• 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

May 11, 2015
The City Council met in regular session on Monday, May 11, 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 changing the wording to read "Introduction of Ordinance 1047 adopting the tax rates for FY2016"; changing the wording to read "Introduction and first reading of Ordinance to adopt and approve the budget for FY2016 which appropriates the necessary funds for the operation of the government and administration of the City (Ordinance 1048)"; and adding a new agenda item for conditional approval of the transfer for the former Maces Lane High School property to the County of Dorchester was seconded and passed unanimously.

A motion by Commissioner Hanson to approve the minutes of the March 31, 2015 Council meeting was seconded and passed unanimously.

A motion by Commissioner Sydnor to approve the minutes of the April 13, 2015 Council meeting with the additional language in the Housing Authority section to include the payment of rental registration fees was seconded and passed unanimously.

A motion by Commissioner Thomas to approve the minutes of the April 27, 2015 Council meeting was seconded and passed unanimously.

Appointments

Representative from the Molock Family to request permission to reserve Pavilion A in Great Marsh Park on Saturday, August 8th from 11:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m.-A motion by Commissioner Thomas to approve the request and included a variance from the noise ordinance was seconded and approved unanimously.

Representative from The Salvation Army to request permission to hold a carnival on Thursday, May 14th from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.; waiver of the carnival permit fee; and a variance from the noise ordinance from 3:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. on their property on Washington Street-A motion by Commissioner Vickers to approve the requests was seconded and approved unanimously.

Unfinished Business

Public Comments on Master Development Agreement for the Sailwinds/Cambridge Port Property-Rob Collison said additional language was added that Governors Hall and the office would remain open and in operation until noon, January 3, 2016. Language would also be added that Governors Hall may be demolished at such time as the City, in its sole discretion, deems it appropriate and necessary consistent with the terms of the transfer agreement and reconstruction plans for the wharf and promenade. The Master Developer shall be solely responsible for the cost of demolition of Governors Hall and the office building.

John Shannahan operates a marine business in Trappe and does a lot of work in Cambridge. He wants to bring in bigger ships. He read the MDA and would like to have conversations with the City about the process. The boatyard and museum operators are dying to work something out with the City to create a master plan that could make this centerpiece very productive. This port needs to be vibrant for future generations. Don't sell it; don't give it away; don't let any of the land get away. He offered to help the City create a vision.

Sharon Smith doesn't feel the City should turn the property over to a developer to present to us what they feel are the best uses for our property. It is unique. We should be doing something in keeping with the waterfront town and the working waterfront. It would be in the City's best interest to keep it and have a lease agreement with one or more parties. The leases and taxes would be a revenue stream and would create jobs. It would help bring tourists downtown.

Carol Levy Ruark said the City is looking to give something else away. Hasn't the City given enough away? It is time to keep things for ourselves and make the City what it was once-only better.

Rob Collison said the acceptance and approval of the proposals is going to be a very public process. They will be presented at public hearings. Council will accept the final plan. Many people participated in the 2020 Vision Plan six years ago. The guiding principles that are set forth by the State in the transfer agreement and the other documents embody the product of the 2020 Vision Plan. The reason the RFP is being suggested is because the City had a developer and a consultant who they might invite back before the City approves the MDA. Nothing in the documents is going to give our property away. Up until August 2014, the State owned the property and could have developed it or given it to any developer without any local input. The State dictated that the City must get a minimum of $1.8 million for the property. If the City cannot work out a plan with a developer within three years from the dates of the appraisals, new appraisals must be done at the developer's expense and there is a minimum price. The selection process will be very public.

Jane Devlin said the City is bound by an agreement with the State. The State did not transfer the land to the City without providing a plan. It is a conceptual plan based on the charrette that the City had.

Sharon Smith suggested an RFI rather than an RFP. Rob Collison said there is no prohibition on that. Commissioner Cooke said if the City was to accept someone's proposal after various public meetings, it is only then that the City actually signs the Master Development Agreement. Rob Collison said it may be different than this agreement. It has to come back to Council through other ordinances; another public comment session; two readings. This is a template that is going out with the RFP or RFI. The final has to come back to City Council.

Commissioner Cooke said there is some sentiment here for not selling. That issue has been raised by several speakers. They suggested leasing the land. The alternate path is to lease the property to various entities and see how things work out. Rob Collison said the States requires there be a master conceptual plan in place for the entire 11.83 acres. Commissioner Vickers said she would like to have the consultant working with us even though he is a developer. She would like this to happen before we put out an RFP and MDA. She does not believe we should sell the property. They tell us the City cannot sell it for less than a certain amount. The value is priceless. We will never get it back again. She doesn't think we should rush into signing the MDA. She will not sign it as it is now. We have 15 years and should do it right so our children and grandchildren can see what we see now. Commissioner Thomas asked about a long-term lease. Rob Collison said he doesn't think there is a prohibition. He believes the issues were calculating the lease rate to get the present value of the $1.8 million. David Orr is the Development/Consultant assisting the City in the development and wording of the RFP. He has agreed to stay on as a consultant, as needed, in the selection process. Commissioner Sydnor said the City is waiting to get clarification from the State as to lease or sale and to what direction we may go.

