• City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
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City Council Minutes

December 8, 2014
Council met at 6:15 pm in closed executive session to consider a matter that concerns the proposal for a business or industrial organization to locate, expand, or remain in the City (Sailwinds Project).

The City Council met in regular session on Monday, December 8, 2014 in Council Chambers. A quorum being present, Mayor Victoria Jackson-Stanley called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. Those Commissioners in attendance were Commissioners Vickers, Sydnor, Cooke, Thomas, and Hanson. Mayor Victoria Jackson-Stanley asked for a moment of silence. Commissioner Hanson led in the Pledge of Allegiance.

A motion by Commissioner Hanson to adopt the agenda as presented was seconded and passed unanimously.

A motion by Commissioner Thomas to approve the minutes of the November 24, 2014 Council meeting with one editorial correction was seconded and passed unanimously.

Public Hearing

Unified Development Code-This public hearing was advertised in the Star Democrat on November 23 and December 1, 2014 and in the Dorchester Star on November 28, 2014. The Planning and Zoning Commission held a public hearing on April 15, 2014 and unanimously approved the Unified Development Code. The City Council held their first public hearing on October 20, 2014. Rob Collison provided information on some minor revisions to the Waterfront Overlay District. It is similar to a Planned Unit Development (PUD). With a PUD, the Planning Commission has a great deal of discretion and authority to approve the development plan. An additional purpose has been added to preserve the views of the Choptank River and Cambridge Creek and protect them from encroachment and obstruction of buildings and other structures. Continuous site lines, significant views from the site to the historic district and downtown shall be enhanced, protected, and preserved. Another proposed amendment would include language that before any subdivision or development approval within the mixed-used waterfront overlay district can occur, there has been a cultural and historic view shed analysis. It must be provided to the Planning Commission for approval and shall be prepared as part of the development plan. The effective date of the UDC will be January 1, 2015.

Jim Culver said it sounds to him that the citizens would like to be represented and would like to see the river and if someone were to come in and make a development, that the developer would keep in mind that we live here, we want to see the water, and we don't want someone to block the view for everybody else.

Nobody else asked to speak. A motion by Commissioner Thomas to close the public hearing was seconded and approved unanimously.

Appointments

(None)

Unfinished Business

Second reading and public comment on City Manager-related charter resolutions and ordinance-Commissioner Sydnor asked if this requires publication in the Daily Banner for two weeks before a public hearing. Rob Collison said the State law provides that a Charter Resolution is approved in the same manner as the City's resolutions-not ordinances. It is different. Our Code does not require resolutions to have a specific date in advance of public hearings. It requires publication four weeks in a row following its approval. Rob Collison summarized the Charter Resolutions and the Ordinance. If they are approved this evening, the fortieth day with regard to the filing of a petition for referendum would be January 20, 2015. If they are approved on December 15, 2014, that date would be January 26, 2015. If no petition is filed, the effective date would be January 27, 2015 and if it is approved next week, the date would be February 3, 2015. The salary for the City Manager has yet to be determined. Richard Lalka discussed the position of Mayor and the right to vote. William Jackson asked about taxes being increased to pay the salary of the City Manager. He feels there may be a hidden agenda and things we should know and are not being told. He thinks the people should have the opportunity to vote to change our form of government and our City Charter. He thinks Council needs to take a strong look at the big picture. Steve Rideout said they had done research on the potential cost for a City Manager. They looked at what the Maryland Municipal League general salaries were. They found that the general salary range for a city of this size in Maryland was in the $90,000 to $100,000 range plus benefits. This is about better management of the City. It is about allowing someone to manage a $20 million organization that is being run now on a part-time basis. Commissioner Sydnor said the benefits would equate to a much higher amount. A motion by Commissioner Sydnor to keep the record open until the next Council meeting (December 15) was seconded and passed 3:2 with Commissioners Vickers and Cooke opposed.

Second reading on ordinance to adopt the Unified Development Code (Ordinance 1041)-A motion by Commissioner Thomas to adopt Ordinance 1041 as amended and approve the zoning maps dated June 2, 2014 with the minor amendments was seconded and approved unanimously.

Approve Clerk Treasurer job description-A motion by Commissioner Sydnor to approve the job description was seconded and failed 2:3 with Commissioners Vickers, Cooke, and Hanson opposed.

Discussion regarding marina slip rates-The Long Wharf Advisory Committee made the following recommendations: (1) set a policy to allow slip renters to install boat lifts; (2) establish a discount rate for new annual rentals of the 50- and 60-ft slips; (3) a deeply-discounted rate of $500 per year for the watermen's boats that dock on Watermen's Row; and (4) use advertising funds for a small marketing campaign for the marina focusing on annual rents, rentals, and transients. Commissioner Sydnor estimated that approximately $197,000 a year is transferred from the General Fund for the Marina Fund. If for some reason the proposed increase in slip rentals does not materialize, this will mean the General Fund will have to pay more. Over the past six years, the General Fund has paid over $1 million to the marina. Lou Hyman said of that $200,000 a year, over $260,000 of that goes to pay for the debt service on the expansion of the marina. Commissioner Sydnor said the marina is an enterprise fund so it is supposed to pay for itself. Lou Hyman said the discount they are talking about is for new renters in the larger slips which right now are vacant. Lou Hyman said they feel it will be an increase in revenue. If they fill the entire marina at full rate, they would have a profit over the subsidy. Reality-wise, that is not going to happen because of the economy. There are about 80 slots open right now in the 50-ft range. If they can fill half of those at the reduced rate, that is another $60,000. Commissioner Sydnor asked if they ever thought about selling the marina. Lou Hyman said they have not. They consider it to be an amenity and a service to the City. Mr. Hyman will provide written information for the Council.

New Business

Approve holiday schedule for 2015-A motion by Commissioner Hanson to approve the holiday schedule for 2015 was seconded and approved unanimously.

Approve City Council meeting schedule for 2015-A motion by Commissioner Hanson to approve the City Council schedule for 2015 was seconded and approved unanimously.

Approve $2.5 million wharf replacement (MCCBL) grant between MDOT and the City-A motion by Commissioner Sydnor to approve the grant was seconded and approved 4:1 with Commissioner Vickers opposed.

Discuss signs for smoke-free environments at recreational areas-Sandra Moore-Brown spoke on behalf of the Dorchester County Health Department and Partnership for a Drug Free Dorchester and Wellness Coalition. Their committee has designed some signs that can be placed in community areas to help expand smoke-free environment at recreation areas such as parks and playgrounds. If the City is interested in any of their signs, they have them available. Oden Wheeler said the only ordinance the City has on their books is regarding City buildings. There are designated smoking areas outside the buildings. He does not know how the City would enforce the policy if it pertained to parks. Ms. Moore-Brown said there are also signs to request that people not smoke (Please do not smoke). A motion by Commissioner Vickers to refer the item to the Properties Committee was seconded and approved unanimously.

Mayor's and Commissioners' Comments

2014 Holiday Calendar-City employees currently have Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. It has been asked that Council consider having the employees working Christmas Eve and having December 26 off. A motion by Commissioner Vickers that instead of closing on Christmas Eve, the City close the day after Christmas was seconded and approved unanimously.

A motion by Commissioner Sydnor to adjourn the meeting was seconded and approved unanimously.

With no further business, Mayor Victoria Jackson-Stanley adjourned the meeting at 8:59 p.m. I hereby certify that the foregoing is a true and accurate account of the Council meeting Monday, December 8, 2014, insofar as I personally am aware.


_________________________
Edwin C. Kinnamon
Clerk & Treasurer