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

Minutes Town Meeting
Emmitsburg Town Office
March 21, 2005

I. Call to Order , Announcements

Commissioner William O'Neil, President of the Board of Commissioners, called the March 21, 2005 Town Meeting to order at 7:50 p.m. following the Public Hearing.

Approval of Minutes

The Minutes of the March 7, 2005 Town Meeting were before the Council for approval. Commissioner Walbrecker had some edits to the minutes, under treasurer's report she did ask the Treasurer to report other lawyers' fees and the category they were in. On page 4 under Public Comment it says "Chris Staiger agrees with other speakers to accept the roads as they are". Commissioner Walbrecker said Chris Staiger did not agree with other speakers, but said that sarcastically. Mr. Haller interjected and stated that was what Mr. Staiger said. Mr. Chris Staiger was present and stated his intention was sarcastic, appropriate or not, however he did say what was said and he is not opposed to leaving it in the records as written.
to approve the March 7, 2005 Town Minutes as discussed. Motion by Commissioner Elder, second by Commissioner Walbrecker. Vote: 4-0 in favor

Commissioner Comments

Commissioner Walbrecker-there will be a Planning and Zoning Meeting on March 28, 2005, comp plan will be discussed. There was a planning and zoning meeting that she was not able to attend, ambulance company did a good job of incorporating suggestions as to their site plan, and the osteopathic clinic has conditional approval. She also reported on an effort that is being worked on that she is helping with between Mt. Saint Mary's, Seton Center, Lions Clubs and CASS working together to re-use used goods at the end of the school semester. Commissioner Elder commented on the parks not being used, wished they would be used more. Why does Town keep them up if no one uses them, waste of taxpayers money, encouraged citizens to use the parks.

Mayor's Comments

Mayor Hoover spoke on his concern in regard to a possible article that may come out in the newspaper in regard to Town's water issue. Mr. Haller interjected that he has passed on some information to Commissioner Elder related to Town's billing plan. Commissioner Elder said there will be something going out with the water bills that will explain more in detail what is going on. Mayor Hoover is also concerned about some of the direction the Town is going in. Because of this concern, he has had discussion with Town attorney and reviewed some previous records. He feels, at this time, it is best for him to act on his charter rights, article 2 section 5, allows the Mayor as voting member. Mr. O'Neil stated he would like something written out, wants to know the basis, foundation and legal background.

Police Report - Deputy Venzin gave monthly report for the month of February 2005. Detailed report at Exhibit A. Commissioner O'Neil asked if it would be possible to once a year at the beginning of the year to put together a table of the previous year, a chart that shows where incidences of crime are more active.

II.  Agenda Items

Little League Presentation - 50th Anniversary

Mary Topper, President of the Little League made a presentation for their 50th anniversary to be held on April 16, 2005. They are looking to the town for a monetary donation to help offset the cost of the celebration.
To donate $1,000 for the Little League's 50th anniversary celebration. Motion by Commissioner Rosensteel second by Commissioner Walbrecker. Vote: 4-0 in favor

Clarification of Meeting Procedures

This item relates to a clarification of meeting procedures for the Mayor and Commissioners meeting. Town staff gathered some information on how some other municipalities run their meetings for the Board to review. Mayor Hoover felt this should be brought up for discussion to decide whether or not this committee should operate under Robert's Rules, or under the direction of the presiding officer, in this case the president. The charter for the Town meeting does not require Robert's Rules.

After reviewing the procedures for other municipalities, Commissioner Walbrecker liked Greenbelt's procedures, they took the major rules of Robert's Rules of order and put it in plain language which is very clear and easy to understand. Commissioner Elder doesn't feel the need to change anything. Mr. O'Neil stated that when there is something prescribed, that it insures both sides of a debate or issue are protected. He feels it is appropriate to review all information, take public comment and revisit the issue at some point, would like to see something concretely spelled out. Commissioner Rosensteel also feels the charter should be more specific.

Public Comments: Patrick Joy 4035 Carrick Ct. - if it is done by Robert's Rules, then every thing would have to be followed. Sister Eleanor Casey- St. Joseph Provincial House, in favor of Robert's Rules of Order, she also addressed the issue about the Mayor voting. Catherine Forrence 404 West Main St- in favor of Robert's Rules.

Mr. O'Neil reported that he did order a copy of Robert's Rules on CD which has a very advance search feature that could be a useful tool. Robert's Rules can be complex, further discussion is warranted. Mayor Hoover stated that if Robert's Rules are going to be used a vote should be made on what version is to be used. Mr. Haller suggested wait until CD comes, test run it and then come back to vote.

Request Ethics Committee to Draft a Procedural Policy

This item relates to a request that the Emmitsburg Ethics Commission adopt operating procedures. Mr. O'Neil quoted from article 2 section 9 of the Emmitsburg Charter Authority Over Offices Department and Agencies.
that the Emmitsburg Ethics Commission be directed to prepare a draft set of standard operating procedures for investigating ethics complaints and that the committee submit that said draft to the Emmitsburg Board of Commissioners on or before April 4, 2005. Motion by Commissioner O'Neil and second by Commissioner Elder.

