May 2014 

BQA URGES COUNTY TO JOIN COALITION
On April 29th, the following letter from BQA President Steve Donovan was sent to the County Commissioner's and County Administrator.

To the Queen Anne's County Commissioners:

 

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation was founded in 1967 with a mission to "Save the Bay, and keep it saved, as defined by reaching a 70 on CBF's Health Index (1 - 100)." 47 years later after untold millions of dollars in funding and contributions, they've managed a D+ grade (32 out of 70) according to their own biannual State of the Bay report (2013)? Einstein correctly noted, "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." 

 

Queen Anne's County has approximately 50,000 residents. Many were and are attracted here for a variety of reasons beyond our low cost of living, rural look and feel, open spaces, family friendly communities & great schools. Woven in to most every reason to "Live, Work & Play" here is the Bay itself, its functionality and beauty add significantly to our unique quality of life.  

 

Queen Anne's County has a long history of waterman who relied on the Bay's fisheries to make their living, raise their families and of course contribute tax revenues. According to the Counties website, Hospitality & Tourism accounts for nearly one fifth of our employment figures, and between the Hotel tax and the Admission & Amusement tax generate $630,655.00 in direct County revenues (FY2013 act, county budget page 6). Most here appear to recognize that without a healthy, functioning Chesapeake Bay, there's little reason for anyone to stop in and visit, to "Live, Work & Play" in QAC.

 

The Chesapeake Bay Foundations webpage correctly notes the Bay's problems stem not only from commercial and recreational activities directly in the Bay, but also from the 48 rivers and some 150 streams that feed the estuary, some 64,000 square miles of watershed area, stretching all the way north to the headwaters of the Susquehanna River in Cooperstown, N.Y.

 

Located on one major river in Maryland feeding the upper Bay (the Susquehanna), lies the Conowingo Dam. Completed in 1928, the dam produces 252 megawatts of power, second only to Niagara Falls in hydroelectric power generation. Exelon Corporation holds the FERC license to operate, & profit from this facility, so it's fair to expect they maintain and improve it. The license issued by FERC (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) is for a period from 30 to 50 years, renewal of the license is slated for September 1 2014, yet the previous license had no requirements of the company in terms of dredging what is now 86 years of piled up sediment with 'who knows what in it' behind the dam? This sediment is now arguably spilling over every day with most any rain event, and in significant quantities easily identifiable by satellite for every major event like severe storms, tropical Storms and Hurricanes. And though Exelon filed its application to re-license with FERC back in August of 2012, not a word was heard from the Chesapeake Bay Foundation as to this huge upper Bay killing issue, until the Clean Chesapeake Coalition came together and said 'enough'! Only then, did the Chesapeake Bay Foundation file to intervene in the process, August 20, 2013, a year after the re-license application had been submitted. Sensible people correctly ask, why so late to the table?    

 

The Clean Chesapeake Coalition is focusing like a laser on this very specific issue of point source pollution, separate of all other mitigation plans. It has the buy-in of Eight area counties, some who have already twice paid the $25,000.00 fee to join and focus efforts on 'this elephant in the room' sized solvable problem first!

 

The mission of the Clean Chesapeake Coalition is "to advocate, raise awareness and take action in order to improve the poor water quality of the Chesapeake Bay in the most effective and fiscally responsible manner possible. The coalition seeks to re-establish Maryland's waters and its oyster, crab, fishing, and seafood packaging industries that were once so vital to our local economies. We want the Bay to be restored to its once great role as a beacon of recreation for residents and our tourism industries."   Further, the coalition seeks "to challenge the wasteful spending on the many government mandates that rely on ineffective programs and/or facilities". Some programs I might add that after 47 years have only managed to bring us up to a 'D+' grade?

 

Members of the coalition include Kent, Frederick, Allegany, Caroline, Carroll, Dorchester, Cecil & Wicomico Counties.   Some of these counties don't sit directly on or near the Chesapeake Bay like Queen Anne's County. And no doubt some of these Counties would love to have our location, our revenues and our budget surplus, thanks to your hard work and efforts.

 

Business Queen Anne's remains highly supportive of the Clean Chesapeake Coalition, we ask you consider joining in this effort to demonstrably 'Save the Bay', so there always remains a reason to "Live, Work and Play" in Queen Anne's County, thank you.

 

Steve Donovan

President, BQA

smd@annapolis.net

 

(Also, here is an Op Ed piece from the New York Times that might interest our members!) 


