County Council Meeting Minutes
November 15, 2011
County Council of Dorchester County
Regular Meeting Minutes
November 15, 2011
The County Council of Dorchester County met in regular session on November 15, 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.
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 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
Councilman Bradshaw led the invocation and the pledge of allegiance.
CALL FOR ADDITIONS OR DELETIONS TO AGENDA
The Council agreed to add to the agenda a request to advertise a Mechanic II position in the Highway Division of the Public Works Department and a request to advertise a Fiscal Clerk, Advanced position in the Finance Department.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES- NOVEMBER 1, 2011
The Council approved the minutes of November 1, 2011 with Councilman Nichols abstaining.
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 $10,838,715.05.
CAPITAL PAYMENT AUTHORIZATIONS-ADDITIONAL CLARIFICATION-BOARD OF EDUCATION
Ms. Baynard noted that at its October 18, 2011 meeting, the Council deferred the Capital Payment Authorization requests from Henry Wagner, Superintendent of Schools, in the amount of $1,052,047.53 for construction costs relating to the Dorchester Career and Technology Center and the North Dorchester Middle School and requested additional information from the Board of Education staff. She stated that the Council received the clarification requested from the Board of Education which was provided to them in their weekend pack.
In response to questions from Councilman Newcomb, Tim Brooke, Controller for the Board of Education, explained the following regarding payments made for the Dorchester Career and Technology Center: 1) that the $35,000 payment to the Xerox Corporation is for a down payment on three multifunction copiers that will also be used for scanning, network printing and faxing, with the balance being paid with operating funds through a five year lease agreement; and 2) the payment to Cambridge Technologies for hospital beds in the amount of $41,317 is for the purchase of ten beds to be used at the ten learning stations utilized for the Health Careers Program.
Based on a question from Councilman Price, Gary McCabe, Assistant Superintendent for Administration, explained that a tower computer differs from a desktop in that the tower is stationary and is located on the floor. He further explained that the tower computers were purchased for use in high tech classrooms to run software programs that require more hard drive space than laptop or desktop computers, such as Computer Aided Design and programs relating to Media Production. He said the laptops are to be used by students in the lab spaces throughout the building and in teachers’ offices.
Councilman Newcomb noted that residents have expressed concern about the cost for irrigating the field at the Cambridge South Dorchester High School and questioned the payments for an irrigation system, well, and pump for the North Dorchester Middle School. Mr. McCabe explained that an irrigation system will be installed for the softball and soccer competition fields at the school. He further explained that initially a water wheel was used to maintain the fields but due to lack of available manpower and drought conditions during the 2009/2010 school year the grass athletic fields had to be replanted. He said the use of irrigation is more efficient and should eliminate any future need to replant and reseed the fields.
The Council approved the Capital Payment Authorization Requests of Dr. Wagner in the amount of $1,052,047.53 for construction costs relating to the Dorchester Career and Technology Center and the North Dorchester Middle School.
EXECUTIVE SESSION SUMMARY
The County Council of Dorchester County convened in an Executive Session at 4:30 p.m. on November 15, 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 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.
Councilman Newcomb noted that the Council convened into an Executive Session at 5 p.m. on November 3, 2011 to discuss the following item: the Dorchester Regional Technology Park –took no further action. He said the Council convened into an Executive Session at 4:30 p.m. on November 15, 2011 to discuss the following items: 1) received an update from staff on personnel matters relating to the Sanitary Commission –took no action; 2) discussed with Human Resources Director questions relating to the notification requirements for employees’ insurance benefits regarding specific qualifying events- requested additional information; 3) approved the request of Highway Division Manager to voluntarily demote an existing employee to a Motor Equipment Operator III vacancy due to the retirement of an employee by a 5 to 0 vote and agreed to consider a request to advertise the position that will become vacant in open session; 4) discussed the resignation of a Fiscal Clerk, Advanced in the Finance Department-agreed to consider a request to advertise the position in open session; 5) received an update from staff on the Dorchester Regional Technology Park-took no action; 6) agreed to loan funds from the Dorchester County Revolving Loan Fund to an existing business by a 5 to 0 vote; 7) discussed with Economic Development Director a grant opportunity for funding for an economic development project -agreed staff should investigate; 8) discussed with Economic Development Director the possibility of forming a public advisory group – agreed to consider at a future meeting; and 9) discussed an issue relating to Emergency Medical Services billing and Secretary Volunteer Fire Company - asked County Manager to continue discussion with the Fire Company representatives.
