ost private parties
(Formerly Tavern at the Village in Wildewood Retirement Center)
in one spot,” said Guazzo.St. Mary’s airport wasapproved for a runway expan-sion from 4,150 feet to 5,350feet to accommodate largeraircraft, and make it feasiblefor commuter aircraft in thefuture, said DPWT engineerGary Whipple.Following the PlanningCommission hearing whereSt. Mary’s County PublicSchools (SMCPS) sought wa-ter and sewer approval, Clem-ents said he was not sure howSMCPS was going to addressthe issues raised by Guazzoand the board.And although the noiseand safety issues are om-nipresent and ongoing in acounty inundated with air
trafc from the airport and
the Naval Air Station, LandUse and Growth Management(LUGM) and the BOE disre-garded the concern becausethe school site is permitteduse within the St. Mary’sCounty Comprehensive Zon-ing Ordinance.Board of Education law-yer Jacquelyn V. Meiser hasused the Comprehensive Zon-ing Ordinance on a number of occasions todispel con-cerns fromthe govern-ment thatthe schoolsite’s proximity to the airportcould endanger or disruptschool instruction. Accord-ing to the ordinance, a schoolsite is allowed in area four of the AE overlay zone, which iswhere the property in ques-tion is located.However, Meiser andLUGM never outlined the
four possible classications
the property could receive,and the one it did, which was“Normally Compatible.”
The ordinance denes
“Normally Compatible” as,“exposure to accident poten-tial is great enough to be of some concern, but density of people and structures, whenproperly planned, will allowthe accidental potential envi-ronment to be acceptable.”Whipple, who has workedon the airport expansion proj-ect, and serves the AirportAdvisory Committee as atechnical representative, saidalthough the approach patternshould not be a major safetyrisk “everything needs to beevaluated.”Clements said SMCPSwould work with DPWT tostudy the noise and safetyconcerns, but according toWhipple neither Clements nora representative from SMCPShas contacted him yet.The Planning Commis-sion voted unanimously toapprove the water and sewerchanges. However, it re-minded Clements that when
SMCPS came back for nal
approval it would expect thequestions of noise and safetyto be addressed.The elementary schoolis slated to open September,2009, Clements said, but anyhold up from the PlanningCommission would assuredly“delay the ’09 opening.”The Airport AdvisoryCommittee is concerned that
the nal determination from
DPWT and SMCPS could beto change the approach pat-tern, or worse case scenario,relocate the airport, Whipplesaid.“The airport has beenhere,” Whipple added. “Thereis concern that once the schoolis built, it will be noticed thatairport operations are puttinga somewhat negative impacton the environment becauseof the approach pattern… Weneed to protect our investmentin the airport.”
Continued from page A-
room apartments and 60 as-sisted living units, Rollinssaid. There are no plans foran on-site medical facility, headded.However, according toRollins, the project cannotgo forward without the con-struction of public sewer.This particular site is alreadyhooked up to public water,he said, and for the project tomove forward, DRPCS wouldneed to access public sewerafter plans to tie the projectinto surrounding septic tanksfaltered.“We thought about tyinginto the veterans’ hall system,but the feasibility study wouldcost $50,000 and it was pos-sible it wouldn’t even work,”Rollins said to the countycommissioners at the Jan. 23meeting.
Meanwhile, the classi
-cation of Charlotte Hall as atown center in the county’scomprehensive plan makes theidea of having public sewer inthe future “conceivable,” ac-cording to Housing AuthorityExecutive Director Dennis L.Nicholson.Commissioner LarryJarboe (R- Golden Beach) re-minded Nicholson and Rollinsin the recent Mohawk Drivehearings and said the peopleof that area “do not want waterand sewer.”“You’ve got seniors insupport,” Jarboe added of theseniors who took part in thedevelopment of the plan. “Butyou also have seniors on Mo-hawk Drive very much againstit. That balance is going to be
very difcult to nd.”
