MAYOR AND COUNCIL
FEBRUARY 3, 2020
Mayor Cerino called the meeting to order at 7:50 p.m. In attendance were Councilmembers David Foster, Thomas Herz, Ellsworth Tolliver and Meghan Efland, 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 January 27, 2020. Rev. Tolliver moved to approve the minutes of the Mayor and Council meeting of January 27, 2020 as submitted, was seconded by Ms. Efland and carried unanimously.
Mayor Cerino stated that total operating funds on hand for unrestricted use was $1,325,761.17.
Mayor Cerino asked for a motion to approve the payment of the bills. Mr. Foster moved to approve payment of the bills as submitted, was seconded by Mr. Herz and carried unanimously.
Ms. Kay MacIntosh was present for the Arts and Entertainment District, along with Mr. John Schratwieser of the Kent Cultural Alliance (formerly Kent County Arts Council) to request the establishment of a public arts commission or committee to be named for the Arts Council as part of the public arts plan created in 2014. Ms. MacIntosh stated that Broad Reach was the first art installed under the plan. She said that she would like to see a public arts commission become permanent but would like to have a temporary committee at first to chart the way for a future permanent committee or commission.
Ms. MacIntosh stated that there was the chance of a donation of several pieces of public art in the next year or two and she said that the wanted to be ready to accept the donation and to have the areas mapped out where the art would be placed. Mr. Schratwieser stated that many public arts projects are taking place in Kent County and one of the primary recommendations was a public arts commission, which would lead the way for working with other towns and counties in the State of Maryland. He said that through Main Street in Rock Hall they worked on the repair of damaged murals, but it did not get the official stamp of an arts related project. He said that they were about to engage in a program with Betterton for painted trash cans to be located at Betterton Beach.
Mr. Schratwieser stated that there were many ways to use public art and he said that with Chestertown leading the charge it would be a great start to the program for Kent County. Mr. Schratwieser stated that the family who was looking to donate this collection of art has been collected pieces over a 40-year period and would be leaving a legacy to the Town where residents and visitors can learn about the pieces and public art in general.
Mayor Cerino asked what the committee would be charged to do. Mr. Schratwieser stated that the committee would oversee the locations for the art, which consisted of approximately 24 pieces. The donor was paying for the cost of moving and installation. A committee would engage the contract for the Town to accept the donation, find locations for each of the pieces, plan their maintenance, investigate insurance costs for the pieces, and oversee the gift donation to the Town. Ms. MacIntosh stated that she would be the liaison for the Committee and the Town.
Ms. MacIntosh stated that she would like to return in 2 to 4 weeks with nominations for the committee, which would consist of 5 to 7 Town residents involved in the arts and non-residents who have a background in the arts.
Mayor Cerino stated that a concern of his was the potential for vandalism and one of the great things about Broad Reach was that any graffiti could be buffed out. He asked if this art had the same standing. Ms. MacIntosh stated that part of the maintenance plan would outline how the art would be maintained. Ms. MacIntosh stated that if this project comes to fruition it would be terrific for the arts community.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that that a committee would provide more flexibility than a commission, but a commission is comprised of Town residents only.
Ms. Efland moved to begin an Arts Committee in Chestertown, with the understanding that Ms. MacIntosh would return with a list of potential candidates for appointment, along with rules and responsibilities, was seconded by Rev. Tolliver and carried unanimously.
Mr. Jon Hanley was present on behalf of the Chestertown Environmental Committee to present the permit request for the Annual Earth Day Festival, which would be held on Saturday, April 18th from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Memorial Row. He said that there will be 25-30 vendors offering eco-friendly products at the event. There will also be a food court and live music. Free paper shredding and battery recycling will be offered to the public and there will be face painting and a bounce house for the children. There will also be electric cars on display. Mr. Foster moved to approve the permit request for the Earth Day Celebration on Saturday, April 18, 2020 as submitted, was seconded by Ms. Efland and carried unanimously.
