LA PLATA, Md. – On Tuesday, July 7, the Board of Commissioners hosted a stakeholder discussion on criminal justice reform in Charles County. They were joined by members of Women of Action Charles County and NAACP, representatives from Southern Marylanders for Racial Equality, States Attorney Tony Covington, Sheriff Troy Berry, and Public Defender Michael Beach. They shared their perspectives on initiating a civilian review board to investigate complaints regarding law enforcement’s use of force and treatment of those in their custody. Commissioners directed staff to establish a task force composed of stakeholders and community advocates who would develop legislative recommendations to the Charles County state delegation within the next 90 days.
Director of Emergency Services Michelle Lilly and Dr. Howard Haft, executive director at Maryland Primary Care Program of the Maryland Department of Health, presented an update on the COVID-19 public health emergency. COVID positive cases continue to decline in Charles County and testing options have expanded so more residents can get access without a doctor’s order. The Emergency Operations Center will continue to monitor statistics and work in partnership with the Department of Health to make recommendations for crisis intervention if needed.
Open Session Briefings
• Planning and Growth Management staff briefed Commissioners on amendments that were made to the proposed 2016 Comprehensive Plan during a Commissioner work session held on June 28, 2016. The amendments address a variety of chapters in the plan, such as land use, water resources, natural resources, community and economic development, and agriculture, forestry, and fisheries. Commissioners provided feedback and additional discussion will be held at a future Board of Commissioners meeting.
• Deputy County Administrator Deborah Hall and Director of Public Works Bill Shreve provided an overview of the proposed policy for placing monuments on Charles County Government property. A Monument Committee presented the proposed policy in 2015, along with a suggested monument application and agreement. This background was shared with Commissioners as part of their discussion on a requested COVID-19 memorial. Commissioners recommended some changes to the monument policy and directed staff to establish a task force of experts to return with recommendations that could be used to guide the process for developing and paying for a COVID-19 memorial.
• Commissioners reviewed public comments and approved a bill regarding vehicle parking restrictions.
• Commissioners discussed and approved the proposed agreement for the Waldorf Station development project.
Commissioners approved the following items:
• The fiscal year 2021 approved operating budget of $401 million for the Charles County Board of Education.
• A budget transfer request of $147,500 to pay for construction work on the Mattawoman Wastewater Treatment Plant Filter.
• A budget transfer request of $63,200 for emergency services holiday pay as a result of additional employee holidays in fiscal year 2020.
• A memorandum of understanding with the University of Maryland Charles Regional Medical Center for mobile integrated healthcare.
• District 3 Commissioner Amanda M. Stewart, M.Ed., requested that additional holidays be included in the 2020 calendar. Commissioners approved the designation of November 25, December 24 and 28 as Charles County Government holidays.
Appointments to Boards, Commissions, and Committees
Commissioners made the following appointments:
• Reappointed Kabir Tompkins and appoint George Hawley, Lawrence Moses and Omyni Harrell to the Commission for Veterans Affairs as citizen members.
• Appointed Gregg Taylor as a member of the Board of Electrical Examiners.
• Reappointed Helen Cheseldine, Francis Gray, Denise Grote, Maria Kane, and Franklin Robinson; and appointed Alex True to the Historic Preservation Commission as citizen members.
• Appointed Alan Hettel to the LOSAP Board as a citizen member.
• Appointed Robert Cleaveland to the Board of Fire and Rescue as a citizen member.
Next Commissioners Session: July 21, 2020 at 9 a.m. (held virtually)
Citizens with special needs may contact the Maryland Relay Service at 711, or Relay Service TDD: 800-735-2258.