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Park and Recreation Committee minutes ‘improperly’ filed

Richard Fulton

(6/2) An Emmitsburg commissioner and town staff entered into a somewhat heated exchanged during the June 2 meeting of the town Board of Commissioners over the posting of committee minutes.

The terse comments were exchanged during the discussions of the then-proposed 2014-2015 budget when Commissioner Jennifer Mellor, who also serves as liaison to the town Parks and Recreation Committee, asked about funding being pursued to support improvements within the parks system.

Town Manager David Haller stated that staff was pursuing grants available through the state Project Open Space (POS) money and through the state Communities Parks and Playground Program.

Haller said that, regarding POS money, "about $345,000 is available to be split between the municipalities and there has been about $440,000 (collectively) asked for" by all of the municipalities submitting requests.

However, he noted, it was not possible to state which projects submitted by the town would be approved for POS funding. Projects relating to parks and recreation which were rejected by POS could then be applied for under the Communities Parks and Playground Program.

Haller said he had solicited project ideas from the commissioners by email to determine what projects they would like to see funded.

The town manager also suggested during the discussions that if the parks and recreation committee had properly filed their minutes, town staff would also have had those to take into consideration when composing a list of projects for possible grants.

The Emmitsburg Town Code explicitly directs that committee minutes, as well as resolutions "and other official (committee) documents be filed with the town by posting them in a designated record book, and that the entry be signed.

Mellow stated she was not aware of that aspect of her duties under the code and suggested town staff was at fault for it. "No one has told me that I’m supposed to do that…If I’m sending the minutes to the wrong place, I would certainly hope the town staff would tell me…that’s just common courtesy," she said.

She said she had handed them over to a member of the town staff, to which Haller replied, "You’re supposed to put them in a booklet. The code says that."

In conclusion, Haller agreed to provide Mellor with instructions on how to perform her committee duties regarding filing minutes under the town code

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