Meeting Minutes

Meeting Minutes
posted: 12/06/12

County Council Meeting Minutes


November 20, 2012

County Council of Dorchester County

Regular Meeting Minutes

November 20, 2012

 

The County Council of Dorchester County met in regular session on November 20, 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 and Donna Lane, Executive Administrative Specialist.

 

REGULAR SESSION

 

EXECUTIVE SESSION

 

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)(7) to consult with counsel to obtain advice on a legal matter.

 

Voting in favor of the closed Executive Session were all Council members.

 

REGULAR SESSION

 

INVOCATION AND PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

 

Chief Sewell Winterhawk Fitzhugh led the invocation and Councilman Bradshaw led the pledge of allegiance.

 

CALL FOR ADDITIONS OR DELETIONS TO AGENDA

 

The Council approved the following additions to the agenda: a request from the Tourism Director to sole source with a company to produce a phone application in conjunction with the audio tour for the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway and a discussion regarding leasing a portion of County property.

 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES- OCTOBER 16, 2012

 

The Council approved the minutes of October 16, 2012.

 

APPROVAL OF DISBURSEMENTS

 

The Council approved vouchers as presented.

FINANICAL REPORT: CASH AND INVESTMENTS

 

Councilman Newcomb reported total cash and investments as $13,536,274.50.

 

EXECUTIVE SESSION SUMMARY

 

The County Council of Dorchester County convened in an Executive Session at 4:30 on November 20, 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)(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)(7) to consult with counsel to obtain advice on a legal matter.

 

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 the Emergency Services Director vacancy; 2) discussed a matter relating to a County Board-requested additional information; 3) received an update from staff on the Dorchester County Technology Park; 4) discussed with legal counsel a matter regarding a request relating to County property-agreed to discuss in open session; 5) discussed with legal counsel a matter relating to local legislation; and 6) discussed a personnel matter.  

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.

 

REGULAR SESSION

 

PROCLAMATION-NATIVE AMERICAN HERITAGE MONTH-NOVEMBER

                            

The Council presented a proclamation declaring November 2012 as Native American Heritage Month.  Chief Sewell Winterhawk Fitzhugh accepted the proclamation.  Reverend Dr. Trish Hopkins; her sister; Steve Abbott; Sergeant of Arms; Senior Council Member Lee Hughes; Reverend George Ames; Honorary Member Brian were also in attendance. 

 

PUBLIC HEARING/RESOLUTION OF SUPPORT/ COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT BLOCK GRANT APPLICATION-SALVATION ARMY                        

 

E. Thomas Merryweather, County Attorney, advised that a public hearing is being held on an application to be submitted by the Salvation Army for a Community Development Block Grant through the Department of Housing and Community Development under the Special Projects Program for $70,000, with no cash or in-kind match, to renovate the current homeless shelter on Goodwill Drive in Cambridge.

 

Timothy Crosby, Architect, said the homeless shelter has been operating in the County since 1969.  He explained that the renovation of the facility will increase capacity from nine to 28 beds, noting that the total cost of the renovation is $93,000. 

 

The Council agreed to execute a resolution of support approving the submission of the Community Development Block Grant through the Department of Housing and Community Development under the Special Projects Program for $70,000, with no cash or in-kind match, to renovate the current homeless shelter on Goodwill Drive.   The Council acknowledged that the Salvation Army will execute a sub recipient agreement and that the Council will be required to place a lien on the building for ten years to ensure the facility will remain a homeless shelter.  The Council recognized that even though the grant period is December 2012 to November 2014, the Salvation Army intends to start renovations in January 2013, to be completed by March 2013, during which the facility will remain open. 

 

LEGISLATIVE SESSION

CONSIDERATION- BILL NO. 2012-6                               

AN ACT OF THE COUNTY COUNCIL OF DORCHESTER COUNTY, MARYLAND, ACTING PURSUANT TO ARTICLE 66B, SECTION 4.01 ET.SEQ., GENERAL DEVELOPMENT REGULATIONS AND ZONING, OF THE ANNOTATED CODE OF MARYLAND, TO AMEND CHAPTER 140, SUBDIVISION REGULATIONS, ARTICLE II, SECTION 140-6, TERMS DEFINED, SECTION 140-4, APPLICABILITY OF PROVISIONS, SECTION 140-21, APPROVAL PROCEDURES, SECTION 140-25, GENERAL REQUIREMENTS, OF THE DORCHESTER COUNTY CODE, TO ESTABLISH STANDARDS AND PROCEDURES BY REQUIRING REGULATIONS THAT APPLY TO DEVELOPMENT WITHIN DESIGNATED TIER AREAS AS ESTABLISHED IN THE SUSTAINABLE GROWTH AND AGRICULTURAL PRESERVATION ACT (SB 236).

