Council Meeting Highlights, Tuesday, September 26, 2023
The Talbot County Council held their regular meeting on September 26, 2023 at 5 p.m.; all Council members were present, with Council Member Keasha Haythe joining by conference call.
Proclamation: Suicide Prevention Month
For All Seasons’s Katie Theeke, Vice President of Marketing and Communications, and Tina Jones, Chief Financial Officer, accepted a proclamation that designates September 2023 as Suicide Prevention Month.
The proclamation encourages all citizens to actively work toward the prevention of suicide and to reach out to one another and ASK “Are you okay?” LISTEN - without judgment, and SHARE - vital resources to promote an inclusive and mentally healthy community.
“This topic is especially important, especially for our youth,” said Theeke.
According to the 2021 Youth Risk Behavior Survey, conducted by local school systems in conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control, at least one in five Talbot County teenagers ages 14 to 18 had seriously considered attempting suicide in the 12 months prior to the survey, with 37% reporting symptoms of depression, and 18% of Talbot County teens attempting suicide.
“Suicide prevention is important every day of the year. The proclamation and prevention month allows us to cast a light on the topic that affects us all, and sends a clear, hopeful message that help is available and suicide can be prevented,” stated Council President Chuck Callahan.
For All Seasons provides outpatient mental health therapy, psychiatric, education and rape crisis services to both English and Spanish speaking communities regardless of one’s ability to pay, offering same day appointments at certain locations They have seven offices across the Shore, with two offices centrally located in Easton.
For more information on Suicide Prevention Month, visit https://www.nami.org/Get-Involved/Awareness-Events/Suicide-Prevention-Month If you or a someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis, call or text 988 immediately. If you are uncomfortable talking on the phone, you can communicate with the Suicide and Crisis lifeline at 988lifeline.org
Talbot County Resource Day
Catherine Poe, Talbot County Hunger Coalition, provided an update on the Community Resource Expo, hosted by the Neighborhood Service Center and partners, which is scheduled for Saturday, October 14, 2023 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Easton Elementary School, 307 Glenwood Avenue, Easton.
Resource Day helps community members learn more about the agencies and services available to assist them with various needs.
First started in 2018, Resource Day is a “one-stop shop” for neighbors in need. This year they will offer free dental screenings, energy assistance, vision and dental screenings, prescription assistance, free children’s books, voter registration, immigration assistance, help and food for pets, financial literacy, free legal aid and help for victims of domestic violence.
“Resource Day is needed to help our seniors and the working poor,” remarked Poe. “Many people do not even realize the kind of help that is out there, and this [expo] is a way for them to begin to get help that very day.”
This year, there will be more than 30 nonprofit organizations and agencies participating. Free lunch will be provided, and Spanish interpreters will be available.
Update to Board of Health
Maria Maguire, M.D., Talbot County Health Officer, provided an update to the Council, which also serves as the Board of Health for Talbot County.
Her presentation focused on three areas of note: the winter respiratory virus season, the opioid epidemic, and the maternal child health crisis.
Regarding the winter respiratory season, Dr. Maguire stated that “The CDC expects this year will be similar to last year in terms of the total number of hospitalizations from COVID-19, RSV, and flu...As with last year, the total number of hospitalizations this year is anticipated to be higher than what we as a nation experienced prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
For Fall 2023, vaccines are available for seasonal flu, COVID-19, and RSV. Residents can receive vaccines by visiting their primary care doctor, or several pharmacies in the county.
For the entire presentation, and coverage of the Opioid Epidemic and maternal child health crisis, watch the Council meeting beginning at 25:11 mark.
- A Proclamation for National Voter Education Week was brought forward but was not approved, by a 2-3 vote. To obtain voting information, citizens are encouraged to visit the Talbot County Board of Elections located at 215 Bay Street, Suite 7, Easton, MD 21601 or visit talbotcountymd.gov/election_board.
- Kevin Shafer, Director of Operations for Talbot County Public Schools, presented the FY25 Capital Improvement Plan (CIP). TCPS is requesting $6.2 million in the FY25 budget for the renovation of Chapel District Elementary School. The estimated total project cost is $29.9 million; the local share is approximately $17.5 million.
- An Administrative Resolution to adjust County policy regarding facial coverings and vaccinations in Talbot County failed by a vote of 2-3.
