St. Mary’s County Commissioner Eric Colvin via Facebook

January 7, 2020, Commissioner Update:

Leonardtown, MD- Our first meeting of the new year began with the usual invocation and pledge and approval of the consent agenda and minutes from our previous meeting.

We then formally adjourned as the board of commissioners and reconvened as the St. Mary’s County Board of Health. The director of the Health Department, Dr. Brewster, provided a presentation and discussion on the Opioid Crisis, School-based behavioral health, and tobacco/nicotine use. She also provided updates on our Health Department’s Accreditation progress, the Health Status Report, the perc-test well expansion project and the building improvement request.

Following our Board of Health duties, we reconvened as the Board of Commissioners and approved updates to the Sheriff’s Office Retirement Plan that will update mortality tables and provide a “Pop-Up Option” as a type of benefit offered. Next, we approved a request for a public hearing to update our previously approved Private Landing Strips Amendment—when we approved it, we did not include a condition set by the Critical Areas Commission that prohibits flight schools, so the ordinance needs to be updated again. Finally, we approved a Public Hearing for the disposition of county-owned surplus property—this will allow for the county to sell off properties that were tax foreclosures to get them off the county books and put them back into public ownership.

Moving into County Administrator time, we began by reviewing the upcoming meeting agendas. We then approved a budget adjustment for the Board of Education for the FY2020 Safe to Learn Grant—this budget adjustment moves $154,673 from Operations (Safety & Security) to Instructional Salaries, Fixed Charges, and Health Services and will be used for community counseling, PREPaRE, Conscious discipline training, restorative practices training and school watch program.

Next, we heard a request for $150,000 from the Commissioner’s Emergency Reserve to complete the Rogers Drive construction due to the bids all being over budget—the commissioners voted, with a split vote, to approve this request.

After that we approved a request from the Sheriff’s Office for the FY2020 Police Recruitment and Retention Grant Award of $18,211 from the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention—there is no match required for this grant. We also approved the FY2020 Maryland Supplemental Census Grant for $20,000 to help promote awareness of the census to historically low-response groups.

We approved a resolution to establish a process to evaluate the County Health Officer and we approved the use of $75,000 to fund a feasibility study for a building for the Advanced Life Support. Our final item of business was to accept a no-cost department reorganization presented by the director of Emergency Services.

We finished the morning by entering into Closed Executive Session to discuss Real Property and Personnel issues. Happy New Year to all!

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...