Mayor Cerino turned out a lively and good sized audience for his local address to our Kent CBG members.  With the limited financial resources, limited power beyond the town limits and keeping in mind that private enterprise needs to succeed in Chestertown, the Mayor has his hands both full and often tied at the same time.  It is good to hear about what is happening from the head of local town government, from someone deeply part of the non-profit scene and also as a private citizen..  Roll all that into one and you have Mayor Cerino.  You can just tell he is doing the job mostly because it is such a good fit for him and it is something he enjoys doing well.

We asked some tough questions about the Marina property, the Armory and Stepney Manor and other properties where development might someday occur.  While some options are not on the table, there may be wiggle room for something good to come out of these potential sites.  Where are we with the Fiber Optic Internet?  We plan to have the Kent County IT chief, Scott Boone in two seeks to tell us exactly what is going on.  The mayor thought there was some sort of slow down, but did not think it was a failed mission.  We’ll get something more definitive shortly for out participants.

Thanks Mr. Mayor.  We know you are having the big Down Rigging weekend beginning today, so we appreciate the time you spent with us.

 

2017-10-19 12.02.20(2)Each of the Candidates impressed us with their desire to help make Chestertown a great place to live and work.  While Elsworth Tolliver has no opposition in Ward 3, Owen Bailey and Bob Miller along with David Foster, who spoke last week, were asking for your vote in Ward 1.  All four of the Candidates had good ideas, all four come into the contest with quite diverse ideas of what is important to them, to the town and to their constituents.  All of them made good sense to listen to.  The dilemma for voters will be picking the right person to elect in Ward 1.  Ward 3 has a very good man ready to take up the reins of leadership and it seemed to us that any one of the three candidates had enough sense to do some good things in office, if elected.  Who will it be?  Stay tuned.  We will all find out in early November.

Remember, just a few votes make a big difference.  If you live in Ward 1, please make an effort to speak personally with candidates who ring your doorbell.  Ask your long time neighbors about those people who are running for office and see what they suggest and ask “why?”.  Be an informed voter and make a difference.

This meeting was an excellent opportunity to understand what is so good about Kent Community Breakfast Group.  The Candidates had time to speak and time to answer all sorts of questions without restraint.  While we did not solve the pressing issues of the day, we got to know all four of the Town Council Candidates far better than reading a sign on the side of the highway.

 

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David Foster was the first of the four candidates for Chestertown Council who will be addressing Kent CBG.  Three additional candidates intend to come on 10/19/2017 to tell us about their experiences ,backgrounds, and what they’d like to accomplish if and when they are elected to Town Council in November.

Mr. Foster has a wide range of global experience related to government and to the private sector when it comes to urban planning and related issues such as the environment.  Since he was the sole speaker able to schedule for  today’s CBG meeting, he had a large opportunity to take numerous questions related to the future of Chestertown and how he’d propose to insure a good long term plan and future for the town.  The essence of it, as I understood it, is to set realistic goals of things that are possible while seeking to make the outcomes palatable to long term residents and well as for those who would be newcomers.  Our local demographics show too few younger people and young families and a larger than beneficial number of older people.  To grow and prosper, we may need to consider how to increase younger folks to call this place their home.  Doing this is a big challenge.  Maybe some of our extraordinary local minds can accomplish what must be done to get jobs in Kent County, garner an educated population suited for these local jobs and to further develop our local the schools to also help fill the desired workforce. 

We spoke about the Marina.  It has possibilities, but we need to watch the expenses and keep our eye on the target of making it pay its own way at some point.  For now, the marina has been saved, but where do we go from here?  We will need smart folks leading the way to make sure the right moves are made to keep it safe and to make it viable for the right kinds of development.

We spoke about the necessity of the local hospital.  It is a hot topic and highly important to the viability of the town and the county.  We need leaders who understand both the politics of this issue as well as the economics of it. 

We await the other candidates and their opinions, too.

 

 

Judge Nunn divides his time on the bench between his primary location in Kent County and districts all over the state who have more work than their local district court judge can handle.  So he sees a wide variety of issues and people from not just this little county, but from the perspective of his diverse travels throughout the state.  He told us how glad he is at the end of a long day on the Western side of the Bay to find himself back in the relative peacefulness of the Eastern Shore.  While we might think things are not perfect here, he understands much more than many folks how far worse things can be elsewhere.

The Judge discussed the hope of saving substantial State funds by shortening some sentences in various ways that the State Legislature has enacted into law.  Whether we will see financial benefits is unclear.  What else remains unclear is if shorter sentences will have any effect, positive or negative on the lives of the general population.  He made no predictions, but it seems truly naïve to think that liberalizing release from jail and granting many more days off sentences for good behavior, was going to make much improvement for law abiding people.  We will have to wait and see how it goes as no one can truly predict what difference it may make.

We listened to some great first hand information on the drug epidemic, treatment options, incarceration decisions and everyday problems faced by a judge in his work.  We touched on the problem of people with criminal records getting employment even when the offense was very old or relatively minor.  Being a judge is a challenging  job yet one that offers a true opportunity to make a positive difference for some of the folks brought before the court.  Not everyone can be rescued. Some people have proven they won’t accept help, but some will benefit from customized judicial assistance.  This is where the courts and good judges can and do make a difference for all of us.  If you didn’t attend, you really missed a great and informative opportunity.

 
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