- Resolution No. 350, as introduced, requests to place questions on the ballot for the 2024 General Election regarding Section 102 of the Charter of Talbot County. The question asks if the Charter should be amended to state that “citizens of Talbot County shall be accorded equal treatment in all matters under the jurisdiction of the county government regardless of age, disability, health, or genetic information, in addition to race, creed, sex, or national origin.” Race, creed, sex, and national origin are already included in the Charter section being considered. Resolution No. 350 was introduced by Mr. Callahan and Mr. Stepp. A public hearing was scheduled for Tuesday, October 24, 2023 at 6:30 p.m.
- After Council discussion, the public hearings for Resolution No. 338, Resolution No. 347, and Resolution No. 348, were moved to the Talbot County Council meeting on Tuesday, October 24th, 2023 at 6:30 p.m. All the resolutions relate to the Comprehensive Water and Sewer Plan and the Lakeside development located in Trappe.
- Council discussed proposed amendments to State law regarding vacancies on the Talbot County Board of Education. Currently, vacancies are filled by the Governor. Suggestions were made to see if a vacancy could be filled by either Council appointment or by special election in the district in which the vacancy occurs. The County Attorney will bring several legislative options back to Council for further discussion at the October 10th meeting.
- Mary Kay Verdery, Grants Administrator, and Cassandra Vanhooser, Director of the Department of Economic Development and Tourism, provided an update on the County’s allocation of American Rescue Plan Act Funds (ARPA) to date.
- A second public hearing was held regarding the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) for the Early Head Start/Family Support Center Renovation Project located on the Easton Elementary School campus at 305 Glenwood Avenue, Easton, Md 21601. Prior to the public hearing, Mary Kay Verdery, Grants Administrator, provided a summary of the project, noting that the new renovated facility is up and running, and serving our community. Maria Maguire, Health Officer of the County, and Jamila Whitt, MPH, Director of Family Services Programs, Talbot County Health Department, also provided information about the program.
- Martha Sparks, Finance Director, requested approval of the abatement of FY23 Real County Property Taxes in the total of $100,128.04. In accordance with the Maryland Code, Talbot County abates the County portion of Real Property Taxes for various non-profit organizations owning property in the county. The request was unanimously approved.
- Brian LeCates, Director, Department of Emergency Services, and Geneva Schaffle, Emergency Management Division Chief, provided a demonstration on Talbot’s Emergency Alert System. The system alerts citizens to imminent threats in the area, and provides pertinent information for impending disasters or emergencies. Residents can sign up for alerts at talbotalerts.com or by calling (410) 770-8160.
- Clay Stamp, County Manager presented board nominations for the Council’s consideration:
- Ethics Commission – Council unanimously approved the appointment of Paul Davin
- Upper Shore Workforce Investment Board – Council unanimously approved the appointment of Dr. James Bell, and the reappointment of Mary Ellen Carter and Rev. Eric Daniels; all individuals represent the private sector.
- Easton Airport requested approval of a design review and reimbursable agreement for the Instrument Landing System (ILS). The system was approved in the FY24 budget and is part of the Airfield Modernization Program. The project total of $54,000 will be eligible for reimbursement in a future grant. The request was unanimously approved.
- Chesapeake College requested a Letter of Intent to support its capital building project for the Queen Anne’s Technical Center. Design would begin in FY25, with construction beginning in FY26. The total project costs of approximately $79 million will be shared with the supporting counties of Caroline, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s and Talbot, and the State of Maryland. Talbot County’s share of the cost would be $4,310,501.52. The request was unanimously approved.
- The Bellevue Passage Museum requested a Letter of Support for its museum project and conveyance of a preservation easement request. The Museum, if built, would be located on County property, and therefore would require a preservation agreement if the museum were to receive money from the Maryland Historic Trust. The Council unanimously approved the request.
- Clay Stamp, County Manager, stated that Talbot County residents will have an opportunity to dispose of old and unwanted tires at the Citizen Scrap Tire Drop-off Event scheduled for Saturday, September 30, 2023, between the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Midshore Transfer Station located at 7341 Barkers Landing Road in Easton. For more information about the event: Drop Off Old Tires at Residential Scrap Tire Event - Talbot County, Maryland (talbotcountymd.gov)
The Council’s next legislative meeting will be held on October 10 beginning at 6:00 p.m. in the Bradley Meeting Room located in the South Wing, Talbot County Courthouse, 11 North Washington Street, Easton. The meeting open to the public.Return
Page last modified Friday, May 26, 2023 11:22:37 AM