County Council Meeting Minutes
October 2, 2012
County Council of Dorchester County
Regular Meeting Minutes
October 2, 2012
The County Council of Dorchester County met in regular session on October 2, 2012 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;
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)(7) to consult with counsel to obtain advice on a legal matter; and pursuant to §10-508(A)(10) to discuss public security, if the public body determines that public discussion would constitute a risk to the public or to public security, including (i) the deployment of fire and police services and staff; and (ii) the development and implementation of emergency plans.
Voting in favor of the closed Executive Session were all Council members.
INVOCATION AND PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
Councilman Nichols led the invocation and the pledge of allegiance.
CALL FOR ADDITIONS OR DELETIONS TO AGENDA
The Council approved the following additions to the agenda: a request to advertise for an on-call Landfill Scales Attendant, a travel request from Emergency Management staff and a request for the submission of a grant application on behalf of the Circuit Court.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES- SEPTEMBER 18, 2012
The Council approved the minutes of September 18, 2012.
APPROVAL OF DISBURSEMENTS
The Council approved vouchers as presented.
FINANICAL REPORT: CASH AND INVESTMENTS
Councilman Newcomb reported total cash and investments as $6,802,630.68.
EXECUTIVE SESSION SUMMARY
The County Council of Dorchester County convened in an Executive Session at 4:30 p.m. on October 2, 2012 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)(7) to consult with counsel to obtain advice on a legal matter; and pursuant to §10-508(A)(10) to discuss public security, if the public body determines that public discussion would constitute a risk to the public or to public security, including (i) the deployment of fire and police services and staff; and (ii) the development and implementation of emergency plans.
Motion made, seconded and carried to conduct a closed session pursuant to the above. All members of the Council voted in the affirmative to conduct the closed session for the purposes stated above and to discuss the topics listed above.
Action taken at the closed session: 1) discussed a management concern with the Emergency Medical Services Manager-requested additional information; 2) deferred a request of the Maintenance Director to fill a vacant Custodian position by a 5 to 0 vote; 3) approved the request submitted by the Emergency Medical Services Manager to remove individuals from the EMS on-call provider list by a 4 to 0 vote; 4) approved the request of the Public Works Director to fill an on-call Scales Attendant position and agreed to consider a request to advertise the vacancy in open session by a 3 to 0 vote; 5) approved the request of the Soil Conservation Director to hire an individual to fill a new grant funded Planner position by a 4 to 0 vote; 6) approved the Warden’s request for certain personnel reassignments in order to fill a vacant Sergeant position by a 4 to 0 vote; 7) agreed to conduct second interviews with several applicants for the Emergency Services Director position; 8) discussed with legal counsel a resident’s request regarding real property taxes; 9) discussed with legal counsel a matter relating to a request to purchase County owned property; 10) discussed a public security matter relating to the development and implementation of emergency plans; 11) confirmed the hiring of an individual to fill a vacant Jury Commissioner position and the reclassification of an individual to a Paralegal/Administrative Assistant by the Circuit Court Judge by a 4 to 0 vote.
The above information is being provided to the public pursuant to and in compliance with Section 10-509(b) and (c) of the State Government Article.
PROCLAMATIONS-FERAL CAT DAY-OCTOBER 16, 2012
The Council presented a proclamation declaring October 16, 2012 Feral Cat Day. Cindy Smith, Acting President of Snip Tuck, Inc., accepted the proclamation.
PROCLAMATION-BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH-OCTOBER
The Council presented a proclamation declaring October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Lori Yates, Mid-Shore Representative for Komen Maryland and Ann Muser, a Komen Maryland Board Member, accepted the proclamation.
SECOND DISCUSSION-2013 MARYLAND GENERAL ASSEMBLY LEGISLATIVE SESSION
Jane Baynard, County Manager, noted that at its September 18, 2012 meeting, the Council identified proposed topics and legislative initiatives to discuss with the local delegation in Annapolis for the 2013 Maryland General Assembly Legislative Session on November 13, 2012. She said during that September 18th meeting, Council deferred a request from Keasha Haythe, Economic Development Director, to amend Article 2B entitled “Alcoholic Beverages” to authorize the issuance of a micro-brewery license in Dorchester County contingent upon Board of License Commissioners review.
