Meeting Minutes

Meeting Minutes
posted: 05/22/13

County Council Meeting Minutes


May 7, 2013

County Council of Dorchester County

Regular Meeting Minutes

May 7, 2013

 

The County Council of Dorchester County met in regular session on May 7, 2013 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 legal advice on a legal matter.

 

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

 

REGULAR SESSION

 

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 provide a local match to a grant to be provided to a local business for expansion and a matter relating to design/build team services for an incubator facility.  Council deferred a request by Habitat for Humanity Choptank representatives for reimbursement of excise tax for a property located at 701 High Street, Cambridge in order to obtain additional information.

 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES- APRIL 16, 2013

The Council approved the April 16, 2013 minutes.

APPROVAL OF DISBURSEMENTS

The Council approved the vouchers.

FINANICAL REPORT: CASH AND INVESTMENTS 

Councilman Newcomb reported total cash and investments as $4,533,937.41.

EXECUTIVE SESSION SUMMARY

The County Council of Dorchester County convened in an Executive Session at 5:00 p.m. on May 7, 2013 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 legal 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.

 

Councilman Newcomb announced the following correction: During the April 16, 2013 Executive Session meeting the Council approved a request to hire an individual to fill an Administrative Associate position in the Economic Development Office by a 3 to 0 vote with 1 no vote.

 

Councilman Newcomb further announced that the Council convened into an Executive Session at 5:00 p.m. on May 7, 2013 to discuss the following items: 1) confirmed the hiring by the Sheriff of an individual to fill a vacant Patrol Deputy position by a 5 to 0 vote; 2) discussed a personnel matter relating to a contractual Economic Development position; 3) discussed information with Economic Development Director regarding an economic development project; 4) discussed a matter relating to a request for proposals-agreed to discuss in open session; 5) discussed a request to support a grant opportunity relating to an economic development project-agreed to discuss in open session; and 6) discussed a matter relating to a County owned facility-requested additional information.

 

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– MENTAL HEALTH MONTH – MAY 2013

 

The Council presented a proclamation to declare May 2013 Mental Health Month.  Deirdre Berry, Cultural and Linguistic Competency Coordinator for Rural Cares, and Bernadette Townsend, Family Navigator with Maryland Coalition, accepted the proclamation.

 

OTHER

 

Dr. Henry Wagner, Superintendent of Schools, acknowledged that the following Dorchester County Board of Education members are present:  Lorraine T. Henry, President; Phil Bramble, Vice President; and Glen Payne.  He noted that the following individuals are also present:  Lorenzo Hughes, Assistant Superintendent for Instruction; Gary McCabe, Assistant Superintendent for Administrator; Tim Brooke, Controller; Lynn Sorrells, Principal, North Dorchester High School; and Dr. Vaughn Evans, Principal, North Dorchester Middle School. 

 

COMMENDATIONS-TEACHER OF THE YEAR-LINDA BLACKMON

 

The Council presented a proclamation to Linda Blackmon congratulating her for being named Dorchester County Teacher of the Year 2013-2014.

 

COMMENDATION- FIRST CLASS TEACHER OF THE YEAR-DAVID BLISARD

 

The Council presented a proclamation to David Blisard congratulating him for being named Dorchester County’s First Class Teacher of the Year 2013-2014.

 

BUDGET PUBLIC HEARING      

 

Councilman Newcomb stated that this is the first of three public hearings to be held on the proposed FY 2014 budget.

 

Michael Spears, Finance Director, noted that the proposed FY 2014 Capital Budget relies on utilizing fund balance remaining from the previous fiscal year (PAYGO).  He said the budget meets all of the County’s fiscal policies, particularly in terms of the Reserve Fund.  He noted that in the proposed budget the County’s real property tax rate remains the same throughout the County with the exception of the Town of Hurlock.  He said Town residents will realize a small reduction.

 

Ms. Henry thanked the Council for the opportunity to speak about the proposed FY 2014 budget.  She stated that the Board of Education submitted a budget request on February 21, 2013 which included requests for funds to reduce class sizes and hire qualified teaching staff.  She expressed her dismay that the proposed budget only includes Maintenance of Effort funding.  Ms. Henry noted that Dr. Wagner spoke to the Council recently to provide an overview of school system statistics and student ranking data.  She said funding is also needed in order to satisfy State mandates and to enhance student performance.  She asked the Council to reconsider its budget allocation to the Board of Education and provide increased funding.