 

E. Thomas Merryweather, County Attorney, explained that Bill No. 2012-6 is to amend Chapter 140, Subdivision Regulations, Article II, Section 140-6, “Terms Defined,” to revise the definition of a major subdivision from five or more lots to eight or more lots and to change the minor subdivision definition from four or fewer lots to seven or fewer lots.  He clarified that the public comment period on this legislation was closed at the Council’s October 16, 2012 meeting after a public hearing was held.

The role call on the enactment of Bill No. 2012-6 was as follows: Newcomb-aye; Nichols-aye; Price-aye; Travers-aye; Bradshaw-aye.

 

Mr. Merryweather said another item before the Council is the consideration of the adoption of a Tier Map based on requirements set forth in Senate Bill 236, the

Sustainable Growth and Agricultural Preservation Act which map, if adopted, will place 92% of the property in the County in a Tier IV designation and therefore, property owners in those areas with properties served by a septic system will only be able to undertake minor subdivisions. 

 

In response to a question from Councilman Price, Steve Dodd, Planning and Zoning Director, explained that if the Council chooses to not to adopt the Tier Map effective January 1, 2013 the County’s Planning Commission will lose its authority to approve any major subdivision not served by sewer.   He noted that Senate Bill 236 was enacted July 1, 2012 and requires local governments to map their jurisdictions into different “tiers” which are to be defined by water and sewer planned sewer service, land use, comprehensive plan designation and zoning, with Tier 4 being the most restrictive.

 

Based on an inquiry from Mr. Merryweather, Mr. Dodd advised that the Council can instruct Planning and Zoning staff to prepare an alternative map, however, he noted that after January 1, 2013 tier maps can only be approved through a Comprehensive Plan amendment.   Rodney Banks, Assistant Planning and Zoning Director, concurred.

 

Mr. Dodd advised that correspondence has been received from Rich Josephson, Director of Planning Services, Maryland Department of Planning, in which he states that if the proposed map is adopted without justification for mapping Tier III areas that appear to be areas dominated by agricultural lands, forest lands or other natural areas or without changes to move some of the land into Tier IV MDP will provide comments on the proposed map, which will necessitate a public hearing. 

 

Councilman Travers expressed concern that the proposed maps place 92% of the property in the County in a Tier IV designation which severely limits the use of those properties.  Councilman Bradshaw concurred.

 

Mr. Dodd noted that the proposed map was developed using the mapping criteria outlined in SB 236 and that unless the law is changed, Planning and Zoning staff cannot justify amending the maps because any change will deviate from that criteria.  He expressed his belief that the intent of SB236 is to restrict new development served by septic systems in rural areas throughout the State.   

 

Councilman Bradshaw expressed concern that the State is usurping local authority and that the proposed Tier Map will severely limit an owner’s use of their property. 

 

Mr. Dodd suggested that the Council not approve the Tier Map nor instruct Planning and Zoning staff to prepare an alternative map based on his belief that the Maryland Department of Planning staff will not approve such a revision.   

In response to a question from Councilman Price, Ms. Dodd estimated that it will take approximately four to five months to amend the County’ s Comprehensive Plan. 

 

Based on questions from Councilmen Nichols and Travers, Mr. Dodd said the Council can readdress whether or not to adopt a Tier Map between now and the end of the year without the necessity of a public hearing. 

 

In response to an inquiry from Councilman Price, Mr. Dodd clarified that there are more minor subdivisions undertaken than major subdivisions and that there have only been 20 major subdivisions established since January 1, 2005 for a total of 393 lots.  He said houses have only been constructed on 13.3% of those lots which reflects the soft real estate market.

The Council agreed to not accept a resolution to adopt a Tier Map. 

 

ANNUAL REPORT/WEBSITE OVERVIEW-ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

                                                                              

Keasha Haythe, Economic Development Director, presented the FY 2012 Economic Development Annual Report and provided copies to the Council.   She said copies are also available at the Economic Development Office. 

