Mayor and Council, Town Agendas & Minutes, 2022|


JULY 3, 2023

Mayor David Foster called the meeting to order at 6:12 p.m.  In attendance were Councilmembers Tim O’Brien, Tom Herz, Jose Medrano, and Meghan Efland, Larry DiRe (Town Manager), Lynda Thomas (Town Clerk) and guests.

Mayor Foster asked if there were any additions or corrections to the Mayor and Council minutes of June 21, 2023.  Councilman Herz moved to approve the minutes of the Mayor and Council meeting of June 21, 2023. The motion was seconded by Councilman O’Brien and carried unanimously.

Mayor Foster reported that the cash on hand was $2,241,654.08.

Councilwoman Efland made a motion to pay the bills. The motion was seconded by Councilman O’Brien and passed unanimously.

Swearing in of the New Town Manager

Mayor Foster officially swore in Lawrence DiRe, the newly appointed town manager:

I, Lawrence DiRe, do swear, that I will support the Constitution of the United States; and that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to the State of Maryland, and support the Constitution and laws thereof; and that I will support and comply with the charter, laws, and ordinances of the Town of Chestertown; and that I will, to the best of my skill and judgement diligently and faithfully, without partiality or prejudice, execute the office of Town Manager, according to the Constitution of the United States and the laws of this State.”

Town Manager’s Report

Mr. DiRe reported that the transition of town manager has been productive and expressed his appreciation for staff for accommodating his questions and needs.  He noted that he has had a chance to visit and speak with people at the Marina a couple of times. He stated that he looks forward to work for Chestertown and moving forward on the initiatives that the Mayor and Council have set forward, serving the community, meeting the boards and commissioners and just being available to create responsible public servants.

Mayors Report

Mr. Foster reported that he, Mr. Herz, and Ms. Efland attended the Maryland Municipal League (MML) conference the previous week.

Mr. Foster nominated Yuk Okano for the Public Arts committee.

Councilman O’Brien made a motion to appoint Anne Vansant to the Board of Appeals. The motion was seconded by Councilwoman Efland and passed unanimously.

Councilman O’Brien made a motion to appoint Lanny Parks as an alternate to the Board of Appeals. The motion was seconded by Councilwoman Efland and passed unanimously.

Mr. Foster nominated Johnny Jones, Esquire, to be reappointed to the Ethics Commission.

Old Business

Ben Tilghman briefly reviewed the proposed sculpture locations that were presented at the previous meeting.  He stated that this would be the next group out of 24 that would be installed, bringing the total to 16 installed works of art. Another 8 would be installed in 2024 of which would be the two largest works, what Mr. Tilghman considers the two (2) most significant works in terms of the artists who created them. He noted that one artist had been exhibited at the United Nations exhibition facility in New York.

Mr. Tilghman stated that the sculptures are not just a beautifying image but an opportunity to highlight things in and about Chestertown that are important to us as a town, and finding a way of fitting the sculptures in an area that says this is an important spot to us.

Councilman Herz made a motion to approve the locations presented at the June 21 meeting for the collection as presented by Ben Tilghman. The motion was seconded by Councilwoman Efland and passed unanimously.

New Business

Mr. Foster reviewed a request from Fred Sheriff, Chestertown Lions Club President, to place a used eyeglass receptacle on town property.  The receptacle would be a repurposed mailbox, painted purple with the Lions Club logo.  The desired location would be a visible spot where people can easily deposit eyeglasses they no longer need.  The glasses would be processed before being shipped out to third world counties to help others with eyeglass needs.

Councilwoman Efland made a motion to approve the concept of the Chestertown Lions Club eyeglass drop-off box. The motion was seconded by Councilman Medrano and passed unanimously.

Mr. Herz reported on the MML Legislative Session the Mayor and Council attended, the previous week.  He stated that the Mayor and Council took an active role in lobbying other municipalities regarding the Maryland Tax Set-off problems. He stated that this issue has been ongoing for about 40 years and again, this year, the County Commissioners reneged on their commitment to help fund a study to help the county government and the municipalities in Kent County to understand the issue. All the Kent County municipalities had signed up to support the study except for Betterton. He noted that during the MML Legislative Session, as his role as the chairman of the Council of Governments, he reached out to other municipalities in adjacent counties; Caroline, Talbot, and Dorchester and found that other municipalities are experiencing the same or similar issue and are really interested in talking and addressing this issue.

