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