• 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 Meeting Minutes

April 27, 2015
The City Council met in regular session on Monday, April 27, 2015 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 Thomas to amend the agenda by correcting the name of the State department in the public hearing as the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development was seconded and passed unanimously.

The minutes of the March 31, 2015 special regular session and the April 13th regular session will be approved at the May 11th Council meeting after more detail is given.

Public Hearing

Submission of application to the Department of Business and Economic Development (Cambridge Economic Development Strategic Plan Update)-the public hearing was advertised in the Star Democrat on April 22, 2015 and the Dorchester Star on April 24, 2015. Mary Calloway reported that in 2010 the City prepared its first economic development strategic plan prepared by Sage Policy Group. They came up with nine recommendations that were discussed and approved by City Council. The City has made progress; however, economic conditions have changed. They thought it prudent to review what has been done, where we are, and where we are going. This will help us fine tune the guidelines for the City. We are asking for $25,000; there will be an in-kind contribution of $1,500 from City staff which will take care of the administration of the grant and the coordination of the community feedback that comes along with this kind of project. The consultant interviewed over 50 community stakeholders the last time and they would like to do the same thing again. This will let us know what is working and what the perception is in the community as well. Marla Garris asked how many of the people interviewed the first time were minorities. Mary Calloway said she didn't know the breakdown. Ms. Garris asked for a wild guess. Natalie Chabot said she doesn't think either one of them has those numbers. They tried very hard to have representation from a cross section of the community. Separately she will be able to provide whatever records they have. Ms. Garris asked that they keep the data for the next round so they will have exactly who was contacted and what the answers were. Commissioner Sydnor asked Ms. Garris to contact Mary and Natalie at the Economic Development Office so they can provide her with the information from the first study. Thomas Hutchinson said this is a great opportunity for the City to update the Economic Development Strategic Plan. He would encourage the City to take advantage of this opportunity to have the plan updated at no cost to the City. Natalie Chabot said almost 100 percent of the time the other jurisdictions in Maryland have to pay half of the cost of their strategic plan. We have been able to get full funding. Commissioner Sydnor added that we will have to provide in-kind services. Nobody else from the audience asked to speak. A motion by Commissioner Sydnor to close the public hearing was seconded and approved unanimously.


Representative from Relay for Life to request a variance from the noise ordinance for Friday, May 15, 2015 at 6:00 pm until 1:00 am (Saturday) at Cambridge South Dorchester High School-Gail Skinner announced that this is their 19th Relay for Life in Dorchester County. A motion by Commissioner Sydnor to grant a variance from the noise ordinance from 4:00 p.m. until 1:00 a.m. was seconded and approved unanimously. A motion by Commissioner Hanson to authorize Mayor Stanley to sign a proclamation designating Cambridge as a Relay for Life Community on May 15, 2015 was seconded and approved unanimously.

Mary Taylor-Acree, Kappa Theta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, to request permission to beautify Cornish Park-Ms. Taylor-Acree said as part of their environmental stewardship target they would like to help give children a safe and inviting place to play. They have identified Cornish Park on Douglas Street as an area where they may make an impact. They are requesting a partnership in refreshing the park on Saturday, May 16, 2015 and will continue for the next four years. They will be asking for participation by other community organizations and residents. This will consist of raking, mulching, flower planting; playground painting (if necessary); and an environmentally-friendly litter-free zone (litter clean up). A motion by Commissioner Sydnor to give the Kappa Theta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority the opportunity to clean and refurbish Cornish Park was seconded and approved unanimously. They are asking the City for a trash truck, trash cans, bags, mulching (if necessary), and equipment (rakes, shovels, etc.).

Representative from the Salvation Army to receive proclamation for their 150th Anniversary-Lieutenant Aaron Abram and Board President Allen Nelson gave a brief history of their organization. The Salvation Army serves thousands of people daily in 125 countries. National Salvation Army Week runs from May 11th through May 17th. They thanked the citizens for the great support that they have received over the 102 years they have been in Cambridge. A motion by Commissioner Hanson authorizing Mayor Stanley to sign a proclamation honoring the 150th anniversary of the Salvation Army was seconded and approved unanimously.

Patrice Franco to request permission to reserve Pavilion A at Great Marsh on Saturday, August 22, 2015 for a family reunion-Ms. Franco was not present.

