On Tuesday, May 11, the Board of County Commissioners participated in a Budget Work Session. Department of Fiscal and Administrative Services staff continued discussions on the Fiscal 2022 General Fund Operating Budget, Enterprise Funds, Fiscal 2022-2026 Capital Improvement Projects, new positions list, and vehicle and equipment list. County Commissioners discussed potential annual and one-time budget reductions of $861,000, in order to provide additional funding to the Charles County Board of Education.
County Commissioners approved one-time funding of $90,000 to be added towards development services for Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) social and mental health employees; $30,000 of this funding would come from the Social and Mental Health CCPS Sign-on Bonus that was approved last week. County Commissioners voted 3 to 2, to revisit using money from annual and one-time budget reductions, cable fund support, and fund balance to support 1 percent cola for Charles County Public Schools; Commissioners will review this again on Tuesday, May 18 before formal adoption.
- The 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. The Pfizer vaccine is now available for eligible individuals age 12 and older and the Department of Health is in the planning stages of vaccine clinics at high schools. COVID-19 vaccinations are available for eligible individuals age 16 and older. Residents can now make their own appointments to get vaccinated on the Department of Health’s website. Those who lack computer access or need assistance with making their appointment can call the Department of Health at 301-609-6717. The mass vaccination site in Southern Maryland is open at the Regency Furniture Stadium and Maryland residents who are eligible can register for a vaccination at the site and other locations in the county online. The State of Maryland has a call center number for those who need assistance registering one of the state mass vaccination sites or need help locating a vaccination site. The state call center number is 855-MDGOVAX (855-634-6829), available 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. Those who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should get tested through their medical provider, urgent care center, or local pharmacy. The University of Maryland Charles Regional Medical Center provided an update on the hospital operations, including their COVID hospitalizations declining and continuing to monitor their visitation policy. Charles County Public Schools Director of School Safety and Security Jason Stoddard provided an update on next school year and this year’s graduations. 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 answers to their frequently asked questions.
- Charles County Chief Equity Officer Renesha Miles, Maryland Center on Economic Policy President/CEO Benjamin Orr, and Associated Black Charities’ Chief of Racial Equity Strategy Shauna Knox provided a presentations on creating a Racial Equity Resolution/ Policy for Charles County and incorporating a racial equity lens in policymaking. County Commissioners affirmed the racial equity work that the county is doing and approved staff to research and begin the process of creating a racial equity resolution.
Commissioners also approved:
- A fiscal 2021 budget transfer request of $500,000 for the sludge disposal expense account.
- A fiscal 2021 budget transfer request of $215,000 for construction bids related to the Gilbert Run Boardwalk Replacement Capital Project.
- The Resolution for the 2021-10 Water-Sewer Service Category Amendments-Spring 2021 Cycle.
- National Police Week
- Emergency Medical Services Week
- Emergency Medical Services for Children Day
- Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome Awareness Month
Next Commissioners Session: May 18, 2021 (held virtually)
Citizens with special needs may contact the Maryland Relay Service at 711, or Relay Service TDD: 800-735-2258.