MAYOR AND COUNCIL
DECEMBER 20, 2021
Mayor Foster called the meeting to order at 6:30 p.m. In attendance were Councilmembers Samuel Shoge, Tom Herz, Ellsworth Tolliver and Meghan Efland, W. S. Ingersoll (Town Manager), Jennifer Mulligan (Town Clerk), and guests.
Mayor Foster asked if there were any additions or corrections to the minutes of the Mayor and Council Meeting of December 6, 2021. Mr. Shoge moved to approve the minutes of the meeting of December 6, 2021, as presented, was seconded by Ms. Efland and carried unanimously.
Mayor Foster stated that the operating funds on hand amount was $2,752,896.47.
Mayor Foster asked for a motion to approve the payment of the bills. Ms. Efland moved to pay the bills as presented, was seconded by Mr. Herz and carried unanimously.
Chief Dixon gave the police report for November 2021.
Chief Dixon introduced Lieutenant Steve Linz, who recently joined the department after retiring from the Kent County Sheriff’s Office. Lieutenant Linz, had over 25 years’ experience as a Deputy, specializing in K9 and narcotics. Chief Dixon stated that he was working on another hire, an officer who lives in Elkton and is currently working for the Temple University Police Department.
Chief Dixon stated that he attended a Chestertown Volunteer Fire Company meeting, a Rotary Club meeting and the Dickens Christmas Festival. He said that he also visited Garnett Elementary School and the Department “adopted” several teachers by pledging to help with their classroom school supplies tree. He said that he was given a tour of the YMCA building under construction, and it was amazing. He said that he also met with the Lions Club in the hopes of working together on projects and he had been interviewed by WCTR introducing himself to the community. He said that he met with other community groups and school system to discuss safety and law enforcement efforts. Finally, Chief Dixon stated that he met with Mr. Herz and several area residents regarding the traffic calming by Water Street.
Chief Dixon stated that he had enjoyed working with Rev. Tolliver and Mr. Shoge and wished them well in their future endeavors.
Mr. Shoge thanked Chief Dixon for the work that he was doing in the community to create relationships. Mr. Herz seconded the statement and said that he was doing a wonderful job in Chestertown. Ms. Efland observed that Chief Dixon had done a wonderful job cutting the overtime hours. Mr. Shoge asked how he did it. Chief Dixon stated that he thought there was frequently double coverage for 24 hours periods when it might not be necessary. He said that the Sheriff’s Department and State Police are in line to aid during overnight hours, so he focused putting double coverage in place during daytime hours when they are most busy. He said that there was more than adequate coverage in the overnight with the mutual aid in place.
Chief Dixon stated that he invested $300.00 for a scheduling software, and it has already paid for itself. He said that he thought there would be a drastic improvement in overtime hours and did not think that the officers minded the cuts in overtime. He said that the way overtime had been given out in the past was inefficient. Chief Dixon added that the Kent County’s Sheriff Office has pledged their full support to the Chestertown Police Department, and they had just been on a scene just earlier in the day on a call. Lieutenant Linz stated that having been with the Kent County Sheriff’s Office for so many years, he knew firsthand that it was never an issue for that department to intercede on calls.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that there was a permit request for Friday, February 11th and Saturday, February 12th for Frederick Douglass Celebration “Day of Acknowledgement”. He said that this request was from John Queen of the Bayside HOYAS in partnership with Washington College, Black Union of Kent County, Chesapeake Heartland and Main Street Historic Chestertown. The event will celebrate the history, culture and achievements of African American life on the Eastern Shore of Maryland and create a festival where people of different ages, ethnic groups and backgrounds interact, form friendships, and fully participate in the community’s social, educational, economic, political and cultural life. He said that Mr. Queen asked for participation of the Town by placing the new stage at the Roy Kirby Stadium parking lot. The Council asked that Mr. Queen attend a January meeting to further discuss the Frederick Douglass Celebration.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that bids for the project at the Wastewater Treatment Plant were opened on Friday, December 17th and two bids were received as follows:
- Keystone Engineering Group
1200 Old Vine Blvd, Unit 115
Lewes, DE 19958 Preliminary Design: $31,600.00
302-291-9093 Optional Turn-Key Preliminary and Final: $105,500.00
2. On Board Engineering
2 Penn’s Way, Suite 400 Preliminary Design: $51,000.00
New Castle, DE 19720 Optional Turn-Key Preliminary and Final: None
Mr. Ingersoll stated that the low bidder for the preliminary design work was Keystone Engineering Group at $31,600. Mr. Ingersoll stated that he would like to at least move forward with preliminary design to Keystone Engineering Group.
Mayor Foster asked for further clarification on the scope of the project. Mr. Ingersoll stated that the activities and scope of work included site design of the undergrounding, centralization, and simplification of the existing electrical lines; the removal of the existing generator from within the administrative building relocating to a nearby strategic location; the design and building plans for construction of a power distribution building; and design and preliminary plans of a replacement of the existing administrative/power center with added employee safety locker and showering facilities. Rev. Tolliver asked if this could be deferred to the next Utilities Meeting in January so the new Council and Bob Sipes could have their input. The Council agreed.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that the winners of the Christmas Decorating Contest should be reported to Ms. Mulligan by December 31.
Mayor Foster stated that there were three (3) vacancies on the Public Arts Committee. He said that he recommended Elizabeth Healy to the Committee, and he would like to nominate her tonight for membership. Ms. Efland nominated Elizabeth Healy to the Public Arts Committee, was seconded by Mr. Herz and carried unanimously.
Mayor Foster stated that everyone is always appreciative of the first responders, but he had to call them with a medical emergency in his family and they arrived within minutes to render aid. He said that he could not be more thankful for their help.
Mayor Foster announced that a new chocolate shop opened on South Cross Street recently.
Mayor Foster thanked Rev. Tolliver and Mr. Shoge for their work on the Council and wished everyone Happy Holidays.
Mayor Foster urged citizens to give themselves and their loved ones a Christmas present by getting vaccinated against Covid.
Mayor Foster asked for Ward reports.
Mr. Shoge stated that this was his last Council meeting, adding that he filled in a void when Mayor Foster moved into the vacated Mayoral position. He offered well wishes to Tim O’Brien who was taking over as First Ward Councilmember on January 1. He said that 2021 was a difficult year and there were failures witnessed in other levels of government, but in Chestertown everyone took their job seriously and commended the Council for their passion. Mr. Shoge also welcomed Mr. Medrano to the Third Ward.
Mr. Herz stated that he wanted to thank Rev. Tolliver and Mr. Shoge for their work on the Council. He said that he will miss his meetings at Sam’s with Rev. Tolliver and looked forward to collaborating with the incoming council members. Mr. Herz wished everyone Happy Holiday and a Healthy New year.
Rev. Toliver stated that he was pleased to have served the Third Ward and asked that it continue to be seen as a thriving part of Town. He asked that the Mayor and Councilmembers remember the people they represent in their decision making.
Ms. Efland also thanked Rev. Tolliver and Mr. Shoge for their service.
Ms. Efland stated that she attended a session at the Local Management Board meeting and said that there was information about the local food pantries and how they work together. She said that they are working on a 5-year strategic plan.
Ms. Efland wished everyone a Happy Holiday.
There being no further business, Mr. Shoge moved to adjourn the meeting at 7:20 p.m., was seconded by Rev. Tolliver and carried unanimously.
Submitted by: Approved by:
Jennifer Mulligan David Foster
Town Clerk Mayor