Com­mis­sion­ers OK mid­dle school re­source of­fi­cer

Kent County News - - NEWS - By JACK RODGERS jrodgers@thekent­coun­tynews.com

CH­ESTER­TOWN — The Kent County Com­mis­sion­ers ap­proved a school re­source of­fi­cer po­si­tion dur­ing their meet­ing Tues­day.

Sher­iff John F. Price said he would add a deputy po­si­tion to his of­fice, how­ever, the new deputy would work in Kent County Mid­dle School for the 10-month school year.

Price said the re­main­ing two months, the of­fi­cer would work for the Kent County Sher­iff’s Of­fice. In­clud­ing ben­e­fits, the of­fi­cer’s to­tal salary is ex­pected to be about $53,000.

Com­mis­sioner Ron Fithian asked if Price had a mem­o­ran­dum of un­der­stand­ing be­tween the Sher­iff’s Of­fice and the Board of Ed­u­ca­tion on job re­spon­si­bil­i­ties and du­ties. Price said he had spo­ken with Su­per­in­ten­dent Karen Couch to dis­cuss ex­pec­ta­tions.

The com­mis­sion­ers ap­proved the re­quest unan­i­mously.

John Wood­field of Del­marva Wifi talked about re­mov­ing the com­pany’s equipment from the court­house com­mu­ni­ca­tion tower.

Wood­field’s at­tor­ney, David Wright, said he had re­ceived a let­ter that would end the com­pany’s equipment lease on the tower in June.

Wood­field said he would rather take the equipment off the tower when it is taken down in the near fu­ture, which the com­mis­sion­ers agreed.

Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Co­or­di­na­tor Jamie Williams dis­cussed ap­prov­ing a $1 mil­lion conditional loan through the Mary­land Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment As­sis­tance Author­ity and Fund Pro­gram, which deals with the de­vel­op­ment of the Dixon Valve and Cou­pling dis­tri­bu­tion cen­ter.

Williams said the pre­vi­ously ap­proved loan re­quired a 10 per­cent match from the county be­fore funds were dis­trib­uted.

“We’re work­ing on the Dixon project in sev­eral phases,” Williams said. “When Dixon was orig­i­nally look­ing they had prop­erty in Smyrna, Del., as well as Ch­ester­town, so we worked with the state to make sure they stayed in Ch­ester­town.”

Williams said the loan was based on re­tain­ing jobs in Kent County for a pe­riod of 10 years. The loan agree­ment was ap­proved unan­i­mously.

The com­mis­sion­ers also rec­og­nized the cor­rec­tional of­fi­cers of the county, pro­claim­ing May 6-12 as Cor­rec­tional Em­ployee’s Week. Mike O’Neil was rec­og­nized as the cor­rec­tional of­fi­cer of the year.

Com­mis­sioner Wil­liam Pick­rum said the po­si­tions are piv­otal to the county.

In sup­port­ing county fi­und­ing for schools, Kent County Teacher’s As­so­ci­a­tion Pres­i­dent Ash­lee Langer spoke briefly about her per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ences as a teacher in Kent County dur­ing the meet­ing. She said many parts of her per­sonal nar­ra­tive tied into the larger is­sues fac­ing Kent County teach­ers.

“I am not a teacher for my salary, I’m not a teacher for my health in­sur­ance ben­e­fits. I’m not a teacher because I get my sum­mers off. ... I’m not a teacher because I wanted to carry home with me all the worry, con­cern and care for my stu­dents when some of them leave my class­room for the day,” Langer said.

Sup­port our Schools mem­ber Rebecca Heriz-Smith also spoke dur­ing the meet­ing, read­ing a se­lec­tion of com­ments from the group’s pe­ti­tion to fund the Board of Ed­u­ca­tion’s pro­posed bud­get. Heriz-Smith said the pe­ti­tion has about 270 sign­ers.

PHOTO BY JACK RODGERS

Cor­rec­tional of­fi­cer Mike O’Neil holds an award rec­og­niz­ing him as the cor­rec­tional of­fi­cer of the year dur­ing Tues­day’s Kent County Com­mis­sion­ers meet­ing.

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