MAYOR AND COUNCIL
OCTOBER 19, 2015
Mayor Cerino called the meeting to order at 7:45 p.m. In attendance were Council members Liz Gross, Linda Kuiper, Samuel T. Shoge and Mauritz Stetson, W. S. Ingersoll, Town Manager, Jennifer Mulligan, Town Clerk and guests.
Mayor Cerino asked if there were any additions or corrections to the minutes of the Mayor and Council Meeting of October 5, 2015. Ms. Gross moved to adopt the minutes as presented, was seconded by Mr. Shoge and carried unanimously.
Mayor Cerino stated that current operating funds on hand was $1,909,147.95 and the Washington College assigned donation for the sale of the Armory in the amount of $192,740.00 for total funds on hand of $2,101,887.95.
Chief Baker gave the police report for September 2015.
Chief Baker swore in the newest hire to the police department, Office Reynolds Peele. Chief Baker stated that Office Peele comes to the department with twenty-one (21) years of military service in the Army Reserve.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that there was a change made to Ordinance 03-2015 Chronic Nuisance Property based on input received from the public at the last meeting to Section B, Violations and Penalties. He said that the section was reinserted with the following wording, “Violation of this chapter as it relates to an income producing property may result in the property owner’s license to operate being removed or suspended, and a renewal may be denied at any time by the Town if the owner fails to eliminate or to initiate good faith efforts to eliminate violations of this chapter or of other applicable laws, rules or regulations. Revocation, denial or suspension of a license shall be in addition to, and not in substitution for, such other penalties as may be provided for violations by this chapter.”
Ms. Gross moved to adopt Ordinance 03-2015 Chronic Nuisance Property, was seconded by Mr. Shoge and carried unanimously.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that he finished the Public Notice advertisement for the Chestertown Police Station at 333 South Cross Street. He said that sealed bids would be accepted until November 30th.
Mayor Cerino stated that he would like to nominate Ms. Susanne DeBerry Cole to the Historic District Commission. Ms. Stetson moved to nominate Ms. Susanne DeBerry Cole to the Historic District Commission, was seconded by Mr. Shoge and carried unanimously.
Mayor Cerino stated that he was continuing to pursue a Consent Agreement through MDE creating a legally binding agreement between the Town, MDE and the Hospital stating who is financially responsible for replacing the Town’s wells in a worst case scenario. Mayor Cerino stated that he, Mr. Ingersoll and Mr. Sipes would be meeting with Secretary Grumbles on Monday, November 2nd at 1:00 p.m.
Ms. Gross stated that she received positive feedback regarding accessibility issues in Town and said that Mr. Ingersoll was addressing some of the items she discussed.
Ms. Kuiper stated that Chestertown was officially an “Arts and Entertainment District” and that the ribbon-cutting ceremony was held on Saturday evening, October 17th.
Ms. Kuiper stated that the Halloween Parade would be held on Saturday, October 31, 2015 at 10:00 a.m., which was also Downrigging Weekend.
Ms. Kuiper reminded the Second Ward to get out and vote in the Chestertown Election on Tuesday, November 3rd.
Mr. Shoge apologized for missing the last meeting and said that he would be missing the November 2nd meeting as well due to work travel.
Mr. Shoge stated that Ward Three was running well and he attended the ribbon-cutting for the Arts and Entertainment District and was happy to see Chestertown have the designation.
Mr. Stetson stated that it would be helpful for residents to clear the storm drains of leaves if a storm was coming as it was difficult for the street crew to get to all of them.
Mr. Stetson stated that the November 3rd Election for the Town of Chestertown was going to be small, but encouraged all Second and Fourth Ward residents to vote.
Mr. Stetson stated that the League of Women Voter’s was holding a “Candidate’s Night” on Thursday, October 22nd at 7:00 p.m. in Town Hall.
Mr. Dan Menefee asked if there would be a licensing requirement in the future for landlords. Mr. Ingersoll stated that there may be licensing in the future, but the licensure was not necessary for the Ordinance to be effective.
There was a resident of Park Row present and stated that there were problems after dark at the Fountain Park with people loitering. He said that gangs of people hang around the park benches and taunt him on a daily basis. He said that they have broken into his apartment and stolen his belongings and they chide him by saying that they are going to do it again.
Mr. Mark Raleigh, residing on South Mill Street, stated that his house was broken into recently in broad daylight and that many of his belongings were stolen. Mr. Raleigh stated that he works at JBK Hardware and many residents are coming in to re-key their properties because they are being broken into in the middle of the day. He said that the police officers claim the break-ins are due to a heroin problem, so the drug problem had to be addressed.
Mr. Shoge stated that a business owner on Park Row mentioned some of the same issues to him, noting that daytime hours are when break-ins were taking place.
Chief Baker stated that people had to lock their doors and windows. He said the Council would have to decide if they wanted to make Fountain Park dawn to dusk.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that the holly may make that corner of the park darker than it should be, noting that the lanterns were low-level and more for aesthetics than security. He said that perhaps security lighting on the phone pole could be installed on the Park Row side of the Park.
Ms. Gross asked what constitutes loitering in the Park. Chief Baker stated that if the Park did not close at any time he could not enforce loitering as it was a public space. Mayor Cerino asked Mr. Ingersoll to look into lighting and what had to be done to close the Park after dark.
Ms. Kuiper stated that Ms. Jamie Williams, Kent County Economic Director, was present and introduced her to the Council.
Mayor Cerino asked for a motion to pay bills. Mr. Stetson moved to pay the bills as presented, was seconded by Ms. Gross and carried unanimously.
There being no further business, Mr. Shoge moved to adjourn the meeting at 8:20 p.m., was seconded by Mr. Stetson and carried unanimously.
Submitted by: Approved by:
Jennifer Mulligan Chris Cerino
Town Clerk Mayor