MAYOR AND COUNCIL
NOVEMBER 17, 2014
Mayor Cerino called the meeting to order at 7:36 p.m. In attendance were Council members Liz Gross, Linda 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 November 3, 2014. Mr. Stetson moved to approve the Mayor and Council meeting minutes of November 3, 2014 as presented, was seconded by Ms. Gross and carried unanimously.
Mayor Cerino stated that unrestricted cash on hand and in the banks was $1,851,769.51. There were restricted funds in the amount of $196,740.00 for total funds of $2,048,509.51.
Mayor Cerino asked for a motion to pay bills. Ms. Gross moved to pay the bills as submitted, was seconded by Mr. Stetson and carried unanimously.
Mayor Cerino introduced Lindsey & Associates who were present to discuss the findings of the Town’s annual audit. Mr. Bob Diss stated that Town received a clean “unmodified” opinion that there were no material misstatements in the financials. He explained the audit in detail and answered questions of the Council and audience. Mr. Diss stated that Ms. Diver was nice to work with and would be missed next year. Mr. Ingersoll stated that the Town enjoyed working with Ms. Alieshia Scarlett, auditor, as well.
Ms. Rebecca Rice was present on behalf of the Kent County Health Department and said that the Great American Smokeout would be held on the Thursday, November 20th in Kent County.
Ms. Kristen Owen of the Downtown Chestertown Association was present to discuss prizes for the best Christmas decorations in Chestertown. After discussion, Ms. Kuiper moved to continue the residential prizes in all four (4) wards at $50.00 for 1st prize and $25.00 for 2nd prize and award a $100.00 prize to one business in each of the C1, C2, and C3 commercial zoning areas, was seconded by Ms. Gross and carried unanimously.
Ms. Owen stated that battery operated candles on timers were being offered to businesses downtown at the cost of $4.00 per candle so that each storefront looked festive for the holidays.
Chief Baker presented the police report for October 2014. He prepared a call for service breakdown by ward for the Council. Mr. Shoge asked that his ward service calls be emailed to him on a monthly basis.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that all of the documents for the solar photovoltaic project had been fully reviewed by Michael Forlini, Esquire. He said that Mayor Cerino signed the contract for $.045 for a 20-year period and Solar City appears ready to begin the project immediately.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that the Town was on the County’s agenda for final approval of the Gateway Park on Thursday, December 4th at 1:30 p.m. at 400 High Street.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that he would like a request for an executive session at the end of the meeting to consult with the Town attorney on legal matters.
Mayor Cerino stated that he wanted to continue to dialogue on the Arts and Entertainment District. He said that the Council was behind the concept after the last meeting, but now they needed to decide on how to proceed. There was a letter of intent to apply to become an Arts and Entertainment District that was due in early February and required a commitment to an action plan, including a paid manager.
Mayor Cerino stated that he thought there were three (3) options in moving forward for the management plan:
1. Greater Chestertown Initiative serves as advisory board and Mr. Kees de Mooy dedicates a percentage of his time to manage the Arts and Entertainment District;
2. Hire a part-time Arts and Entertainment manager who would work 20 to 25 hours per week; or
3. Hire a full-time Economic Development officer whose job would include overseeing the Arts and Entertainment District, revive the Main Street program, and attend meetings of the Greater Chestertown Initiative, DCA, and other business owners, etc.
After discussion, the consensus of the Council was to create a part-time position on a 3-year commitment for an Arts and Entertainment District Manager, with the hope that the position would become a full-time Economic Development position as a long-term goal. Mr. Shoge stated that this position could pay for itself if it was done correctly.
Ms. Kuiper suggested the compensation study to find the right pay scale and/or look for job descriptions if there was not one available in Chestertown’s study. Ms. Lani Seikaly stated that she could get the job description from Berlin, as Mr. Michael Day began his position as part-time employment.
Mayor Cerino stated that if a group was going to commit money to match the part-time salary, he would like a 3-year commitment so that a full-time position is not created and then the Town had to double the salary in a short time frame.
Mayor Cerino stated that Janes Church was in need of major renovations and requested a letter of support from the Mayor and Council which was ready for signing. Mayor Cerino stated that this was an amazing building and important part of Chestertown’s heritage. The Council agreed.
Ms. Gross stated that she and Mr. Shoge toured the Waste Water Treatment Plant with Mr. Sipes. She said that she learned a lot and Mr. Shoge agreed.
Ms. Gross read a note from Ms. Betsy Tate and her dog Lily, thanking the Town for the paved pathway to Margo Bailey Park from Heron Point.
Ms. Gross stated that potholes were opening up and there was a large one on the corner of Rolling Road and Campus Avenue.
Ms. Kuiper stated that there were many exciting things happening downtown over the next couple weekends.
Mr. Shoge stated that he did a ride-along with the Police Department. He said that he would work along with the Street Crew next. He said that the Street crew was doing a wonderful job keeping up with all the leaves that were falling.
Mr. Stetson stated that the trees that died last summer in Bailey Park were reordered and would be replaced as they were under warranty.
Mr. Stetson stated that he attended a ribbon cutting at the new Clayworks on High Street this past Saturday and said that he was happy to have their business in Chestertown.
Mr. Stetson stated that he attended the Veterans Day Ceremony held by Washington College and said that it was a very well attended and the students did a wonderful job.
Mr. Stetson stated that he and Ms. Kuiper attended the Community Breakfast Group this past Thursday and the person in charge of the Kent Plaza renovation was the speaker. He said that he thought the renovation was going to be a welcome change.
Mr. Stetson stated that Mr. Shoge had a photo in the current Municipal Maryland League Magazine.
Mr. Shoge asked where the Town stood on the Hazard Mitigation Plan. Mr. Ingersoll stated that he and Mr. de Mooy were reviewing the County plan to ensure that Chestertown was properly represented in the plan and they would present a resolution endorsing the Hazard Mitigation Plan at the December 1st meeting.
Mr. Mark Mumford was in the audience and stated that he wanted to thank everyone who helped support his campaign for Clerk of Court.
Mr. Mumford stated that Santa would arrive in Chestertown on Friday, November 28th at 7:00 p.m.
Mr. Mumford stated that he had an application for Mr. Shoge to active membership in the Chestertown Fire Company.
Ms. Kuiper moved for an executive session under Section 10.508 of the Annotated Code of the State of Maryland, general provision §3-305(b)(7) to consult with council to obtain legal advice on a legal matter(s), was seconded by Ms. Gross and carried unanimously.
There being no further business, Ms. Gross moved to adjourn the meeting at 8:57 p.m., was seconded by Mr. Shoge and carried unanimously.
Submitted by: Approved by:
Jennifer Mulligan Chris Cerino
Town Clerk Mayor