MAYOR AND COUNCIL
AUGUST 3, 2020
Mayor Cerino called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. In attendance were Councilmembers Thomas Herz, Ellsworth Tolliver and Meghan Efland, W. S. Ingersoll (Town Manager), Kees de Mooy (Zoning Administrator) and guests.
Mayor Cerino asked if there were any additions or corrections to the minutes of the Mayor and Council Meetings of July 6, 2020. Mr. Foster moved to approve the minutes of the July 6, 2020 meeting, was seconded by Mr. Herz, and carried unanimously.
Mayor Cerino stated that operating cash on hands was $854,173.47.
Mayor Cerino asked for a motion to approve the payment of the bills. Ms. Efland moved to approve payment of the bills as submitted, was seconded by Mr. Herz, and carried unanimously.
Mayor Cerino stated that Washington College decided to go to online learning for the fall semester due to the continuing spread of the Covid virus. Mr. Vic Sensenig of Washington College was present and stated that there may be some students who apply for exceptions to live on campus, but it would only be permitted under certain circumstances. He said that the College was hoping the students can return in the spring. Mr. Sensenig said that the spread of Covid has made it almost impossible for the students and faculty to safely return to Washington College and to many other campuses across the county.
Ms. Feyerherm stated that there are indicators to be followed when deciding to open and in the last several weeks the Covid numbers are going the wrong way. She said that testing, early results and contact tracing were not readily available without putting the student population and community at risk. She said that she thought this was the right thing to do under the circumstances and strict policy is being put into place as to who can live on campus. Students admitted to campus will be in single dormitories and will be tested and must quarantine before and after they arrive to campus. She said that there were many students with off-campus leases who may be living in town and she was putting together information for them indicating what was expected of them as students and as community members. She said that the Health Department has been helpful in outlining protocol for the college but at this moment it was best to keep people safe.
Rev. Tolliver asked how employees would be affected for the duration of the campus shutdown. Ms. Stated that over the next couple weeks decisions would be made as to what staff had to be scaled back, adding that furloughs and layoffs are likely, but she did not know to what extent.
The Mayor asked the Town Manager for his report. Mr. Ingersoll stated that the Queen Street residents had requested a street closure for a block party on a portion (from Maple Avenue to Riverside Terrace) of the 200 block of North Water Street on Labor Day (Monday Sept. 7, 2020. He said that they usually have it at someone’s house but due to Covid now they would like to hold the gathering outside. Mayor Cerino stated that he wanted the residents to know that they must maintain social distancing, maximum number of attendees (if applicable) and any other requirements in place under the Governor Hogan policies.
Mr. Foster moved to approve partial shutdown of Queen Street for a block party on Saturday, September 5, 2020, was seconded by Mr. Herz and carried unanimously.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that Ms. MacIntosh submitted a permit for additional outdoor dining dates in front of The Kitchen on High Street and Casa Carmen on Cannon Street. The set up would mirror the outdoor dining which the Council had previously approved. Ms. MacIntosh stated that Ms. Goddard was providing information to the Health Department, Police, and Volunteer Fire Department. Mr. Herz moved to approve partial street closures for al fresco dining as submitted, was seconded by Ms. Efland, and carried unanimously.
Mayor Cerino stated that he missed the last meeting as he was out of Town and has been quarantining since his return. He said that numbers are climbing in Maryland, even though Kent County was holding steady at 235 cases. There have been 22 deaths in Kent County to date since March. He said that the world is in the middle of a pandemic and people had to be vigilant and that wearing masks in public was now a requirement.
Mayor Cerino stated that Hurricane Isaias was coming up the coast toward the Eastern Shore (hopefully as a tropical storm) but he asked residents to tie everything a down at their homes and prepare for the storm.
Mayor Cerino stated that there were issues with the Live Stream of the meeting and asked to move forward with Ward Reports while Mr. de Mooy investigated the problem. Mr. Ingersoll stated that the Town Attorney had telephoned in to recommend that the present meeting being held be continued to a date when the Live Streaming could be restored. Mr. Ingersoll recommended to the Council that the meeting be continued after finishing up the ward reports so that the “continued meeting” could be devoted solely to the subject that so many were trying to tune in to watch. Reverend Tolliver felt that the Ward reports were important, too, and that people would miss out on hearing them. Rev. Tolliver moved to adjourn the rest of the meeting and reschedule for a later date. The motion was seconded by Mr. Herz. The motion failed after a 3 to 2 vote. After a brief discussion, it was decided to finish up the recurring items of the meeting and continue the meeting with the sole remaining subject being the Black Lives Matter mural discussion.
Mayor Cerino asked for Ward Reports.
Mr. Foster stated that anyone who feels they may have been exposed to the Corona virus should call the Health Department and ask to be tested. He said the tests were now free of charge and a doctor’s order was no longer necessary to receive a test. Any person wanting a test would need to schedule an appointment.
Mr. Foster stated that a friend of his visited the Marina over the weekend and was singing the praises of Mr. Paul Coleman.
Mr. Foster stated that he was invited to attend a Zoom meeting for the Social Action Committee on Racial Justice by Ms. Arlene Lee. He said that many issues were discussed, and he thought it was a good meeting.
Mr. Herz stated that he received a lot of opinions on the proposed Black Lives Matter mural and he was disappointed that the Live Streaming technology was not cooperating this evening.
Rev. Tolliver stated that he would withhold his comments until the next meeting.
Ms. Efland stated that Shore Regional Health filmed a documentary about what it is like for the people working the front lines which gave everyone an idea of what local responders are dealing with.
Ms. Efland stated that gates have been installed at the Kent County Middle School fields. She said that this was ostensibly to prevent children from running out into Campus Avenue during fire drills and to disallow people who do not belong in the building to gain entry from Campus Avenue during school hours. Ms. Efland stated that the park amenities were supposed to be open to the residents and in the unfortunate event that those gates are not unlocked after school hours, the property can be accessed by the tennis courts.
Ms. Efland moved to continue the Town meeting to Monday, August 10, 2020 at 7:30 p.m., to discuss the proposed Black Lives Matter mural request was seconded by Mr. Herz and carried unanimously. Mayor Cerino apologized to everyone who prepared for this discussion for the problems with the Live Streaming.
There being no further business and no other questions or comments from the audience, Ms. Efland moved to adjourn the meeting at 8:28 p.m., was seconded by Mr. Herz and carried unanimously.
Submitted by: Approved by:
Jennifer Mulligan Chris Cerino
Town Clerk Mayor