MAYOR AND COUNCIL
MARCH 20, 2017
Mayor Cerino called the meeting to order at 7:31 p.m. In attendance were Council members Liz Gross, Linda C. Kuiper, Samuel T. Shoge and Mauritz Stetson, W. S. Ingersoll, Town Manager, Jennifer Mulligan, Town Clerk and guests.
Mayor Cerino asked if there were any additions or corrections to the minutes of the Mayor and Council meeting of March 6, 2017. Mr. Stetson moved to approve the Mayor and Council minutes of March 6, 2017 as submitted, was seconded by Ms. Gross and carried unanimously.
Mayor Cerino stated that total operating cash on hand for unrestricted use is $1,495,991.62 and assigned funds for waterfront initiatives in the amount of $180,480.00 were included in those funds. Mayor Cerino stated that there was a separate fund for the Broad Reach sculpture donations in the amount of $37,761.19.
Mayor Cerino asked for a motion to pay bills. Ms. Gross moved to approve payment of the bills as submitted, was seconded by Mr. Stetson and carried unanimously.
Chief Baker gave the Police Report for February 2017. Chief Baker stated that there was extra overtime in February because the department was three officers down.
Chief Baker stated that complaints have been made of phone calls from someone claiming to be Delmarva Power demanding payment for overdue bills through money order. He said that this was a scam and asked that people pass the word along that it was occurring.
Chief Baker stated that Officer Boehmer took another job outside of Chestertown and the Town hired Sam Kinser to take his place, which will happen once he completes field training.
Chief Baker stated that he has been working on a revised pay scale (using Mr. Stetson’s suggestion) of steps and evaluations that he would like to discuss further at another time.
Mr. Shoge stated that there were reports of suspicious vehicles and situations on Hilltop Drive, Devon Drive and Mayfair Drive and asked if they were all related or a series of different situations. Chief Baker stated that to the best of his recollection it was a related incident and has been resolved.
Mr. David Startt was present and said that he would like to place a bronze plaque at the foot of the Four Wars Monument, listing the five names of the Kent County residents who were killed in the Vietnam War. A mock-up of the plaque was shown to the Council. The plaque will be placed on the ground directly in front of the Vietnam War side of the monument.
Mayor Cerino asked if the families of the fallen soldiers were contacted to see if they were happy with the placement of their relatives on the plaque. Mr. Startt stated that the families have not seen the plaque. Ms. Gross stated that she would like to make sure that everyone who is deserving of the honor is remembered and worried that the five people listed on the plaque died relatively early in the war and that all were not on it. Mr. Startt stated that as far as he knows through research the five men listed were the only killed in Vietnam, but he would certainly double check.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that the Four Wars Monument itself has no names listed on it. This bronze plaque would be mounted on the ground and another plaque could always be cast if there was a mistake or omission.
Mr. Stetson moved to approve the installation of a bronze plaque as submitted pending verification of the information included on the plaque and notification to the families of the fallen soldiers, was seconded by Mr. Shoge and carried unanimously.
Mayor Cerino read a Proclamation into the record paying tribute to the workers who helped make the country and the community what it is today and recognizing GAR Sumner Hall.
Ms. Nina Johnson was present and introduced several of the Board of Directors of the GAR Sumner Hall. She said that the Smithsonian Exhibit “The Way We Worked” was a project that brought the community together and there were many activities planned throughout the County from March 31st through May 20th.
Ms. Johnson stated that there will be a companion exhibit that will showcase African American history about Kent County and “The Way We Worked” which will discuss free and enslaved labor in Kent County. Kent County High School is also putting together a project through the Youth Access Grant for the exhibition.
Mr. Ingersoll discussed Resolution 2017-01 Reimbursing from Proceeds of a Future Borrowing Project Expenditures Made in Connection with Stormwater Management System Improvements and Other Infrastructure Improvements that Comprise a Portion of the Chestertown Marina Phase II Project.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that this Resolution will authorize the reimbursement of expenditures made now from an upcoming USDA bond issue. He said that this only allowed the Town to incur costs now that will be reimbursed later. This was not a resolution for the bond itself, although it alluded to the fact that the Town will be borrowing from the U. S. Department of Agriculture up to $598,000.00 in loan funds with grant funds to the approximate same amount.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that this document commits the USDA to a future act and was important as related activities are underway at the Marina.