 

Ms. Haythe noted that in FY12 Dorchester County expansion and attraction projects contributed more than $25.3 million in capital investment with the expectation that more than 330 jobs will be created over the next two years.    She said the focus of the Economic Development staff is on business, development, expansion and retention initiatives including attracting industry sectors currently not located in the County such as advanced manufacturing.  She explained that staff collaborate with community leaders and educators to increase public awareness of the importance of economic development and to develop programs to prepare students to enter the work force.  Ms. Haythe explained that plans are currently underway to develop an incubator to foster entrepreneurship opportunities and that she anticipates that a building for that facility will be constructed within the Dorchester Regional Technology Park by December 2013.   She noted that two tenants have expressed interest in obtaining space in that building.

 

Ms. Haythe advised Council that in FY12 Economic Development staff assisted four new business owners in relocating to the County and worked with one company on an expansion project.  She said seven businesses located in the downtown area of Cambridge during that fiscal year and that one business relocated and expanded.

 

Ms. Haythe expressed her appreciation to the Council for approving the creation of an Economic Development Advisory Council for the purpose of sharing ideas, solutions and creative approaches to economic development concerns and issues facing Dorchester County businesses.    She said members are meeting monthly.   She explained that she hopes to provide the Council with a strategic plan for the Economic Development Office by the beginning of December 2012 for its review and consideration.

 

John Mason, Business Attraction and Expansion Manager, cited that 80% of new jobs come from existing businesses.  He provided the Council an overview of the Economic Development Office website that was recently redesigned, noting that in FY12 there were 2,848 visitors; 9,533 page views and that the average time spent on the website was four minutes and 16 seconds.  He showed the interactive features of the website including links to social media (i.e. Facebook) and demonstrated the property search feature.   He encouraged the public to view the site, noting that in the near future testimonials from existing businesses will be uploaded.

 

In response to a question from Donald Gray, a resident, Ms. Haythe said the incubator facility will be constructed in 2013 provided funding and the appropriate approvals are obtained, noting that a construction company will have to be selected.  She said there are six individuals/businesses that have expressed interest in locating to the Technology Park. 

 

Based on an inquiry from Wendell Foxwell, a Dorchester County resident, she confirmed that there is an individual that has expressed interest in the old Metro building and that several rental property owners have advised that they are not interested in pursuing the sale or lease of their buildings.  She said Economic Development staff periodically contact and offer those individuals assistance.   

 

In response to a question from Councilman Price, Ms. Haythe explained that most businesses make their decision to locate in a certain jurisdiction based on demographics and income statistics.  She said Economic Development staff have communicated with several of the companies that have located in Talbot County about placing a business in Dorchester County.

 

Based on a question from Councilman Price, Ms. Haythe said she is working with Bob Tenanty, Engineer and Airport Manager, and Public Works staff regarding rail line availability for Dorchester County businesses.  Councilman Price questioned whether any businesses are relocating to the northern part of the County.    Ms. Haythe said Daystar Manufacturing recently relocated to the Hurlock Industrial Park. 

 

In response to a question from Donald Gray, resident, Ms. Haythe said since she was appointed Economic Development Director no business owners have complained about the County’s real property tax rate.

 

UPDATE-CAMBRIDGE WATERFRONT MARINE TERMINAL PROJECT

                                                                

Jerome J. Parks, President, Jerome J. Parks Companies, provided a brief overview of the accomplishments to date regarding the Cambridge Waterfront Marine Terminal project, noting that his company was selected as developer for the project.  He said the following projects have been undertaken by Jerome J. Parks Companies, which has been in business over 50 years and specializes in waterfront development:  Park Place, Chesapeake Harbor, both of which are located in Annapolis, Maryland.  He explained that the Chesapeake Harbor development encompassed 50 acres and consisted of a marina, housing and restaurants.

 

Mr. Parks said he will provide the Council with working notes regarding this development in the near future that were prepared based on one and a half years of research on Dorchester County.  He advised that once plans and/or drawings for the project have been drafted he will forward them to the Council for review and comment.   His said his focus is to develop the property to enhance the local economy, provide employment opportunities for residents and increase the County’s tax base.  He explained that Jerome J. Parks staff are working with Shore Health Systems representatives regarding the potential incorporation of the Dorchester General Hospital in their effort to attract visitors to that area.   He said he is also working with City of Cambridge representatives to create a gateway to downtown Cambridge.

