CAMBRIDGE — County Council members wished everyone a safe and happy holiday at their last meeting of the year Tuesday evening. Council President Ricky Travers summed up the sentiment for the evening when he said, “You know, we all run at a thousand miles a minute, making sure we have all the wrapping done, the trees bought, the lights up; sometimes we just have to step back and remember why we’re doing it. As Councilman Bradshaw said earlier this evening, it’s a birthday celebration. Let’s not forget the true meaning of Christmas. It’s about family, our family. There’s a lot of people who were around last year who aren’t around this year. We should take a couple minutes, write some cards, make a phone call,” he urged, reminding those present to stay in touch with friends and loved ones. “Remember the reason for the season,” he said.
The first matter of business for the evening was the election of a County Council vice president, which was accomplished in one ballot. Tom Bradshaw was elected vice president with three votes, Rick Price received two votes.
Discussion among the council over a set of past due invoices submitted for approval of payment of equipment purchased by the Sheriff’s Department to fit their 2014 Tahoes met with three opposed votes, setting the matter aside until the next County meeting while more information is gathered.
In legislative session early in the meeting the Council agreed to introduce a bill to move forward with a public meeting concerning the recent FEMA/Flood Zone changes and how it will impact new construction and existing property owners within the floodplain area. The meeting will be held Jan. 6, 2015, in room 110 of the County Office Building in Cambridge.
A travel request by Emergency Services was approved, to travel to Miami, Fla., to attend a class on how to use FEMA-supplied software to predict the impact of a major storm event on the Eastern Shore, and how to plan emergency services response.
A request to change the sole source on the Housing Study Community Development Block Grant was approved. The point of the issue was to collect data on substandard housing in the county and use that data to help bring the affected properties up to standards. Delmarva Community Services also asked the council to accept an Emergency Solutions grant award from the state in the amount of $145,000. Said grant monies are earmarked for projects to help prevent homelessness.
A vote was held regarding county acceptance of tax sale property bids, specifically 0.07 acres on Indiantown Grant ($1,000), 0.5 acres on Kraft Road ($520), 2.3 acres on Andrews Road ($20,000), and 2,500 square feet on Edgewood Avenue in Cambridge ($250).
Next was a request for funds for purchase a ladder truck by Hurlock Volunteer Fire Company. The Council voted to send a letter refusing county funds to the fire department, thereby allowing HVFD to apply for a low-interest loan through the state.
Request for approval for installation of fiber optic service through T-Mobile Corp. at Public Works was approved, along with a request to install a stream gaging station by the U.S. Department of Interior. Surplus property at Planning and Zoning was declared; this issue was necessary in order to allow un-needed furniture and equipment to be removed from the offices. Said equipment may find a home in other county offices, or be disposed of. Also, a lease renewal request from the State Department of Assessment and Taxation for Room 204 of the County Office Building was approved.
The Council made the following board appointments:
Board of License Commissioners
District 1: Patti Tieder
District 2: Dwight Cromwell
District 3: Councilman Travers will continue to serve
District 4: Shirley Satterfield
District 5: Councilman Bradshaw will continue to serve
District 1: Gene Skinner
District 2: George Ames
District 3: Andrew Pasden
District 4: Cindy Merrick
District 5: David Kreek
Building Code Appeals Board
Reappointed Steve Marshall and Greg Koski
Agricultural Advisory Board
Heritage Area Board
Clean Chesapeake Coalition Executive Board
Agricultural Advisory Board
Board of Education/County
Social Services Board
Traffic Safety Committee
Local Emergency Planning Committee
Councilman Travers: City/County meetings
Councilman Satterfield: City/County meetings
Councilman Satterfield: Mid Shore Regional Council
Councilman Travers: Mid Shore Regional Council
Lou Koski Jr. (effective Jan. 6, 2015)
Councilman Satterfield made a motion at the end of the meeting that the County Council meeting room be renamed the M. Jane Baynard Meeting Room, in honor of former County Manager Jane Baynard, who passed away this year after a long illness. The motion was passed unanimously and a plaque will be installed in honor of Ms. Baynard.
The next County Council meeting will be Jan. 6, 2015.