Tag Archives: Queen Anne’s County Commissioners

Local Businesses are OPEN During Construction in Chester and Stevensville

effektive_open2d2ca0Local Businesses are OPEN During Construction in Chester and Stevensville

The Queen Anne’s County Commissioners are emphasizing that local businesses are open during current construction processes in Chester and Stevensville. While there may be some traffic delays, the commissioners are encouraging residents and patrons to continue to support the business entities.

In Chester, there is a County project to replace sewer lines and install new water lines. As a result of a recent community outreach meeting in Chester, the department of Public Works will investigate the options of completing the project at night and accelerating the schedule to the extent possible. It was also agreed to revisit signage concerns and provide public outreach to affirm businesses are open, accessible and encourage continued patronage. Once the work is completed, Postal Road will be completely repaved.

East Main Street in Stevensville is currently closed with traffic being directed to and maintained on Main Street and Love Point Road. Improvements include new concrete and brick sidewalks, curb and gutter, resurfacing, replacing an open ditch with an underground storm drain and pipe culverts, and new on-street parking.

To keep abreast of construction activities in Chester, schedule changes and timing of lane closures updates will be periodically posted on the County’s Homepage, at www.qac.org.

County Commissioners Seek Citizens For Boards & Commissions

The Queen Anne’s County Commissioners are looking for interested county residents to serve on a variety of Queen Anne’s County Boards and Commissions. The appointments will commence in the coming weeks and the terms vary. If you have applied previously, please send a new letter of interest at this time. The deadline for applications is Monday December 2, 2013.

The following boards and commissions are seeking members: Aging Commission, Animal Control (a Veterinarian is needed), Zoning Appeals Board, Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee, Community Partnerships for Children, Council for Children and Youth, Economic Development Commission, Employee Awards Committee, Ethics Commission, Kent Narrows Development Foundation, Personnel, Planning Commission, Plumbing Board, Seafood Reconciliation Committee and the Sustainable Communities Council.

For detailed information regarding the boards and their functions go to qac.org and on the top menu select “Government” and on the drop down menu you will see the “Boards & Commissions” link.

Interested county residents may send a letter of interest and resume by e-mail to: lsalvatori@qac.org. Please put the name of the Board in the subject line. Or by mail to: Queen Anne’s County Commissioners Office, Att: Leslie Salvatori, The Liberty Building, 107 North Liberty Street
Centreville, MD 21617.

QAC’s Bond Rating Upgraded

Queen Anne’s County’s financial credit report was upgraded when Fitch Ratings revised the county’s AA+ bond rating February 22.

“The revision of the Outlook to Stable from Negative reflects enhancements made during fiscal 2012, spending cuts and conservative budgeting, allowing the county to generate an operating surplus which significantly strengthening reserve levels,” said the Fitch firm’s report. “Fitch takes additional comfort from the county’s positive operating projections for fiscal 2013 as well as substantial revenue raising capacity.”

“When this Board of Commissioners took office they inherited a projected $18 million budget deficit and the potential of seeing the county’s AA+ bond ratings downgraded,” said Steve Arentz, president of the Queen Anne’s County Board of Commissioners. Although the county retained its AA+ bond rating, it was put on a “negative watch” by Fitch Ratings. Bond ratings determine the interest rate that the county pays when borrowing large sums of money to build schools and other public buildings.

“This Board of Commissioners made dramatic budget cuts, small tax increases and created a budget that was not only balanced, but has a surplus,” Arentz said.

Governments, like people, are evaluated on their ability to repay debt. The Fitch report notes that the county’s overall debt levels are moderately low. “Debt service expenditures represent an affordable 9.6% of general fund expenditures,” according to the report.

“In an effort to restore structural balance and improve reserve levels, during the fiscal year 2012 budget process the county implemented a property tax rate increase as well as an increase in the income tax rate,” details the Fitch report. “The expenditure budget included a continuation of the workforce furlough program, hiring freeze and suspension of various employee benefit programs. Additionally, during the year the county offered an early retirement incentive. Fiscal year-end 2012 results reflected a second consecutive year of positive variance in income tax revenue, the county’s second largest revenue source representing 31% of the general fund, supporting a $5.3 million operating surplus. The unrestricted fund balance increased to $11.9 million or a healthy 10.9% of general fund spending, compared to the modest budgeted drawdown of $566,779.”

In detailing the reasons for the “Stable” rating, Fitch Ratings noted, “Fitch views the county’s low comparative property tax rate as an important measure of financial flexibility given its dominance as a source of general fund revenues.”

Given the fairly limited economy, roughly 85% of the labor force commutes outside the county, with most workers crossing the Bay Bridge to jobs in the deep and diverse Baltimore-Washington market. The county’s unemployment rate has declined year-over-year, recorded at 5.6% as of December 2012, and has consistently ranked below those of the region, state, and nation. Wealth levels are above average when compared to state and national levels.