 

Dr. Wagner thanked the Council for recognizing the Teacher of the Year and the First Teach of the Year.  He noted that he spoke to Council on March 19, 2013 on a wide range of topics relating to local public schools to improve the prospects of the youth in the County.  He explained that in its FY14 budget request the Board requested $530,879 above Maintenance of Effort funding for the following:  1) to hire eight additional teachers for class size reduction including the addition of two teachers to provide the second year of instruction to computer application technology and cosmetology students; 2) minimum salary increases for all employees which are subject to negotiations and will be less than the 3% increase in the State of Maryland’s FY2014 budget; 3) to cover a 4% increase in health insurance; and 4) funding for other operating expenses.   He said the Board is also asking for capital funding of $913,433 for the following: 1) to place four additional portable classrooms at Choptank Elementary to reduce class size; 2) to replace aging computers (greater than six years old); and 3) to cover other necessary facility repairs.  Dr. Wagner said there is no State or Federal funding available for these capital expenditures. 

 

Dr. Wagner expressed his appreciation of the working relationship between the Board of Education members and staff and the Council and reiterated his and the Board members’ invitation to continue discussions regarding the status of education in the County.  He also thanked the Council for its support of the Dorchester Career and Technology noting that 535 students are enrolled in that facility.  He asked the Council to reconsider the Board’s request for funding above Maintenance of Effort.

 

Councilman Newcomb read the names of the individuals who signed up to speak during this hearing, noting that several of them are Board members and teachers who have already left the meeting. 

 

Mr. Spears corrected his earlier statement regarding proposed real property taxes, noting that the proposed rate is lower in the City of Cambridge and not the Town of Hurlock as he referenced at the beginning of this hearing.

 

Wayne Cook, a Dorchester County resident, noted that there is $2.2 million in capital funding in the proposed capital budget summary to be allocated to the Economic Development Department.  Councilman Newcomb said Council will be discussing the use of those funds later in the meeting.

 

Councilman Newcomb announced that the next budget public hearing is scheduled for May 14, 2013 and that the legislative public hearing/budget adoption is scheduled for May 21, 2013.

 

The Council adjourned the public hearing. 

 

MID-SHORE MENTAL HEALTH SYSTEMS COMMUNITY MENTAL HEALTH PLAN PRESENTATION

 

Holly Ireland, Executive Director, presented the Mid Shore Mental Health Systems’ Community Plan in regards to County specific data, Health Care Reform and Behavioral Health Integration and its’ impact.

 

Councilman Nichols expressed dismay that there have been State and Federal reductions in the mental health field based on his understanding that the need for these services is increasing and his concern that public safety will be adversely affected if these needs are not met.    Ms. Ireland concurred.  She advised that she recently filed an application for grant funding to conduct an offender re-entry program at the Dorchester Detention Center.    

The Council approved Ms. Ireland’s request to execute the Fiscal Year 2014 Letter of Agreement with Mid-Shore Mental Health Systems, Inc. to act as the agent in oversight, planning and development of the public mental health system in Dorchester County.

 

MANAGERS COMMENTS

REQUEST FOR AUTHORIZATION TO CONDUCT A KIDS TRIATHLON-JULY 4, 2013-CAMBRIDGE MULTI SPORT CLUB

 

The Council approved the request of Robert J. Wood, Cambridge Multi Sport Club, to conduct a kids Triathlon in Cambridge in the morning of July 4, 2013 and acknowledged that the proceeds will benefit the Dorchester YMCA. 

 

HOT WATER FAN COIL REPLACEMENT  – CIRCUIT COURT

 

Based on information provided by Tom Moore, Public Works Director, the Council agreed to waive bids and sole source with Zimmer, Inc. to replace the hot water coil in the bell tower air handling unit at the Circuit Court at cost of $2,473 for the coil and $6,500 for labor and materials.

