20160331 Ryan Helfenbein-6525

Photo courtesy of Steve Atkinson

Ryan Helfenbein came well prepared for those difficult questions all of us have although we rarely discuss it.  What do we need to take care of before we die?  What power do our spouses and heirs have over the funeral and burial/cremation choices if we fail to make our own in advance?  How do we save a lot of money,save all the money, or spend it wisely on a funeral that really fits the person who has just passed away?

There was a lot of solid information that most folks simply don’t know and it is very obvious that a small effort now to properly understand all the options would be well worth our time rather than have such hard decisions passed on to those we care about forcing them to decide when it is most difficult.  Whether you want a truly quiet and solemn funeral for an untimely and surprise death all the way to a party atmosphere for a long life, well lived, we now have a myriad of choices.  Are you well informed about the realities and rules of cremation?  The list is quite a long one when it comes to what you likely don’t fully understand.

While CBG does not endorse any businesses, we think getting a good perspective and understanding about such planning would be essential and very smart.  Ryan gave us a truly professional and upbeat presentation that found lots of interest with our audience……..



Photo above, left to right:  Ellsworth Tolliver, John Queen, Steven Atkinson and Brian Williams.  Missing Joe Goetz.

The above photo shows John Queen expressing his unique take on how he would approach the job of sitting on the Kent County Board of Education.  All four candidates were given adequate time to tell us their approach and their history which shows why they have interest in running for the BOE.  Bryan Williams, a two time incumbent of the BOE, gave us a taste of his actual years of experience in the way he now clearly understands the mandated rules of the operation of the BOE and how it is limited and constrained to stay within the guidelines.  The other three candidates along with a letter from Joe Goezt explaining his absence, and also why he would like the opportunity to be on the BOE  had time to give what could be called their hopeful views of how they might help Kent County Schools to succeed with student and the budget.

Steve Atkinson has had a long time commitment to Kent County schools and activities.  He stressed the importance of good schools in the overall plan to improve our economic development.  John Queen comes at the problems from his long time work with the children and their families in our County.  Through his major role in the HOYAS and in other noteworthy similar positions, he has obvious compassion for the well-being of children.  He puts his distinctive and personal touch on how he’d like to see change for the better in the schools while not tearing them apart in the process.  Admittedly, it is a delicate line between criticism and activism which he negotiates with what appears to be a high degree of success on occasion.  Ellsworth Tolliver comes to the candidacy with years of professional education experience and a loyalty to our school system having  graduated KHS in 1973.  He delivered his message with a calm and experienced tone of sureness and compassion.  Bryan Williams, the incumbent, told us what the BOE faces in terms of limitations, burdens, and rules.  He seemed willing to think a bit outside the box in terms of fundraising for schools and might welcome some new ideas to the Board.  The realities of the job seem to greatly tone down the hopes and aspirations of those who go from candidate to elected officials.   Of course, this is broadly the case, not just for Board of Education people.

Kent CBG wishes all the candidates good luck, thanks them for caring about the children and their schools, and for sharing their time with us.  We’ll see how the election goes.



On March 10, 2016, in Uncategorized, by David Atlas

20160310 Kay MacIntosh-3611 Photo courtesy of Steve Atkinson

Kay MacIntosh wears many hats.  She is highly versed in the events going on at the local hospital, the overall forces behind economic development in Chestertown, and a guiding light for the Arts & Entertainment district within Chestertown.  We heard a good hour plus of the newest knowledge of where things stand today and what the goals are going forward.  There were, as usual, many questions,.  Kay seemed to enjoy responding without ducking the issues.  You can’t say “Yes” to all requests and you can’t say “No” to all requests, either.  The balancing act of keeping an historic town worth a visit, worthwhile to live in, and worthwhile to have a business in has so many potential problems even in great general economic times.  Today’s changing world has not made Kay’s task easier, but it sounded to most present like Chestertown has chosen a winner.  We all hope and support Chestertown so it can succeed and thrive in the coming years.

Thank you Kay for your good talk and for your straight responses to our questions.




Apex sent us their three man team and they made a professional and well planned presentation.  We got to pick the bones of what was presented and found some missing details and some unexplained statistics that needed more information.  Mixing statistics covering 30 years with data covering only 1 year without really making it clear is not a tactic that engenders trust.  More clarity and disclosure needs to come to the surface.  I believe it can be done, but will it happen willingly or only under pressure from county residents?  It does not appear it will happen all on its own.

Dedicated Kent County folks turned out in good numbers to give long time residents perspectives which do differ from the way APEX wants us all to see the issues.  Such a divide in opinions cannot be settled in an hour or in two hours, but having a friendly forum was of great use to all who attended.  All of us now can better appreciate what the issues are here.  It just isn’t as simple as one might wish.  Will Kent County be able to preserve all of the agricultural zoning into the future?  Will Kent County ever be able to market the specifically zoned property currently set aside for uses such as solar generation facilities?  Can there be some trade off in between that will work for all concerned.  The jury must remain out for now.   It was good to get a glimpse behind the scenes of the economic and political realities of “going solar”.  CBG was thrilled to have such a good sized attendance with so many really smart and dedicated local folks turning out to voice their concerns.


Thank you APEX and to Local residents who came to CBG to Learn with US….

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