Mayor and Council Meeting Minutes – September 16, 2019

MAYOR AND COUNCIL

SEPTEMBER 16, 2019

Mayor Cerino called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. In attendance were Councilmembers David Foster, Linda C. Kuiper, Ellsworth Tolliver 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 September 3, 2019. Mr. Stetson moved to approve the minutes of the Mayor and Council meeting of September 3, 2019 as submitted, was seconded by Rev. Tolliver and carried unanimously.

Mayor Cerino stated that total operating funds on hand for unrestricted use was $394,713.13. Restricted funds for the Marina were set aside in the amount of $21,054.42.

Mayor Cerino asked for a motion to approve the payment of the bills. Ms. Kuiper asked some questions regarding the checks. After discussion, Mr. Stetson moved to approve payment of the bills as submitted, was seconded by Rev. Tolliver and carried unanimously.

Acting Chief John Dolgos presented the police report for August 2019. Mr. Stetson asked who made the roster for shift coverage. Chief Dolgos stated that there were five (5) officers on vacation at various times during August and one (1) officer on medical leave which explained the overtime shift coverage. He said that there were always two (2) officers on duty for safety reasons. Mr. Stetson asked if this was true for the daytime hours as well. Acting Chief Dolgos stated that was true.

Acting-Chief Dolgos stated that something out of the ordinary for the department occurred in August. A high-speed case from Chestertown to Millington occurred where the suspect then abandoned the car and fled on foot. The suspect was apprehended after a brief chase, had a warrant for arrest in Delaware, and had been driving a stolen vehicle.

Rev. Tolliver asked what calls in the Third Ward were mainly about. Acting-Chief Dolgos stated that calls for patrol checks and domestic disputes ranked the highest. Mr. Stetson asked what patrol checks were requested. Acting-Chief Dolgos stated that calls requesting an officer check certain areas of Town, or if a person is on vacation they may request an officer check their residence. Acting Chief Dolgos stated that they are performing patrol checks at Garnet Elementary School twice a day.

Mayor Cerino asked for the Town Manager’s report.

Mr. Ingersoll called forward Ms. Kay MacIntosh who explained that the Main Street Program, in partnership with other civic organizations interested in beautification, recycling and clean streets, are applying for a “Keep America Beautiful” Chapter to be called “Keep Chestertown Beautiful”. She said that Main Street programs across the State are applying to this program and there are other agencies paying the $1,000.00 application fee for entry into the program. Ms. MacIntosh said that the application process required two surveys take place and be submitted along with the application: a Community Appearance Index, and; a Compilation of Assets in the Community. She said that this will give a picture to the program of where things are happening in Town and show areas where help was needed. She said that the area will encompass the Historic District to the round-a-bout on High Street. Representatives from the Environmental Committee, Curb Appeal and the Garden Club will perform the work for the indexes sometime next week to create the baseline to be revisited each year to see what improvement has been made. The focus areas of Keep America Beautiful are anti­ littering, less waste/more recycling, and beautification through plantings.

Ms. Kuiper asked if they could take over the Tree City application and fees associated with that program. Ms. MacIntosh stated that they did not have any funding now. Ms. Kuiper asked what would be done for enforcement. Ms. MacIntosh stated that they were taking things one at a time and right now they were just working on the surveys.

Ms. MacIntosh thanked David Sobers, Carolyne Grotsky and Barbara Slocum for their assistance on the project.

Ms. Diana Frymiere was requesting a permit for RiverArts Clay Studio to host a Raku clay-firing demonstration on Saturday, November 9, 2019 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the parking bank by Memorial Park. She said that a mobile Raku unit would be brought onsite for the demonstration. She said that she hoped the Farmers Market attendees would stay to watch the demonstration and said that it would be something different in Town. This is a rain or shine event. Ms. Kuiper moved to approve the permit for a Raku firing demonstration from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, November 9th using the parking spaces at Memorial Park, was seconded by Mr. Foster and carried unanimously.