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-HOSPICE AND PALLIATIVE CARE MONTH-NOVEMBER 2011
The Council presented a proclamation declaring November 2011 as Hospice and Palliative Care Month. Nancy Stewart accepted the proclamation on behalf of Coastal Hospice and Palliative Care.
WATERSHED IMPLEMENTATION PLAN UPDATE-MICHAEL MOULDS
Michael Moulds, Engineer, provided a presentation on the status of the Watershed Implementation Planning Phase II process for Dorchester County.
In response to a question from Bruce Coulson, a Dorchester County resident, Mr. Moulds said a link to a copy of his presentation will posted on the main page of the County’s website.
Based a question from Councilman Price, Mr. Moulds said the public will have the opportunity to review and provide comment on the County’s Watershed Implementation Plan once drafted.
GERMAN PARTNERSHIP PROFESSIONAL EXCHANGE PROGRAM
The Council, based on request made by Jackie Noller, on behalf of the Business Exchange Task Force of the German Partnership Committee, agreed to participate in the Dorchester-Dueren Sister County Partnership Professional Exchange Program. The Council recognized that two Dueren County workers will be visiting Dorchester County in July 2012 for an “incoming” exchange and asked that Jane Baynard, County Manager, coordinate with Ms. Noller on the details of their visit specifically regarding the days that the visitors may want to visit and “work in” local government departments. The Council acknowledged that the German Partnership Committee Business Exchange Taskforce will coordinate the details of their accommodations and extracurricular activities and that the two individuals will have their own rental vehicles and mobile phones. The Council further acknowledged that no County funding is being requested. The Council extended an invitation for the two individuals to attend a County Council meeting during their stay.
2011-2012 SNOW REMOVAL PLAN-PUBLIC WORKS
The Council, based on the request of Roy Mills, Highway Division Manager, approved the Snow Removal Plan for 2011-2012 utilizing Highway Division staff. The Council acknowledged that the plan of operations may vary or change, based on equipment availability, type of snowfall and wind conditions. Additionally, the Council acknowledged that in the event of heavy snowfall or high wind conditions all County owned and operated equipment, including reserve trucks, will be committed as well as Landfill personnel and that under severe conditions, outside contractors owning heavy construction type equipment will be called.
MARYLAND ASSOCIATION OF COUNTIES LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE NOMINATIONS
Pursuant to the request of Michael Sanderson, Executive Director, Maryland Association of Counties, the Council agreed to reappoint Councilman Nichols as Maryland Association of Counties Legislative Committee Representative for Dorchester County and reappoint Councilman Price as the alternative representative for one year.
BOARD APPOINTMENTS-PLANNING COMMISSION
Based on information provided by Steve Dodd, Planning and Zoning Director, the Council agreed to reappoint Ralph Lewis as the District 1 representative on the Planning Commission. The Council acknowledged that Mr. Lewis’ term will expire on January 2, 2017.
The Council deferred the appointment of the Redistricting Commission’s At Large Member and the appointment of the Committee Chair until its December 6, 2011 meeting. The Council acknowledged that Barbara “Bobbi” Hall, who served as the At Large Member and Chair, resigned due to a conflict of interest with her employment at the Dorchester County Elections Office. The Council requested that Bill Spicer be contacted to determine if he is interested in serving on the Redistricting Commission. The Council recognized its previous directive to the Redistricting Commission members to suspend meetings until the appointments of the At Large member and Chair are made.
PROPOSED PROGRAM OPEN SPACE PROJECT-MCCARTER PARK-RECREATION AND PARKS
The Council approved the request of Scott Eberspacher, Recreation and Parks Director, to apply for the use of $39,333 from the County’s Program Open Space June 2011 allocation to replace the dinosaur component of the playground at McCarter Park. Additionally, the Council agreed to waive bids and purchase an identical playground component from West Recreation, because the remainder of the playground apparatus was designed and installed by the company and the dinosaur was constructed to connect to the remaining play apparatus. The Council acknowledged that the project is 90% reimbursable from State POS funding and that the local match of 10% ($739.18) will be paid from the Recreation-Other Expenses line item of the Recreation and Parks’ FY 2012 Operating Budget.