CANDIDATE MEETINGS
All County Commissioner candidates have been invited to meet with BUSINESS Queen Anne's during their March, April or May board meetings. Here are bullet points from the five candidate discussion at the April 24th meeting.

Larry Lauterback - District 3 Republican

Larry is a business owner and has had ties to QAC all his life. Has the time to do this job as he is single, self-employed with grown children.

  • Jobs - Feels we need to attract good jobs. Offer tax breaks to businesses and get the permitting process under control. Would like to see the County work with Chesapeake College to train qualified employees to offer businesses coming here. Pointed out that businesses are leaving. (iSystematics, Trident Air)
  • Wye Mills Plan - Supports this and would like to see it reintroduced.
  • Four Seasons - Supports this project. Thinks it's a win-win for the County.
  • KI Sewer - Thinks the line should be run but doesn't think everyone should be forced to hook into it.
  • Conowingo - Recently spoke to Wheeler about this but still has much to learn about the situation.
  • YMCA - Is in favor of YMCA but would want to make sure that they pay back the money they would owe the County.
  • Weekly Meetings - Supports this. Has the time to do weekly.

   

Joann Wilkerson - District 4 Republican

Joann has been in the County for over 25 years. Has 2 children and runs a company from her home. She has served on many County boards. Wants to have a County where her children can live and work.

  • Economic Development - Would look into having this privatized. Wants to see more focus on Tourism dollars.
  • Wye Mills - Supports the college collaborating with businesses. Would like to see it be a four year college that produces a skilled workforce.
  • KI Sewer - She is for running the sewer line.
  • Jobs - Feels this County has trouble attracting good jobs. Perhaps due to our rural landscape? Need to provide infrastructure. Feels the EDC should be in the forefront and get this message out instead of environmentalists being the only vocal ones.
  • Four Seasons - Has always supported. We need to keep our seniors! Feels this project would boost local businesses, jobs would be created during the building process and feels that they have done a good job as far as environmental impact is concerned.
  • Board of Education - Is committed to giving the Minimum of Effort but rest of budget monies awarded needs to be scrutinized.
  • YMCA - Not happy with the turn key agreement
  • Budget - Wonders how the salaries for some County positions are set. Can they be re-evaluated?

 

Jim Moran - At Large Republican

Jim owns two businesses, has served on the EDC and Planning Commission. Jim wants to see certain services restored in the County.

  • Board of Education - Last year they were awarded 3 M over the MOE. He asked why it was being requested and they said that 2.4 million was for raises.
  • Economic Development - Would like to see this privatized and would like to see a full time Tourism department. Wants to see high speed internet everywhere. Wants County Commissioners to meet with prospective businesses to sell them on coming to our County. Commissioners should be given the ability to negotiate with the business prospects.
  • Conowingo - Thinks the County should join the Coalition.
  • YMCA - Does not support this agreement as is. Would like to see the YMCA be responsible for another 2 million. He doesn't think that this public/private partnership is the way things are normally handled with the YMCA but he does think a deal will be made.
  • Wye Mills Plan - Thinks this should be reintroduced.

 

Steve Wilson - District 2 Republican

Steve is a finance guy who has served on many County boards that cover everything from the Airport to Emergency Services. He has the ability to navigate through agreements and point out the weaknesses in them.  

  • Conowingo - Would support joining the Coalition
  • KI Sewer - Conducted a County wide poll and included verbiage about the cost. 60% polled were averse to running the sewer with high costs. Certainly does not want to see health issues but feels that there has to be a better way to pay for the line to be run. Doesn't think those with non-failing systems should have to saddle the debt. Knows this has been studied quite a bit but he, personally, needs to know more.
  • YMCA - Steve is not happy with the contract or the location. When he read the MOU he immediately had a red flag concerning the fact that there was no collateral for the debt.
  • Jobs - County needs to target specific businesses. Maybe offer a performance fee to County employee who can accomplish this.
     

 

Paul Comfort - District 1 Republican

Paul has been a County employee in the past working for the Dept of Aging and as our County Administrator. He has 30 years of public service. Feels he is the only candidate that could hit the ground running on day one.

  • Economic Development - The intensity of this County department needs to be ratcheted up a notch! All new ideas should be encouraged. Look for new opportunities but also take new opportunities that come our way. More business here leads to less tax burden on homeowners.       It also allows people to live and work here and be more involved in their community. The County needs to change its message and this should be the number 1 priority!
  • Weekly Meetings - Supports having meetings once a week.
  • YMCA - Would not have supported this project. Doesn't mind the donation of land but doesn't think they should give them money. Is more concerned about where our children will work then where they will swim.