Mr. Ingersoll stated that Ms. Kiki Jones asked for a permit for a 5k Tequila Toast for Pancreatic Cancer on Saturday, October 26, 2019 beginning at 114 N. Water Street to the water, through 98 Cannon Street Riverside Grille parking lot, Wilmer Park and on the Rail-Trail. Ms. Kuiper stated that she would like to have the applicant present to discuss additional details. The Council tabled the request for the October 7th meeting.

Mr. Ingersoll stated that there was a permit request for HP Festival Wizarding Weekend on Friday, October 4th through Saturday, October 5th in Downtown Chestertown. Ms. MacIntosh stated that the planning committee for the event included the Garfield Center and she was helping. Mr. Ingersoll read the application into the record. Ms. MacIntosh stated that the tent will be erected on Friday, October 4th on the 200 block of High Street and remain there until Saturday evening. Ms. MacIntosh stated that the tent was used at last year’s event. Mr. Ingersoll stated that the merchants should be made aware of the

event by the organizers. Ms. MacIntosh stated that she already ran the permit by Officer Lozar. Ms. MacIntosh stated that the Farmers and Artisans were welcome to stay throughout the festival this year and would not be asked to move from the Fountain Park, although some artisans are paying a vendor fee and moving closer to the actual festivities.

Ms. Kuiper moved to approve the permit for the HP Festival Wizarding Weekend on October 4th and 5th, in Downtown Chestertown on High Street, Court Street and Memorial Plaza as submitted, was seconded by Mr. Foster and carried unanimously.

Ms. Kuiper stated that October 5th was also the Historical Society’s House tour weekend making for a busy weekend in Town.

Mr. Ingersoll stated that the Chestertown Lions Club submitted their permit for the Annual Halloween Parade on Saturday, November 2, 2019 at 10 a.m. with a rain date of Sunday, November 3, 2019 at 3 p.m. Rev. Tolliver moved to approve the Halloween Parade Permit as submitted, was seconded by Ms. Kuiper and carried unanimously. 

Mayor Cerino asked for a motion to reappoint Cheryl Hoopes to the Board of Supervisors of Elections. Mr. Stetson moved to reappoint Cheryl Hoopes to the Board of Supervisors of Elections, was seconded by Mr. Foster and carried unanimously.

Mayor Cerino asked for a motion to reappoint Loretta Lodge to the Board of Supervisors of Elections. Mr. Stetson moved reappointed Loretta Lodge to the Board of Supervisors of Elections, was seconded by Tolliver and carried unanimously.

Mayor Cerino asked for a motion to reappoint Bob Ortiz to the Board of Supervisors of Elections. Mr. Foster moved to reappoint Bob Ortiz to the Board of Supervisors of Elections, was seconded by Rev. Tolliver and carried unanimously.

Rev. Tolliver stated that he would like to see the nominees at the Mayor and Council meeting when they are appointed.

Mayor Cerino asked for a motion to reappoint Ed Minch to the Historic District Commission for a 3-year term. Rev. Tolliver moved to reappoint Ed Minch to the Historic District Commission, was seconded by Mr. Stetson and carried unanimously.

Mayor Cerino asked for a motion to reappoint Alice Ritchie to the Historic District Commission for a 3-year term. Ms. Kuiper moved to reappoint Alice Ritchie to the Historic District for a 3-year term, was seconded by Mr. Stetson and carried unanimously.

Ms. Kuiper asked if there was a vacant seat on the Historic District Commission. Mayor Cerino stated that there was one vacant seat. He said that he thought it was time for a change on the Historic District Commission. Mr. Foster asked if people on this Commission had to live in the Historic District. Mayor Cerino stated that he would prefer for members to live in the Historic District but that was not always the case. Members did have to be Town residents.

Mayor Cerino stated that the Chairman of the Recreation Commission would like to appoint two (2) new members to the Commission and they would be nominated at this meeting. Mayor Cerino state that he wanted to nominate Emily Genther and Dan Davilio to the Recreation Commission and would ask for a motion to appoint at the next Mayor and Council meeting. He said that their resumes have been sent to the Council.