The Council agreed to add to its list of November 13th topics the impact Senate Bill 848, which passed during the 2012 Maryland General Assembly Legislative Session, will have on the County’s FY 2016 budget and beyond. The Council acknowledged that Senate Bill 848 states that if in a fiscal year a County’s education effort is below 100% of the statewide five year average the required maintenance of effort amount for that jurisdiction shall be adjusted by either: 1) increasing the per pupil amount by the lesser of the county’s increase in local wealth per pupil; 2) the statewide average increase in local wealth per pupil; or 3) 2.5%. The Council also agreed to pursue an amendment to State law to require a supermajority for funding requests from Chesapeake College which will have a local budget impact, i.e. capital projects. The Council agreed that increased authority for requests with no budget impact, including use of fund balance, will not be sought.
Councilman Newcomb said it is his understanding that the Dorchester County Volunteer Firemen’s Association will send a letter of support to the Council for a revision of State law to allow qualified organizations, which include volunteer fire companies, to conduct bingo events on Sundays, which is one of the legislative initiatives Council previously agreed to discuss.
Based on the request of Councilman Price, the Council agreed to discuss with the local delegation the possible pursuit of State funding on a legislative level to restore and/or improve the rail line in the County. Councilman Nichols noted that the rail line is a topic of discussion for the Council’s November 13th meeting with Maryland Department of Transportation officials.
Councilman Newcomb expressed his understanding that representatives of the State of Virginia may relax crab harvesting regulations and establish a pilot program which will allow watermen to dredge during winter months. He said he hopes to have more information regarding this item to share with the Council prior to the November 13th meeting.
The Council acknowledged that staff will prepare a legislative packet for its review and consideration at its October 16, 2012 meeting.
REQUEST TO RESERVE DOCKAGE/USE COUNTY OFFICE BUILDING PARKING LOT-CAMBRIDGE SCHOONER RENDEZVOUS 2012
The Council approved the request of Jane Devlin, Chairman, Cambridge Schooner Rendezvous Committee, to reserve the County dock on Cambridge Creek in front of County Office Building for use by schooners attending the Seventh Annual Cambridge Schooner Rendezvous from October 19 to October 21, 2012 in the case of foul weather. The Council acknowledged that signs will be placed along the dock on October 17 with removal on October 22 and that the Committee will provide the County with sufficient certification of liability insurance. The Council also approved Ms. Devlin’s request to use the parking lot at the County’s Office Building on Saturday October 20th and Sunday October 21st with the understanding that the parking lot will remain open to the public.
FY13 MARYLAND TRANSIT ADMINISTRATION OPERATING/CAPITAL TRANSPORTATION GRANT AWARDS-DELMARVA COMMUNITY SERVICES
The Council approved the request of Santo Grande, President/CEO, to accept the FY 2013 Annual Transportation Plan for operating funding from the Maryland Transit Administration for transportation services of $787,356 from the following programs: 1) Statewide Specialized Transportation Assistance Program in the amount of $122,724 (State) with a $56,448 local cash match for a total of $179,172; 2) Section 5311 Operating Assistance in the amount of $424,139 (State and Federal) with a $127,725 local match for a total of $551,864; and 4) Americans with Disabilities Act in the amount of $50,000 (State) with a local match of $6,320 for a total of $56,320. The Council acknowledged that the total local match required under the operating grant is $190,493 which is supported, in part, by the FY13 County budget appropriation to Delmarva Community Services with the remainder to be funded by Delmarva Community Services.
The Council also approved Mr. Grande’s request to accept the FY13 Annual Transportation Plan for capital funding from the Mass Transit Administration and the Federal Transit Administration in the amount of $319,401 with a Federal share of $255,521, a State share of $31,940 and a $31,940 local cash match to purchase a mini-van, radio, bus camera system, medium duty replacement bus and for preventive maintenance.
REQUEST TO MODIFY PROPERTY MAINTENANCE CONTRACT-PLANNING AND ZONING
The Council reviewed a request submitted by Gene Harper, Zoning Inspector, to modify the agreement between the Council and Bridges Land & Waste Management, Inc. for contractual services to conduct property clean-up under the County’s Property Maintenance Ordinance dated April 1, 2012 to include an hourly rate of $30 for manual labor and agreed not to amend this contract based on concerns that this action would invalidate the bid award. The Council, pursuant to legal advice, further agreed to terminate this contract with Bridges Land & Waste Management, Inc. along with the Nuisance Control Existence of Grass, Weeds and Similar Vegetation Agreement Council entered into in May 2012 pursuant to the 60 day termination clause in Section 4 of both of these agreements. The Council requested that a new request for proposals be advertised for property clean-up and nuisance abatement and enforcement services.
