On Tuesday, Nov. 16, the Board of County Commissioners voted 5-0 to terminate the State of Emergency. County Commissioners, in their capacity as the County Board of Health, voted 3-2 to institute a rule to require the use of face coverings to reduce the spread of COVID-19, which is in effect until December 15, 2021.

County Attorney Wesley Adams provided information on the legal challenges to and current stay on the implementation of the new Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Emergency Temporary Standard and recommended for the county to continue to develop an implementation plan for the vaccination registration for county employees.

County Commissioners voted 3-2 for the County Commissioners, boards, committees, and commissions meetings to provide an in-person option for residents with elected officials and staff to be in-person or virtually participating in a hybrid format beginning on January 1, 2022.

Charles County Health Officer Dr. Dianna E. Abney and Department of Emergency Services Director Michelle Lilly provided an update on COVID-19 in Charles County. There are a variety of vaccination clinics in the community, which include mobile pop-up clinics, schools, congregate living facilities, churches, and vaccines for the homebound. Residents can make their own vaccination appointments and walk-ins are accepted. For a list of county vaccination clinics, visit the Department of Health’s website. For a list of pharmacies and other vaccination clinics available, visit the State of Maryland’s website. University of Maryland Charles Regional Medical Center Vice President of Ancillary Services Bill Grimes provided an update on current COVID-19 hospitalizations and staff COVID-19 testing and vaccinations. Charles County Public Schools Director of School Safety and Security Jason Stoddard provided an update on the schools’ COVID-19 contact tracing process and case statistics. Chief of Media Services Jennifer Harris provided an update on the county’s communications efforts, which includes a recent podcast and an upcoming podcast planned to be released in December on health misinformation and disinformation.

Open Session Briefings

  • County Commissioners approved Resolution 2021-17 and awarded the Charles County Consolidated Public Improvement Bond of 2021 to J.P. Morgan Securities, LLC.
  • Department of Fiscal and Administrative Services Director Jenifer Ellin and Chief of Budget Jacob Dyer provided a presentation on the fiscal 2022 First Quarter General Fund Review. After the presentation, County Commissioners approved closing County Government Offices on Wednesday, Nov. 24 for the holidays.

Approval Items

Commissioners also approved:

  • A fiscal 2022 budget transfer request of $75,000 to investigate decreased pumping for John Hanson Well as part of a targeted effort to maximize performance of Waldorf Wells.
  • A fiscal 2022 budget amendment increase of $675,000 to support the 2021 School Bus Enforcement Program. The purpose of this program is to issue citations for those who pass a school bus once it has stopped to pick up/drop off students at their respective stops.

Update

Maryland Transportation Authority and SKANSKA-Corman-McLean Joint Venture representatives provided an update on the Governor Harry W. Nice Memorial/Senator Thomas “Mac” Middleton Bridge, which included the planned opening of the bridge in winter 2022. Demolition of the existing bridge is scheduled for 2023 and 2024.

Discussion

County Commissioners also participated in a discussion on the Local Program Open Space, Popes Creek Land Acquisition.

Appointments

Proclamations

Public Meeting

On Wednesday, Nov. 17, County Commissioners provided a public hearing on Bill 2021-09 Multiple-Line Telephone Systems. County Commissioners adopted the bill and closed the record.

County Commissioners also provided a public hearing on Bill 2021-10 Zoning Text Amendment 21-162 Veterinarians and Veterinary Hospitals in the Central Business Zone. County Commissioners adopted the bill and closed the record.


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