Commissioner Eric Colvin via Facebook

Today’s meeting began with the approval of the consent agenda, which includes the minutes from our December appointments to Boards, Committees, and Commissioners.

We then held a public hearing for an amendment to the Sheriff’s Office Retirement Plan to modify the mortality tables and add a Pop-Up option as a type of retirement benefit offered–no one spoke at the hearing. After that, we recognized eight Department of Emergency Services employees for outstanding performance in life-threatening situations that they were responding to.

Moving into County Administrator time, we began by approving the Board of Education request to use $1,500,000 of fund balance funds for an Employee/Retiree Healthcare Holiday with the balance being placed into OPEB—this is a fair and good use of the funds that were received as part of a healthcare rebate from the insurance company and I want to thank the Board of Education for their quick response to our request that the amount of rebate being directly returned to the employees match, as closely as possible, the 20% that the employees paid.

Next, we accepted a grant adjustment for the Sheriff’s Office Pretrial Services Program for $8,345 from the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention.

Our next item of business was a presentation of a new salary schedule for the Sheriff’s Office Law Enforcement personnel—this would align with the Maryland State Police and Charles County Sheriff’s Office. In order to create this mid-year adjustment, we would have utilized salary/fringe savings from the Sheriff’s budget and realigned $200,000 from the Commissioner’s Reserve. This is an important action that would have demonstrated this board’s commitment to safety and our appreciation for the great work done by our Sheriff’s Office. I was happy to see that a very large group of deputies were able to attend our meeting in order to show support for this action, but was disappointed that this was not approved by the Commissioners. All commissioners have promised that this raise will happen in the near future.

After that, we approved a budget amendment for $5,000 to help fund an archeological field school dig at the Dr. Thomas Gerard Archaeological Site that is located near Bushwood—this site dates back to the 17th Century.

We next approved a Request for Interest Response for the Phase III of the County’s Cable Plant Expansion Project to the Governor’s Office of Rural Broadband. We also approved 20 locations for SMECO Electric Vehicle Charging Stations on County or State-owned property. We approved the Medicaid Federal Financial Participation time study reimbursement program from the Maryland Department of Aging for $35,832 for FY2019 and $113,036 for FY2020.

Our final item of business for our morning meeting was approval of additional holiday leave for county employees on the day after Christmas and day after New Years’.

We will reconvene at 3 pm at the College of Southern Maryland in Prince Frederick for a joint meeting with the commissioners of Charles and Calvert Counties. Our agenda is to discuss legislation related to the College of Southern Maryland, EMS Mutual Aid, and Transportation Priorities.

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...