The Calvert County Commissioners met with the five members of the Calvert County Delegation to Annapolis, on Tuesday, December 12, 2017, at Calvert Pines Senior Center Auditorium. The five commissioners were in attendance, as well as the County Attorney, County Administrator, Deputy Administrator and the department heads. Representing MACo (Maryland Association of Counties, Les Knapp, and Senators Mike Miller and Steve Waugh, and Delegates Mark Fisher, Michael Jackson, and Jerry Clark.
County Attorney, John Norris, introduced Les Knapp, who gave a 12 minute oration on the 4 legislative initiatives going up to the legislature this session – Fast Track Local Infrastructure for Maryland, Strong and Smart State Funding for Schools, Align Public Access Laws with Modern Technologies, and Advancing Maryland Next-Generation 9-1-1 Systems.
Following the 4 initiatives of MACo, the County played a video of the request for bonding authority of $92,782,915 for the various capital projects for 2019.
John Norris then read off the 21 requests to the delegation that included:
- Bill to exempt disabled law enforcement officers from a certain percentage of local property taxes
- Create testing and protocol for concussions, suffered by law enforcement while on duty
- Pay raises for Treasurer, Sheriff, County Commissioners, and County Commissioner President
- Compensation and benefits for Public School Superintendent to cease upon retirement, dismissal, termination, or removal
- Salary of Assistant Sheriff, who was active duty deputy before appointment, to be set by agreement, with the BOCC, and not reduced without cause
- Amend State Law to allow expansion of gambling to Solomons
- Allow breathalyzer testing on County employees following incidents of damage to property or persons
- Expand authority to allow County to seek further review of final judgements entered in District Court on municipal infractions
- Bill providing options to address blighted properties
- Amendment to allow Fire & Rescue Association to appoint alternates to act in place of the 2 Association appointees to Fire and Rescue Commission
- Amendment to allow spouse of a LOSAP recipient to receive 50% of the benefit for their remaining life, unless they remarry; and permit a LOSAP recipient that is not married and receiving benefits at time of death, to appoint an alternate beneficiary for 50%, not to exceed 10 years, but terminated upon death or marriage of designee
- Extend the sunset date for the Calvert County Youth Recreational Opportunities Fund or identify a new revenue stream for the development of the Ward Farm Recreation and Nature Park
- Increase formal bidding from $15,000 to $50,000 and redacting a limit of 3 years in favor of one year contracts that may be renewed for up to 4 additional years.
- Allowing budget adjustments less than $100,000 proceed with Resolution
- Allow budget adjustments less than $150,000 proceed without public hearing
- Creation of exemption or credit of personal property tax to help small businesses
- Bonding authority for $92,782,915 for capital projects for 2019
- To grant a Reciprocal Procurement Preference to county based vendors over out of county vendors, with the maximum amount of preference granted limited to $25,000
- Amend notice provisions when soliciting bids for the purchase of supplies or services involving $15,000 or more
- Calvert Marine Museum seeks designation as the State Paleontology Collection and Research Center
- To supplement State Law, to make it unlawful for anyone to cast, throw or sweep trash, leaves, refuse, or sweepings into any road or streets of the State, for the safety of motorcyclists.
Delegate Mark Fisher asked if the Board of Education was still paying former superintendent Dr. Jack Smith’s health benefits, to which County Attorney John Norris said he hadn’t heard any different and the measure was not retroactive. Delegate Jerry Clark asked on the blighted property measure, would it be for the owner or if sold, the new owner. He was told it wouldn’t matter as to who cleaned up the property.
Margit Miller / Calvert Beacon