MAYOR AND COUNCIL
JANUARY 2, 2018
The Mayor and Council meeting of January 2, 2018 began at 7:30 p.m., with Mark Mumford, Clerk of Court, swearing in Chris Cerino as Mayor. Mayor Cerino was entering his second term as Mayor. In attendance were Council members David Foster, Linda C. Kuiper, Rev. Ellsworth Tolliver and Mauritz Stetson, W. S. Ingersoll (Town Manager), Jennifer Mulligan (Town Clerk) and guests.
Mayor Cerino swore in David Foster as First Ward Councilmember and Rev. Ellsworth Tolliver as Third Ward Councilmember. He then read the 2017 Report of Municipal Affairs into the record.
At 7:58 pm the Council went into the regular scheduled Utilities Commission meeting (minutes in separate document). The Utilities meeting adjourned at 8:02 p.m.
Mayor Chris Cerino resumed the Mayor and Council meeting at 8:03 p.m.
Mayor Cerino asked if there were any additions or corrections to the minutes of the Mayor and Council Meeting of December 18, 2017. Mr. Stetson moved to approve the Mayor and Council minutes of December 18, 2017 as submitted, was seconded by Rev. Tolliver and carried unanimously.
Mayor Cerino stated that total operating cash on hand for unrestricted use is $1,356,201.69. The donations for the Broadreach sculpture have a balance of
$-25,649.65 (pending receipt of pledged donations), with $20,000.00 in promised donations. The Town was waiting on grant reimbursements in the amount of $23,170.00 for marina work. Mr. Ingersoll stated that there was a stock donation received for Broad Reach in the range of $25,000.00 at the very end of the year, which had to be sold into cash and was not included in this evening’s report.
Mayor Cerino asked for a motion to pay bills. Mr. Stetson moved to approve payment of the bills as submitted, was seconded by Rev. Tolliver and carried unanimously.
Mr. John Queen of the Bayside HOYAS was present to discuss “Reconnect for Life”, a program focused on young adults aged 16-24 who were neither in school or working. Reconnect for Life was an initiative from Governor Hogan focusing on younger people dealing with homelessness, hunger, incarcerated parents, and other high-risk youth. He said that the program was being administered through Maryland Rural Development and the Family Center in Chestertown. Once the youth fitting the parameters of the program were identified, the resources available would be introduced to help them with such things as resume building, education, jobs, etc. The program then continues as the youth become adults, working with them to solve the issues of child care, housing, transportation and steady jobs. Ms. Kuiper stated that budgeting should be discussed in the program and she would like to know what other classes are available to those in the program.
Mr. Queen stated that many people in Kent County are unaware of the services that were available to them and/or concerned about reaching out for help. He said that he was looking for a way to work with the Town to get that information to the community. Mayor Cerino stated that information on the program could be posted at Town Hall and a link to the program could be added to the website.
Mayor Cerino asked if there was other staff on this project. Mr. Queen stated that Maryland Rural Development received the grant and then he and the Resource Center in Kent County were asked to partner with them to get the program off and running. Rev. Tolliver asked if the Local Management Board was involved. Mr. Queen stated that Local Management Board is involved in the overall program, but not the part he was involved with.
Mr. Queen stated that there is a cultural disconnect in Kent County. He said that many people in Kent County do not have internet, so they can’t go online to look for a job. It is also difficult to go to job interviews because these young people have nobody to watch their child nor do they have appropriate clothing to wear to an interview. He said that a lifestyle that includes working has not been taught and the youth make more money collecting cash assistance and food stamps than they do working a 40 hour work week. He said that it is not understood by the youth that the programs in place are meant as a crutch, not a lifestyle.
Mr. Foster asked how program success would be measured. Mr. Queen stated that Maryland Rural Development is keeping the statistics on the program.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that he had a permit request for Chester Gras which would be held on Saturday, February 10, 2018 beginning at 1:00 p.m. Mr. Ingersoll read the request and the Council approved it.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that the MVA will be in Chestertown on January 16th, February 12th and 13th; March 12th and 13th; April 16th and 17th, May 21st and 22nd, and; June 18th and 19th.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that the January 15th Mayor and Council meeting will be moved to Tuesday, January 16th due to the Martin Luther King Holiday.