BQA MEMBERSHIP & AD SPONSORSHIP
QAC has another important upcoming election, BQA seeks support both in member numbers and sponsor dollars to keep our momentum going!  Recall the last election, support we received allowed us to run positive, verifiable, fact based ad's which helped counter confusing & at times misleading information being presented to County voters.  The entrenched groups against growth have a record, we'd like to remind the County of that record when the new campaign promises of compromise or working together start ramping up in earnest!  The undeniable fact is their record clearly shows they've an unwavering adherence to No Growth anywhere, anyhow in QAC!  BQA has great faith in Queen Anne's County voters, especially when they're fully informed as to the issues, including cost/benefit analysis, with balanced information.
 
If you know a business that would be a great asset as a member, please contact our Membership Chair, Jack Ashley at jackashley@mris.com

You can also contactadministrator@businessqueenannes.com for a copy of the following application!

In This Issue
Candidate Meetings
BQA Membership & Ad Sponsorship
Assistance Needed
Mark Your Calendar
Blackboard Connect

 

Your BQA Board!

 

Steve Donovan, President

Title One & Associates, Inc.

410-758-1831

smd@annapolis.net

 

Mareen Waterman, Vice President

Coldwell Banker Waterman Realty

410-643-5005

mareenwaterman@mris.com 

 

Nick Deoudes

Deoudes-Magafan Realty, Inc.

410-827-5441

ndeoudes@atlanticbb.net 

 

Mike Dahle

Bay Carpets Flooring America

410-820-7288

mdahle@baycarpets.com 

 

Tim Champion

Champion Improvements Inc.

410-643-4886

 improve@atlanticbb.net 

 

Bob Wilson

Mears Point Marina

410-827-8888

bobwilson@mearspoint.com 

 

Cheryl Russell

Delmarva Power

410-758-4127

cheryl.russell@delmarva.com 

  

Barry Griffith

Lane Engineering

410-758-2095

bgriffith@leinc.com 

  

George O'Donnell

ASTECH SECURITY

410-490-7400 

george@astechsecurity.com 

 

Jack Ashley

410-310-0800

jackashley@mris.com

  

Sandra Early 

Administrator  

410-643-6288  

sandra.early@verizon.net 

  

MEMBER ASSISTANCE NEEDED!

 

BQA is looking for members to sign up to attend Commissioner's Meetings and/or Planning Commission Meetings!

 

If you are interested, please contact Administrator, Sandra Early at

administrator@businessqueenannes.com

 

Click the logo above for the latest QAC Financial Status Update!! 

 

 

 

 

 

Mark Your Calendar...

 

County Commissioner's Meeting

Second and Fourth

Tuesday of the month!

Click here for published agendas! 

107 N. Liberty Street
Centreville, MD 21617
  
Planning Commission Meetings
160 Coursevall Drive
Centreville, MD 21617
  
  
 
 
BLACKBOARD CONNECT
What is the Blackboard Connect™ service?

The Blackboard Connect™ service allows authorized County Officials to create and rapidly disseminate time-sensitive messages to every telephone number, cell number or email address stored in the notification database. Only authorized County Officials are allowed access to the system.

To sign up now, click here!

You will receive notices like the public hearing announcement for the Southern Kent Island Sanitary Project Public Hearing held on May 1st at KIHS
 
Here is a link to the power point from that hearing: http://www.qactv.com/home/ski-sanitary-project/

It will also take you to a video of the hearing.


BUSINESS Queen Anne's

A Coalition for Economic Development and Responsible Government


The mission of BUSINESS Queen Anne's is to actively advocate sound economic growth; review all proposed state and local legislation and regulations; provide an objective assessment of proposed development in Queen Anne's County and its incorporated towns; endorse and support countywide growth that is well managed and consistent with adopted state and local planning and regulatory guidelines, comprehensive plans, and state and local initiatives; create positive and "business friendly" attitudes on the part of Queen Anne's County elected and appointed officials; and support business activity that promotes and encourages a vibrant economy, development of an adequate labor pool, a fiscally responsible and accountable county government, and a continued unique quality of life in Queen Anne's County.
  

You can find BQA on Facebook! Make sure to "Like" us!

 

 

BUSINESS Queen Anne's c/o Sandra's Office Support | 405 Victoria Way | Stevensville | MD | 21666