Mayor Cerino asked for a motion to reappoint Amy Meeks to the Recreation Commission for a 3-year term. Mr. Stetson moved to reappoint Amy Meeks to the Recreation Commission, was seconded by Rev. Tolliver and carried unanimously.

Mayor Cerino asked for a motion to reappoint Brandt Troup to the Recreation Commission for a 3-year term. Rev. Tolliver moved to reappoint Brandt Troup to the Recreation Commission, was seconded by Mr. Stetson and carried unanimously.

 Mayor Cerino asked for a motion to reappoint Emily Welsh to the Recreation Commission for a 3-year term. Mr. Stetson moved to reappoint Emily Welsh to the Recreation Commission, was seconded by Rev. Tolliver and carried unanimously.

Mayor Cerino stated that the Town was accepting resumes for Commission Members to the Historic District Commission, Planning Commission and Ethics Commission. He said that David Bowering recently resigned from the Planning Commission.

Mayor Cerino asked for Ward Reports.

Mr. Foster stated that he met with Shelley Heller about the tax differential last week and told her the details of his meeting with the Town Manager of Denton. He said that Ms. Heller seemed as though she was eager to help, although she was not able to commit on what the Commissioners would do. Mr. Foster stated that after the ESAM meetings he would meet with Mr. Fithian to see if he was satisfied with the process to date and potential candidates to conduct the study.

Mr. Foster stated that he attended the tour of Infinity recycling and was pleased to see the facilities.

Mr. Foster stated that he had received two (2) requests for speed bumps on 200 block of North Queen Street. He said that he asked those requesting the speed bumps bring a petition forward from the neighbors agreeing to speed bumps. Mr. Ingersoll stated that there were two (2) speed bumps installed by the bridge and there were complaints immediately to remove them, which the Town did.

Ms. Kuiper stated that the Council discussed having quarterly budget meetings and would like to request one be scheduled for some time in October.

Ms. Kuiper stated that she is frustrated with the recent events at the Farmers Market and unhappy that the Farmers Market Manager resigned. She said that no funds were collected last week and families eligible for tokens for produce did not receive them. She said that the market had come so far in the last few months and it is the best it has been in the 8 years since she had been involved. Ms. Kuiper stated that she felt as though Ms. Harvey was not backed up by the Council like she should have been.

Mayor Cerino stated that this was a frustrating situation as he received the all the emails. He said that Ms. Harvey set up a great program where people could buy food with tokens and one of the vendors refused to accept the tokens, which upset the person trying buy food with the tokens and the issue became heated. Mayor Cerino stated after the altercation, the Market Manager sent a letter to the vendor, who in tum protested the letter and requested a mediation with Mr. Ingersoll. He said that the vendor then circulated the letter he received to all the vendors and he, as Mayor, received an onslaught of emails. Mayor Cerino stated that there are many different viewpoints of the incident from those participating in the market.

Mr. Ingersoll stated that Ms. Harvey made two rulings in her letter: that the tokens need to be accepted, and about the vendor’s behavior. Mr. Ingersoll stated that the current vendor’s contract, as written, does not compel vendors to use the tokens. He said that next year the use of the coins should be mandatory in the contract. He said that his ruling on the matter did not remove Ms. Harvey’s requirement that the vendor leave because of his behavior. Mr. Ingersoll added that he gave his opinion, but the Council was empowered to overrule it. He said that it was his opinion that if the vendor was forced to use the coins and it was not in the contract, the Town would be overruled in any legal case.

Mr. Foster stated that the Market Manager should be able to make the decision as to whether a vendor is allowed in the Market or not. Ms. Kuiper asked if this vendor’s last day in the market was to be September 21st. Mr. Ingersoll stated that he told the vendor that he did not have to take coins until the next contract was signed, but that was the extent of his decision.

Mayor Cerino stated that he thought the Market Manager’s decision should be respected. Ms. Kuiper stated that she was willing to volunteer to manage the Farmers Market but the only way she will do it is if Ms. Harvey’s letter was upheld and the vendor’s last day was September 2!51 Ms. Kuiper wondered if the vendor could make an application to be in the market again next year.