 

Mr. Parks advised Council that he met with the Manager of the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay who encouraged him to consider building a “boutique” hotel on the Sailwinds property in order to capitalize on wedding business and that he is exploring that idea.  He said he would like to promote the wharf on the property as a designation for visiting cruise shops.  Mr. Parks stated that he intends to create a marine atmosphere in order to encourage boaters to visit the retail businesses to be located in the development and expressed his belief that Cambridge, Maryland needs a brand in order to encourage motorists to shop in the City of Cambridge and the County.

 

Andy Scott, Director of Real Estate, Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT), said MDOT officials are partnering with Jerome J. Parks Companies and is looking forward to continuing his partnership with the company as well as the County Council, the City of Cambridge Council and the private sector regarding this project.  He recognized the importance of freight on the Eastern Shore.

 

Mr. Parks said the following individuals are present: his brother, Doug Smith, a Jerome J. Parks Companies employee and Kathleen Parks, Assistant Director, Real Estate Services Group, Maryland Department of Transportation.

 

MANAGERS COMMENTS

 

REQUEST FOR RESOLUTION OF SUPPORT-NEIGHBORHOOD CONSERVATION INITIATIVE GRANT-HABITAT CHOPTANK

 

The Council approved the request of Nancy Andrew, Executive Director, to execute a resolution of support for Habitat for Humanity Choptank’s application for funding under the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development Neighborhood Conservation Initiative for a minimum of $500,000 to use for acquisition and rehabilitation of houses for resale to eligible individuals and acquisition and redevelopment of blighted or abandoned properties to be used for new housing.    The Council recognized that the resolution supports the proposed project and concurred with the boundaries of the established Neighborhood Conservation Initiative area in the grant application of Cambridge/21613, prioritizing the City’s Maple Street District.

 

The Council acknowledged that the County is not the applicant nor responsible for the administration of the grant and there is no financial commitment required.  The Council further acknowledged that the funds will be spent in Dorchester and Talbot Counties. 

 

Ms. Andrew said Habitat for Humanity members have built five homes to date in Dorchester County and that additional funding is needed to purchase property to continue their mission of providing affordable housing to residents while increasing the County’s tax base.   In response to a question from Councilman Nichols, Ms. Andrew said grant funds will be used to purchase land in Talbot and Dorchester County.  She explained that the majority of available land opportunities are in Dorchester County, particularly in the City of Cambridge.    Based on a question from Councilman Nichols, Ms. Andrew said she will be appearing before the Talbot County Council members in the near future to garner their support for the submission of the grant application.  Pursuant to an inquiry from Councilman Nichols, Ms. Andrew said the Habitat for Humanity Choptank office was closed in Dorchester County as part of a consolidation of resources and clarified that there is only one office in Trappe, Maryland, which is centrally located between Cambridge and Easton. 

 

In response to a question from Councilman Price, Ms. Andrew explained that Habitat for Humanity Choptank acquired property in the Town of Hurlock in the last twelve months and is in the process of obtaining the appropriate approvals, including subdivision approval, to construct homes on that property.  She said efforts are also underway to build the volunteer base in that municipality.

 

REQUEST TO PARTNER WITH LOCAL NEWS PUBLICATION-MARKETING-ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

 

The Council approved the request of Ms. Haythe to partner with The Banner to advertise to advertise in their Marketing Profile Magazine. 

 

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT SUMMIT UPDATE/REQUEST TO PURCHASE COMPUTER EQUIPMENT-ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

 

The Council approved the request of Ms. Haythe to utilize a portion of the $17,350 in sponsorship pledges to purchase an iPad for use at the Economic Development Summit titled “Linking Economic Development & Technology in Rural America” which will be held on December 9 and December 10, 2012 and for future summits and meetings with prospects.

 

BID AWARD REQUEST-GRINDING OF BRUSH, YARD AND TREE WASTE-LANDFILL/PUBLIC WORKS

 

The Council approved the request of Tom Moore, Public Works Director, to award the bid for the grinding of brush, yard and tree waste to Maryland Environmental Service in the amount of $8,728 which will be covered by Landfill Enterprise Funds.   The Council acknowledged that although requests for proposals were advertised no responses were received and that staff obtained a quote from Maryland Environmental Service.