RECONSIDERATION-SURPLUS PROPERTY BID AWARD-FINANCE
The Council reviewed recommendations from Tom Moore, Public Works Director, regarding the recent surplus property bids along with the original bid tabulations provided at its September 18, 2012 meeting from Finance staff. The Council rejected any bids not on official bid forms and any “bundled” bids or bids expressed on a weight basis (per CWT). The Council accepted the recommendation of staff to award bids for certain identified surplus property to the highest bidders. Based on the Council’s decision to reject bids which included certain miscellaneous Public Works items and requested that Public Works staff seek scrap metal prices for this property with the understanding that the scrap vendor will provide a proper container for disposal and hauling. The Council requested that all bid awards be advertised on the Council’s website at www.docogonet.com.
REQUEST TO ADVERTISE FOR PROPOSALS-GRINDING OF BRUSH, YARD AND TREE WASTE-LANDFILL/PUBLIC WORKS
The Council approved the request of Mr. Moore to advertise a request for proposals for the grinding of brush, yard and tree waste at the landfill and acknowledged that the cost for this service will be covered by Landfill Enterprise Funds.
BID AWARD-WINGATE DOCK BULKHEAD REPLACEMENT MATERIALS-PUBLIC WORKS
The Council approved the request of Mr. Moore to award the following bids for material for the replacement of the bulkhead at the Wingate Dock to the lowest bidders for these items: 1) to Culpeper Wood Preserves for wood materials in the amount of $19,975.44; and 2) to Seaport Marine for hardware materials in the amount of $2,468.30. The Council acknowledged that the cost of the materials will be paid through a Department of Natural Resources Waterway Improvement Grant and that DNR has approved these bid awards. Based on question from Councilman Newcomb, Mr. Moore said work will be performed by County staff.
RESOLUTION TO ADOPT BAY RESTORATION FEE FINANCIAL HARDSHIP EXEMPTION/APPLICATION FORM-FINANCE
The Council approved the request of Michael Spears, Finance Director, and adopted a resolution to institute a Maryland Bay Restoration Fee Financial Hardship Exemption for Dorchester County pursuant to House Bill 446, which was passed during the 2012 General Assembly and became effective as of July 1, 2012. The Council agreed that since the effective date of House Bill 446 coincided with the issuance of July 1, 2012 property tax bills this exemption will be retroactive to July 1, 2012 for this year only. The Council acknowledged that in order to qualify for an exemption an applicant must receive the Maryland Homeowner Property Tax Credit and one other form of assistance (such as energy assistance subsidy, medical assistance, food stamps, disability benefits, etc) and that any individual approved for an exception who has already paid their Bay Restoration fee for the current year will receive a one time refund. The Council recognized that the homeowner property tax credit is an income based real property tax credit approved by the State.
GOVERNOR’S OFFICE OF CRIME CONTROL & PREVENTION GRANT AWARD-LIVE SCAN-SHERIFF’S OFFICE
The Council agreed to accept a Governor’s Office of Crime Control & Prevention Grant award to the Sheriff’s Office entitled “Live Scan” in the amount of $31,650 with no cash or in kind match for the period of October 1, 2012 to September 30, 2013 to provide for electronic transmittal of fingerprints at the Sheriff’s Office.
FY13 RENTAL ALLOWANCE PROGRAM GRANT AGREEMENT-LOCAL MANAGEMENT BOARD
The Council approved the request of Nancy Shockley, Dorchester County Partnership for Children and Families Director, to accept the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development 2013 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 Delmarva Community Services acts as the Community Action Agency for Dorchester County.
REQUEST TO USE EARNED REINVESTMENT FUNDS- DORCHESTER COUNTY PARTNERSHIP FOR CHILDREN & FAMILIES
The Council approved the request Ms. Shockley presented on behalf of the Dorchester County Partnership for Children & Families to submit the following requests to Kim Malat, Interim Director, Governor’s Office for Children: 1) to allocate $21,000 of earned reinvestment funds as the 25% local match for funds from that State agency for the Youth Services Bureau grant that was transferred to the Health Department; and 2) to utilize $41,166 of earned re-investment funds to open the new Youth Services Bureau through the Health Department School Based Wellness Program. The Council recognized the following: 1) the Youth Services Bureau grant was transferred to the Health Department when the County Department was closed for FY2012; 2) in FY2013 the Health Department had to make that match and the intent had been that there would be an opportunity to recoup some or all of that via insurance reimbursement/an intended fee for service structure; and 3) receipts have not yet proven timely.
