues, by a 3 to 1 vote (with 1 no answer).
ALS INTERCEPT AGREEMENT-SECRETARY VOLUNTEER FIRE COMPANY
The Council agreed to enter into an ALS Intercept Agreement with the Secretary Volunteer Fire Company, to begin on November 1, 2011 and expire December 31, 2012 contingent upon approval and execution of the agreement by that Fire Company. The Council acknowledged that under this ALS Intercept Agreement any collections above the BLS rate and mileage reimbursement for any call where ALS services are provided by County employees will be remitted to the County. The Council acknowledged that once an ALS Intercept Agreement has been successfully negotiated between the Company and the Council and an executed agreement is returned, the remainder of the approved FY12 County fire appropriation, less any amounts owed to the County for the ALS billing receipts the Secretary Volunteer Fire Company collected during the time period when there was no valid Intercept agreement between the parties, will be remitted to the fire company. The Council recognized that the fire company, by execution of a letter of agreement, will enter into an Emergency Medical Services billing agreement with the County for a guaranteed per call reimbursement of $100 with no mileage reimbursement for transports provided by the company effective January 1, 2013.
In response to a question from Les Simering, a resident, Councilman Travers explained that currently each time a volunteer fire company or a volunteer ambulance company has to apply for a special liquor license, a license fee must be paid, whereas only one fee would need to be paid if Article 2B is amended to allow those companies to obtain an annual license which may reduce costs. Based on an inquiry from Mr. Simering, Mr. Willey confirmed that the request for proposals for HVAC units includes the provision that the County’s Maintenance Supervisor will determine when preventive maintenance is necessary.
Scott Schilling, a resident and business owner, advised the Council members that he is present on behalf of the Dorchester County Chamber of Commerce to offer his assistance in relaying any information and/or concerns they may have to the Chamber staff and/or members.
Mr. Schilling announced that the business he has an interest in, Clearview Golf, will remain open, while the Clearview at Horn’s Point Restaurant will be closed effective immediately due to the current economic climate and due to the Maryland Department of Environment fine assessed to the business. He encouraged the Council to support local businesses.
He noted that he attended a meeting on Monday, October 31, 2011 held by Douglas Gansler, Attorney General of the State of Maryland. He said Mr. Gansler and residents discussed how State environmental regulations are impacting local businesses. Mr. Schilling encouraged the Council to remain diligent in ensuring that amendments to State laws and regulations do not conflict with local government authorities.
Wendell Foxwell, a resident, expressed his opposition to the proposed closure of the Easton Maryland Processing and Distribution Facility by the United States Postal Service.
Mr. Schilling expressed concern about the recent increase in the toll rates for the William Preston Lane, Jr. Memorial Bay Bridge and rising State taxes. He said, in his opinion, the emphasis should be on reducing the State budget and not in increasing or imposing additional taxes. Richard Lalka, a Dorchester County resident, also expressed concern about the increased toll rates and rising taxes. Councilman Price noted his understanding that a proposal to increase the Bay Restoration fee is being considered which may double and then triple the fee in the next couple of years. Councilman Newcomb expressed concern that the majority of the additional revenue to be received due to the recent increase in the State’s alcohol tax is earmarked for special projects in only three counties in the State.
George Ames, a resident, said he is also concerned about the increased toll rates on the Bay Bridge.
Councilman Travers stated that it is his understanding there is a proposal being considered by State representatives to increase the State’s fuel tax by 15 cents. He expressed concern about that increase in light of the current economic climate. He noted that instead of distributing highway user revenue funds to local jurisdictions those funds were used to balance the State budget which created a shortfall in the State’s Transportation Fund. He said Council met with Maryland Department of Transportation officials on October 11, 2011 and were advised by those individuals that there are no funds for new capital projects despite an announcement made by Governor Martin O’Malley that $120 million in funds have been identified for the construction of a new Metro “Purple” Line, which does not directly benefit local residents. He said that these urban projects take precedence over local capital needs like Dover Bridge. He further noted that the State’s taking of Highway User Revenues significantly impacted local budgets as well.
Mr. Schilling expressed concern about proposed State initiatives, including PlanMaryland, which he believes will affect local zoning authorities. Councilman Price said public comments on PlanMaryland are being accepted until November 7, 2011. He expressed concern that recent regulatory actions taken by the State may cause hardship to local watermen.
Councilman Travers said he is concerned about Governor O’Malley’s proposal to restrict the use of septic systems in the State which will have a disproportionate effect in Dorchester County and other rural areas. Councilman Price expressed concern regarding unfunded State mandates and the possible continued passage of State costs to local jurisdictions.
Councilman Bradshaw advised that residents have expressed concern about the proposed PlanMaryland document, based on their belief that it will adversely affect the use and enjoyment of their property.
Councilman Price noted that rural towns and county representatives have expressed concern about PlanMaryland. He advised that the Council is meeting on November 9, 2011 in a worksession with Economic Development staff and Planning and Zoning staff to discuss hurdles for current and prospective businesses including fees, taxes and the permitting process. He encouraged the business community to participate in that meeting.
Based on the recommendation of Councilman Price, the Council agreed to reappoint Jeff Bell to the Electrical Board. The Council acknowledged his appointment will expire on December 31, 2014.
Councilman Travers asked staff to provide Mr. Schilling with the phone number for Daniel McDermott, Executive Director of the Uppershore Workforce Investment Board so that he may provide assistance to those individuals who lost their job due to the closing of the Clearview Restaurant at Horns Point.
At the recommendation of Councilman Newcomb, the Council agreed to send a letter to the State of Maryland requesting that Dorchester County be included in any discussions regarding a regional expansion of a 700 MHz radio system.
Councilman Newcomb noted that he attended a Maryland Municipal League at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay on October 31, 2011, during which there was a discussion regarding the restoration of highway user revenues to municipalities. He noted that the MML staff assisted municipalities last year in receiving a 25% restoration of highway user revenues. Based on his recommendation, the Council agreed to send a letter to the Maryland Association of Counties requesting their support in seeking restoration of highway user funding, either full or in part, for counties.
Councilman Newcomb noted that the Council is scheduled to meet in an Executive Work Session with the Cambridge City Council to discuss the Technology Park on Thursday, November 3rd at 5 p.m. He said the Council is also scheduled to meet in an Executive Work Session with Public Safety staff to discuss public safety issues on Wednesday, November 9th at 5 p.m. and will also meet with Economic Development and Planning and Zoning staff on that date to discuss business development policies at 6 p.m. He noted that the next regularly scheduled Council meeting is set for November 15, 2011.
With no further business to discuss, the Council adjourned.
William V. Nichols, Vice President