 

REQUEST TO ADVERTISE FOR PROPOSALS-EMERGENCY GENERATOR-PUBLIC WORKS

 

The Council approved the request of Mr. Moore to advertise for proposals to upgrade the emergency generator at the Department of Public Works facility and approved the proposed design.  The Council acknowledged that the cost for the upgrade of the generator will be covered 100% by FY 2010 Homeland Security Grant Funds.

 

OAK STREET BULKHEAD REPAIR REQUEST-PUBLIC WORKS

 

The Council approved the request of Mr. Moore to provide the material to reconstruct bulkhead within the County’s right of way on Oak Street, which is located at the Public Works facility and was leftover from previous jobs.  In addition, the Council approved his request to furnish and place fill at that location as the County’s share of the project.  The Council acknowledged that Daryl and Jane Butcher and Phil and Cookie Brohawn, adjoining property owners, will pay for the labor.   

 

The Council also requested that he provide information regarding the condition and possible repair of Bayview Road. 

 

REQUEST TO PURCHASE AND ADVERTISE FOR PROPOSALS-DUMP BODY LIGHT TRUCK-PUBLIC WORKS

 

The Council approved the request of Mr. Moore to advertise for proposals to purchase a Dump Body Light Truck and a nine foot V type snow plow to use for cold patching, roadside trash/animal pickup and snow removal within subdivisions, which expenditure was approved in the FY13 Capital Budget.

 

GRANT AWARD-INOPERABILITY EMERGENCY COMMUNICATIONS GRANT-RADIOS/COMPUTER EQUIPMENT-911 CENTER

 

The Council approved the request submitted by Kim Browning, 911 Center Communications Division Chief, to accept an Interoperability Emergency Communications Grant award of $3,800 to purchase a radio and $1,700 to purchase a laptop and/or iPad/Tablet with no matching funds.  The Council acknowledged that because the grant requires that items must be purchased before December 31, 2012 staff has ordered the radio, which will be used by Information Technology Communications Specialist, Chris Abbott.  The Council recognized that upon the recommendation of Don Keyes, Information Technology Director, staff will purchase a laptop, iPad or Tablet.

Furthermore Council recognized that once all purchases are complete staff will seek reimbursement from the granting entity.   

 

REQUEST TO APPROVE STATEMENT OF CONCURRENCE FOR HERITAGE MURAL CORRIDOR PROJECT-TOURISM

 

The Council approved the request of Amanda Fenstermaker, Tourism Director, to execute a Statement of Concurrence to amend the 2007 Scenic Byways Program Memorandum of Understanding between the Chesapeake Country National Scenic Byway Alliance (Alliance) and the State Highway Administration for the Heritage Mural Corridor Project to substitute the Dorchester County Tourism Department for the Alliance as the project sponsor.   The Council that acknowledged the following five sites have been identified in Dorchester County for which property owners have provided tentative approval pending further design and site preparation information with the other five being located in Caroline County: Visitor’s Center, Packing House Antiques, J.M. Clayton’s Seafood, the former Cambridge Railroad Station Caboose and the U.S. Post Office building in Vienna. 

 

PUBLIC ROAD CONSTRUCTION AGREEMENT-PINE TOP VILLAGE-PLANNING AND ZONING

The Council approved the request of Mr. Dodd to execute a Public Road Construction Agreement between the County Council and Richard W. Lowry and Pauline M. Lowry, for Phase II of the Pine Top Village Subdivision to construct Pine Cone Circle, which provides that the developer will construct the road by December 2, 2017.   The Council acknowledged that this agreement provides that the owners shall not sell or offer for sale any lot in the subdivision until the road is accepted into the County’s road system. 

TRAFFIC SAFETY COMMITTEE REFERRAL-SUICIDE BRIDGE ROAD/WEST HAVEN ROAD-MR. AND MRS. FRANCIS DAVIS               

 

The Council agreed to forward the request of Mr. and Mrs. Francis Davis for the placement of “No Parking” signs on Suicide Bridge Road and on West Haven adjacent to their property which is located on the intersection of these roads, to the Traffic Safety Committee for its review and recommendation.

