Carroll County Times
Carroll County

Sykesville Town Council votes on several items

SYKESVILLE - The Sykesville Town Council voted on a number of items Monday evening, including creating a nonprofit for the Gate House Museum and Colored Schoolhouse and changing the design of the military memorial.

Nonprofit status
Audrey Cimino, director of the Community Foundation of Carroll County, answered questions about the organization of a possible Sykesville Historic Foundation.
Creating a nonprofit for the Gate House Museum and Colored Schoolhouse would allow people to donate money more freely, and allow the two organizations to overcome hurdles associated with nonprofits.
"We can do things in 10 minutes that take a year and a half to do otherwise," Cimino said.
The nonprofit would allow a board of advisers to direct the Community Foundation of Carroll County on how to spend its funds. The board of advisers would be directed through a body like the Town Council, she said.
Mayor Ian Shaw said an advisory board would likely be sought through the Town Council, or could be the council itself.
The nonprofit will have the ability to donate to the Historic Foundation, to the Gate House Museum or to the Colored School House. The council voted unanimously to create the nonprofit.


Redesign for

the military memorial
The military memorial will likely take a new, simpler form with edits included by planning commission member Ed Cinkole.
Cinkole presented a simplified military memorial design at the Town Council meeting Monday evening. The design would allow for a walkway with a square center to allow engraved bricks that were purchased for the memorial. The center would allow a six-foot star engraved into the ground with five points for each branch of the military, and it would be surrounded by greenery, according to the design.
"I kind of call it simple, elegant, respectful," Cinkole said.
He recommended using a granite border and star and bronze plaques. While it may be more expensive, Cinkole recommended finding a contractor who would just charge for labor and recommended the town use its tax-exempt status to buy the materials.
Council President Frank Robert, who has been raising money for the military memorial, said he supports the redesign.
"It's a cleaner look," he said. "[Cinkole's] passionate about the town, he wants to do a good job."
The town will next look at the cost of the project, and how to possibly raise more funds.


A new look online
The Town Council watched a webinar at the Town Council meeting from CivicPlus, a company that focuses on building government websites.
While the cost is more expensive than other possible website redesigns, Shaw said the webinar was to get an idea of the options.
Since the town staff will primarily be using the website, Shaw said they would be heading the effort to find a website provider.

Review of compensation
Due to concerns of employee turnover in public safety departments such as the Sykesville police, the town will be conducting a review of the compensation of employees in the town.
Shaw said employees are leaving to accept jobs with higher pay, while the needs for additional services are also increasing.
A task force comprised of two Town Council members and two residents of Sykesville will gather information and make recommendations for how to retain more employees. Council members Leo Keenan and Debby Ellis will represent the town on the task force, and residents Al McEvoy and Anna Carter will assist in compiling information.
Town Manager Dawn Ashbacher will facilitate meetings, and the task force will give a report to the mayor and Town Council at the October 22 meeting.