Public Comment on motion: Sabrina Paxton Dailey 12 Zanella Drive, Harold Craig 103 West Main Street, and Sister Eleanor Casey, Provincial House supported formation of official procedures. Catherine Forrence 404 West Main expressed that the Ethics Commission themselves should not be the ones to write the draft. Rosemary McDermitt, attorney for William O'Neil commented that the Board of Commissioners could be liable for negligence since they hold supervisory power over all commissions.

Discussion on motion: Commissioner Walbrecker relayed that she was told that both lawyers are comfortable with the procedures that are used by the Emmitsburg Ethics Commission. Not being satisfied with that answer, she reported that she called the Chairman of the Ethics Commission to ask about the procedures that are being used. She stated that she was told that there are copies of sworn complaints now on file in the Town Office. Mayor Hoover clarified that Mr. O'Neil's motion asked for procedures to be developed and not to suspend investigation. Mr. O'Neil commented on Commissioner Walbrecker's statement and stated he never received a copy of the sworn complaints. Mr. O'Neil clarified to his understanding that there are no rules or procedures in the ethics committee. Mr. Haller was asked to instruct Ethics Committee to provide its procedures by the April 4, 2005 meeting.    Vote: 4-0 in favor

Motion: that the Ethics Committee provide a proposed timeline for submission of their report on April 4, 2005. Motion by Commissioner Walbrecker, second by Commissioner Elder. Vote: 3-1 in favor, Commissioner Rosensteel opposed.

Appoint Election Judges - 3 Judges and 1 Alternate

Mayor Hoover stated there were several candidates this year. He would like to recommend Dot Davis, Carol Pavek, Denise Etris and Sabrina Paxton-Daily as alternate judge.
To appoint Dot Davis, Carol Pavek, Denise Etris as election judges and Sabrina Paton-Daly as alternate judge as recommended by Mayor Hoover. Motion by Commissioner Walbreker second by Commissioner Rosensteel. Vote: 4-0 in favor

Announcement of New Employee With the recent approval of this Board, Staff has advertised this position, interviewed a number of applicants and hired Mr. Jack Iverson who is a licensed sewer and water operator. He was hired has a grade 5, step 6 water and sewer operator at the rate of $12.97 per hr or $26,985.51 per year.
To approve Jack Iverson for water and sewer operator at the rate of $12.97 per hour. Motion by Commissioner Elder and second by Commissioner Rosensteel. Vote: 4-0 in favor

Election Ordinance

Town Attorney Mr. John Clapp pursuant to recommendations of the Board made some corrections and changes to the Election Ordinance that was passed. On December 6, 2004 Town Meeting the ordinance was approved with the poll watchers clause. On December 13, 2004 Mayor Hoover vetoed the ordinance, he did not agree with the poll watcher clause. On December 20, 2004 Town Meeting the poll watcher clause was dropped and the ordinance was approved conditional on Town attorney's approval.

Mr. O'Neil pointed out some of the improvements that Mr. Clapp made. Mayor Hoover pointed out 2 typing errors, page 5, in the first paragraph- "punishable by a $1,000 fine" should say " a fine up to $1,000", also in same paragraph about half way down "All disclosures required by this section shall be submitted in writing to the Town Manager" should say "Town Clerk instead of Town Manager". Attorney Clapp pointed out on page 5, 2.28.120 "Punishable by a fine of not more that $1,000" should say "than $1,000". Commissioner Walbrecker questioned the absentee ballots, page 4, to change the wording to the end of the first sentence to read "before returning the ballot to the Town Clerk." Motion: to agree to the changes to the ordinance 04-20 as offered by Mayor Hoover and Commissioner Walbrecker. Motion by Commissioner Walbrecker, second by Commissioner O'Neil. Vote: 4-0 in favor

Set Agenda Items for April 4th Town Meeting

1. Election Ordinance
2. Fire Sprinkler Ordinance - final consideration
3. Comp Plan status
4. Ethics Committee status and procedures

Mike Lucas informed the Board that Apple Tree Homes has applied for judicial review of the 11 permits that were denied by the Board of Zoning Appeals, which has been filed in circuit court.

III. Public Comments

Mr and Mrs. Robert Manahan, Mountain View Rd. - presented to the Board some issues they are having in regards to Mountain View Road Project- installation of a fire hydrant, grass, driveway. What can the Town do for them? Contractor never returns phone calls. Mr. Haller stated the project has not been completed and final release of the contractors money will not be released until work is done correctly. Mr. O'Neil instructed Mr. Haller to contact contractor. Mayor Hoover stated residents should not be contacting the contractor but should be contacting the Town. Catherine Forrence, 404 West Main- commented on absentee ballot provision in ordinance, Section 2.16 Town Treasurer Compensation and Planning and Zoning liaison. She also reported that there are ATV's riding on Town owned property on Scott Road and really damaging the property. Mr. Haller will follow-up.

IV. Announcement

Commissioner Walbrecker made an announcement that she can no longer serve as Town Commissioner due to her work schedule. She will resign her seat has of April 28, 2005. Mr. O'Neil commended Commissioner Walbrecker for her faithful service.

V. Adjournment

With no further Business and upon unanimous vote, the March 21, 2005 Town Meeting was adjourned at 9:35 p.m.

Date Approved:  April 4, 2005