Charles County Commissioners Meeting Update
Charles County Commissioners Meeting Update

LA PLATA, Md. – On Tuesday, July 26, Department of Fiscal and Administrative Services, Department of Planning and Growth Management, Department of Human Resources, Media Services Division, County Attorney’s Office, Department of Economic Development Department, and County Administration staff provided an update on Goal 2: Institutional Governance and Policy of the County Commissioners’ Goals and Objectives.

Highlights include implementation of software solutions for Financial, Human Resources information, and Information Technology Help Desk; cyber protection efforts; website updates; a rewrite of the Comprehensive Zoning Code; Planning and Growth Management organization changes; diversity/cultural competence and wellness opportunities for county employees; diversity in recruitment efforts; earned, owned, and shared media coverage through the county e-newsletter, YouTube channel, podcasts and social media; citizen engagement metrics; legislative updates; Executive Leadership Team efforts; and SLBE and MBE awards.

Open Session Briefings

  • Charles County Health Officer Dr. Dianna E. Abney and Department of Emergency Services Director Michelle Lilly provided an update on COVID-19 in Charles County, as well as an update on monkeypox.
    • There are a variety of vaccination clinics and testing sites in the community, which include mobile pop-up clinics, schools, congregate living facilities, churches, and vaccines for the homebound. Residents can make their own vaccination appointments and walk-ins are accepted. For a list of county vaccination clinics and testing sites, visit the Department of Health’s website.
    • For a list of pharmacies and other vaccination clinics and testing sites available, visit the State of Maryland’s website.
    • There have been four confirmed cases of Monkeypox cases in Charles County. Monkeypox transmission typically requires skin-to-skin contact, direct contact with body fluids, or prolonged, close face-to-face contact. There is a vaccine for monkeypox in limited supply, but monkeypox can be treated with available antiviral medicines.
    • University of Maryland Charles Regional Medical Center Vice President of Ancillary Services Bill Grimes provided an update on the hospital, sharing that a consistent number of 10 or less patients have been hospitalized with COVID-19 over the past month. Supply chain delays and staffing shortages remain a challenge, as many hospitals are experiencing throughout the country. Masks continue to be required at the hospital.
    • Charles County Public Schools Director of School Safety and Security Jason Stoddard provided an update on the schools’ start dates for teachers and staff and continuing to monitor COVID-19. 
    • Chief of Media Services Jennifer Harris provided an update on the county’s communications efforts. The Media Services Division is creating a COVID-19 vaccination video to encourage senior citizens to stay up to date on their vaccinations. With the assistance of a grant that the Department of Community Services received, the video will begin airing on Comcast in late August.
  • Department of Planning and Growth Management staff and Johnson, Mirmiran and Thompson, Inc. Representative Ian Gallogly provided a presentation on the Water Conservation Plan for the Waldorf System. The draft plan has been reviewed by the Maryland Department of the Environment and there will be an ongoing analysis of selected measures. The plan will be a living document that will be reviewed and updated every three years.
  • Melwood representatives provided an update on Melwood Buildings and Programs in Charles County. Melwood is relocating the garden center from its main campus to the center in Nanjemoy; partnered with an organization to assume the leadership of equestrian programming; launched its Building Paths program in partnership with College of Southern Maryland; and shared its vision for the future recreation center.  County staff will look into opportunities to partner with Melwood.
  • County Commissioners, Charles County Sheriff Troy Berry, and States Attorney Tony Covington discussed the implementation of the Body Worn Camera Program in Charles County. Department of Fiscal and Administrative Services staff provided the fiscal impact of implementing this program in fiscal 2023. Fiscal impacts on the Charles County Sheriff’s Office includes equipment, software, and additional personnel; fiscal impacts on the State’s Attorney’s Office includes software, additional personnel, and additional workspace for new staff.

Approval Items

Commissioners also approved:

  • Resolution 2022-12 Deacon Road to extend the road for more effective access and facilitating its connection to Willets Crossing Road.
  • fiscal 2023 budget amendment increase of $110,500 to update the appraisal, title, survey, etc., as well as legal fees for a contract attorney related to Deacon Road property.
  • fiscal 2023 budget transfer request of $2,800,000 to award design services for three water and sewer projects related to the Hughesville water and sewer system.
  • fiscal 2023 budget transfer request of $137,950 to reallocate funds from the Board of Education Contingency project to Benjamin Stoddert Middle School renovation construction.
  • Title corrections on the Fiscal 2023 Planning and Growth Management Fees and Charges.
  • letter of support to the Tri-County Council for Southern Maryland in support of the Charles County grant projects proposed to apply for the Maryland Department of Commerce Rural Economic Development Fund.
  • The bylaws and rules of procedures for the Police Accountability Board with an addition of IV Code of Civility added to the bylaws.
  • Staff continuing to work on creating a resolution to establish a Health Officer Nomination Process.

Appointments

  • Appointed Warren Leggett, Jr. and Donald Poole to the Charles County Administrative Charging Committee.
  • Reappointed Teresa Ball, Deborah Carpenter, and Ryan Hicks to the Resilience Authority.
  • Appointed Lisa Drew and Sheri Walder to the Nuisance Abatement Hearing Board.
  • Reappointed Tim Wells to the So. MD Resource Conservation and Development Board.

Bi-Monthly Update

Chief of Capital Services John Stevens provided an update on the Western Parkway Roadway Improvements.

Discussion

County Commissioners discussed the 2022 Board of County Commissioners’ holiday schedule. County Commissioners approved adding the following dates as holidays: Nov. 23, 2022; Dec 23, 2022; Dec. 30, 2022; and Jan. 2, 2023.

Proclamations

Recognitions

Wednesday, July 27

County Commissioners held a public hearing on Proposed Bill 2022- 04 Zoning Text Amendment 21-165 Independent Living Senior Housing Complex. County Commissioners voted to close the record. The applicant will work with county staff to update the language of the bill and will then go to the Planning Commission for review.

County Commissioners also held a public hearing on Bill 2022-(07) Zoning Text Amendment 22-171 Transit Oriented Development (TOD) Zone: ISR and Parking. County Commissioners voted to close the record and adopted the bill.

Viewing option of meetings: Click Here

Next Commissioners Session: Sept. 13 and 14, 2022

Citizens with special needs may contact the Maryland Relay Service at 711, or Relay Service TDD: 800-735-2258. 

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