County Council Meeting Minutes
December 6, 2011
County Council of
“Amended” Regular Meeting Minutes
December 6, 2011
The County Council of Dorchester County met in regular session on December 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
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)(5) to consider the investment of public funds.
Voting in favor of the closed Executive Session were all Council members.
ANNUAL ELECTION OF OFFICERS
The Council elected the following Officers by majority:
President Councilman Newcomb (3-2)
Vice President Councilman Nichols (5-0)
INVOCATION AND PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
Councilman Nichols led the invocation and the pledge of allegiance.
CALL FOR ADDITIONS OR DELETIONS TO AGENDA
The Council agreed to add the following items to the agenda: 1) the consideration of a proposed amendment to a current resolution regarding no smoking or tobacco use on County property relating to tenants that rent space in County buildings; 2) a request to advertise vacant positions at the Detention Center and the Finance Office; and 3) a request to advertise for on-call Emergency Medical Services providers.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES- NOVEMBER 15, 2011
The Council approved the minutes of November 15, 2011.
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 $5,803,704.31.
EXECUTIVE SESSION SUMMARY
The County Council of Dorchester County convened in an Executive Session at 4:30 p.m. on December 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; and pursuant to §10-508(A)(5) to consider the investment of public funds.
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) selected individuals to be invited to second interviews to be conducted by Council for the Public Works Director and Emergency Services Director vacancies; 2) discussed additional information provided by Human Resources relating to notification requirements for employees’ insurance benefits regarding specific qualifying events; 3) discussed an amendment to an existing County policy-agreed to continue discussion in open session; 4) approved the request of the Warden to reclassify an individual to the Chief of Security position at the Detention Center and to consider a request to advertise the resulting vacancy in open session by a 5 to 0 vote; 5) approved the request of the Finance Director to promote an existing employee to fill a vacant Fiscal Clerk Advanced position and to consider a request to advertise the resulting vacancy in open session by a 5 to 0 vote; 6) approved the request of the Interim Emergency Medical Services Manager to remove individuals from the approved provider on-call list and to consider a request to advertise for additional on-call providers by a 5 to 0 vote; 7) discussed information regarding a matter relating to economic development-took no action; 8) deferred a matter relating to property offered at tax sale pending additional legal advice; and 9) discussed a request to invest public dollars-took no action.
The above information is being provided to the public pursuant to and in compliance with Section 10-509(b) and (c) of the State Government Article.
REQUEST FOR FUNDING-REPLACEMENT OF ROOF-DORCHESTER COUNTY LIBRARY
Jean Del Sordo, Library Director, speaking on behalf of the Library Board of Trustees, requested funding to replace the roof on the Central Library in Cambridge which has several leaks in the public area of the building due to recent high winds and heavy rains. She corrected the original funding request from $21,634.72 to $17,434.72. She clarified the cost includes removal of the old roof and installation of a 15 year membrane roof.
She explained that the Board is seeking a 50% share of the replacement cost. In response to questions from Councilmen Newcomb and Travers, Ms. Del Sordo noted that the library building is owned by the Library Board of Trustees. She said that the Board is in the process of selling the Library bookmobile and any funds realized from the sale may be applied to the cost of the roof replacement.
Ms. Del Sordo advised the Council that she is also seeking prices on the replacement of the HVAC system at the Central Library in preparation for the FY 2013 budget and has received estimates in excess of $250,000. She explained that State grant funds specifically earmarked for public library systems may be available to assist with this purchase but require a 50% match and the submission of a Master Facilities Plan. In response to a question from Councilmen Price, Ms. Del Sordo said that the application is due in June 2012.
The Council deferred Ms. Del Sordo’s and the Library Boards’ request for funding for the Library building’s roof replacement for the FY 2013 budget process.
REQUEST TO USE HOMELAND SECURITY GRANT FUNDS-GENERATOR-EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT
The Council approved the request of Steve Garvin, Emergency Planner, for approval of the expenditure of FY 09 and FY 10 Homeland Security Grant Funds for improvements to the generator for the well system at North Dorchester Middle School. Council acknowledged the reason for the expense is to make necessary improvements to allow the building to be a primary emergency shelter and that any resulting expenditure will be pursuant to the Board of Education procurement policies. The Council also asked staff to ask staff if there is any opportunity to use Homeland Security funding to purchase a generator for the Public Works Department to be used for critical needs required by that department, particularly in times of emergency.
FY2011 STATE HOMELAND GRANT PROGRAM GRANT MEMORANDUM OF AGREEMENT-EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT
The Council approved the request of Mr. Garvin to accept a grant award from the Maryland Emergency Management Agency for the FY 2011 State Homeland Grant Program for September 1, 2011 to May 31, 2014 in the amount of $111,508.75 which includes $37,912.28 for law enforcement and $73,595.77 earmarked for equipment ($51,595.11), training ($10,000) and CBRNE Protection ($12,000) with no local match. The Council acknowledged that the law enforcement funds are to be distributed to the Dorchester County Sheriff’s Office ($21,989.53), Cambridge Police Department ($13,269.54), and Hurlock Police Department ($2,653.91) and that the Emergency Planner position funding has been applied to the FY11 Emergency Management Performance Grant and is no longer indentified within this grant.
