CHESTERTOWN MAYOR AND COUNCIL MEETING
APRIL 24, 2023
Mayor Foster called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. In attendance were Councilmembers Tom Herz, Tim O’Brien (by phone), and Jose Medrano, W. S. Ingersoll, Town Manager, Lynda Thomas, Town Clerk and guests.
Mayor Foster noted that the normal April 17, 2023, meeting was postponed due to not having a quorum. Two (2) members were on vacation and a third had been out with Covid.
Mayor Foster asked if there were any additions or corrections to the Mayor and Council minutes of April 3, 2023. Councilman Herz moved to approve the minutes of the Mayor and Council meeting of April 3, 2023. The motion was seconded by Councilman Medrano and carried unanimously.
Mayor Foster reported that the cash on hand was $2,372,288.51.
Councilman Herz made a motion to pay the bills. The motion was seconded by Councilman Medrano and passed unanimously.
Presentation of Chestertown Environmental Award for Outstanding Service
Mr. Foster presented Mr. Ford Schumann the first annual Chestertown Environmental Award for Outstanding Service for his years of committed service to the Town of Chestertown and Infinity Recycling.
Collaborative Project Between Chestertown and YMCA
Mr. Dwight Zilinskas, Recreation Commission, reported on a proposed collaborative project between Chestertown and YMCA to expand the YMCA youth programs beyond the inside of their building and into the Town’s Park system. He proposed to have the YMCA use Bailey Park for a summer youth program. Children of the ages of 5 to 14 would walk from the YMCA to Bailey Park on Wednesday afternoons in the summer.
Chief Dixon presented the March report. He reported that there were 42 calls for service, 43 criminal complaints, and 4 drug arrests. There were no fatal or non-fatal drug overdoses during the month of March.
Chief Dixon reported that there was some overtime to cover for training, court, and leave.
Chief Dixon reported that he attended the Vietnam Veterans Memorial service, advanced sex offender interview course, local drug and alcohol council meeting with the new Kent County Emergency Medical Services Division Chief, Chesapeake College work force training meeting, School Safety webinar, Garnet School Community Outreach event, Kent County Department of Social Services Child Advocacy Center case review, Maryland Police Training Commission in Sykesville for the police accountability act, War on the Shore at Washington College between Washington College and Salisbury College, Pancake breakfast for Kapa Sigma for their military war heroes campaign, Rhythm and Brews event, and the Maryland Municipals League (MML) Police Executive Conference in Ocean City.
Chief Dixon reported that Wayne Darrell of Emergency Services has retired.
Chief Dixon reported that the Department emptied the Drug Drop boxes at the Chestertown Police Department and Kent County Sheriff’s Office locations. He noted that almost 1200 pounds of prescription and non-prescription medications were disposed of safely.
Town Manager’s Report
Mr. Ingersoll reviewed the draft budget schedule for FY2024. There was a consensus on the dates and times.
Mr. Ingersoll presented the Planning Commission Annual Report.
Mr. Ingersoll reviewed the following coming events:
- Arts in the Garden Event at Henry Highland Garnet School
- Jasmine Queen 5k – Alpha Omicron Pi – Washington College event
- Celebrating Kent County High School Seniors
- Annual Memorial Day Parade on High Street
- Washington Park Day
- Kent Kart 5k Run at Memorial Park
Mayor Foster gave an update on the proposed Property Tax Set-off study. He said that the County Commissioners told him to find a consultant to do the tax set-off study. He reached out to the University of Maryland and presented a reasonable bid. He reported that he presented the proposal at the Council of Governments (COG) meeting and Rock Hall, Galena, and Millington showed interest in supporting the study. Chestertown’s portion would be $3000.00, Rock Hall’s portion would be $1600.00, and all other town to sign on for the study would be $800.00 each. He noted that the consultant would not be able to begin the study until Fall, but it would be complete by end of January.
Councilman Herz made a motion to approve $3000.00 for the University of Maryland property tax set-off study. The motion was seconded by Councilman Medrano and passed unanimously.
Ms. Julie King-Medrano, the Chestertown Farmer’s Market Manager, discussed her request for a raise in pay vendor fees, and the annual estimated Farmer’s Market revenues. She reported that the vendors agreed to an increase of the weekly fee from $10.00 to $20.00. She noted that the artisan manager fees would remain at $10.00 and during the winter market (January to March), Farmer’s Market vendor fees would remain at $10.00.
Ms. Medrano noted that the Mayor and Council had raised her pay to $2000.00 during a previous meeting but would like it increased to $6000.00. She noted that she had stepped away from being a vendor to focus on being the Market Manager. Mr. Foster noted he would like to make the vote to increase her salary when there is a full Council present.