Representative from Dorchester County Commission on the Aging to discuss Family Fun Day at Pleasant Day, on Saturday, May 30th (rain date May 31st) from 10:00 am until 2:00 pm; a variance from the noise ordinance from 9:00 am until 3:00 pm; proclamation for Celebrate Senior Citizens Month; use of City trash cans; visit by McGruff; and permission to hang a banner on Race Street from May 19th through May 30th-Commissioner Vickers recused herself from the room due to a conflict of interest. Hubert Trego spoke representing Pleasant Day. A motion by Commissioner Thomas to grant the requests and authorize Mayor Stanley to sign a proclamation designating May as Celebrate Senior Citizens Month was seconded and approved 4:0.

Unfinished Business

Referendum petitions update-Oden Wheeler reported that Linda Bradford, Gloria Cornish, and Hershel Johnson assisted with the validation of the signatures. On January 26, 2015 (the date the petitions were due and submitted to Council), there were 7242 registered voters in Cambridge. Twenty percent of those registered voters required 1448 valid signatures to take it to referendum. After the lengthy process, they have 1367 valid signatures; therefore, there are not enough signatures for a referendum. Commissioner Sydnor said this represents 18.8 percent of the voters. Although it fell short, he asked if Council wants this to go to referendum. A motion by Commissioner Sydnor to send this to referendum failed due to lack of a second. Rob Collison will review the State Code to determine the effective date of the Charter Resolutions. Commissioner Sydnor suggested a meeting with Council so they can determine their responsibility as to what they will be allowed to do and the consequences, if any, if they do not live up to this particular document. A date for the meeting will be set at a later time.

Public Comments on Master Development Agreement for the Sailwinds/Cambridge Port Property-Rob Collison said the committee has been working with a development consultant as well as legal counsel with concentration in this practice of law to develop a master development agreement. When the State transferred the property to the City, part of the requirements was that a master development agreement be developed by the City. The City was working with a specific developer through an exclusive negotiating privilege agreement that the State had entered into with the developer. That period ended December 31, 2014 without the parties coming to an agreement. The new master development agreement is quite different from the initial agreement which was very specific to that developer. This master development agreement is intended to be issued with a request for proposals for the development project. Under the requirements of the State, the City has a maximum of 15 years from August 2014 to complete the development of the property. The RFP process that the City is looking at would leave a clean slate open for the developers who wish to submit a proposal. Those proposals must comply with various guidelines that the State has imposed upon the property as well as those that the City has imposed with regard to it being a mixed-use maritime-type related use (no big box; not principally residential). The MDA is the technical document by which the developer will be bound in the process of developing the project. The project can be developed in phases. They are required to purchase the entire parcel at one time. The phasing will be approved by the Planning Commission through the applicable provisions of the Unified Development Code. The developer has until the tenth year to complete the phases. The developer will be required to extend the promenade along the Choptank River to the boat ramp with similar materials and at the developer's expense. The developer will be required to maintain it. The City will receive a perpetual right-of-way for public use and it can never be blocked for private use. The developers presenting proposals will have to present a general concept for the entire property. As each phase is developed, the developer then has to give a very detailed cost benefit or an economic analysis that is viable for that particular phase. The first overall general master development plan of the entire parcel will have to provide an explanation as to why the developer feels their proposal makes sense geographically, demographically, etc. As each phase is presented to the Planning Commission, they have to establish the economic viability and the financial ability to carry it out. The final master development agreement that is entered into between the selected developer and the City may be somewhat different depending upon the responses we get to the RFP. Some things may be amended specific to that particular developer. If so, the MDA will come back to the Council for approval. The City Council will select the developer. From that point forward, the Planning and Zoning Commission, through the UDC process, will control the approval, the staging, phasing, and the restrictions and limitations. Public Hearings will be held.

Sharon Smith said essentially it seems to her that the City is going out to developers and suggesting that the developers come tell us what is best for the 12 acres. The risk of this is that what is in the best interest of any developer is not necessarily what is in the best interest of the City of Cambridge. They will come back with proposals that net them the most profit within the constraints that the City establishes. They will not come back with any proposal that is going to provide other benefits to the City that does not benefit them. She thinks there should be some way to counter-balance that or make sure that the consideration for the use of the property is broader than just what the developers suggest. We have a once-in-a-lifetime unique opportunity to have a unique waterfront totally different from any other city. We could blow it if we just put up condominiums and restaurants. Commissioner Sydnor said the MDA is a guide to the developer letting them know what the City wants. Along with the UDC, it has its guidelines so that only certain things can go in that area. Rob Collison said the minimum requirements in the UDC for the two classifications, by no means would be the minimum for this. We will expect a much higher standard, greater open space, greater setbacks, greater view corridors, etc. Sharon Smith said there needs to be some research done on the City's part to see some non-development options might be. In a previous meeting, someone said there are some big boat builders who would be interested in some property here. We have a chance to be unique which will make Cambridge attractive to retirees or young people looking for jobs in a new industry.

