On Tuesday, Oct. 27, Deputy County Administrator Deborah Hall and Community Engagement Coordinator Renesha Miles provided an update on the Charles County Diversity and Inclusion Task Force.
The Task Force was formed in June and is composed of employees from every county department who volunteered to work on developing a Racial Equity Statement for Charles County Government. The proposed statement is “Charles County fosters a welcoming, inclusive, and empowering work culture based on unbiased, just and equitable treatment for all.
We commit to being accountable for creating opportunities to grow and strengthen our community. We embrace the power of diversity.” Commissioners provided feedback on the statement and the group will work with the chief equity officer to implement the next steps.
Open Session Briefings
- Department of Emergency Services Director Michelle Lilly and Health Officer Dianna Abney presented an update on the COVID-19 public health emergency. The public is encouraged to get tested through their medical provider, urgent care center, or local pharmacy. A new drive-through testing site is now open at Regency Furniture Stadium, available on Tuesdays only and appointments must be scheduled online. Contact tracing is still occurring and it is encouraged that if you are COVID positive to be forthcoming with the information requested and the people you have been in contact with. The Department of Health is also offering personal protective equipment (PPE) for local businesses; businesses can request PPE by filling out the online form. Residents are also encouraged to get their annual flu shot. The Department of Health is following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance during the holiday season, including wearing masks, avoiding high-risk activities and large crowds, and practicing social distancing.
- Department of Health provided a budget update on their CARES Act Funding, which totals more than $14 million. Additionally, the Department of Fiscal and Administrative Services provided an update on the county’s CARES Act Funding, which totals more than $14 million. The purpose of CARES Act funding is to respond and mitigate the impact of COVID-19 and to help stimulate our economy.
- County Attorney’s Office and Department of Planning and Growth Management staff provided a presentation on the Rental Housing Work Group Report with three implementation options. Staff will send local organizations a survey to gather feedback on this proposed program.
- Lennar and Soltesz Engineering representatives provided an annual update of Docket 90. Developed villages in St. Charles include Westlake Village, Smallwood Village, and Fairway Village. There are plans to begin a senior community, Parklands, to begin next year.
- Department of Fiscal and Administrative Services staff provided a presentation on Fiscal 2021 General Fund Report for the first quarter.
- Associate County Attorney II Danielle Mitchell provided information on the Commissioners’ five proposed 2021 Bond Initiatives, which Commissioner President Reuben B. Collins, II, Esq. provided to the Charles County State Delegation on Monday, Oct. 26. Commissioners voted 3-1 to support the bond initiative request to the Delegation.
Commissioners also approved the following items:
- A budget amendment increase of $770,00 for county employee’s Leave Sell Back Program.
- A budget transfer request of $965,270 to cover the county portion of the conservation easement acquisition costs through the Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation.
- A letter of support for the request by the Board of Education’s Interagency Committee on School Construction for their fiscal 2022 Capital Improvement Projects. The state provides 65 percent of construction funding for these projects.
- A fee waiver for the rider fee on VanGO on Election Day.
- The fiscal 2021 Board of Commissioners’ Session Calendar.
There was a public hearing on the Watershed Protection and Restoration Program Financial Assurance Plan. Comments will be accepted until Nov. 26 at 5 p.m. by using the e-comment feature or by calling 301-645-0652 to leave a message. In addition, residents may submit comments by mail to the following address: Commissioners of Charles County, 200 Baltimore Street, La Plata, MD 20646.
Next Commissioners Session: November 17, 2020 (held virtually)
Citizens with special needs may contact the Maryland Relay Service at 711, or Relay Service TDD: 800-735-2258.