MAYOR AND COUNCIL
SEPTEMBER 7, 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 August 16, 2021. Ms. Efland moved to approve the minutes of the meetings of August 16, 2021, as presented, was seconded by Mr. Herz and carried unanimously.
Mayor Foster stated that the operating funds on hand amount was $1,337,803.21.
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.
Mr. Ingersoll stated John Schratwieser was present to discuss the A&E District banner proposal that Kay MacIntosh had planned to present to the Council before she retired in June. Mr. Schratwieser showed the Council one of the banners which he said were now in hand and ready to be hung on six downtown poles near the Black Lives Matter mural. The Black Lives Matter mural was on each banner and the banners would be tagged at the bottom with a second banner reading “Welcome to Chestertown Arts & Entertainment District”. He said that as the mural faded out this was a nice reminder of the message.
Mayor Foster asked if there were holiday banners in the works. Mr. Schratwieser stated that was a possibility and that additional banners could be added or changed over time.
Mr. Herz moved to approve the installation of the oversized Black Lives Matter banners proposed by the A&E District, was seconded by Rev. Tolliver and carried unanimously.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that Ms. Wanda Boyer was present to discuss two permit applications: one for touching up the mural on the 200 North block of College Avenue and the second to host a community block party on the 400 Block of Calvert Street on Saturday October 9th from 4:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Set-up for the block party would take place beginning at 2:30 p.m. and the everything will be cleaned up and removed by 10:00 p.m. Mr. Ingersoll stated that the stage was requested at the top of the 300 Block of Calvert (by the Garnet Elementary School) and would require electricity and a check by the Street Superintendent that it would fit in the desired location.
Ms. Boyer stated that the mural will be touched up with paint on Saturday, September 25th. She said that there were trash cans on the College Avenue sidewalk where set-up was planned for the paint and ask that any trash be cleared away beforehand. The painting will take place from noon to 4 p.m.
Rev. Tolliver moved to approve the request for the mural touch up on Saturday, September 25th from noon to 4:00 p.m. and for the Uptown Block Party scheduled for Saturday, October 9th as outlined in the permit with the understanding that Mr. Ingersoll would work out the issues with the stage location and electrification was seconded by Ms. Efland and carried unanimously.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that the Chestertown Lions Club would like to hold the annual Halloween Parade on Saturday, October 30th at 10 a.m. The rain date would be Sunday, October 31 at 3 p.m. Ms. Efland moved to approve the permit request as submitted, was seconded by Mr. Herz and carried unanimously.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that David White filed a permit request for a Volunteer Fair on Saturday, September 11th which would extend the Farmers Market to Queen Street along High Street. He said that the Farmers Market Manager has approved the request.
Mr. Herz moved to approve the volunteer fair permits with the condition that the organizers contact the merchants on the street to inform them of the closure of the street to vehicular traffic, was seconded by Rev. Tolliver and carried unanimously.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that Resolution 04-2021 Enterprise Zone Application for 302 Park Row for tax credits was being presented for consideration this evening. Ms. Efland moved to approve Resolution 04-2021 adding 302 Park Row to the Enterprise Zone, was seconded by Mr. Herz and carried unanimously.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that an executive session needed to be scheduled to meet with the three finalists for the Chief of Police position. He suggested scheduling a meeting for Monday, September 13th at 5:00 p.m. to talk with the finalists for the position.
Mr. Herz stated that he would like to have a different group interview the candidates selected by the committee with a subject matter expert providing recommendations to the Council. Mayor Foster suggested having the expert sit in the meeting with the Mayor and Council and form their impressions from that meeting.
Sgt. Lozar was present and stated that this will be the fifth Chief of Police in place in Chestertown since he began employment with the Town. He said that there can’t be stability in the department until a leader is chosen and in place. He said that the only reason Chief Dolgos can’t remain in charge is a pension technicality (State of Maryland LEOPS drop program regulations) and that he thought the Town could find a way to make it work. He said that Chief Dolgos knows the community and the people and has performed the job of Chief successful for over 20 months already. He said that he believed that the newer officers would leave but the veterans in the office are concerned about stability.
Sgt. Lozar stated that nobody has asked the police department what they wanted to see in a Chief of Police. He said that the officers should be able to say what it is needed in the leadership role. Rev. Tolliver asked that the list be compiled and sent to the Council as quickly as possible.
Mayor Foster stated that he decided he is going to run for Mayor in November 2021 election.
Mayor Foster asked for ward reports.
Mr. Herz stated that all was quiet in Ward 2.
Rev. Tolliver stated that Coventry Farms was having a community day on September 18th and that Washington Park had a fun celebration on Saturday, September 4th.
Ms. Efland stated that Washington College’s freshman moving in ceremony was held and she met the new president of the College.
Ms. Efland stated that there was a small spree in Chestertown where packages were stolen from doorsteps. All the packages had been recovered.
Ms. Efland stated that programs were expanding through the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development which could help downtown areas.
Ms. Efland stated that Owen Bailey installed a pop-up pedestrian/biking lane demonstration site on Haacke Drive and was setting it up again on Wednesday.
Ms. McGee asked what the timeframe was for naming the new Chief of Police and if there was the possibility of hiring before October 1. Mr. Ingersoll stated that it was possible to hire before October 1, but they would likely name a second in command until the hire was made.
There being no further business and no other questions or comments from the audience, Mr. Herz moved to adjourn the meeting at 7:55 p.m. was seconded by Rev. Tolliver and carried unanimously.
Submitted by: Approved by:
Jennifer Mulligan David Foster
Town Clerk Mayor