Ms. Diane Frymiare of River Clay Arts Studio was present to ask for permission to hold a Raku demonstration on March 28th from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on High Street by the Memorial Park. She said that the requests in the permit are the same as they were for their demonstration held in November 2019. Mr. Herz moved to approve the permit for a Raku firing on Saturday, March 28th as outlined in the permit, was seconded by Rev. Tolliver and carried unanimously.
Ms. Julia King, Farmers Market Manager, was present and stated that she made some format adjustments and clarifications of the Farmers Market regulations so that that they were easier to read. Mr. Ingersoll stated that he asked Ms. King to show the difference in the rules and regulations from those approved by the Town last year. She said that she clarified the rules for failure to comply with the contract as outlined and information about the SNAP and EBT rules, including compliance from the vendors. She said that there was also a change in fees where a full fee would be paid at the beginning of the season instead of collecting fees each week. She said that vendors who pay a lump sum are more likely to attend the market each week. There were also guidelines for attendance which she said she would handle on a case-by-case basis. Holiday markets are defined and addressed in a new section. She said that she clarified that the Market was moving toward “producer only”. There were outlines for farm vendors, wineries and breweries, value added food vendors, ready-made, and specialty vendors. Ms. King asked the Council to review the document. She said that she would be meeting with the vendors to discuss the rules and regulations in a few weeks, noting that the season kicks in on the 3rd Saturday of March. She would be handing out contracts the same time as the meeting.
Mr. Herz asked if there was an effort to design a layout of the Market now that the setup has changed. Ms. King stated that she does have a layout and there was a student from Washington College who was working to make an interactive map of the Market. She said that space was tight with 55 spaces available and all of them are booked.
Mr. Herz stated that he would like to look for accessibility for handicap parking. Ms. King stated that it would be easy to designate a few spaces for those with mobility issues.
Ms. King thanked the Council for their support. Mayor Cerino stated that if Ms. King was comfortable vetting the information with the vendors he was happy to allow her to do it. Ms. King stated that the only change to the contract was that she condensed the language.
Mr. Herz moved for provisional approval to the Farmers Market Rules and Regulations and contract as modified by Ms. King, was seconded by Mr. Foster and carried unanimously.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that 03-2019 Parks and Other Public Areas could be adopted at this meeting, which included the language for smoking. Rev. Tolliver moved to approve Ordinance 03-2019 Parks and Other Public Areas, was seconded by Ms. Efland and carried unanimously.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that Ordinance 01-2020 was an update to Chapter 145 Streets and Sidewalks to include underground installation of fiber and read the changes to the Ordinance into the record. He said that this could be the introduction of the Ordinance if the Council agreed. Mr. Ingersoll stated that he highlighted the changes he made and gave copies to the Council, but he would welcome any changes or additions from them. Mr. Ingersoll stated that the specific ordinance to utilities they had drafted was too cumbersome.
Mr. Herz asked if there was any way to prevent overbuild. Mr. Ingersoll stated that was why he used the term “open access”. Rev. Tolliver asked if there was anything that spells out shutting a company down if they do not comply. Mr. Ingersoll stated that there were fines and penalties included. Rev. Tolliver asked how the amount of the bond was determined. Mr. Ingersoll stated that the fees would be based upon the scope of each project.
Mr. Foster stated that he would like for the companies to understand that they were running a risk when they cut into lines. Mr. Ingersoll stated that there was verbiage about having an engineer on site to oversee the work, but if the plans were not followed the Town would have the right to make them remove what was done and make sure that it was done correctly. He said that he also added the SHA inspection standards.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that the contractor for Talkie was test pitting the laterals at every house and that itself was causing destruction.
Rev. Tolliver moved to Introduce 01-2020 was seconded by Mr. Herz and carried unanimously.
Mayor Cerino stated that the Council agreed to redistricting at the last meeting and reminded the Council that he would request the names from the Council at the next meeting.
Mayor Cerino stated that he would be hosting a C-2 forum on Thursday, February 20, 2020 at 7:00 p.m. in Town Hall, focusing this year on how to further help relationships between the Marina and downtown businesses in moving traffic through Town. Mr. Foster asked that Mayor Cerino also discuss the tax differential at this meeting. He said that word must get out to everyone before budget time. Mayor Cerino stated that the Marina Manager will attend this meeting.