Ms. Kuiper stated that if a vendor is not going to take the tokens during the Market, they need to have a sign on their table so there were no other conflicts. Ms. Kuiper stated that she did not think there were any other vendors who refused to accept the tokens.

Ms. Kuiper stated that there was $14,500.00 in the budget for the Farmers Market and she said that after the revenue reached that amount she thought the Market should become an LLC, similar to the Friends of the Dog Park, with its own Board of Directors and appropriations to the Town with the rest of the funds going to the families who are eligible for the food assistance program and awards for loyal shoppers.

Rev. Tolliver moved to suspend the vendor until the end of the Calendar (contract) year based on his conduct at the Market, was seconded by Mr. Foster and carried unanimously.

Mr. Ingersoll stated that one of the Farmers Market Executive Committee members volunteered to help during the transition and that he would speak to Ms. Kuiper about it tomorrow, suggesting that perhaps he and Ms. Kuiper could work together. Mr. Ingersoll stated that he wished Ms. Harvey would reconsider her decision and return to the Market as she has done a wonderful job.

Rev. Tolliver stated that he attended a Social Action Committee meeting this week in preparation of the End the Racism Workshop to be held at Emmanuel Church.

Rev. Tolliver stated that he had the pleasure of meeting with Acting Chief Dolgos this morning to discuss issues in the Third Ward and how they can have more effective policing in the neighborhood.

Rev. Tolliver stated that he was a lecturer today with a group of freshman business students at Washington College where they discussed public service and volunteerism in Chestertown. He said it was a great experience.

Rev. Tolliver stated that he attended his first Tea Party Committee meeting and he said that he was going to serve on the parade and block party committees.

Rev. Tolliver stated that the renovations at Carpenter Park were underway. The basketball court was paved, and the pavilion was ready to be built. He said that he would like the play equipment from Bailey Park moved to Washington Park if it was possible.

Rev. Tolliver stated that the Good Seeds Project at Garnet Elementary was coming along very nicely and was almost complete.

Mr. Stetson sated that he is having a soil sample tested to see if the Dog Park needs lime and fertilizer. If the results indicated that work had to be done, the Friends of the Dog Park would pay for it.

Mr. Stetson stated that he had signs made thanking Wayne Rickert, Dave Slama and Rebuilding Together Kent County for the exercise equipment they built for the dogs at the Dog Park. He said that he also had to make signs to remind people to close the gates at the park.

Mayor Cerino stated that there were no requests from the public to be on the agenda.

Mr. Stetson moved for an Executive Session under General Provisions Article §3- 305(b)(1) to discuss the appointment, employment, assignment, promotion, discipline, demotion, compensation, removal, resignation or performance evaluation of appointees, employees, or officials over whom this public body has jurisdiction; or any other personnel matter that affects one or more specific individuals, was seconded by Mr. Foster and carried unanimously.

Mayor Cerino stated that the Jazz Festival and Car Show this past weekend were great events and both were well attended.

Mr. Slocum thanked the Council for their help with Cars on High and the Car Show as well as everyone else who helped during the event. He said that there was a total of ninety-eight (98) cars on display this past weekend and said that they look forward to next year’s event.

Mayor Cerino asked if there were any questions or comments. There were no questions or comments.

The meeting went into an Executive Session at 8:55 p.m.

Mayor Cerino reconvened the Mayor and Council meeting at 9:27 p.m. He stated that there was one motion made to continue negotiations with Kent County on receiving assistance with the police department which had carried with four in favor, Ms. Kuiper opposed. The meeting closed at 9:27 p.m.

There being no further business and no other questions or comments from the audience,

Mr. Stetson moved to adjourn the meeting at 9:30 p.m., was seconded by Rev. Tolliver and carried unanimously.

Submitted by:                                                                       Approved by:

Jennifer Mulligan Town Clerk                                           Chris Cerino Mayor

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