On Tuesday, Feb. 2, Department of Emergency Services Director Michelle Lilly and Health Officer Dianna E. Abney provided the Board of County Commissioners with an update on the COVID-19 public health emergency. COVID-19 vaccinations have expanded to include Phase 1A, 1B, and 1C. The Department of Health is providing this information on their website and a recorded hotline message, at 301-609-6710. The department also discussed national, state, and county COVID disparities data by race and ethnicity. Residents in Phase 1A, 1B, and 1C can pre-register for the COVID vaccine on the Department of Health website and are reminded to only register once.
Those who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should get tested through their medical provider, urgent care center, or local pharmacy. A drive-through testing site is available every Tuesday at Regency Furniture Stadium, and appointments are required in advance by scheduling online. The University of Maryland Charles Regional Medical Center also provided an update on its COVID-19 patients and vaccination of its staff.
Chief of Media Services Jennifer Harris provided an update on the county’s communications efforts, which are focused on informing residents about the upcoming COVID-19 vaccinations and reminders to continue to wear masks, social distancing, and avoiding large gatherings of family and friends. The state’s GoVAX campaign was also discussed. Charles County Public Schools Director of School Safety and Security Jason Stoddard discussed that they are working with the Department of Health regarding COVID vaccination distribution for education staff.
Open Session Briefings
- The Board of County Commissioners recognized the Economic Development Department’s COVID Recovery Task Force and the work they have been doing during the COVID pandemic to address impacts on local businesses. The task force is a subcommittee of the Economic Development Advisory Board (EDAB). A report, with specific recommendations from the task force, will be delivered to the EDAB followed by a presentation to the County Commissioners at a later date.
- Department of Recreation, Parks, and Tourism staff provided a presentation on recreation programs during the COVID pandemic and received consensus to move forward with developing plans for a mobile recreation vehicle for the department, which would provide additional outreach to underserved communities.
- Department of Fiscal and Administrative Services staff provided a presentation on the fiscal 2021 second quarter General Fund Review.
- College of Southern Maryland representatives provided a briefing on the State of the College and their 2020 Year in Review video.
- The Board of Commissioners participated in a discussion with the Heritage Green developer D.R. Horton representatives, Town of La Plata representatives, and Charles County Board of Education representatives on the Heritage Green Project.
Commissioners also approved the following items:
- A revised fiscal 2022 budget calendar.
- A letter of support for the Friends of Chapman State Park Accessibility Grant.
- The Standard Operating Procedures for the Commissioners’ Office Signature Items.
- Proposed Resolution 2021-03 Community for a Life Time.
Associate County Attorney Danielle Mitchell discussed the 2021 legislative bills being considered by the Maryland General Assembly, including Legislative Request 133, Legislative Request 2956, Legislative Request 1939, and Legislative Request 2109. The County Commissioners provided consensus to support Commissioner President Reuben B. Collins, II, Esq. to submit favorable testimony for Senate Bill 148 and to request that the Charles County Delegation seek a legal opinion on the requirement for Charles County bills to be drafted for Code Home Rule counties in the Southern Maryland class as opposed to drafted for Charles County.
- Reappointed Wayne Magoon as chair of the Planning Commission.
- Reappointed Elizabeth “Katie” Shelton and appointed Cynthia Sharpley, Gabriele Gonzalez, and Tia Spencer-Blake to the Animal Matters Hearing Board.
- Appointed Robert Stahl as citizen member to Agriculture Land Preservation Board.
- Reappointed Earle Knapp and Yvette Riddick and appointed Denise Joseph and Brionna Mayo to Board of Social Services.
- Reappointed Ralph Peterson to Ethics Commission.
- Appointed Katarina Eyler to Homeowners Association Dispute Review Board.
- Reappointed Marilyn Ragin and Olga Roberts and appointed Renaldo Walston, Charles Cummings, Ebony Cullens, Matthew Perez, Jenine Melton, and Idongesit “Don” Ekpo to the Commission for Veteran’s Affairs.
The Board of Commissioners provided a public hearing on the Amendment to Developer Rights and Responsibility Agreement Christopher Pointe XPN 02-0018 and approved the amendment.
There was also a public hearing on the Bill 2021-01 Zoning Text Amendment 20-156, Agricultural Related Uses. The record will be open until April 2, 2021. Public comments accepted at www.charlescountymd.gov/government/public-comments.
Next Commissioners Session: Feb. 9, 2021 (held virtually)
Citizens with special needs may contact the Maryland Relay Service at 711, or Relay Service TDD: 800-735-2258.