County Commissioners to Present Mid-Term Review and Preview RESCHEDULED for January 31st

Last week’s County Commissioners’ Mid Term Review and Preview Forum was cancelled due to the County Schools closing for inclement weather. As announced, the Forum is rescheduled for Thursday, January 31 at 7 p.m. in the County Board of Elections Building on Chesterfield Avenue in Centreville. At the mid-point in their term, the Queen Anne’s County Commissioners will look back at their first two years, then look forward to their next two years, and make themselves available for questions from the public. Like similar forums held four and eight years ago, this forum is sponsored by the Queen Anne’s County League of Women Voters and is free and open to the public.

The evening will be divided into two segments. The first, the Review, will give each Commissioner a brief time answer the following question: “From your perspective, what are the major accomplishments and disappointments of the Board of County Commissioners during the last two years? Please consider including the following areas: residential and commercial growth (rural areas, Kent Island, municipalities); economic development; emergency services; taxes; affordable housing; education; environment; agriculture; good government.” The audience will then have an opportunity to question the Commissioners about the first half of their term.

In the Preview half of the forum, the focus will turn to the future, with each Commissioner giving a brief description of the items of unfinished business and initiatives he hopes the Board of Commissioners will accomplish during the last two years of their term. The audience will once again have the opportunity to pose questions to the Commissioners.

The County Commissioners are: David Dunmyer (District 1), Bob Simmons (District 2), Philip Dumenil (District 3), Dave Olds (District 4), and Steven Arentz (At Large).

The moderator will be Dana York, a member of the Queen Anne’s County League of Women Voters and a resident of Centreville. She moderated the mid-term forums in 2009 and 2005.

The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan organization that encourages the informed and active participation of citizens in government and works to increases understanding of major public policy issues. Women and men of voting age are invited to join the League.

 

County Commissioners to Present Mid-Term Review and Preview

At the mid-point in their term, the Queen Anne’s County Commissioners will look back at their first two years, then look forward to their next two years, and make themselves available for questions from the public. A forum, “Halfway Through – A Review and Preview with the County Commissioners,” will be held at 7 p.m. on Thursday, January 24 in the Board Room of the County Board of Education Building at 202 Chesterfield Ave. in Centreville. Like similar forums held four and eight years ago, this forum is sponsored by the Queen Anne’s County League of Women Voters and is free and open to the public.

The evening will be divided into two segments. The first, the Review, will give each Commissioner a brief time answer the following question: “From your perspective, what are the major accomplishments and frustrations of the Board of County Commissioners during the last two years? Please consider including the following areas: residential and commercial growth (rural areas, Kent Island, municipalities); economic development; emergency services; taxes; affordable housing; education; environment; agriculture; good government.” The audience will then have an opportunity to question the Commissioners about the first half of their term.

In the Preview half of the forum, the focus will turn to the future, with each Commissioner giving a brief description of the items of unfinished business and initiatives he hopes the Board of Commissioners will accomplish during the last two years of their term. The audience will once again have the opportunity to pose questions to the Commissioners.

The County Commissioners are: David Dunmyer (District 1), Bob Simmons (District 2), Philip Dumenil (District 3), Dave Olds (District 4), and Steven Arentz (At Large).

The moderator will be Dana York, a member of the Queen Anne’s County League of Women Voters and a resident of Centreville. She moderated the mid-term forums in 2009 and 2005. If the County schools are closed due to snow or ice, the forum will be postponed until Thursday, January 31 at 7 p.m. in the Board of Education Bldg. in Centreville.

The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan organization that encourages the informed and active participation of citizens in government and works to increases understanding of major public policy issues. Women and men of voting age are invited to join the League.

 

Deadline Extended to Apply for QAC Boards & Commissions

The Queen Anne’s County Commissioners are looking for interested county residents to serve on a variety of Queen Anne’s County Boards and Commissions. The appointments will commence this fall and winter and the terms vary. If you have applied previously, please send a new letter of interest at this time.

The following boards and commissions are seeking members: Personnel Board, Employee Awards Committee, Aging Commission, Alcohol and Drug Abuse Council, Animal Control, Zoning Appeals Board, Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee, Department of Emergency Services, Economic Development, Ethics Commission, Kent Narrows Development Foundation, Parks and Recreation, Planning Commission, sustainable Communities Council, Upper Shore Mental Health Board.

Interested county residents may send a letter of interest and resume, no later than close of business on November 30, 2012, by e-mail to: lsalvatori@qac.org. Please put the name of the Board in the subject line.

OR by Mail to:

Queen Anne’s County Commissioners Office
Att: Leslie Salvatori
The Liberty Building
107 North Liberty Street
Centreville, MD 21617

County Commissioners Seek Citizens For Boards & Commissions

The Queen Anne’s County Commissioners are looking for interested county residents to serve on a variety of Queen Anne’s County Boards and Commissions. The appointments will commence this fall and winter and the terms vary. If you have applied previously, please send a new letter of interest at this time.

