On Tuesday, Feb. 4, Commissioners held a work session with the Charles County Board of Education (CCBOE) to discuss their anticipated fiscal 2021 budget. Dr. Kimberly A. Hill, Superintendent of Charles County Public Schools, presented an overview of the proposed budget, highlighted funding priorities, and talked about the challenges that are faced.
Commissioners had the opportunity to ask questions and dialogue directly with the Board of Education and Dr. Hill about several issues. They inquired about changes to the state funding formula that resulted in reduced funding; requested consideration for shared uses of the community centers at schools, addition of activity buses, and equity in athletics revenue-sharing; and explored how the Board of Education’s Fund Balance could be used to close the budget gap. Commissioner President Reuben B. Collins, II, Esq. expressed appreciation for the joint work session to discuss the budget and looked forward to additional collaboration as the Board of County Commissioners considers the fiscal 2021 budget over the next three months.
Open Session Briefings
Deputy County Administrator Deborah E. Hall, Chief of Information Technology Evelyn Jacobson, and representatives from CTC Technology and Energy presented an update on the Rural Broadband Task Force. The county received the final report on the Broadband Feasibility Study and recommendations were presented, based on the findings. CTC Technology and Energy categorized three distinct areas of unserved homes and businesses in the county, based upon unique geography and the related funding opportunities and challenges. They shared their recommendations on how to pursue broadband service for each of the three areas and indicated that it would be a multi-year project.
Economic Development Department staff provided an update on its Sister Cities partnership with Mozambique, where local businesses can explore expansion to new markets through international trade. Staff are coordinating a trip to Mozambique in May 2020, where small businesses will be able to meet with representatives and learn about business development opportunities. They also presented an invitation from a current Sister City in Walldorf, Germany, to attend its anniversary celebration and discussed the process for the county to respond.
Associate County Attorney Danielle Mitchell briefed Commissioners on legislative activities in the Maryland General Assembly, which convened its 90-day session last month. She provided an overview of important policy issues that could affect the county, including light rail, collective bargaining, special tax districts and tax increment financing, and funding for the Tri-County Council of Southern Maryland. She also discussed the status of legislative proposals that Commissioners submitted to the local delegation.
Commissioners approved a change to the fiscal 2021 budget calendar. The updated calendar will move the public hearings for the proposed budget and the constant yield tax rate to Wednesday, April 29, to allow for more time for the public to review and provide input.
- Appointed Mattie Satterfield and Tiffany Brown as members to the Area Council on Aging.
- Appointed Juanita Bovain, D’Yana James, Tori Nicole Ball, Ramonda Davis, Elveta E. Gibson and Laura Fay Wright as members to the Commission for Women.
- Appointed Linda Stansbury, as chair/ex-officio and William Gordon as alternate member to the Adult Public Guardianship Review Board.
- Commissioners recognized Gina Durgin, a local artist and photographer, with a citation for sharing her art and talent with the community. View and download the photo from the county’s online gallery.
- Commissioners proclaimed Pink Goes Red for Heart Health Day and National Wear Red Day in February and recognized Southern Maryland Chain Chapter of the Links, Inc. and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated Nu Zeta Omega Chapter for their work in promoting heart health awareness. View and download the photo from the county’s online gallery.
Citizens with special needs may contact the Maryland Relay Service at 711, or Relay Service TDD: 800-735-2258.