July 16 was Colin Stead Day in Chestertown.
Councilman Marty Stetson, presiding over the town council in the absence of Mayor Chris Cerino, read the proclamation recognizing Stead for his accomplishments as a member of the Delaware Ducks ice hockey team. The Ducks, who rallied from a 5-1 deficit in the final game, won the national under-18 hockey championship. Stead made his mark by scoring the Ducks’ first goal in the tournament. Stead, a rising senior at Kent County High School, has been skating since he was 3 years old and began playing hockey at age 8.
Stetson noted that the town’s proclamation honors Stead for his athletic ability, “but he’s much more than that.” He said that in the time he had spent with Stead and his brother Mitch, he was impressed by “how truly nice” they were. “Sometimes we worry about what’s going to happen to this country when our young people (are in charge), and then you meet people like Colin and you realize, we’re going to be all right,” Stetson said.
The proclamation noted that Stead, a native son of Chestertown, had risen to national recognition through his accomplishments with the Ducks. It noted the many hours of practice and dedication to achieve the championship, and his travels with the team, which was undefeated at the national tournament in Green Bay, WI. The proclamation also noted that Stead works as hard at other aspects of his life, including his participation in the STEM program at the county high school. He is a member of the National Honor Society, a DJ at the student radio station WKHS, and has been elected the school’s student body president for his senior year.
Stetson joked that the honor allowed Stead to park for free in downtown Chestertown. He also presented him with a key to the city.
In the monthly police report, Chief Ardian Baker told the council that the police department had been the victim of a computer hack over the July 4 weekend. He said the department was up and running within a couple of days. “My lesson learned was, turn your computer off every day,” Baker said. He said he lost “a lot of stuff’” on his desktop that wasn’t backed up. He said the department was taking extra precautions to prevent a recurrence.
Baker also said that the department has had “a couple of issues with vehicles.” He said the department’s vehicles are getting older, and problems are likely to be more frequent than in the past. He said budget constraints have prevented replacing older vehicles, likely resulting in a higher outlay for maintenance in coming months.
Councilwoman Linda Kuiper noted the death of Owen McCoy, manager of the farmers market since the 1980s. She said she had asked for a plaque to be placed at the market recognizing McCoy’s 30-plus years of service. Town Manager Bill Ingersoll said an 8-by-8-inch bronze plaque would be an appropriate recognition – he said the town could go with a larger one if needed to record all McCoy’s contributions. He said it would be laid flush with the brickwork at the park.
Ingersoll said the town was completing work to apply for a U.S. Department of Transportation grant to repair its streets. He said the town had received the help of grant writer Linda Kohler of Chesapeake Charities in preparing the application and would be requesting $4.5 million. “I have great hopes for that,” he said. He said Kohler had thought of several things that could make the grant stronger.
Councilman David Foster reported on a draft letter to the Maryland Municipal League concerning the payment of a tax differential by counties to their constituent townships, reimbursing them for services for which they pay taxes but actually provide themselves, such as police protection, street maintenance and water and sewer. Kent County is one of 14 in the state that is not required by law to make such payments; it has not done so since 2014. Previously, it made payments to the five towns, with Chestertown receiving as much as $116,147 at the peak of the program.
Foster’s letter asks the MML to add to its legislative agenda a bill requiring all counties to pay tax differentials. Foster said he had recently talked to Delegate Jay Jacobs, who told him that if the MML put the proposal forth, he would support it as well.
All three present councilmembers–Foster, Kuiper, and Stetson– voted to submit the request to MML. Mayor Cerino and councilman Ellsworth Tolliver were absent.
# # #