MAYOR AND COUNCIL
DECEMBER 6, 2021
Mayor Foster called the meeting to order at 6:47 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 November 15, 2021. Mr. Shoge moved to approve the minutes of the meeting of November 15, 2021, as presented, was seconded by Ms. Efland and carried unanimously.
Mayor Foster stated that the operating funds on hand amount was $2,765,932.72.
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. Shoge and carried unanimously.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that he sent a draft ARPA Resolution to the Council and asked if there were any comments or change requests. He said if there were no changes the draft could be adopted this evening.. Mr. Herz moved to approve Resolution 06-2021, was seconded by Ms. Efland and carried unanimously
Mr. Ingersoll stated that the Modern Stone Age Kitchen had an upcoming hearing with Kent County for a beer, wine and liquor license. He said that the Town does not have to comment, and he has received no comments from the public regarding the application. Mr. Shoge stated that the restaurant just had their grand opening and if there was an opportunity to submit a letter of support he would like to have that done. Mr. Shoge moved for a letter of support for the liquor license of the Modern Stone Age Kitchen, was seconded by Mr. Herz and carried unanimously.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that the Holiday Decorating Contest would be held this year and the Council should report the winners to Jen Mulligan by December 30, 2021. Each Councilmember would choose a first and second place residence and the Mayor would judge the businesses.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that most of the staff in town staff were home ill, and they were trying to get better and get back to work. In the meantime, he and Mr. de Mooy were in the office.
Mayor Foster stated that there was a request from John Queen for an investigation and asked that Mayor and Council to either sign a petition or write a letter of support on their behalf regarding the housing conditions. Mr. Herz asked if a letter of support could be drafted and reviewed at the next meeting. Mr. Ingersoll stated that he was ready and willing to help with the issues and had outlined how he would do so at the last meeting when Mr. Queen was present. He said that he needs something in writing to use before he contacts HUD or any other responsible agencies above the managing agency. Rev. Tolliver stated that before any letters of support were sent out they should review the report from the Local Management Board where questions were answered in relation to the complaint.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that the issue needs to be dealt with as families are in limbo until the housing project is redone. Mayor Foster stated that a meeting at the site might be helpful, and he would like an investigation before signing a petition to see the story from all sides.
Mayor Foster stated he met with the Black Student Union at Washington College and said that he was hoping for more suggestions from them on how to solve their issues. He said that they had many good questions. He said that students feel there was discrimination in the area and said he hoped to hear suggestions on recommendations of how to make things better for them.
Mayor Foster asked for Ward reports.
Mr. Shoge stated that the street crew was doing a fantastic job cleaning the town of leaves and debris. He said that he would like to dig deeper into Mr. Sappington’s request on what could be purchased for the street crew with the ARPA funds to help them do their job better. Mayor Foster stated that he was not certain that ARPA funds could be used, but Mr. Sappington did raise great points that need to be addressed with pay scales in the budget.
Mayor Foster stated that he forgot to mention how wonderful the Dickens Festival was this weekend. Mr. Herz stated that Dickens was a fantastic addition to Town and thanked Ms. Fleegle for the hard work to get it going.
Mr. Herz stated that he agreed that pay needed to be discussed in all areas of the town staffing and said that they do an excellent job.
Mr. Herz stated that he met with neighbors to discuss the demonstration project on High Street and there were a few items he would like to discuss with Mr. Ingersoll. He said that he will work more with the neighbors on what might be in place long-term in that area.
Mr. Herz stated that things were looking good in Ward Two.
Rev. Tolliver stated that the speed limit on Flatland Road was an issue, and he would like the SHA to review the rate of speed on that road. He said that Chief Dixon was looking at the speed issues as well. Mr. Ingersoll stated that he has a conversation with the new District Engineer at SHA and said that he seemed very cooperative and receptive to issues like the speeds on Flatland Road.
Ms. Efland stated that the rail trail extension off Morgnec Road was underway and looked good.
Ms. Efland stated that she has heard from her constituents how well the street crew was keeping up with the leaves and brush.
Ms. Efland stated that the A&E Art Walk was this weekend and should be a nice event.
Rev. Tolliver asked about the A&E Expansion. Mr. Ingersoll stated that he thought the submission could be amended and was certain that the expansion would be approved in the future. He said that the Town was ready for it.
Mr. Medrano stated that he would also like to find out more facts about Brookmeadow because in addition to the apartments being in bad shape, the problems stem from years of not having preventative maintenance. He said that he saw pictures of mold growth at the meeting held at Washington College and residents were told that they did not have to pay rent while they were displaced but none of that was put in writing and after 6 months they were expected to pay the full rent at Kent Crossing which went above and beyond what they paid at Brookmeadow.
Mr. O’Brien stated that he would like more information on where things stood with the County and a tax differential. He said that the Town was long overdue for advancing salaries and was looking for opportunities to increase them.
There being no further business, Mr. Herz moved to adjourn the meeting at 7:25 p.m., was seconded by Ms. Efland and carried unanimously.
Submitted by: Approved by:
Jennifer Mulligan David Foster
Town Clerk Mayor