Mr. Herz reported that they were able to meet with Eve Shuman, Director of Intergovernmental Affairs and Brooke Lierman, Comptroller of Maryland Comptroller, to discuss ways that the comptroller’s office could support the Eastern Shore municipalities on these issues.

Mr. Herz reported that the Kent County Council of Governments Legislative Affairs Subcommittee has decided to submit a legislative action request to MML.  They believe that there is enough energy behind the tax set-off issue and enough municipalities affected that MML should take this on as a legislative action item for the 2024 legislative session. He noted that he and Mayor Foster submitted a legislative action request in the name of Chestertown but really on behalf of all the municipalities who are struggling with the same issue.  They hope to change the language in the law from ‘may’ provide a tax set-off to ‘shall’ provide a tax set-off. This would guarantee municipalities some level of tax equity, however, they would still have to fight to negotiate the level of tax equity.

Ward Reports

Mr. Herz reported on noise and indecent exposure complaints from residents that live near Wilmer Park.  There have been ongoing noise complaints of the drums and xylophone at the playground and measures have been taken to muffle the sounds, but the concern is more about the instruments being used after park hours. There was a brief discussion on ways to fix this problem.

Several audience members that live near Wilmer Park reported that offensive activity has been taking place after park hours. It was noted that the Chestertown Police Department should be contacted at 410-778-1800 when this activity takes place.  It was also noted that security cameras are in the process of being installed at the park and around town for the safety of the public.

Mr. Herz nominated Paul Heckles, Nina Fleegle, and Kate Van Name to the IT Study Group.

Mr. O’Brien welcomed Larry DiRe and noted that he has a very long list of things that he would like to talk to Mr. DiRe and expressed that felt Mr. DiRe may need an assistant. He stated that he would be happy to take a desk at town hall to be available to talk to Mr. DiRe as everything gets settled in. He requested to have a meeting with all the town employees so that the Mayor and Council can meet with them and to have a listening session.

Mr. O’Brien reported that he had set up a meeting with Heron Point residents to discuss their concerns about privatizing the streets, to make Heron Point a closed community.  He noted that Heron Point residents are concerned about not knowing what ACTS plans are and several expressed that they do not want a gated community and residents would like clarification if there would be additional fees that would be transferred to them.

Mr. Medrano reported that he attended and enjoyed the Carnival on High Street.

Ms. Efland reported on the Board of Education’s (BOE) middle school project and reviewed the final four (4) options:

  • build a New Kent County middle school on the Chestertown campus;
  • place a new middle school on a portion of the Warton campus next to the high school;
  • build a new middle school connected to the high school that would share the gymnasium and the cafeteria; or
  • renovating at the current location.

Ms. Efland reported that the BOE is also looking to change middle school back to grades 5 through 8, the way it was 10 plus years ago.  She asked that residents watch the videos of the project meetings and send in opinion to the email address given at the meetings. The BOE plans to make these decisions at the August 14 meeting.

There being no further business, Councilwoman Efland moved to adjourn the meeting at 7:35 pm. The motion was seconded by Councilman Herz and carried unanimously.

Submitted by:                                                             Approved by:
Lynda Thomas, Town Clerk                                      David Foster, Mayor



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JULY 3, 2023

6:00 p.m.


  1. Call meeting to order
  2. Minutes of previous Utilities Commission meetings
  3. Operating funds on hand
  4. Payment of bills
  5. Mr. Sipes report
  6. Questions or comments
  7. Adjourn


  1. Call meeting to order
  2. Minutes of previous Mayor and Council meetings
  3. Operating funds on hand
  4. Payment of bills
  5. Swearing in of Larry DiRe as the new Town Manager
  6. Town Manager’s report
  7. Mayor’s Report
    1. Nomination of Lanny Parks as an Alternate to the Zoning Board of Appeals
  8. Old Business
    1. Proposed Sculpture Locations
  9. New Business
    1. Lions Club Eyeglass Receptacle
    2. Approval of MML Legislative Action Request for 2024 Session – Supporting changing ‘May’ counties to ‘Shall’ counties
  10. Ward Reports
  11. Requests from the public to be on the agenda:
  12. Questions or comments
  13. Adjourn
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