Jarboe suggested the de-partments take a deeper look at tying into the two private-septic systems currently serv-ing the area.Frederick said what willhappen in Charlotte Hall is notknown at this point, but he ex-pects public water and sewerthere in the future. For now,residents have to wait aboutthree months while LUGMdrafts a new proposal.The commissioners are
also concerned about trafc
congestion the developmentcould create from CharlotteHall Road. On access to thesite, Commissioner Daniel H.Raley called for considerationto an additional road out toRoute 6.“Charlotte Hall road thereis a nice road, it lends itself to
interior trafc,” Raley said.
“But if you do everythingyou’re talking about with310 units and a multi-gen-erational center, now we are
talking about big time trafc
increases.”Nicholson said the ac-cess roads would also be ad-dressed, but not until the sew-er proposal was resolved.According to the plan, therecreation center’s serviceswould be open to the public.While the pool would
not be entirely self-sufcient,
Nicholson said he could see itgenerating 75 percent of therevenue needed to support itsfunctions.The property faces other
signicant hurdles, includ
-ing an inappropriate zoning
classication of TMX, which
would need to be amended toallow for more density. Rol-lins also envisioned the hous-ing project as a public-privatepartnership, where a privateentity would build and man-age the property. Finding thatpartner, however, could be achallenge, he added.The commissionerspraised Rollins and his staff for their hard work, but re-minded them of the challengesthat lie ahead.“This is a major undertak-ing,” Commissioner ThomasA. Mattingly (D- Leonard-town) said to Rollins. “I’m nottrying to be negative, but I justwant you to look at the chal-lenges that face this project...Anyone who is going to use[these facilities] is going to besupportive, but others will notbe supportive.”
Continued from page A-
Mattingly was only concernedabout the fees going too high.“We raise fees on a regu-lar basis just as every golf course does to keep up withrising costs,” Rollins added.The cost of an indivdualunlimited membership atWhite Plains, in La Plata, is$960, which is $90 less thanthe approved fee increase.However, Wicomico’s seasonpasses are less than BretonBay, Cedar Point, ChesapeakeHills, Potomac Ridge andSwan Point.Other in-creases in-clude the cartfee, which wasraised by $1 for18 holes and $.50 for 9 holes.Twilight fees on the weekdaywent up $1 for individuals andseniors, and $2 on the week-end for individuals and $1.50for seniors. For a seven-daylimited family season passthe fee was raised by $60. Byfamily, Wicomico only countstwo people.That is something boardmember, Richard A. Smith,would like to see changed,according to Patricia Meyers,the course manager.“He thought a family passshould be a family,” Meyerssaid. “Whether there are two
people, four people or ve
people, he wanted us to takethat under consideration.”Smith was unable to at-tend last week’s meeting.The renovations on theclubhouse should begin bythe end of February, Rollinssaid. Meanwhile, the tempo-rary operations trailer wasdelivered, and Meyers jokedwith the board that she wasready to move into the traileras soon as possible.
Continued from page A-
By Adam RossStaff Writer
Three percent of St.Mary’s County PublicSchools’ $150 million operat-ing budget goes towards pro-grams and textbooks, a thinslice of what was requestedby parents and educators atthe Jan. 24 Board of Educa-tion budget forum.Superintendent of SchoolsMichael J. Martirano ad-dressed the families and edu-cators at the public hearingearnestly, citing inadequaciesin the Bridge to Excellencefunding agreement with thecounty and the many chal-lenges that lie ahead.“This year we have toaddress things we’ve put off in the past,” Martirano said.“Last year we also had chal-lenges of energy issues, andwe did have things put off, de-
ned as below the line.”
Of the various programsslated for the $5.1 millionpiece of the pie from thisyear’s budget request of $170million, Martirano includeda Chinese language program,technology upgrades, a newcharter school, the Science,Technology, Engineering andMath consortium (STEM),and new freshman sports pro-grams in his budget vision for
scal year (FY) 2008.
