Mayor and Council Meeting Minutes – October 16, 2017

MAYOR AND COUNCIL

OCTOBER 16, 2017

Mayor Chris Cerino called the meeting to order at 7:30 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 October 2, 2017. Mr. Stetson moved to approve the Mayor and Council meeting of October 2, 2017 as submitted, was seconded by Ms. Gross and carried unanimously.

Mayor Cerino stated that total operating cash on hand for unrestricted use is $1,839,078.08. The donations for the Broadreach sculpture have a balance of $11,606.69.  The Town was waiting on grant reimbursements in the amount of $28,097.00 for marina work.

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 presented the police report for September 2017. Mr. Stetson stated that the beat activity report has errors in that some of the incidents were reported in the wrong ward.

Chief Baker called forward Officer Reynolds Peele. Chief stated that Officer Peele has been with CPD for two (2) years and met the proficiency standards for a promotion to Officer First Class. Chief Baker stated that Officer Peele had been on deployment in Cuba and then out for a month of training. He said that he hoped he was back for good and would stay in Chestertown for a long time. Mayor Cerino presented Officer Peele his stripes and certificate. Officer Peele thanked the Council for allowing him the opportunity to serve the community.

Mr. Ingersoll stated that the Public Hearing for the annexation of the lagoon property was rescheduled for November 6th at 7:00 p.m. He said that there was an error in the amount of time between the last public notice and the public hearing so the date was changed. Mr. Ingersoll stated that the lagoon annexation has cleared all waivers with Kent County Planning, the Critical Areas and the State Department of Planning.

Mr. Ingersoll stated that he would like to introduce Ordinance No. 02-2017 General Obligation Indebtedness for Chestertown Marina Stormwater Improvements and Other USDA Infrastructure Improvements, noting that if adopted on November 6, 2017, would be effective on November 28th. He said that this bond work would raise the level of the marina site where it constantly floods by up to 2’ and provide for the installation of stormwater systems, underground utilities and surface work. He said that this bond issue for $598,000.00 would have a nearly equal amount of grant money for the work which was scheduled for 2018. Ms. Gross moved to introduce Ordinance 02-2017 General Obligation Indebtedness for Chestertown Marina Stormwater Improvements and Other Infrastructure Improvements, was seconded by Mr. Shoge and carried unanimously.

Mr. Ingersoll stated that Mr. Don Cantor, Chairman of the Board of Election Supervisors had recent hurricane damage to his home in Florida and had to reluctantly resign from the Board. The Charter reads that the Mayor will appoint a replacement to the Board with the Council’s approval for any vacancy. Mr. Ingersoll stated that since Mayor Cerino is currently running for office, he had personally called Mr. Bob Ortiz to see if he was interested in the vacant position on the Board since the election is only a few weeks away. Mr. Ortiz had agreed to serve out Mr. Cantor’s term. Mayor Cerino asked for a motion to appoint Mr. Bob Ortiz as Chairman of the Board of Supervisors of Elections. Mr. Shoge moved to appoint Mr. Bob Ortiz as Chairman of the Board of Supervisors of Elections to fill a vacancy, was seconded by Ms. Gross and carried unanimously.

Mr. Ingersoll thanked Mr. Cantor for the wonderful job he had already done in serving the Chestertown Board of Supervisors of Elections.

Mr. Ingersoll stated that Mr. Gus Leager, whose family lives in the 4th Ward, donated two (2) postcard-like framed historic scenes of Chestertown to the Town and they were hung in the back of the meeting room. He thanked Mr. Leager for the gift.

Mayor Cerino read a Proclamation honoring the Kent School on the occasion of their 50th anniversary.

Mayor Cerino introduced Ms. Ariana Hall, a student at Washington College and Secretary of Service for I-Serve. Ms. Hall stated that at 1 p.m. on Sunday, October 22nd the I-Serve students would hold a rail-trail cleanup beginning at the Dixon Valve parking lot. Anyone was welcome to take part in the event and said that she wanted this clean up to bring people together in the community. Mr. Ingersoll stated that the Town will supply trash bags and gloves and would collect the bags of trash on Monday.

Ms. Hall stated that I-Serve was looking for other volunteer opportunities in Town and welcomed suggestions. Ms. Kuiper stated that the Tea Party needed volunteers and met the first Wednesday of each month at 6:30 p.m. in the 2nd floor Visitors Center meeting room.