Mayor Cerino stated that the next meeting of the Mayor and Council will take place on Tuesday, February 18th due to the Presidents Day Holiday.
Mayor Cerino stated that it was announced at the last meeting that there would be an executive session at this meeting to discuss a personnel matter. Rev. Tolliver moved for an executive session under the statutory authority to close session, General Provisions Article, §3-305(b) to discuss the appointment, employment, assignment, promotion, discipline, demotion, compensation, removal, resignation, or performance evaluation of appointees, employees, or official 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.
The Council went into executive session at 8:43 p.m. and returned to regular session at 9:20 p.m. Ms. Mulligan stated that one motion was made to offer a one-year contract for the position of Police Chief to John Dolgos with a 6-month extension to his approximate drop date if approved by both parties. The motion carried unanimously. The meeting adjourned at 9:18 p.m.
Mayor Cerino asked for Ward Reports.
Mr. Foster stated that there was a fire on Riverside Terrace last Friday, which brought to light some parking problems as the pumper truck could not get to Riverside Terrace from Queen Street. Mr. Foster stated that after speaking with Mr. Sappington, he was going to extend the yellow lines to allow for more room for a fire truck to maneuver.
Mr. Foster stated that he is moving forward with names for redistricting and one of the people who offered their services was former Councilmember Sam Shoge.
Mr. Foster stated that he met with a former Centreville Councilmember who was able to convince the Queen Anne County Commissioners to put a tax differential in place. He said that it was important for residents to understand why this was important and to ask them to come to the County Commissioners meetings to demonstrate that it is in their interest to incorporate either a tax differential or tax rebate. Mr. Foster stated that aside from town residents paying the full tax, it was harmful to the economic development of the area as it was difficult to attract new business if the prime building sites are in areas being discriminated against. Mayor Cerino stated that Centreville gets an $.11 differential. Mr. Foster stated that legislative and legal issues also had to be reviewed as other options.
Mr. Herz stated that he wanted to thank Mr. de Mooy for his efforts in having the scale house removed on Cannon Street and thanked Mr. Sappington for making sure that the Wi-Fi node issues were resolved and ensuring that they were plugged in.
Mr. Herz stated that he met with Scott Boone to discuss a USDA grant that they may be eligible to receive to help build out underserved internet areas in other parts of the county. Mr. Herz stated that he met with Francoise Sullivan and discussed “to do” items on the website and group emails.
Mr. Herz stated that he was working on his list of candidates for the redistricting committee.
Rev. Tolliver stated that he was also looking for people for the redistricting in Ward 3 and said that he was receiving many requests to serve on it. He said that he also met with members of the NAACP regarding the redistricting letter to the Mayor and leading to the establishment of a committee.
Ms. Efland stated that wire installations were occurring in her Ward, plus the hydrant issue on Campus Avenue. She said that there were a lot of cones and destruction in her area, but Mr. Sipes team has done a good job controlling the situations.
Ms. Efland stated that she was working on who should serve on the redistricting committee from her ward.
Ms. Efland stated that Washington College was hosting a National Girls and Women in Sports Day, which was a free event from 3:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, February 6th. She said that the event encouraged grade schools to come out to meet and play with college athletes, culminating in a lacrosse game.
Ms. Efland stated that Chestergras was going to be held on Saturday, February 22nd and benefits the Kent County Food Pantry Backpack Program, the goal of which is nutrition for school-aged children. Volunteers are needed the day of the event and anyone interested should reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ms. Efland stated that the Chestertown Art Crawl will be held on February 22, 2020 and businesses and restaurants downtown are taking part. There were maps showing all businesses, restaurants and galleries participating available on the website for Kent Cultural Alliance and on the Main Street website.
Mayor Cerino state that there were no requests from the public and asked if there were any questions or comments from the audience.
There being no further business and no other questions or comments from the audience, Mr. Herz moved to adjourn the meeting at 9:31 p.m., was seconded by Rev. Tolliver and carried unanimously.
Submitted by: Approved by:
Jennifer Mulligan Chris Cerino
Town Clerk Mayor