The following boards and commissions are seeking members: Personnel Board, Employee Awards Committee, Aging Commission, Alcohol and Drug Abuse Council, Animal Control, Zoning Appeals Board, Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee, Department of Emergency Services, Economic Development, Ethics Commission, Kent Narrows Development Foundation, Parks and Recreation, Planning Commission, sustainable Communities Council, Upper Shore Mental Health Board.

Interested county residents may send a letter of interest and resume, no later than close of business on November 30, 2012, by e-mail to: lsalvatori@qac.org. Please put the name of the Board in the subject line.

OR by Mail to:

Queen Anne’s County Commissioners Office
Att: Leslie Salvatori
The Liberty Building
107 North Liberty Street
Centreville, MD 21617

QAC Financial Status Report

The Queen Anne’s County Budget and Finance Office recently presented its preliminary FY 2012 end of year financial status report to the Commissioners. The report included details about the state giving a one-time increase in the distribution of income taxes to many of the counties. Queen Anne’s share of the income tax came in at $4.9 million over budget, with total revenue over the budget by $5.4 million, said Finance Director Jonathan Seeman. However, he said the concern of many counties is that next year the exact opposite could happen and the increase in this year’s distribution of income tax could be offset by a decrease below budget in the current year (FY 2013). “The economy is not showing a lot of job growth, therefore we do not anticipate continued significant gains in income tax revenue,” said Seeman. Additionally, property tax revenue is expected to continue to decline for at least the next fiscal year.

The county had a fund balance of $5.6 million at the end of FY 2011, well below previous levels. In FY2012 the county is currently projecting a surplus of $7.2 million, made up of the $5.4 million primarily from income tax plus $1.8 million as a result of county savings. These figures are projections at this point, and will not be final until the County’s audit is completed. The Commissioners enforced tight fiscal controls on departmental spending, producing the additional savings that contributed to the surplus. This resulted in a total year end county fund balance of about $12.8 million; however, a minimum of $7.5 million of that amount is necessary to reestablish the county’s rainy day fund. That fund had fallen below required levels as a result of the recession and can now be returned to a healthy level.

A government’s rainy day fund is set aside to protect against economic downturns and unforeseen natural events. A rainy day fund is a necessary component of a county’s financial management strategy. After the re-establishment of the rainy day fund, the remaining $5.3 million also represents a hedge against unforeseen economic circumstances, or some portion could be used for one-time expenses such as capital projects. Fund balances should not be used to pay for ongoing operating expenses of the government.

“This demonstrates this Board’s absolute commitment to sound fiscal management,” said Seeman. “The Commissioners have made it a top priority to take the actions necessary to establish a structural balance in the county budget, and to ensure long term financial sustainability.”

To view the entire budget presentation online go to http://www.qac.org/Docs/Finance/Budget/September2012.pdf

QAC Members Needed for Adult Public Guardianship Review Board

The Queen Anne’s County Commissioners are seeking three members to join the Kent and Queen Anne’s Adult Public Guardianship Review Board which meets twice a year. The 11 member board needs three Queen Anne’s County residents, one of which should be a layman, another a lawyer and the third a physician and or psychiatrist.

A Public Guardianship is one in which the director of the local Department of Social Services or the director of the local agency on aging is appointed to serve as guardian of the person. If the disabled person is younger than 65 years old, the director of the Department of Social Services is appointed to be guardian; if the person is 65 or older, the director of the Maryland Office on Aging or the local agency on aging is appointed guardian.

Public Guardians may only serve as guardian of the person, not as guardian of the property. If there is no one else willing to act as guardian of the property, the court will usually appoint a private attorney.

Public Guardians are appointed only when there is no family member or friend willing or able to serve as guardian. In these cases, a staff person from the agency fills the role of the guardian; visiting the disabled person on a regular basis and making sure that her/his needs are met.

The Adult Public Guardianship Review Board assesses each public guardianship case in that county twice a year. The purpose of the board is to ensure that the public guardian is doing a good job for the disabled. The board gathers information, and hears testimony from the disabled person, the disabled person’s attorney, and anyone else who has important information about the case. The board decides whether the guardian should be doing anything differently, suggests ways to address problems which arise, and recommends to the court whether the guardianship should be continued, modified, or terminated. The court may or may not follow the recommendation of the board.

Full Review Hearings are held once a year. During the first year of guardianship, two full reviews must be conducted. The guardian (or his/her designee) is required to attend the Full Review Hearing. The disabled person and the disabled person’s attorney may attend the Hearing, but their attendance is not required

File Review Hearings are held once a year, beginning with the review after the two full reviews are conducted. The disabled person’s attorney, the disabled person, nor the guardian (or his/her designee) is required to attend

Kent and Queen Anne’s Adult Public Guardianship Review Board meets twice a year, April and October, usually the 3rd or 4th Friday. At each meeting, the date for the next hearing is set. Currently the board meets in the Kent County Child Support Conference room, 2nd floor, 315 High Street, Chestertown. The board has previously met at Queen Anne’s Department of Social Services in Centreville.

Those interested in serving on this important board may contact Leslie Salvatori at lsalvatori@qac.org or by calling 410-758-0322 x2002.