Ms. Gross asked if the funding will be available in FY2017. Mr. Ingersoll stated that he was not certain when the funding would be available but the money was obligated once the documentation was signed.
Ms. Gross stated that she was fully in support of the Resolution and moved to adopt Resolution 2017-01 as submitted, was seconded by Mr. Shoge and carried unanimously.
Ms. Rosemary Granillo of the Kent Local Management Board and Ms. Donna Bedell of the Kent Judy Center were present on behalf of the Dolly Parton Imagination Library, a worldwide literacy initiative that began in 1995. The program provides each child born in Kent County (who is registered for the program) a free age-appropriate book each month up until their fifth birthday. The request to the Town was for $1,400.00, which would cover the 54 children currently enrolled in Chestertown. Ms. Bedell stated that they will be visiting each Town asking them for their support and doing the same with the Kent County Commissioners.
Ms. Bedell stated that the cost of the program per child, per year is $25.00 which they hoped to continue to pay by grants and donations. She said that when each child begins school they will have a common experience with the other children by the books that they have at home.
Ms. Granillo stated that this program was funded through a grant from the Governor’s Office for Children in 2014, with enrollment up to approximately 300 children. The grant was no longer available so they were trying to run the program through local willpower. Ms. Gross asked why the Local Management Board suspended the funding for this program. Mr. Granillo stated that Governor Hogan identified priorities and they did not specify early childhood literacy efforts, although their focus is on families and children. Ms. Gross stated that she thought this was a wonderful program but it was a County responsibility. Mr. Stetson stated that the he liked the fact that the program was offered to all children regardless of socio-economic status.
Mayor Cerino asked the total budget of the entire program. Ms. Granillo stated that the entire County cost approximately $6,000.00 per year. Fundraising would be on a consistent basis in order to guarantee that a child will receive books for the entire five year period. Mayor Cerino stated that it would be nice to see the County match the funds that the Town would donate as the Town received many requests better suited for the County.
Ms. Kuiper suggested arranging for a table at the Farmers Market in the spring. Ms. Kuiper said that she would have an issue donating money if any of it was going to go out of Kent County.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that a draft budget schedule was distributed to the Council and asked if the dates worked for the Council. After discussion, the Council asked if the May 4th preliminary workshop could be changed to Monday, April 24th.
Mayor Cerino asked for ward reports.
Ms. Kuiper stated that she received complaints regarding the cost of brush pickup. She said that she thought $40.00 was too high for people already paying property taxes. Mr. Ingersoll stated that the piles are checked before a charge was applied. He said that some people call in very large amounts of brush to be hauled away. Ms. Kuiper stated that sometimes when the brush is hauled off the crew leaves a mess to be cleaned up.
Ms. Kuiper stated that she was still looking for volunteers for different events in Chestertown such as the Tea Party and for the “Way We Worked” exhibit at the GAR Sumner Hall. She said that the Historical Society was looking for volunteers as well.
Mr. Shoge stated that he was working closely with the Recreation Commission and the Washington Park Committee on rolling out a new neighborhood park. He said that Phase I would begin when the weather warms up with a swing set and benches. He said that for Phase II they were looking into a Community Parks and Playground Grant for a walking path, trees, and relocating and resurfacing the basketball court.
Mr. Stetson stated that he had attended the business forum that the Mayor held for the C-2 Downtown Commercial District on Thursday, March 9th. Over fifty people were in attendance.
Mr. Stetson stated that the Council of Governments meeting was held on Wednesday, March 15th and there was a discussion about Airbnb’s and other such websites offering rentals while avoiding the Kent County room rental tax. Those offering houses or rooms are not registering with the County. Mr. Stetson stated that there was State legislation pending on this matter but the County should have those people paying the tax.
There were no requests from the public to be on the agenda.
There being no further business, Mr. Stetson moved to adjourn the meeting at 8:28 p.m., was seconded by Ms. Gross and carried unanimously.
Submitted by: Approved by:
Jennifer Mulligan Chris Cerino
Town Clerk Mayor