On Tuesday, July 27, Charles County Health Officer Dr. Dianna E. Abney provided an update on COVID-19 in Charles County. She announced that there will be a Pfizer Back-to-School Vaccine Clinic on Saturday, July 31 from 10 a.m. to 2 pm. at the Charles County Department of Health (4545 Crain Hwy, White Plains).
There are many other vaccination clinics available throughout the county, and the public can visit the Department of Health’s website for information on upcoming dates and locations. Residents can make their own vaccination appointments and walk-ins are accepted. For a list of pharmacies and other vaccination clinics available, visit the State of Maryland’s website.
University of Maryland Charles Regional Medical Center provided an update on current COVID-19 hospitalizations and staff COVID-19 testing and vaccinations. Chief of Media Services Jennifer Harris provided an update on the county’s communications efforts. Charles County Public Schools Director of School Safety and Security Jason Stoddard provided an updateon the schools continuing screening program for summer youth program and gathering personal protective equipment for next school year.
- Maryland Association of Counties (MACo) representatives provided an annual update on the MACo 2021 Legislative Session, which included accelerated broadband buildout, delivering front-line public health resources, defending county budget security, protecting $10.2 million in disparity grant funding for local services, and keeping environmental rules smart and effective.
- United Way of Southern Maryland representatives provided an update on the merger of the United Ways of Charles, Calvert, and St. Mary’s and the request for the County Commissioners to lease United Way of Southern Maryland prime space in the county seat.
- Department of Planning and Growth Management staff provided a presentation on a petition for Indian Head Manor Section One-Inman Utilities. County Commissioners approved setting a public hearing on Wednesday, Sept. 29 at 6 p.m.
- County Attorney Wes Adams and Department of Planning and Growth Management Director Deborah Carpenter provided a presentation on Bill 2021-05 Amendment to Agricultural Reconciliation Committee. County Commissioners approved five members on the committee, introducing the bill, and setting a public hearing on Wednesday, Sept. 29 at 6 p.m.
- Planner III Kirby Blass and Planning Director Jim Campbell provided a presentation on Bill 2021-06 Zoning Text Amendment 21-161 Private Elementary and Secondary School. County Commissioners approved introducing the amendment and setting a public hearing on Wednesday, Sept. 29 at 6 p.m.
- Department of Emergency Services Director Michelle Lilly provided a presentation on the Charles County New Normal Task Force. The County Government buildings are operating in Phase III, which includes building and infrastructure modifications and defining customer/visitor contact protocols to keep residents and employees safe. Chief of Media Services Jen Harris and Lead Video Producer Brent Huber provided Commissioner meeting options. County Commissioners accepted staff recommendations to continue holding regular Commissioner meetings virtually; shifting to in-person meetings for public hearings, town halls, and other public meetings; and incorporating hybrid meetings with both in-person and virtual participants on an as-needed basis.
- Associate County Attorney II Danielle Mitchell provided a presentation on the requirements for the Maryland State House Bill 670 Police Accountability Review Board. The Board of County Commissioners is required to establish an Accountability Board to receive civilian complaints of police misconduct against any law enforcement agency in the county, and to work with law enforcement agencies to improve policing in the county. Additionally, the Board of County Commissioners must make appointments to a Charging Committee that will review civilian complaints of police misconduct and determine whether an officer should be administratively charged. The Board of Commissioners is also tasked with appointing to a Trial Board that will hear appeals submitted by officers subject to discipline for misconduct. The Board of Commissioners agreed to review options for the membership criteria of the Accountability Board at an upcoming Commissioners’ Meeting in September.
- Associate County Attorney II Danielle Mitchell provided a presentation on the Maryland State House Bill 655 Elections-County Commissioner and County Boards of Education. County Commissioners will have a follow-up work session on the bill in the fall season.
Follow-Up Work Session
County Commissioners participated in a follow-up work session with the Department of Planning and Growth Management staff on Bill 2021-02 Zoning Text Amendment 19-154 Single-Family Attached Residential and Multi-Family. The discussion focused on whether or not to reduce the masonry requirement from 60 percent to 40 percent and its potential effect on home values; the use of polymeric, fiber cement, and vinyl siding; the average and maximum number of units for town homes; paths and access for trash cans outside of town homes; and fire safety. County Commissioners recommended a follow-up work session to consider a revised draft that addresses these concerns raised during the work session.
County Commissioners also participated in a follow-up work session with the Department of Planning and Growth Management staff on Zoning Map Amendment 20-01 Wintergreen Rural Conservation to Commercial Village. The rezoning applicant contended that a mistake was made in 1992 when the property was zoned as Rural Conservation and the applicant identified the Commercial Village zone as the correct zone. County Commissioners discussed whether an error was made during the 1992 comprehensive rezoning, concluded a mistake was not made, and rejected the zoning map amendment.
Commissioners also approved:
- A fiscal 2021 budget transfer request of $24,500 to cover septic reimbursement program costs.
- A fiscal 2021 budget transfer request of $220,000 to offset the negative fund balance in the Recreation Enterprise Fund.
- A fiscal 2022 budget transfer request of $550,000 to cover bid amount that was greater than budgeted for the Clifton Wastewater Treatment Plant construction and improvements.
- A fiscal 2021 budget transfer request of $46,330 to move funding for the acoustical panel installation at the Waldorf Senior and Recreational Center to a capital project.
- A fiscal 2022 budget amendment of $99,000 to utilize funds that were reserved for business incentives to the United States Bomb Tech Association location in the Town of Indian Head.
- A letter to Verizon about broadband accessibility in the county.
- A letter of support for the Discovery Lane grant application for the Neighborhood Business Works Program within the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development.
- A memorandum of understanding between the State of Maryland, Department of Housing and Community Development, and the Charles County Board of County Commissioners for funding for the existing broadband network expansion.
- The Resolution 2021-11 Support Medicare for All of 2021.
- A request for public hearings on required Community Development Block Grant follow-up update for Angels Watch Family Shelter and United Way’s COVID-19 Rental Assistance program on Tuesday, Sept. 14 at 6 p.m.
- A request to introduce Bill 2021-07 Excise Tax Enactment Applicability and a request to set a public hearing on Wednesday, Sept. 29 at 6 p.m.
County Commissioners also provided a virtual public hearing on draft Resolution 2021-12 Amendments to the Solid Waste Management Plan. County Commissioners approved the resolution.
Next Commissioners Session:Sept. 14, 2021 (held virtually)
Citizens with special needs may contact the Maryland Relay Service at 711, or Relay Service TDD: 800-735-2258.