 

REQUEST FOR RESOLUTION OF SUPPORT – COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT BLOCK GRANT – CHANNEL MARKER FOUNDATION, INC.

 

The Council approved the joint request of Cindy Smith, Grant Monitor, and Debra P. Jackson, Executive Director, Channel Marker, Inc. and Secretary for Channel Marker Foundation, Inc., and agreed to execute a resolution to support the submission of an application by the Foundation to the State of Maryland through the Department of Housing and Community Development program for funds in the amount of $60,000 for the remodeling and improvement of the kitchens in the homes owned by that organization which are located at 503 and 505 Academy Street, Cambridge, Maryland.  The Council acknowledged that there is no County financial commitment required.

 

REQUEST TO EXECUTE FY13 RENTAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM SUB-RECIPIENT AGREEMENT-GRANT MONITOR

 

The Council approved the request of Ms. Smith to enter into a sub-recipient agreement with Delmarva Community Services, which will administer the FY13 Rental Assistance Program for Dorchester County. The Council acknowledged that $40,000 in funds was received from the Department of Housing and Community Development for this program for FY2013.

 

REQUEST TO SUBMIT GRANT APPLICATION - GOVERNOR’S OFFICE OF CRIME CONTROL & PREVENTION-GUN VIOLENCE REDUCTION GRANT PROGRAM – SHERIFF’S OFFICE

 

The Council approved the request of Ms. Smith to submit on behalf of the Sheriff’s Office, a Governor’s Office of Crime Control & Prevention FY14 grant application under the “Gun Violence Reduction Grant Program” for funds in the amount of $23,170 with no local match for the period of July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2014. 

 

REQUEST TO TRAVEL – MARYLAND EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE – EMERGENCY SERVICES

 

The Council approved the request of Jeremy Goldman, Emergency Services Director, for Steve Garvin, Emergency Planner, and himself to attend the Maryland Emergency Management Conference in Ocean City, Maryland from May 28 to May 31, 2013.  The Council acknowledged that conference costs, including lodging and meals, will be 100% covered through the Maryland Emergency Management Agency and a Homeland Security Grant.

 

EXECUTION OF MOTOROLA PAGER SYSTEM CONTRACT – EMERGENCY SERVICES

 

Mr. Goldman explained that E. Thomas Merryweather, County Attorney, has provided revisions to the proposed contract between the County and Motorola Solutions, Inc. for a pager system upgrade.  The Council instructed Mr. Goldman to forward the revisions to Motorola and agreed to place a review and consideration of the revised contract on its May 21, 2013 agenda.

 

REQUEST TO WAIVE BIDS AND PURCHASE MOBILE STORAGE TRAILERS AND SUPPLIES FOR SHELTERS/EXPEND FY10 AND FY11 HOMELAND SECURITY GRANT PROGRAM FUNDS – EMERGENCY SERVICES                           

 

The Council approved the request of Mr. Goldman to waive bids and purchase from J&S Trailer Sales two trailers to be used as supply trailers for the County’s two emergency shelters at the cost of $8,790. The Council also approved Mr. Goldman’s request to waive bids and purchase from Precise Kits 100 cots (450 lb capacity) for $3,795 and 50 cots (500 lbs capacity) for $3,450 for a total cost of $16,035 plus shipping.  The Council acknowledged that FY10 and FY11 Homeland Security Grant Program funds will be used to purchase the equipment and that there is no local match.   The Council further acknowledged that J& S Trailer Sales submitted the lowest of three quotes obtained for the trailers and that Precise Kits submitted the lowest of the three quotes for the cots.

 

RESOLUTION – CURRENT FISCAL YEAR BUDGET RESTRUCTURE

 

The Council accepted a resolution to reduce appropriations and expenditures in the County’s FY2013 budget as a result of the abolishment of a position, effective April 17, 2013. 

 

CONFIRMATION OF DEMOLITION OF HURLOCK DEPOT (RAILROAD STATION BUILDING) – PUBLIC WORKS

 

Mr. Moore advised Council that the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) plans to demolish its railroad station building in the Town of Hurlock and is requesting that the Council provide a formal response as to whether there is any interest in the County retaining the building for its use.  The Council agreed to take no position.  The Council acknowledged that Joyce Spratt, Mayor of the Town of Hurlock, has submitted written correspondence to MTA staff confirming that the town has no interest in the building.