 

BOARD APPOINTMENTS- COMMISSION ON REDISTRICTING-BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS-RECREATION AND PARKS BOARD

 

The Council approved the request of Mr. Dodd to reappoint Edward Howard as the District 1 representative and Catherine McCulley as the District 4 representative on the Board of Zoning Appeals.   The Council acknowledged that Mr. Howard’s term will expire on December 1, 2015 and Ms. McCulley’s term will expire on December 31, 2015. 

 

The Council also approved the request of Scott Eberspacher, Recreation and Parks Director, to reappoint the following individuals to another four year term to the Recreation and Parks Board: Brooks Parker, William Marshall and Antoine Patton.  The Council acknowledged that their terms will expire on December 31, 2016.

Based on nominations submitted by the Democratic Central Committee the Council agreed to replace Octavene Saunders, District 2 representative, with Portia Johnson-Ennels and Kenneth Heesh, District 4 representative, with Charlotte Hughes on the Commission on Redistricting.

 

REQUEST TO SOLE SOURCE-CONSULTANT-HARRIET TUBMAN UNDERGROUND RAILROAD BYWAY PHONE APPLICATION-TOURISM

 

The Council approved the request of Ms. Fenstermaker to sole source with Audessey Media to produce a smart phone application to augment the audio tour for the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway at the cost of $28,100, which will be covered by a Federal Highway Administration grant to the State through the America’s Byway program and one from the Maryland Heritage Area Authority.  The Council acknowledged that Audessey Media is the company that is developing the audio tour. 

 

DISCUSSION-REQUEST REGARDING LEASING OF COUNTY PROPERTY

 

Based on the request of Ron James, Mayor, on behalf of the Town of Galestown, the Council agreed to extend an offer to the Town to lease certain County property at the intersection of Galestown Reliance Road and Lakeshore Drive for canoe and kayak launchings at the Galestown Mill Pond for a three year term at the sum of $1.00 per year provided the Town is responsible for liability, maintenance and parking. 

 

TELEPHONE POLL CONFIRMATION        

 

Councilman Newcomb noted that in the interim between meetings Council, by means of a poll, agreed to loan a Dorchester County flag to Farmers & Friends for either Tuesday, November 20th or Wednesday November 21st when delivering food, blankets and supplies to the New Jersey storm victims by a 5 to 0 vote.  The Council acknowledged that Farmers & Friends will be placing the County flag in the back of the delivery truck when distributing supplies.

 

PUBLIC COMMENTS

 

In response to a question from Pete Macinta, Chair, Commission on Redistricting, Councilman Newcomb confirmed that appointments were made to the Commission and that the members can meet prior to the appointment of an at large member.  

 

William Akridge, Maryland Eastern Shore Charter Alliance Founder, advised Council that he has applied to the Dorchester County Board of Education to start a charter school in Dorchester County, noting that the Board members will vote on the application on December 20, 2012.  He explained that the charter school will be tuition free and open to all students.  He said the primary focus will be on reading, writing and mathematics with the goal of furthering the workforce in the County.  He noted that he has received support from City of Cambridge representatives and members of the business community.  In response to a question from Councilman Newcomb, Mr. Akridge said he is would like to locate the school in the City of Cambridge and is under negotiations with several individuals regarding prospective sites.   He stressed his desire to partner with the Board of Education to provide quality education for the youth in the County.

 

COUNCIL’S COMMENTS/ADJOURNMENT

 

Councilman Price said residents have shared with him their concerns that the new regulations outlined in SB236 are too restrictive on property owner rights, particularly since the only alternatives the Council had pursuant to this legislation were to either adopt a Tier Map which restricted the use of 92% of the property in the County or take no action which would result in the Planning Commission members being unable to approve major subdivisions in the County.

 

Councilman Price advised that he was asked to share with Council that there is currently a vacancy on the Social Services Board.

 

Councilman Bradshaw expressed his belief that the use of the rail line in the County should be promoted in order to entice companies to locate to the County, which will in turn attract higher paying jobs.  He said he is concerned that if retail businesses are constructed on the Sailwinds property they will detract from businesses in the downtown area of Cambridge.

 

Councilman Newcomb announced that the next County Council meeting is scheduled for December 4, 2012 at 6 p.m. and that the election of officers will be held on that date.

 

The Council wished residents a Happy Thanksgiving.

 

With no further business to discuss, the Council adjourned.