Bruce Reed, Vice Chairman of Sailwinds of Cambridge Inc., said he read the covenants that are attached to the deed; he read the guiding principles, and questioned if they are being adhered to. He said in particular, it is in reference to Governor's Hall. A lot of people have deep feelings about a public venue. Rob Collison said the MDA is not going to address that until you see the proposal that is accepted. It references that the proceeds of the sale of property have to be reinvested back into the property. That could either to go towards the cost of the promenade, with demolition, the relocation of a new Governor's Hall as well as any other on-site improvements. By referencing those requirements of the State, that is how it would be done by any developer submitting a proposal. We doubt they will use the existing facility. Whether or not a proposal provides a public venue similar to what is there or presents an alternative to that, we just do not know. Commissioner Sydnor said Mayor Stanley has a committee looking at various locations for a new Governor's Hall.

Charles McFadden asked if the developer gets to decide what happens to Yacht Maintenance. Rob Collison said Yacht Maintenance has been leasing 1.5 acres from the State on a month-to-month basis that lease is now with the City. The City has the ability to control whether it continues or not. Commissioner Sydnor said the City is in discussions with all partners that would be a part of this (Yacht Maintenance, the Richardson Maritime Museum, etc.). Charles McFadden said it is his concern to keep those viable operations.

Tony Thomas said he would hate to see Governors Hall go. This has brought a lot of good business to downtown. If the City gets rid of Governor's Hall, the downtown will be gone. We have enough problems keeping the Hyatt and Holiday Inn going. We don't need another hotel. We need a place for the public to enjoy the waterfront. The City gave Trenton Street away. They never filled up those developments. To bring a developer here would be a crime. Some effort should be put into putting the downtown buildings back together.

Jane Devlin, Richardson Maritime Museum, said she is currently sitting on a working waterfront committee which has been facilitated by the Department of Natural Resources as well as the Economic Department of the University of Maryland. The City of Cambridge was chosen for the pilot program of a working waterfront. The final report is due in June. They are looking at Cambridge. That is a body of information that is being prepared with current facts and figures. We are in a very different time than when the Waterfront 2020 was prepared. She suggested looking at the Waterfront 2020 and the MDA and tie it into the working waterfront program that DNR is now sponsoring through funds with NOAH. This would come up with the unique idea of what to do with the Sailwinds property. She will submit written comments. She thinks it is problematic not having a ratio when they are talking about mixed use.

Fred Pomeroy said he agrees with Sharon Smith that we shouldn't leave this decision up to a developer. We have a unique opportunity to design something here that is best for our community. We should examine all the options. He asked why we have to have one developer. Why couldn't it be treated like the Woods Road industrial park? The City could retain the ownership and then entertain offers from people. If it is given to one developer, it will be maximizing the profit mode. Retail and restaurants will hurt downtown. He would love to see a public entertainment venue and something that would focus on the maritime heritage. No place other than Baltimore has a deep harbor. We are sitting on a wonderful asset. He suggested even renting space to a boat building school to see if the school makes it. The deep port could be made available for docking big deep water vessels, mega yachts, research vessels, etc.

Linda Brooks said the word ‘agreement' applies that there is another party engaged. She asked if there is already a developer in mind for the project. Rob Collison said the process will be that at some point the City will issue a request for proposals that will go out soliciting proposals. Ms. Brooks asked how the City can decide how the wharf reconstruction project is going to go when they don't know what the use of the property is going to be yet. Rob Collison said the City is going to be retaining ownership of the entire 40-ft-wide promenade for public use. That will not transfer with the property. It will have the capacity for larger ships (cruise ships, etc.) and they are putting in the conduit for utilities in the event floating docks are needed in that area. Commissioner Cooke said the State has given the City money to repair the wharf without any idea of what we were going to do there. Questions should have been asked a long time ago. It could be that a developer comes in (the height was a problem with the previous developer) and it is not appropriate. Commissioner Vickers said the City wanted to make sure the wharf was replaced as a deep water port again. It may be the cart before the horse. The problem is that we accepted it as part of accepting the property. Ms. Brooks said with all the information in the MDA, she is worried that so many restrictions and so many rules and regulations being put forth is going to discourage investors and developers into the property rather than encourage them. Commissioner Hanson said the developer can submit what he wants to and work within the framework. The public will have access to the plans. The developers will have an opportunity to explain their model. He said there is not one member on Council who does not want to do something about Governor's Hall-either relocate it right there at that location by a developer or somewhere else very close. Commissioner Sydnor said the committee has been working with a consulting group (Funk & Bolton) as to legal advice and also with a project consultant (Orr Partners) in developing the MDA. Rob Collison said David Orr was very confident in the reporting requirements and other details of the MDA. He said any developer worth their weight in salt will expect that. The development market is flush with cash. He thinks we will be very impressed with the submittals we get on the RFP.