 

REQUEST TO DECLARE GENERATORS SURPLUS AND POST ON ELECTRONIC AUCTION SITE-PUBLIC WORKS

 

The Council approved the request of Tom Moore, Public Works Director, to declare an old Onan generator (Unit 811) and an old Generac generator as surplus property and to post the sale of this equipment on gov.deal, an electronic auction site.

 

REQUEST TO PARTICIPATE IN INSTALLATION OF SCENIC BYWAY SIGNS/ACCEPTANCE OF STATE HIGHWAY MOU-PUBLIC WORKS

 

The Council approved the request of Mr. Moore and authorized the installation of 16 “Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Scenic Byway” signs along County roadways by Highway Division staff.  The Council also agreed to execute a Memorandum of Understanding with the State Highway Administration which will: 1) provide signs and sign posts; 2) maintain the signs once installed; and 3) provide replacement signs if necessary.  

 

MDE INSPECTION/REQUEST TO INSTALL SIGNAGE-MADISON BOAT RAMP-PUBLIC WORKS

 

The Council approved the recommendation of Mr. Moore to install signage at all County owned marine facilities noting that boat maintenance is not permitted on ramp and parking areas based on clarification from the Maryland Department of Environment (MDE) that this type of boat maintenance is not permitted at a County marine facilities without a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit.

 

The Council requested that Mr. Moore obtain from MDE staff recommended language for the signs.  Council acknowledged that MDE staff forwarded that clarification to the Public Works Department staff in writing on April 22, 2013 after performing an inspection of the Madison Boat Ramp on April 19th in response to an anonymous complaint about a boat owner performing boat painting maintenance work on County property on April 16th.

 

AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT POLICY AND COMPLIANCE FORM APPROVAL – HUMAN RESOURCES

 

The Council, based on information submitted by Becky Dennis, Human Resources Director, accepted a resolution to establish an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) policy which includes a disability accommodation request form and a complaint/grievance form which will be utilized as part of policy implementation.

 

Council acknowledged that pursuant to Federal law an ADA policy must be adopted in order for the County to be eligible to obtain Federal grant funding. 


JOINT LAND USE STUDY COMMITTEE APPOINTMENTS

 

The Council appointed Jeremy Goldman, the current Emergency Services Director, as the Council’s voting representative to replace Councilman Bradshaw and Steve Garvin, Emergency Planner, as alternate to replace Michael Faith, who is no longer employed with the County.

 

BOARD APPOINTMENTS

 

 Regional Behavioral Advisory Committee

 

The Council approved the request of Holly R. Ireland, Executive Director, Mid Shore Mental Health Systems, to appoint Thomas F. Matey to the Regional Behavioral Health Advisory Committee as the County’s representative for a three year term which will expire April 30, 2016.

 

Social Services Board

 

The Council, based on the recommendation of William McDonnell, Social Services Director, agreed to reappoint Jessica Dukes to the Social Services Board and acknowledged that her term will expire on June 30, 2016.

 

REQUEST FROM A LOCAL BUSINESS FOR A CONTRIBUTION TOWARDS A GRANT FOR EXPANSION

 

Based on information provided by Keasha Haythe, Economic Development Director, the Council agreed to provide a $15,000 two year real property tax credit ($7,500 per year) to Amick Farms, LLC as a local match to a proposed Department of Business and Economic Development conditional loan to Amick in the amount of $150,000 to expand its Town of Hurlock facility in exchange for retaining 804 existing jobs and adding 50 new positions.  The Council acknowledged that $13.5 million in equipment and capital improvements are planned for this facility.  The Council requested that Ms. Haythe provide a proposed resolution to authorize the real property tax credit for Council’s review and consideration.