REQUEST TO SOLE SOURCE REQUIRED AUDITS AND INSPECTIONS-WEATHERIZATION PROGRAM-LOCAL MANAGEMENT BOARD
The Council approved the request of Ms. Shockley to waive bids and sole source with Housewarmers, LLC to conduct required audits and inspections for the Weatherization Assistance Program pursuant to new guidelines established by the United States Department of Energy at the following quoted prices: $300 per audit; $175 per inspection; and $100 for a re-visit. The Council acknowledged that the cost of the audits and inspections is an allowable expense under the Weatherization grant provided to Dorchester County.
CONFIRMATION -GOVERNOR’S OFFICE OF CRIME CONTROL & PREVENTION APPLICATION-STATE AID FOR POLICE PROTECTION FUND
The Council confirmed the execution by Councilman Newcomb, President, of a FY13 Governor’s Office of Crime Control & Prevention State Aid for Police Protection Fund Application for funds to provide adequate police protection in the subdivisions and qualifying municipalities of Maryland in order to meet a September 27, 2012 deadline. The Council recognized that the grant period July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2014; there is no local match; and that the Governor’s Office of Crime Control & Prevention determines the allocation provided to Dorchester County based on demographics and other factors.
CONTINUED DISCUSSION-TRADE PERMITS-MUNICIPALITIES
Pursuant to Council’s September 18, 2012 request for clarification, E. Thomas Merryweather, County Attorney, confirmed that Council does have the authority to take legislative action to either waive or exempt trade permit fees. He expressed his concern that if this action is taken, the County will still incur the cost of performing the inspections by Middle Department Inspection Agency. The Council acknowledged that Steve Dodd, Planning and Zoning Director, also expressed the same concern. Pursuant to the request of Councilman Price, the Council deferred this item in order to allow him the opportunity to obtain additional information from certain municipalities.
REQUEST TO SUBMIT FY13 COURTHOUSE SECURITY GRANT APPLICATION THROUGH ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE OF COURTS-CIRCUIT COURT
The Council approved the request of Brett Wilson, Circuit Court Judge, to submit an application for FY13 Courthouse Security Grant funds through the Administrative Office of the Courts for the installation of a security fence that would encompass the Gay Street employee parking lot, prisoner loading area and Courthouse air handler/chiller unit. The Council acknowledged that the maximum grant award is $25,000 but stipulated that if the grant application is approved by the funding agency and accepted by the Council, expenditures can only be considered after a formal bid process as defined by the County’s procurement policy. The Council recognized that pursuant to grant requirements the funds must be used for physical security enhancements based on the January 2010 National Center for State County Physical Security Assessment and that fencing was identified in the assessment as a priority.
TRAVEL REQUEST- EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT
The Council approved the request submitted by Steve Garvin, Emergency Management Planner, to attend the “Whole Community Workshop” from November 7 to November 8, 2012 and to stay overnight, since the event begins at 8 a.m. each morning with the cost being covered through a FY10 Citizen Corps Grant.
REQUEST TO ADVERTISE-ON CALL LANDFILL SCALES ATTENDANT
The Council agreed to advertise a vacant on-call Landfill Scales Attendant.
There were no public comments.
Councilman Price advised Council that the following topics were identified at the recent Maryland Association of Counties Legislative Committee meeting for the 2013 Maryland General Assembly Legislative Session: 1) transportation needs and funding; 2) land planning and land use autonomy; 3) opposition to budget cuts and shifts; 4) restoration of highway user funds; and the 5) potential participation in the administration of the State of Maryland Retirement System.
The Council requested that Mr. Moore follow-up on concerns residents expressed to Councilman Nichols about potholes on Charles Creek Road.
The Council agreed to reappoint Pardee Bramble to the Council for Senior Citizens and acknowledged that his term will expire on March 3, 2015. Based on the request of Councilman Travers, the Council also agreed to reappoint Robbie Hanson to the Planning Commission and recognized that his term expires on August 22, 2017.
Councilman Newcomb announced that the next County Council meeting will be held on October 16, 2012.
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 _______________, 2012.