The meeting gave thepublic the opportunity to com-ment and request changes toMartirano’s budget. Speakerswere given three minutes tovoice their opinions, but oftenspoke beyond the time limit.Todd Morgan, a residentof the county, expressed hisconcerns over the UnitedState’s inability to graduate
technically qualied indi
-viduals to keep up with de-mand. A supporter of STEM,Morgan said the schools needmore programs like it to keeptechnology jobs from goingoverseas.Representing Leonard-town athletics booster, MikeCapasso, spoke to the needfor more freshman athleticteams.“The demand for fresh-man teams are ever increas-ing,” Capasso said. “The
benets of athletics within
schools are well known. Theyprovide positive opportunity,encourage academic excel-lence and reinforce positivesocial behavior.”Capasso was concernedthat without freshman sports,youth who were not physicallymature enough to compete at junior varsity or varsity levelswould lose interest and notreturn.Youth Athletics CoachDon Teston said he too wouldlike to see more freshmanteams integrated into the pub-lic school system.Then there was DeborahCurtis, a substitute teacher inthe county, who has not re-ceived a raise in nine years.“I have come to ask fora raise,” Curtis said to theboard. “I started to substitutein 1998, and while I was in mytraining, salaries increasedfrom $45 to $50 a day. Today,I make $50 a day.”Curtis averaged the sub-stitute teacher rates of 14 of Maryland’s 23 counties andfound them to be making$62.90 a day. She said she at-tempted to obtain data for all23 counties, but only foundthe data available for the 14.Curtis said she is only askingto make the average and not acent more.While Curtis was theonly substitute teacher toaddress the board, severaleducators spoke to a need formore technology in the class-room. Mary Ann Stamm,a library media specialist atLeonardtown High School forover 32 years, urged the board“to fully fund the technologybudget.”“If just one computer isnot functioning, frustrationoccurs for students and teach-ers,” Stamm added.Jan Emerson, presidentof the Educational Asso-ciation of St. Mary’s County(EASMC), praised Martrianoand the Board of Education(BOE) members for a budgetthat corresponds to the needsof the system.Others, like Ida Abell,who has two children in Chop-ticon High School, lambastedSTEM for possibly relocatingquality teachers from Chop-ticon, and bussing studentsover an hour to a “dangerous”Great Mills High School.Alonzo Gaskin, a native of St. Mary’s County, said he wasa product of “the most violentschool in St. Mary’s County,”in response to Abell’s claimof Great Mills High Schoolbeing dangerous, which wasreceived by a chuckle fromthe crowd. Gaskin added thathe was in support of the bud-get, and Martirano was the
rst superintendent who has
“given some real meat andthought into closing the gapwith minor-ity hiring andretention.”NationalAssociationfor the Ad-vancement of Colored Peo-ple chairper-son, Janice T.Walthour, said“recruiting mi-norities mustbe done witha sense of ur-gency by all of those respon-sible to ensurethe countyhas a diverseresource.”“Princi-pals, supervi-sors, everyone who makes adecision that affects inclusive-ness or exclusiveness mustcontinually promote equityand ensure diversity.”Minority staff accountsfor about 6 percent of thecounty’s public schools over-all staff numbers, while theminority student populationis about 25 percent, Walthoursaid. He requested that theaddition of the human re-sources specialist, proposedin Martirano’s budget request,would be “solely responsiblefor minority recruitment.”The board will now re-view the public input and dis-cuss it at a Jan. 31 work ses-sion, according to BOE mem-ber William M. Mattingly.After the board consid-ers the public comments, theywill submit the budget to theBoard of County Commis-sioners. When the commis-sioners receive the budget inFebruary, they will have toconsider the BOE’s additionalrequest of $7.8 million over theBridge to Excellence agree-ment, which ensures schools a$2.4 million increase over the
scal 2007 operating budget.
Salvatore L. Raspa,chairperson of the BOE, wasunable to attend the meetingbecause of a family medicalproblem, Mattingly said.
Public Steps In, TellsSchool Board its Business
Photo by Adam Ross
Dr. Michael Martirano, superintendent of St. Mary’s Schools, outlines his budget proposal for the public during the Jan. 24 Board of Education Budget Forum.