It has been three weeks since the town council approved two resolutions to address the history and current manifestation of systemic racism in Chestertown and two anti-racist street murals later, council members are beginning to focus on next steps.
The 16-month plan offered by Mayor Cerino and a resolution by Council Member Tolliver offer a comprehensive, long-term framework to address education, legislation, and unification.
Here, Council Member (Ward 1) David Foster talks about his initial feeling about the “Black Lives Matter and We Can’t Breathe #ChestertownUnitesAgisnt Racism” murals on High Street and College Avenue, and how the symbolic paintings began to take on a different meaning for him.
But one of Foster’s primary concerns for real change in an effort to fight systemic racism must happen on the policy level. In his view, the long-disputed tax differential between the town and county should continue to be addressed.
Kent is only one of three counties in Maryland who do not receive a tax set-off, rebate or differential, from towns that provide services for law enforcement, highway maintenance and other town services that save the county from those expenditures.
Since a tax differential does not exist between the county and town, Foster looks at the issue through the lens of economic inequality and feels that county rebates to the town would ease the need to draw funding solely from the town’s rising property taxes. To stem rising property taxes, a differential would ease the burden for all.
This video is approximately nine minutes in length and a part of a conversation that will be aired later in October.