In the sixth and final installment of the Focus on the Counties series, Tom speaks with Kent County Administrator, Shelley Herman Heller. Kent County is one of nine counties in the state that do not have a county executive, instead administrators are appointed by a board of elected commissioners. Heller was appointed County Administrator in July 2015. She is a Kent County native, and was town administrator of her hometown, Betterton, MD, from 2011 -2014, and then the finance officer for the town before taking on the top job in the county.
Also joining the conversation is Chris Cerino. He’s the mayor of Chestertown, the largest town in Kent County. As a part-time mayor, Cerino makes an annual salary of $7,500 a year. In his other day job, he is Vice President of the Sultana Education Foundation, a local nonprofit that focuses on the history and ecology of the Chesapeake Bay.
With just 20,000 residents, Kent is Maryland’s smallest county and the population is still declining. Heller and Cerino join to discuss the challenges of serving an aging and shrinking population.
The Chestertown Riverfest takes place from Sept. 23-24 on the shore of the Chester River. The festival features food, crafts, water sports and other family activities. The festival is presented by Chestertown RiverArts, Washington College Center for Environment and Society and SANDBOX.