FARM LEASE CONSIDERATION
Ms. Baynard said local farmers have expressed interest in leasing approximately 90 tillable aces of County owned land adjacent to Cordtown Road (Parcel 90, Tax Map 42), which was purchased for the Airport Expansion and the Dorchester Regional Technology Park. The Council acknowledged that Bob Tenanty, Airport Manager, has advised that Federal Aviation Administration will be amicable to the County’s leasing this land provided it is used for “low” crops. She noted that a proposed advertisement has been provided to Council. The Council agreed to advertise the 90 tillable acres for lease for the 2012 and 2013 season and instructed that the advertisement be revised to require a per acreage lease payment.
ADVENTURE DIVERSION GRANT ACCEPTANCE-DEPARTMENT OF JUVENILE SERVICES-LMB
The Council approved the request of Nancy Shockley, Local Management Board Director, to enter into an Intergovernmental Agreement in an amount not to exceed $99,570 with the Department of Juvenile Services for the implementation of the Adventure Diversion Program for the period of November 1, 2011 through October 31, 2012 contingent upon legal counsel’s review of the document. The Council agreed to sole source the program with the Dorchester Family YMCA, which will employ all staff required to implement this program. Additionally, the Council recognized that funds have been allocated to offset the expenses of the Local Management Board in the amount of $6,000 and a 1% fee has been dedicated to offset any expenses of the Finance Department for the processing of quarterly reimbursement of funds.
REQUEST TO ADVERTISE-FISCAL CLERK, ADVANCED-FINANCE
The Council agreed to advertise a Fiscal Clerk, Advanced position in the Finance Department due to the resignation of an employee.
REQUEST TO ADVERTISE-MECHANIC II-HIGHWAY DIVISION
The Council agreed to advertise a vacant Mechanic II position in the Highway Division of the Public Works Department.
Les Simering, a Dorchester County resident, noted that during the Watershed Implementation Plan Phase II presentation Mr. Moulds referenced the possible connection of the properties in the Bonnie Brook subdivision to a Sanitary District sewer connection and questioned whether there will be fee to hook-up to that system. Councilman Newcomb expressed his belief that the City of Cambridge will assess a connection fee if that project is pursued in the future.
Reverend George Ames, on behalf of the Wesley Chapel Church Congregation, thanked the Council and County staff for the paving of Shorters Wharf Road.
Councilman Bradshaw noted that at the Council’s November 1, 2011 meeting a proclamation declaring November 2011 as Native American Heritage Month was presented, which was accepted by Reverend Trish Hopkins and representatives of the Maryland Commission on Indian Affairs. He said Chief Sewell Winterhawk Fitzhugh and Keith Colston, Administrative Assistant for the Maryland Commission on Indian Affairs, have asked for authorization to place the proclamation in the Maryland State Archives. At Councilman Bradshaw’s request, the Council agreed to send a letter to the Governor’s Commission on Indian Affairs supporting the placement of the proclamation in the Maryland State Archives.
Councilman Price, based on concerns expressed by residents regarding the feral and abandoned cat population, made a motion for staff to investigate the possibility of phasing in a change to the County’s Dog Control Ordinance to include domestic animals and pets. Councilman Nichols expressed concern that the expansion of the ordinance will require the identification of additional funding and suggested that the amendment be discussed during the FY 2012 budget process. Councilman Price said the revision of the ordinance can include the establishment of a fee for services rendered. He noted that individuals who spoke with him have advised that they have been told by the Humane Society staff that they are no longer accepting animals. Ms. Baynard said she also received two calls from residents who said they were turned away from the Humane Society.
The motion to investigate the potential phasing in of the inclusion of domestic animals and pets in the County’s current Dog Control Ordinance failed with Councilmen Travers, Nichols and Newcomb opposing. The Council agreed to discuss the potential inclusion of domestic animals in the Dog Control Ordinance during its FY 2013 budget deliberations.
Councilman Newcomb noted that the next County Council meeting is scheduled for December 6, 2011 during which the annual election of offices for the Council will be held.
With no further business to discuss, the Council adjourned.
ATTEST: DORCHESTER COUNTY COUNCIL:
Jane Baynard, County Manager Jay L. Newcomb, President
William V. Nichols, Vice President
Approved the ______day of ________________, 2011.