News Release, Charles County Public Information Office

On Tuesday, April 16, Commissioners continued fiscal 2020 budget work sessions on the General Fund, Environmental Services Fund, and the General Fund Capital Improvement Projects.

Affiliated agencies, including Board of Education, Sheriff’s Office, Public Library, Election Board, Circuit Court, State Attorney’s Office, Department of Health, and Department of Social Services provided theirrequested fiscal 2020 budget. Highlights of the County Administrator’s proposed budget include additional resource officers in schools,support of the opening of the new Billingsley Elementary School, additional library mobile hotspots for residents, additional attorneys for State’s Attorney’s Office, salary supplement to Health Department positions, audio/visual equipment for a Circuit Court smart courtroom and support for the law library, support of increased equipment costs for Board of Elections, and a new outreach coordinator position for the Department of Social Services. General fund review, including the briefing for the College of Southern Maryland, will continue during the next Commissioners’ Meeting on Tuesday, April 30.

Open Session Briefings

Commissioners conferred with the Town of La Plata and Town of Indian Head for anoverviewof tax differentials and rates, as well asLa Plata’sandIndian Head’sproposed fiscal 2020 tax differential rates.

Acting County Attorney Danielle Mitchell provided abriefingon the Charter Form of Government for Commissioner’s consideration. Commissioners requested additional information to be presented at an upcoming meeting.

General Assembly Legislation Update

Greenwill Consulting Group, LLC representatives provided a briefing on the 2019 Maryland General Assembly Legislative Session and expressed willingness to develop standard procedures for next year, as well as create a county Kirwan work group.

  • House Bill 389,House Bill 388, andHouse Bill 438:These local bills submitted on behalf of the Charles County Board of License Commissionersall passed.
  • House Bill 634:The bill regarding use of public rights-of-way for communications activities was passed, which will help support the implementation of broadband service in rural areas.
  • House Bill 400: The bill did not pass and additional public input was requested for next year.
  • House Bill 654: The bill would establish procedures and requirements for the deployment, installation, and regulation of certain wireless telecommunications facilities in the State; prohibit an authority from entering into an exclusive agreement for the use of certain rights-of-way for certain purposes; authorize an authority to impose certain rates and fees for use of certain rights-of-way in a certain manner and subject to certain limitations; and authorize a wireless provider to collocate certain facilities and use certain rights-of-way. The bill was deferred to Summer Study.

Approval Items

Commissioners approved the following budget requests:

  • Fiscal 2019 Budget Transfer Request- Watershed Protection Restoration Fund:Thisbudget transferwill fund emergency repairs made by the Roads Division for extraordinary rain events during the fall season, support the Department of Planning and Growth reorganization in Spring 2018, and transfer funding to certain capital projects to cover non-bondable expenses.
  • Letter of Support for 2019 Chesapeake and Coastal Grants Gateway Proposal: Theletter of supportwill be sent to the Department of Natural Resources, expressing support of a Southern Maryland Resources Conservation and Development grant application. The grant will support the design of a shoreline restoration project in Charles County.
  • Sheriff’s Office Retirement Plan (SORP) Assumption Changes: Thechangesinclude decreasing investment return assumption from 7.5 percent to 7.4 percent and revisiting this assumption each year and consider further reductions.
  • SORP Investment Changes:Due to underperformance, therequestwas to remove Voya Small Cap Opportunities Fund and replace it with the Wasatch Core Growth Fund.


Commissioners recognized April 7-13 asNational Volunteer Weekand presented a proclamation to Charles County Volunteer Fire and Emergency Services personnel. The recognition spotlights and commends volunteers who lend their time, talent, and voice to make a difference in their communities. View photo onFlickr.

Commissioners also recognized Volunteer Fire and Emergency Services Top Service Call Runners, which included William Caswell; Quincy Cobey; Wallace Danielson; Dawn-Moree Dugan; Matthew Enid; Ronald L. Evans; Timothy Goff, Sr.; Jeff Goldsmith; Wayne Higdon; Barry Howard; Colleen Hughes; Michael Ivie; Donald Latham; Dave McCormick; Edward L. Payne, Jr.; Jimmy Payne; Kevin Plumber-Hershman; Brandon Rice; Mitchell Ruslander; Rick Stegmeier; James Stonestreet; and James Williams.View photo onFlickr.

Commissioners held a moment of silence in honor of Delegate Michael E. Busch, Speaker of the Maryland House of Delegates, who passed on Sunday, April 7.

Public Hearing

Commissioners held apublic hearingon the Town Center South Development Rights and Responsibilities Agreement Amendment #4. Theamendmentis solely for the purpose of amending the commercial component of the agreement and does not involve the allocation of school seats. Additional details available onBoardDocs. Video recording of the hearing will be available in theDigital Library.

David M. Higgins II, Publisher/Editor

David M. Higgins was born in Baltimore and grew up in Southern Maryland. He has had a passion for journalism since high school. After spending many years in the Hospitality Industry he began working in...