 

DESIGN BUILD TEAM SERVICES FOR INCUBATOR FACILITY

 

The Council agreed to start negotiations with Willow Construction, LLC as the design/build team regarding designs, plans and total costs for the Eastern Shore Innovations Center (Incubator Facility).  Councilman Bradshaw and Price opposed.  The Council acknowledged that no funds will be expended until designs and plans for the proposed project are prepared and accepted by the Council.  The Council also acknowledged that funds in the amount of $2.2 million have been garnered for the incubator project which includes $1.2 million from the Board of Public Works and $1 million from Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO).  Councilman Newcomb clarified for Mr. Cook that these are the amounts that are reflected in the proposed FY14 proposed capital budget for the Economic Development Department he referenced earlier in the meeting. 

 

Council stressed the need to hire local contractors and workers.   

Scott Ditman, Project Manager, Willow Construction, said he is a County resident and will make every effort to hire local contractors and residents.  He thanked the Council for choosing Willow Construction.  

 

COUNCIL’S CORRESPONDENCE/TELEPHONE POLL CONFIRMATIONS

 

Council’s Correspondence

 

Councilman Newcomb announced that the Council agreed to send correspondence to Senator Barbara Mikulski, Senator Benjamin Cardin and Congressman Andy Harris requesting their assistance in referring the Mid Bay Island (James and Barren Islands) Restoration Project to Jo-Ellen Darcy, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works, for inclusion in the next Water Resources Development Act by a 5 to 0 vote.

 

Telephone Poll Confirmation

 

Councilman Newcomb said in the interim between meetings Council, by means of a poll, took the following action(s): 1) by a 5 to 0 vote approved the submission of a Governor’s Office of Crime Control & Prevention Grant under the Domestic Violence Unit Program by the Sheriff’s Office for $1,560 with no cash or in-kind match for the period of July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2014 to be used to support overtime for a Data Entry Clerk due to the court’s mandate of entering protective orders into the MILES/NCIC database within a 24-hour period.   Council further acknowledged that the hours spent by deputies specific to this grant are exempt from the 171 hour over a 28 day period overtime threshold until the grant period ends or grant funds have been depleted; 2) approved the Emergency Services Director’s request for the 911 Communications Center Chief and himself to attend the Eastern Shore Communications Alliance (ESCA) 2013 Conference in Ocean City from May 8th to May 9th with all associated conference costs being directly reimbursed by ESCA, and at no cost to the County, by a 5 to 0 vote.

 

PUBLIC COMMENTS

Dean Goodwin, Board Member, Dorchester County Chamber of Commerce, advised Council that based on concerns expressed by local business owners regarding recent incidents that occurred within City limits, Debra McGivens, Executive Director, will send correspondence to the City of Cambridge Council, the City Police Department, and the County Council inviting them to meet to discuss ways to increase public safety.

 

Mr. Cook expressed concern about the availability of fire exits at the Circuit Court.  The Council requested that Mr. Moore meet with Brett Wilson, Circuit Court Judge, regarding this matter.

 

COUNCIL’S COMMENTS/ADJOURNMENT

The Council, based on the recommendation of Councilman Travers, agreed to appoint Pat Simmons to the Council for Senior Citizen Services with a term expiration date of December 31, 2014.

 

Based on information provided by Councilman Price, Council agreed to send a letter to the Board of Directors of the Choptank Community Health System to reconsider the closing of its Hurlock facility.  Councilman Price abstained.

 

Councilman Price said the Maryland Department of Natural Resources will be hold a regulatory open house on Thursday, May 9, 2013 to provide individuals the opportunity to address any concerns regarding current regulations and proposed changes to the State’s crabbing regulations.  Councilman Newcomb expressed his understanding that the proposed changes include a 10% decrease to the catch limit.

 

Pursuant to the recommendation of Councilman Price, the Council reappointed Rick McCollister to the Electrical Board provided he has not exceeded any term limits that may have been established for this Board.

 

Councilman Newcomb said the next meeting is scheduled for May 14, 2013 and is for a budget public hearing only.  He noted that the Council will hold an executive work session prior to the regular session meeting on that date. 

 

He stated that the next County Council meeting will be held on May 21, 2013.

 

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

 

                                                                                                ____________________________________

                                                                                                Ricky Travers

 

                                                                                                ____________________________________

                                                                                                Rick Price

 

                                                                                                ____________________________________

                                                                                                Tom Bradshaw

 

Approved the ______day of _______________, 2013.