The record will be left open and Council will take public comments at the next Council meeting (May 11th).

Resolution 15-004 to approve Standard Operating Procedure for Discharge of Firearms/ Fireworks ASOP 44-A motion by Commissioner Hanson to approve Resolution 15-004 was seconded and approved unanimously.

Resolution 15-005 to approve Standard Operating Procedure for Procurement Procedures ASOP 24-This will be discussed at the May 11th meeting.

New Business

Resolution 15-006 - Submission of application to the Department of Business and Economic Development (Cambridge Economic Development Strategic Plan Update)-A motion by Commissioner Thomas to approve Resolution 15-006 was seconded and approved unanimously.

Budget amendment for Rescue Fire Company-A motion by Commissioner Vickers to approve the budget amendment for Rescue Fire Company was seconded and approved unanimously.

Purchase Orders:

PO 2015-063 - Atlantic Emergency Solutions, Inc. - fire hose and appliance - $4,525.00-A motion by Commissioner Hanson to approve Purchase Order 2015-063 was seconded and approved unanimously.

PO 2015-064 - Fire Chasers Equipment - Blowhard fan for Engine 1-3 - $3,395.00- A motion by Commissioner Vickers to approve Purchase Order 2015-064 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 8:55 p.m. I hereby certify that the foregoing is a true and accurate account of the Council meeting Monday, April 27, 2015, insofar as I personally am aware.

Oden C. Wheeler, Jr.
Acting Clerk & Treasurer


A Date: April 27, 2015
Time: 4:00 pm
Place: City Council Chambers

B Citation of Authority/Purpose: State Government Article, Section 10-508(a) (check one of the following):

1 discuss: (i) the appointment, employment, assignment, promotion, discipline, demotion, compensation, removal, resignation, or performance evaluation of appointees, employees, or officials over whom it has jurisdiction: or (ii) any other personnel matter that affects one or more specific individuals;
2 protect the privacy or reputation of individuals with respect to a matter that is not related to public business;
3 consider the acquisition of real property for a public purpose and matters directly related thereto;
X 4 consider a matter that concerns the proposal for a business or industrial organization to locate, expand, or remain in the City;
5 consider the investment of public funds;
6 consider the marketing of public securities;
7 consult with counsel to obtain legal advice;
8 consult with staff, consultants, or other individuals about pending or potential litigation:
9 conduct collective bargaining negotiations or consider matters that relate to the negotiations:
10 discuss public security, if the public body determines that public discussion would constitute a risk to the public or to public security, including: (i) the deployment of fire and police services and staff; and (ii) the development and implementation of emergency plans;
11 prepare, administer, or grade a scholastic, licensing, or qualifying examination;
12 conduct or discuss an investigative proceeding on actual or possible criminal conduct;
13 comply with a specific constitutional, statutory, or judicially imposed requirement that prevents public disclosures about a particular proceeding or matter; or
14 before a contract is awarded or bids are opened, discuss a matter directly related to a negotiating strategy or the contents of a bid or proposal, if public discussion or disclosure would adversely impact the ability of the public body to participate in the competitive bidding or proposal process.

C Members present and vote of each member as to closing the session:

Victoria Jackson-Stanley (only in a tie)
Jackie Vickers Vote: Y
Donald Sydnor Vote: Y
Frank Cooke Vote: Y
Gage Thomas Vote: Y
Commissioner Hanson Vote: Y

Motion to close meeting: Comm. Hanson Seconded: Comm. Thomas

D Topics Discussed: Explanation of topics to be discussed (this may be by reference to the citation of authority listed above if further explanation would thwart the purpose of closing the meeting: A parcel of property and a prospective buyer
E Persons Present at the Closed Session: If listing an individual as present would thwart the purpose of closing the meeting, do not list the individual but note that an individual was not listed for this reason Mayor Stanley, Commissioner Vickers, Commissioner Sydnor, Commissioner Cooke, Commissioner Thomas, Commissioner Hanson, Rob Collison, Natalie Chabot, a prospective buyer of a parcel of land and his attorney
F Actions Taken at the Closed Session: No motions were made.