Town of Emmitsburg
300A S. Seton Ave Emmitsburg, Maryland

Town Meeting Minutes
Emmitsburg Town Office
November 15, 2004

Agenda Items

Mountain Property Rent Increase

Mr. Haller reported that the rental properties on the old Ski Mountain property (obtained by the Town as a conservation easement) are extremely low and now, after 2 years, he is recommending a rent increase. In answer to commissioners' questions, he responded that the suggested increases are still below market value and that the property was obtained to protect water shed property/wells. Commissioner O'Neil stated that he would like to see an engineering survey completed before the next budget season. Commissioner Elder commented that the renters are low income people but this raise is not too much. Motion: To approve the recommended rent increases. The motion made by Commissioner Elder was seconded by Commissioner Rosensteel Vote: 3-0 in favor

Election Rules Ordinance

The Board reviewed and edited the proposed draft for a revised and added sections to Title 2, Chapter 2.28 for Election Rules. The discussed adjustments will be presented in a revised draft for further examination, discussion and edition. Unresolved issues were: procedure in case of a tie vote–Mr. Haller to survey methodologies of other towns through MML and report back; and Mrs. DesPres is to compare deadline times of the draft version to conform with the existing Code.

Public Comment: Chris Staiger, 1230 Brookfield Drive suggested to not include the provisional recall election, that a provision already exists to effect grievance conduct, and that each office is recalled every 3 years through the election process; that the recall provision introduces a further form for partisan disagreement; could be a possible ongoing cycle; and the a the voters have their ability to express ever 3 years. Sr. Eleanor Casey, 333 South Seton Avenue expressed a need for a provisional ballot to be cast in the event of a challenged voter qualification and to provide a provision for an emergency situation. Pat Boyle, 339 East Main Street pointed out that the draft does not state a time limit (as 45 days in an annexation election); in the event of a recall that the commissioners and the Mayor appoint to fill a vacancy–special elections are too much expense to fill a partial term; still against poll watchers; agreed with prior speaker regarding the deadline for absentee ballot in relation to an emergency situation between the deadline and the election date; and stated that he felt the Board is going in the right direction to establish this section.

Habitat for Humanity Donation

With denial of the request by Habitat for Humanity to reduce or eliminate the building fees, the Board, in support of the organization's work, recommended to make a donation of $1000. Motion - To support a $1000 donation to Habitat for Humanity for the Emmitsburg project, contingent upon that project moving forward. The motion made by Commissioner Rosensteel was seconded by Commissioner Elder.  Vote: 3-0 in favor

Bay Restoration Fee 

Mr. Haller presented a listing of the average daily consumption for commercial users for determining the equivalent dwelling units (edu) – the number by which commercial customers will be charged the bay restoration fee.  Motion: - To approve the method by which commercial users' edu's are determined for charging the bay restoration fund fee. The motion made by Commissioner Rosensteel was seconded by Commissioner O'Neil  Vote: 3-0 

Water Committee Appointment 

 Motion - To approve Dave Martin as a non-resident member of the water committee. The motion made by Commissioner Elder was seconded by Commissioner Rosensteel.  Vote: 3-0 

Free Christmas Street Parking

The Town Manager explained that annually the Board considers the matter of whether to charge parking meter fees during the holiday period. He stated that this has not proven a benefit to any businesses, that apartments take up the free spaces for days at a time. He added that there are still meter revenues during the period but it drops by about half. According to Town policy the meter money supports the after-school program. Commissioner Elder stated that he never thought about it like it was just explained, he recommended to do away with free parking and use the money for the children. Commissioner Rosensteel commented, "It's Christmas...keep it for 2 weeks, with the consensus that it goes to youth program."   Motion - To allow free parking the last 2 weeks of December with the consensus that it be advertised that it goes to the youth. The motion was revised to include the dates: from December 20 through December 31, 2004. The motion made by Commissioner Rosensteel was seconded by Commissioner O'Neil  Vote: 2-1 in favor, Elder opposed

Employee Step Salary Increase 

Mr. Haller presented for approval step increases for 2 employees who have satisfactorily completed their six month probationary periods: planning tech from grade 5, step 1 to step 2; Receptionist from grade 4, step 3 to step 4  Motion - To approve the probationary completion step increases for the planning tech to step 2 and receptionist to step 4. The motion made by Commissioner Elder was seconded by Commissioner Rosensteel. Vote: 3-0 

Md State Retirement System

In response to Board recommendation for offering a pension plan, management requested approval for the $5000 required by the State Retirement and Pension System for performing an actuary study. Motion - To fund the actuary by the state retirement system for possible participation in the state retirement plan. Public Comment: Pat Boyle, 339 East Main Street stated that other plans should be checked out before spending $5000. The motion made by Commissioner Elder was seconded by Commissioner Rosensteel  Vote : 3-0 

Snow Blower Purchase

The Town Manager informed the Board that, with the inclusion of the community center grounds responsibility, he is seeking the authority to purchase a second snow blower to be funded from the existing CIP equipment fund. Motion - To approve the purchase of a snow blower to be funded from the existing capital improvement equipment fund. The motion made by Commissioner Elder was seconded by Commissioner Rosensteel.  Vote:3-0  

Public Comments:  Pat Boyle, 339 East Main Street expressed congratulations and approval regarding the committee and that it should be strictly Emmitsburg people.