FY11 GRANT AWARD-CITIZENS CORP/COMMUNITY EMERGENCY RESPONSE TRAINING-EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT
The Council approved the request of Mr. Garvin to accept the FY 2011 grant award from the Maryland Emergency Management Agency for Citizens Corps/Community Emergency Response Training for November 1, 2011 to May 31, 2014 in the amount of $5,000 with no local match to be used for sustainment of the Citizens Corps program which includes community emergency response training.
FY 2012 HERITAGE TRAILS BROCHURE GRANT ACCEPTANCE REQUEST-MARYLAND HERITAGE AREAS AUTHORITY-TOURISM
The Council, at the request of Amanda Fenstermaker, Tourism Director, accepted a FY 2012 Heritage Areas Brochure Grant award in the amount of $9,000 from the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority for editing, design and printing of themed brochures. The Council acknowledged that the $7,500 cash match will be provided from the Tourism Operating budget and that staff will provide the in-kind services match of $2,500.
ANNUAL GRANT AGREEMENT-MARKETING-MARYLAND OFFICE OF TOURISM
Pursuant to Ms. Fenstermaker’s request Council accepted a FY 2012 County Cooperative Marketing Grant Award from the Maryland Office of Tourism in the amount of $52,005 for the period of July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2012 to fund marketing efforts. The Council acknowledged that the grant cash match is being provided through the Tourism Departments’ FY12 Operating Budget.
FARM LEASE CONSIDERATION
The Council approved the request of Scott Eberspacher, Recreation and Parks Director, to renew the farm lease with Riverdale Farms (Ronald Edgar & Sons) for
AIRPORT OFFICE LEASE APPROVAL REQUEST
The Council approved the request of Bob Tenanty, Airport Manager, to enter into a lease between the County Council and VARTEC Industries, Inc. for Room #002 at the Cambridge-Dorchester Regional Airport Terminal building for office space at $400 per month, beginning on January 1, 2012 and expiring on December 31, 2012. The Council acknowledged that the lease includes a provision that either party may cancel the lease at any time by submitting 30 days prior written notice.
BOARD APPOINTMENT-REDISTRICTING COMMISSION
The Council deferred the appointment of the Redistricting Commission’s At Large Member and the appointment of the Committee Chair, which became vacant due to the resignation of Barbara “Bobbi” Hall, until its January 17, 2012 meeting. The Council continued its previous directive that the Redistricting Commission members suspend meetings until the necessary appointments are made.
THIRD/FOURTH QUARTER FY2011/2012 COUNCIL MEETING SCHEDULE
The Council agreed to adopt the Third/Fourth Quarter FY 2011/2012 Council meeting schedule from January 2012 to June 2012.
TRAFFIC SAFETY RECOMMENDATIONS
Jane Baynard, County Manager, presented the Council with recommendations from the Traffic Safety Committee members based on items discussed at a November 18, 2011 meeting.
Speed Limit Signage
The Council approved the Committee’s recommendation to place an additional 35 mph speed limit sign on the northbound lane of Palmers Mill Road prior to the Lucy Fish Road development.
Speed Limit Reduction
Based on the Committee’s recommendation, the Council agreed that no signage or posting changes be made on Newhart Mill Road as it may set a precedent to lower the speed limits in less densely populated areas.
Request to Install Guardrail
The Council accepted the Committee’s recommendation to refer a request to install a guardrail on Mill Road/Route 50 in the Linkwood Salem area to the State Highway Administration.
Pedestrian Signage Concerns
Ms. Baynard reminded Council that at its April 12, 2011 meeting approval had been granted for a handicap/pedestrian sign to be installed on Sandy Hill Road in Cambridge provided two property owners of group homes, Crossroads Community, and Delmarva Community Services (DCS), would provide 50% of the signage costs. She clarified that the property owners have indicated they will not participate in the cost share and, therefore, no sign will be installed. The Council agreed to take no further action.
LETTER OF SUPPORT-MICHENER BYWAYS GRANT-CAPTAIN JOHN SMITH NANTICOKE DISCOVERY CENTER
The Council agreed to send a letter of support for a grant application by The Heart of Chesapeake Country Heritage Area to the National Scenic Byways Program for a project entitled “Facility Improvements along the Michener Chesapeake Country Scenic Byway.” The Council acknowledged that the project consists of improvements at the following two key facilities along the Michener Chesapeake Country Scenic Byway: the Richardson Maritime Heritage Center in Cambridge and the Captain John Smith Nanticoke Discovery Center in Vienna. Additionally, the Council acknowledged that the County will not provide funding nor serve as the applicant for the grant.
