Emmitsburg Town Office
March 21, 2005
I. Call to Order ,
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.
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.
Motion: to approve the March
7, 2005 Town Minutes as discussed. Motion by
Commissioner Elder, second by Commissioner Walbrecker.
Vote: 4-0 in favor
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 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
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.
Presentation - 50th Anniversary
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.
donate $1,000 for the Little League's 50th anniversary
celebration. Motion by Commissioner Rosensteel second
by Commissioner Walbrecker. Vote: 4-0 in favor
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.
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.
Motion: 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
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.
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.
4-0 in favor
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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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
With no further
Business and upon unanimous vote, the March 21, 2005
Town Meeting was adjourned at 9:35 p.m.
April 4, 2005