Mayor Cerino asked for Ward Reports.

Mr. Stetson stated that the HP Festival was held the weekend of October 6th and he said that there were many happy faces in Town for the event. He said that this event catered to children but the adults seemed to be having just as much fun as the kids.

Mr. Stetson stated that he attended the Broadreach sculpture donation on Saturday, October 14th. He said that Ms. MacIntosh did a wonderful job planning the function. He suggested permanent roping around the sculpture so that nobody got hurt playing on it.

Mr. Shoge stated that from all accounts Ward Three was doing well. He said that he was pleased to see Reverend Ellsworth Tolliver at the meeting as he was running unopposed for the Third Ward and would thus replace him on the Council as of January 1, 2018.

Ms. Kuiper stated that the Historical Society had their House Tour the same weekend as the HP Festival and there were 140 reservations to see the 15 historic homes that were open for the tour.

Ms. Kuiper stated that the Kent County Arts Council located at 101 Spring Avenue was asking the residents to be part of an anniversary video to the Maryland State Arts Council on Saturday, October 21st at 10:00 a.m.

Ms. Kuiper stated that on November 4th at 9:30 a.m. the Kent County Arts Council will host a “Teaching with Artists Workshop” which was free to the public as long as a reservation is made beforehand. To reserve a space you can email christine.stewart@maryland.gov .

Ms. Gross stated that residents should be aware that a new scam in Chestertown is taking place. Two men dressed in neon yellow safety vests are going door-to-door claiming they work for Delmarva Power trying to gain entry into houses. She said that they went through Heron Point and luckily nobody allowed them into their house, but she understood that there were other places in the First Ward where this took place as well.

Ms. Gross stated that she attended the Broadreach dedication and it was lovely to see such a project come to completion. She said that the designer made the playscape in order to allow children to climb on it.

Ms. Gross stated that she wanted to applaud everyone who was involved in the HP Festival and said that she would like the Council to find a way to recognize the efforts of Dr. Rachel Perry, who created the Festival and is now stepping down after seven years of effort.

Ms. Kuiper stated that Downrigging weekend and Halloween Parade will take place over the Weekend of October 27th.

Ms. Gross stated that the next meeting is on the eve of Chestertown’s election for Mayor, First and Third Wards. Polls would be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. and take place at the Fire House on Maple Avenue.

Mayor Cerino asked if there were questions or comments from the audience.

Ms. Mary Celeste Alexander, a resident of North Queen Street, stated that the people who live between High Street and Maple Avenue on Queen are prisoners when large festivals happen in Town. She said that there is no off-street parking on that block and people entering Town from the bridge turn onto Queen and take over the parking. If a resident leaves their house during that time they cannot find a place to park when they return.

Ms. Alexander stated that she thought the festivals in Town were wonderful but asked that the Town come up with a plan for Queen Street before issuing any permits for festivals in Town.

Ms. Kuiper stated that permits should be in place before discussions took place about street closures with the police department. Ms. Gross stated that a festival committee should come before the Council at least 30 days before an event so that there was time to plan street closures, noting that there were an increasing number of festivals requesting street closures downtown which, in turn, affects the residents. Ms. Alexander stated that even when streets aren’t closed off during festivals there are problems with visitors parking on Queen Street.

The Council discussed several scenarios, including permit parking for Queen Street. Mr. Ingersoll stated that there have been multiple attempts in other areas of Town to control parking with sticker systems and they fail when residents and their visitors get tickets and fines. He said that he liked the thought of barricading the street from Maple, only allowing residents in, as long as Ms. Alexander was correctly conveying her block’s desire to have it done that way. He said that the festival committees should also alert visitors as to where they can park during an event in their literature or on their websites.

Ms. McGee stated that there were three (3) overdoses over a span of five (5) days in September and asked if any of the deaths reported were drug related. Chief Baker stated that the deaths were unrelated to drug use, but there were three (3) overdoses in public places in September.

Ms. MacIntosh stated that the last Cars on High would be Thursday, October 19th from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Mayor Cerino thanked the Boy Scouts in the audience for attending the meeting.

There being no further business, Ms. Gross moved to adjourn the meeting at 8:23 p.m., was seconded by Mr. Shoge and carried unanimously.

Submitted by:                                                 Approved by:

Jennifer Mulligan                                            Chris Cerino

Town Clerk                                                     Mayor

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