TELEPHONE POLL CONFIRMATIONS
Ms. Baynard noted that in the interim between meetings Council, by means of a poll, took the following actions: 1) agreed to send a letter in opposition to U.S. House of Representatives Bill No. H.R. 3090 which will eliminate the U.S. Economic Development Administration by a 5 to 0 vote; 2) agreed to change the date of the second County Council meeting in December 2011 from December 20th to December 13th by a 5 to 0 vote; 3) agreed to nominate Steve Edgar to serve as the County’s representative on the Farm Service Agency Committee by a 4 to 0 vote; 4) agreed to again support efforts to remove funding from the Department of Labor’s budget to implement new regulations under the H2-B seasonal worker program by a 4 to 0 vote with Councilman Newcomb abstaining.
The Council deferred consideration of a draft bill submitted by Delegate Adelaide Eckardt for Council’s review and possible support to allow turkey hunting on private property on three Sundays in the Spring and requested additional information from staff, including the current turkey population in Dorchester County.
AMENDMENT-NO SMOKING OR USE OF TOBACCO PRODUCTS RESOLUTION
The Council agreed to amend Resolution No. 509 entitled “No Smoking or Use of Tobacco Products-Dorchester County Employees” to apply to tenants who lease space in County owned buildings. Councilmen Price and Travers opposed.
REQUEST TO ADVERTISE-DETENTION CENTER
The Council agreed to advertise a Correctional Officer IV vacancy at the Detention Center due to the promotion of an employee. Councilman Price opposed.
REQUEST TO ADVERTISE -FINANCE DEPARTMENT
The Council agreed to advertise a Fiscal Clerk position in the Finance Department due to the promotion of an employee.
REQUEST TO ADVERTISE-EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES
The Council agreed to advertise for additional Emergency Medical Services on-call providers.
In response to a question from Wendell Foxwell, a resident, Councilman Newcomb clarified the Council’s recent decision to lease approximately 90 tillable aces of County owned land adjacent to Cordtown Road.
Les Simering, a County resident, advised Council that he submitted a request to Senator Richard Colburn to revise State law to allow volunteer fire companies to hold Bingo events on Sundays. He explained that Senator Colburn has advised him that he will seek the Council’s support of the bill. Councilmen Newcomb said the bill was discussed at the Dorchester County Volunteer Firemen’s Association meeting on December 5, 2011 and advised the Association has elected not to take a position on the proposed amendment. He said the Council has asked each volunteer fire company to provide written comments if the company chooses to take a position and noted that the County Council will consider the proposed bill at its December 13, 2011 meeting.
Maureen Harper, a resident, said she lives near the Lloyds Volunteer Fire Company Firehouse and asked if the County allows individuals to camp and possibly hunting on the property. Councilman Newcomb noted that the property is not owned by the County and that the Lloyds Volunteer Fire Company does not receive County funding. Councilman Travers said it is his understanding that the individuals were camping but not hunting on the property and that they provided a donation to the fire company to remain at that location for one week.
Libby Nagel, a Dorchester County resident, questioned the need for extending the turkey hunting season for hunting on private land, particularly since it is her understanding that the turkey population in Dorchester County is low. Councilman Bradshaw noted that the turkey season is from April 18 to May 23 with a Junior Turkey Hunt scheduled for April 14, 2011.
George Ames, resident, encouraged that Council to continue to utilize County resources wisely.
Councilman Price said the annual Hurlock Christmas Parade will be held on Saturday, December 10, 2011 at noon.
Councilman Newcomb stated that at the Dorchester County Volunteer Firemen’s Association meeting on December 5th the fire association did not take any position on a proposed bill to amend Article 2B, “Alcoholic Beverages”, of the Annotated Code of Maryland to allow a volunteer fire company, a volunteer ambulance company or a combined volunteer fire and ambulance company to obtain a Class "C" beer, wine and liquor license, which will be renewed annually. He said volunteer fire company members were instead encouraged to submit their comments regarding this draft legislation to the Council.
He noted that the Council sent a letter to Ray Lehr, State of Maryland Interoperability Director, to be included in any future discussions regarding the State of Maryland’s efforts to build a statewide 700 MHz communications system. He said he received a written response today in which Mr. Lehr proposed that a meeting be scheduled between State representatives and the Council in January 2012 so that he may provide an update on the State’s efforts.
Councilman Newcomb announced that the Council will meet on December 8, 2011 at 4:30 p.m. for a budget work session which will be followed by an executive session meeting regarding personnel matters at 6 p.m. He also announced that the next County Council meeting is scheduled for December 13, 2011.
With no further business to discuss, the Council adjourned.
William V. Nichols, Vice President
Approved the ______day of ________________, 2011.