Mayor Cerino announced the winners of the 2017 Christmas Decoration Contest as follows:
1st Ward: Paul Osborn, 213 Birch Run Road
Cabot & Loretta Lodge, 129 Philosopher’s Terrace
2nd Ward: Tony Hurley, 221 Mount Vernon Avenue
Richard Keaveney, 102 S. Water Street
3rd Ward: Eric & Patricia Kilby, 227 Devon Drive
Seige & Kifri Edwards, 329 Devon Drive
4th Ward: Monica Tegedar, 202 E. Campus Avenue
Sheila & William Lepter, 201 Glen Street
Commercial Winners: 1st & 2nd Place: $150.00
People’s Bank – 2 locations (Spring Avenue & Washington Avenue)
Mayor Cerino asked for Ward reports.
Mr. Stetson stated that he was sorry to report that there had been a tragic accident on Washington Avenue last week where a pedestrian was killed when crossing the street at night, noting that there is no crosswalk in that area. Mr. Stetson stated that he lost electricity on New Year’s Day and was surprised to see Delmarva Power in the area within the hour on a holiday.
Rev. Tolliver stated that he was excited to serve as the Third Ward representative stating that he has already been working in the neighborhood. He said that one issue he would like to work on immediately was the traffic situation at Garnet Elementary School during morning drop offs. He said that he thought the school had to be more involved alerting the parents coming in to Town to drop off their children of the problems. Ms. Kuiper suggested changing the drop off spots for cars to the rear of the school. Mr. Ingersoll stated that the raising and widening the crosswalk a few years ago had cured many of the issues. Rev. Tolliver stated that there were many more children attending Garnet since the consolidation and this was an issue that would have to be addressed.
Rev. Tolliver stated that he would like to continue working on some of Mr. Shoge’s initiatives such as internet connectivity throughout Town and the Washington Park community park project.
Rev. Tolliver stated that he was happy and appreciative of all that took place in Downtown Chestertown but he was focused on the best interests of the Third Ward, noting that it was the neighborhoods that made Chestertown such a great place to live.
Ms. Kuiper stated that the Chester Gras Festival was looking for volunteers for decorating, selling tickets, manning tables, selling hot chocolate and cleaning up after the event.
Ms. Kuiper stated that the Chamber of Commerce was hosting their Annual Awards Gala on Friday, January 26th. Anyone wanting to nominate a business leader of the year please make their nominations by January 12th to Ms. Loretta Lodge at the Kent County Chamber of Commerce, located on the 2nd floor of the Visitors Center.
Ms. Kuiper stated that she was going to the Chair the Historic Society’s “Death by Chocolate” bake sale on February 13th and 14th.
Ms. Kuiper reminded everyone that the Farmers Market was open all winter.
Mr. Foster stated that he wanted to thank those who he met during his campaign, saying that people were pleased to speak with him during the election process and he enjoyed it.
Mr. Foster stated that he did want to raise an issue with traffic at Rt. 213 and Philosophers Terrace. He said that the intersection was an accident waiting to happen and would like to work with the State Highway Administration to solve the problem. Mayor Cerino agreed, noting that the intersection was poorly designed.
Mr. Foster stated that he had the opportunity to meet with Mr. Alex Castro when he was in Florida and said that Mr. Castro was pleased to be recognized with the Broad Reach sculpture project. He said that Mr. Castro was a proud alumnus of Chestertown.
Mayor Cerino asked if there were any questions or comments. A member in the audience asked for clarification on the location of the park area at Washington Park and for clarification of the parade route for Chester Gras.
There being no further business, Mr. Stetson moved to adjourn the meeting at 9:10 p.m., was seconded by Rev. Tolliver and carried unanimously.
Submitted by: Approved by:
Jennifer Mulligan Chris Cerino
Town Clerk Mayor