In­cum­bent Elk­ton com­mis­sioner Piner sworn in

Can­di­dates line up for VanRee­nen’s seat

Cecil Whig - - LOCAL - By BRI­ANNA SHEA

ELK­TON

bshea@ce­cil­whig.com

— Earl Piner was in a fa­mil­iar place Wed­nes­day night: tak­ing the oath of of­fice af­ter an­other suc­cess­ful re-elec­tion cam­paign.

Al­though fa­mil­iar, the in­cum­bent town com­mis­sioner said he was still wel­com­ing a new chap­ter in his fourth term.

“Now, I’m gonna start off fresh and new. You’re not even go­ing to know this guy to­day,” he said.

Among some of his goals for this term are ad­dress­ing crime, in­creas­ing in­volve­ment with home­owner’s as­so­ci­a­tions and re­duc­ing sewer and wa­ter bills.

Dur­ing Wed­nes­day’s meet­ing, Piner ad­dressed some of the projects he would like to take on or look into.

Piner asked John Downs, town at­tor­ney, to look into adding “pub­lic prop­erty” into the town’s prop­erty nui­sance abatement or­di­nance. Right now, the or­di­nance pri­mar­ily per­tains to com­mer­cial and res­i­den­tial prop­erty with some ex­cep­tions.

Piner also ad­dressed a ques­tion he read on so­cial media about an or­di­nance that pre­vents peo­ple sell­ing items from the back of their ve­hi­cles. Michelle Hen­son, ad­min­is­tra­tive of­fice sec­re­tary for the town, said a no­tice about hav­ing a tran­sient ven­dor li­cense to sell items is posted on the town’s web- site. Hen­son ad­vised res­i­dents who see ven­dors who are sell­ing goods out of their ve­hi­cle and think they may not have a li­cense to con­tact the po­lice.

Piner also ex­pressed his in­ter­est in tak­ing a more proac­tive ap­proach with the town’s home­owner’s as­so­ci­a­tions and the is­sues they raise. He said he’d like to be the li­ai­son for them, at­tend­ing their meet­ings when pos­si­ble. Piner said dif­fer­ent ar­eas have is­sues that the board may not know about un­less the as­so­ci­a­tions com- mu­ni­cate their is­sues.

“I’m not say­ing we’re go­ing to solve all of your prob­lems, but at least we’ll be aware of some of the is­sues that you’re talk­ing about in your meet­ings,” he added.

Piner also dis­cussed a de­sire to re­duce res­i­dents’ wa­ter and sewer bills, not­ing that the town has a wa­ter au­dit be­ing done now.

Af­ter the meet­ing, Piner said he is look­ing for­ward to be­ing more in­volved with the com­mu­nity is­sues and not just lis­ten­ing to the is­sues.

On Thurs­day, Alt said he is al­ready pleased with some of the items Piner dis­cussed dur­ing the meet­ing and shares Piner’s de­sire to re­duce town util­ity rates. Alt said there would be no re­fund for util­i­ties, but he was tar­get­ing a min­i­mum 10 per­cent re­duc­tion in sewer rates.

In­cum­bent Charles Givens, who also won re-elec­tion in the May mu­nic­i­pal elec­tion, was not sworn in dur­ing Wed­nes­day’s meet­ing be­cause he was out of town, but he will be sworn in at the June 15 meet­ing.

The Town Board of Com­mis­sion­ers also have an­other seat to fill: the one va­cated by DJ VanRee­nen, who re­signed last week. Mayor Rob Alt said there are nine in­di­vid­u­als who have ex­pressed in­ter­est in fill­ing the seat. The board will ac­cept en­tries un­til June 15, and will make a de­ci­sion dur­ing a closed meet­ing on that same day. The new com­mis­sioner will be sworn in on July 6, Alt said.

CE­CIL WHIG PHOTO BY BRI­ANNA SHEA

Elk­ton Mayor Rob Alt (left) swears in in­cum­bent Town Com­mis­sioner Earl Piner on Wed­nes­day night.

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