Ms. Medrano discussed her plan to set up a Market informational booth that she would work in collaboration with Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Maryland Market Money (MMM) program. She stated she has signed up for these programs to benefit both the vendors and local customers. SNAP is a low-income food nutrition service and MMM is a statewide food access program that feeds Marylanders and supports farmers.
Ms. Elizabeth Watson presented the final approval of short-term strategic plan and noted the support that the Town of Chestertown has with various groups that make the plan a success.
Councilman O’Brien made a motion to accept and approve the final version of the Chestertown Strategic Plan. The motion was seconded by Councilman Herz and passed unanimously.
Mr. O’Brien reported he had Covid and had not left the house for ten (10) days.
Mr. Herz reported that road improvements are happening again and thanked the crews making it happen on Cannon Street.
Mr. Herz reported that the Council of Governments (COG) formed a legislative agenda and invited the district 36 members to make presentations on how to effectively get topics/issues active consideration in Annapolis. The COG had also reached out to the Congressional delegation, Senators, and Representatives to work with them to understand the funding opportunities in terms of earmarks, grants, and other financial possibilities.
Mr. Medrano reported that the Carpenter Park pavilion needs maintenance in response to birds perching in the rafters and creating a mess. Mr. Ingersoll went over the proposed solutions to the prevent the nesting of birds in the open rafters.
Request from the public
Mr. Jim Bogden asked about how to turn in the Recreation Committee’s budget requests. Mr. Ingersoll noted that all budget requests could to be submitted to the Town Office starting in March.
Mr. Bogden asked about spending the ARPA money the Recreation Commission was granted. Mr. Ingersoll stated that the Recreation Commission is different from the other nonprofits that have no connection to the Town and could begin the process of selecting projects for funding.
Mr. Bogden thanked the Town for restoring the fence at Ajax Park. He noted that three (3) new benches had been installed at Wilmer Park.
Ms. Carole Trippe, Environmental Committee, asked about the status of the new curbside recycling. Mr. Ingersoll stated that the new enrollment forms had been developed and sent to Jon Hanley with the expectation that they would be handed out to qualifying town residents at the Environmental Committee booth at the Farmer’s Market.
Ms. Nina Fleegle announced there are several new businesses opening in the downtown area and listed a few of the places opening in the next few weeks.
Silver Linings – Cross Street – a jewelry store
A quilting studio, a photo studio and Skipjack Studios – Cannon Street
Waterman’s Wife – Cannon Street – walkup eatery
A new ‘secretive’ shop opening in the old Dunkin Donuts shop.
TwoTen, LLC – Cross Street – food trucks
A new holistic store next to Elbe Body – Cross Street
Mr. Zilinskas reported that the Boys and Girls Club has six (6) mini vans equipped with arts and crafts, games, and various kid interactive elements. He noted that they may be able to set up next to Fountain Park to provide kids with activities during the Farmer’s Market hours. Mr. Ingersoll suggested that Park Row would be better side of the Fountain Park to use to avoid interfering with Farmer’s Market activities. He told Mr. Zilinskas to apply to the Town Office separately for the Boys and Girls Club van program.
There being no further business, Councilman Herz moved to adjourn the meeting at 7:49 pm. The motion was seconded by Councilman Medrano and carried unanimously.
Submitted by: Approved by:
Lynda Thomas, Town Clerk David Foster, Mayor
April 17, 2023 Meeting Postponed until Monday, April 24, 2023
APRIL 24, 2023
The Mayor and Council meeting will resume in person meetings at Town Hall. A livestream feed is available at www.townofchestertown.com.
- Call meeting to order
- Minutes of previous Mayor and Council meetings
- Operating funds on hand
- Payment of bills
- Presentation of Chestertown Environmental Award for Outstanding Service
- Dwight Zilinskas, Recreation Commission, Collaborative Project between Chestertown, and the YMCA
- Chief Ron Dixon police report
- Town Manager’s report
- Consideration of draft budget schedule for FY 2024
- Arbor Day Proclamation
- Ratify Planning Commission Annual Report
- Permit requests
- Arts in the Garden Event
- Jasmine Queen 5k – Alpha Omicron Pi – Washington College
- Mayor’s Report
- Update on proposed Property Tax Set-Off Study and
- Louise Miller: Moms Demand Action for Gunsense in America Proclamation
- Old Business
- Julie King-Medrano, Farmer’s Market, raise, fees and budget discussion.
- Final approval of short-term strategic plan
- New Business
- Ward Reports
- Requests from the public to be on the agenda:
- Questions or comments