You read it here first. The Town of North Beach is considering a change in its charter that would free it from having to purchase a newspaper advertisement, formally publishing “a fair summary of an adopted ordinance.”
The amended charter would allow the municipality’s officials to add “other methods of publication.” The town would still be obligated to adhere to state law requirements regarding publication of certain announcements.
Town Clerk Stacy Milor, who read the proposed charter resolution into the record at the North Beach Town Council’s Oct. 8 meeting, noted one announcement that would still be required to “be published in a newspaper of general circulation” would be notice of a “constant yield” budget hearing regarding any proposed property tax rate prior to the start of a new fiscal year. The town has regularly published legal advertisements in Southern Maryland News.
The resolution draft reads, “The town council believes that the requirement of newspaper publication is obsolete and unduly expensive and that other forms of communication are better suited to providing actual notice of council actions to members of the general public, while also being less expensive.”
“Newspapers are becoming obsolete,” Milor stated during her presentation, adding that the town’s website is reaching more people. Milor added that several municipalities in Maryland are passing similar amendments.
A public hearing on the proposal will be held prior to the council voting on it.
Primo project funding grant closed
A mandatory public hearing was held prior to the start of the council’s October meeting to formally mark the end of the implementation of a grant project. Nearly six years ago, the Town of North Beach obtained a $47,950 Maryland Community Development Block Grant for the Autism Project Inc.’s independent living home, which is located on Dayton Avenue.
“The project is now home to four young men in their mid-20s and of various levels of the autism spectrum,” stated town treasurer Joanne Hunt, who noted the residents “are outstanding in our community, have jobs and maintain the property.”
Of the grant, Hunt added, “We have met all the requirements of the grant.”
The Owings-based nonprofit named the dwelling the Primo House in honor of the grandfather of The Autism Project Inc.’s Executive Director Angela Gaither-Parker. At the July 2015 dedication of the house, Gaither-Parker explained her grandfather was from Sicily and “primo” means “No. 1” in Italian.
It was noted in the town’s grant summary sheet that quarterly meetings are held at the Primo House to monitor the residents’ progress.
No public comment was offered during the hearing. Prior to the close of the hearing, Hunt noted, “We [North Beach] don’t even qualify for CDB grants anymore.”
Hunt recognized for 30 years of service
Mayor Mike Benton announced that Hunt had recently marked her 30th anniversary as a town staff member. “Joanne started as an administrative assistant on Oct. 4, 1990,” said Benton, who added Hunt subsequently became assistant treasurer and then treasurer.
“Anything about money, she knows what’s going on,” said Benton. “She keeps a tight ship when it comes to money, for the residents. It has made my job easier knowing that she’s there.”
“Joanne loves the Town of North Beach,” said Milor. “She’s been really good to work with.”
“It’s been a true pleasure,” Hunt said. “It doesn’t feel like 30 years.”
Benton noted that the ongoing pandemic has made Hunt’s job more challenging due to the slacking of revenues the town had been anticipating.
“Year number 30 and she’s going to have to deal with a COVID budget,” said the mayor.