Chestertown Council – New Year, New Members

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Mayor and Council of Chestertown at first meeting of the new year, Jan 2, 2018. L-R: Marty Stetson, representative Ward 4; Ellsworth Tolliver, representative Ward 3; Jen Mulligan, town clerk; Chris Cerino, mayor; Bill Ingersoll, town manager; Linda Kuiper, representative Ward 2; David Foster, representative Ward 1

The Chestertown Council, at its first meeting of 2018, swore in two new council members, David Foster and the Rev. Ellsworth Tolliver. Mayor Chris Cerino was also sworn in for his second term by Clerk of the Court Mark Mumford.

Mayor Chris Cerino swears Rev. Ellsworth Tolliver in as representative for the Third Ward. Tolliver’s uncle, the Rev. Robert Brown, holds the Bible for the induction.

Both new council members said they were excited at their new responsibilities. Tolliver. representing the Third Ward, said he was looking forward to representing the interests of his ward, while Foster, who represents the First Ward, said he had been greatly encouraged during the election campaign to learn how many voters were eager to talk to him about their concerns.

Cerino then delivered the annual Report on Municipal Affairs, as mandated by the town charter. Highlights of 2017 included the groundbreaking for the Dixon Distribution Center on the newly annexed property along Route 213 north of town; progress in upgrading the town-owned marina and in obtaining funding for the remaining phases of the project; improvements in Margo Bailey Park, Wilmer Park, and Washington Park; and the sale of the old police station to Sultana Educational Foundation. Ongoing projects included the agreement with the hospital concerning the oil leak on its grounds, and the effort to retain hospital services adequate to the community; the various festivals and celebrations that bring visitors to town; and efforts to market the town to visitors and potential new businesses.

Mayor Chris Cerino swears David Foster in as representative for the First Ward. (Town Manager bill Ingersoll in background.)

In addition to summarizing the past year’s achievements, Cerino outlined the following goals for the coming year:

“Keep taxes at the same rate ($0.37 per $100 assessed value) if possible while maintaining our chartered service responsibilities;

“Work with the Kent County Commissioners to discuss the possibility of reinstating a tax differential and/or tax rebate for Chestertown;

“Work with the County to address the apparent unfairness of hotels and B&Bs paying room rental taxes while newer forms of transient rental activities such as Air BNB and VRBO elude the tax;

“Aggressively pursue all forms of public and private funding to complete the revitalization of Chestertown Marina;

“Continue our work with businesses, business associations, industries, and institutions to improve the local economy and keep storefronts filled;

“Support all events, festivals, and celebrations that bring our Town to life;

“Protect the Town’s drinking wells at all costs;

“Repave or repair streets as part of a comprehensive, long-term plan;

“Complete Phase IV of the Rail Trail to Foxley Manor;

“Create a new branding for Chestertown that will be incorporated into Town signage. Add directional signage throughout the community;.

“Work with Washington College to design, engineer, and identify funding sources for the planned waterfront walk along the Chester River on College-owned lands between Wilmer Park and the mouth of Radcliffe Creek;

“Continue to improve our recreation programs, expand recreational activities for all ages in Chestertown, and involve the input of our youth in the decision-making process;

“Encourage and expand recycling and all other greening efforts, increase public awareness of the need and advantages of these efforts, and continue to plant trees to reach the Town’s canopy goal;

“Increase efforts to bring heritage and eco-tourism to Chestertown through the use of the web site and social media, and promote the community as an arts and entertainment destination. Work with the medical community, Eastern Shore delegation, Kent County Commissioners, and residents to advocate for retention of services at our local Hospital.”

Mark Mumford swears in Chris Cerino for his second term as the mayor of Chestertown,

The Chestertown Spy plans to focus on several of these issues in depth in the weeks to come.

Town Manager Bill Ingersoll reported on recent town activities, including the MVA bus schedule and permits processed for upcoming events including Chester Gras on Feb 10.     John Queen presented a report entitled “Reconnect to Life” about a state-sponsored program to identify youth at risk and connect them to resources for education, employment and other life skills.  Queen, who is well-known locally for his involvement with the Bayside HOYAs, is the director of the local branch of the “Reconnect to Life” program. There were several other short reports – all of which will be included in the official minutes if the meeting and will be available online in the near future.

Photos by Jane Jewell

Marty Stetson, Ellsworth Tolliver, Jen Mulligan

 

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Letters to Editor

  1. Marty Stetson says:

    It was a good year and I am looking forward to another good year in 2018. I am happy to welcome our two new members to the Council, David Foster and Ellsworth Tolliver.
    Looking forward to working with them towards the betterment of our town.

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