County and Towns Continue Collaboration Efforts
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 15, 2017
ELKTON, MD -- Cecil County Director of Administration Al Wein welcomed representatives from the various county municipalities to further the discussions and opportunities for collaborations this morning, an initiative that County Executive Alan McCarthy feels very strongly will assist in continuing to move the county in a positive direction.
Eric Sennstrom, Director of Land Use and Development Services, began the meeting with an overview of the current collaborations between the County's Permits & Inspections Division and the Town of North East. The county and the town have organized a pilot program aimed at streamlining the permitting process for businesses. The presentation included proposed flow charts of the permitting process for both new structures and change-of-use locations. Officials from both the county and the town have received positive feedback from the business community so far.
In a planning and zoning issue, Calvin Bonenberger Jr., Town Administrator for Rising Sun, explained a situation that his staff faces involving obtaining mailing address for residents from the information provided from the County's Geographic Information System (GIS). David Black, GIS Coordinator for the County, explained that there are external limitations on the GIS website but that the county could assist the town with their requests internally.
Site surveys, software application resources and brainstorming sessions were all ideas suggested by the County's Director of Information Technology Brian Miller. "We have a great staff with a lot of technical expertise. I feel like we need to start off by visiting the different sites to do some knowledge gathering so we know what is needed and assess how we can work together going forward," Miller offered.
Sally Thompson, Cecil County Director of Human Resources, concurred with Miller on needing to perform some fact finding in terms of what kind of human resources-related assistance was desired, but offered to set up individual meetings with the town representatives. Melissa B. Cook-MacKenzie, North East Town Administrator was receptive to "getting some assistance with creating job descriptions and performance evaluations."
Recognizing that staffing and transportation are the two main obstacles to overcome, Clyde Van Dyke, Director of Parks and Recreation, discussed implementing after school activities, particularly for the 16-18 age group. Van Dyke also recommended that the municipalities seek out federal grant funding for parks and playgrounds to provide safe activity areas within their town limits and that his staff could assist in locating, completing and filing the forms.
Director of Public Works Scott Flanigan briefly discussed ideas on working cooperatively on future recycling projects to better assist in negotiating the County's recycling commodities contract which is up for renewal in June 2018, siting that "input now would be beneficial later." Flanigan also offered his stormwater management staff as a resource to the municipalities who will soon fall into state mandated "MS4" jurisdictions -- Municipal Separate Storm Sewer conveyance.
The discussion continued with status updates from Director of Emergency Services Richard Brooks in regards to community health and the opioid issue in the county. "We continue to work very closely with the Cecil County Health Department -- Stephanie Garrity [CCHD Health Officer] and I talk daily on the health and emergency related issues in the County," Brooks said. "We are committed to working together with the towns and departments to combat the opioid issue with education and prevention."
Wein encouraged participants to continue to keep the communication open and to reach out with questions, ideas and suggestions on all possible opportunities for the County and municipalities to collaborate.
For more information, contact:
Public Information Officer