Commissioner Vickers said she does not like the entire MDA. She has a problem putting it out for a new developer if it has to be a developer. She would like a lot more public input. She thinks the public feels they haven't had enough input.

A motion by Commissioner Thomas to close the public comment session was seconded and approved unanimously.

Discussion of appointment of Acting City Manager-Commissioner Sydnor said 18.9 percent of the voters requested a referendum. It required 20 percent. The process is going into effect which represents 6/10,000th of one percent to put this in place. Everyone knows his feelings about it going to a referendum. Since it has been put in place, he is going to abide by the decisions that the Council has made and to make this transition as easy as possible and give his support to it. Rob Collison said the State Code applicable provisions state that a petition has no effect if it is signed by less than 20 percent of the qualified voters. By having no effect, the original effective date is February 3, 2015. The position needs to be filled. We need an immediate acting City Manager which would serve until another acting City Manager is selected or the actual City Manager is selected. There is an immediate need to begin that process by the search committee. That position as the Chief Financial Officer and Chief Executive Officer of the City is absolutely vacant. It is an immediate critical need for the function of the government. Any acting City Manager that is appointed cannot serve for more than six months and any renewable replacement is not through the prolonged resolution process. Commissioner Sydnor said there is nobody in charge of personnel. There is also some business as far as the new fire truck that we have to purchase and we need someone in place to do that along with some of the other positions that we will have to have in place while the search committee is searching for a City Manager. The gap must be filled in order for the City to operate properly. Commissioner Thomas said he does not think we can understate the importance of getting a good qualified candidate for the City Manager position. It will take several months. It allows for six months. We need to appoint a City Manager otherwise, effectively, this City cannot operate. A motion by Commissioner Sydnor to appoint Oden Wheeler as the acting City Manager up to a maximum of six months without some other criteria from the Council to extend it was seconded by Commissioner Thomas. Commissioner Cooke said we need somebody quickly and questioned if we could find somebody in a short time who can come in and doesn't really know how the City operates and put that person in place or use Mr. Wheeler, who in his opinion, is a de facto City Manager now. Commissioner Hanson said there are certain personnel issues pending and there are certain personnel issues that will be coming up. The actual hiring and firing of staff is critical to any bureaucracy and Mr. Wheeler has a certain expertise in personnel. Until we have somebody or until we select a full-time City Manager, he thinks it is best for the City that we go forward with this. Rob Collison said there is nothing that would prohibit the appointment of another acting City Manager subsequent to tonight's meeting. Without someone in this position, there is no chief executive officer or chief financial officer of the City. It is an unforeseen situation that has to be addressed. If the committee comes back for another acting City Manager, there is nothing that prevents this Council with four votes to do that without a resolution, etc. Commissioner Vickers said we need to get somebody in here. Unless somebody can get an acting City Manager in place ‘yesterday', we are in trouble. Commissioner Cooke said it would be helpful for him in guiding his vote to hear comments from the audience.

Steve Rideout said Mr. Wheeler is not qualified under the Charter to be a City Manager or an acting City Manager. The Charter requires that the acting City Manager have the same qualifications as a City Manager and they are five years of acting City Manager or assistant City Manager and a master's degree. He does not have that. He is not qualified. There are two people in Cambridge who have been County Managers who would qualify (Eugene Lauer and Marshall Rickert). He understands there have been at least three other individuals who are qualified based on what he has heard who are interested in being the acting City Manager if the Council would go out and find them. In order to have new eyes on the City of Cambridge, you need someone else.

Carol Levy Ruark said she agrees with Commissioner Vickers. Mr. Wheeler is not qualified. If we have been acting illegally, then we will continue to do so. She thinks it is a horrible conflict of interest with what we have dealt with since Mr. Kinnamon stepped down. She thinks it is an embarrassment to this community.

Joy Staniforth thanked Council for working so hard to get to this point. She is disappointed that the referendum did not go through. We need to have a qualified person in the temporary position.

Roman Jesien expressed his support for the folks who indicate that we should have a qualified temporary City Manager. It does no good to have one that is not qualified. It doesn't make it any more legal if we were operating in non-compliance. We are not in any more compliance by having someone that is not qualified. There are folks around. All you have to do is look. We have known we have had to do this since February. People haven't been looking or haven't been knowing something like this was going to be coming up.

Rob Collison said there is nothing that prevents Council from re-visiting this if the committee suggests another acting City Manager.

Mayor Stanley called for a roll call vote. Commissioner Vickers voted no; Commissioner Sydnor voted yes; Commissioner Cooke voted no; Commissioner Thomas voted yes; Commissioner Hanson voted no. The motion failed.

Rob Collison suggested setting up a special meeting next week or at least in two weeks with any known candidates so the position to be filled as soon as possible.

Discussion of appointment of Search Committee for recruitment of City Manager-Commissioner Vickers nominated Phil Feldman; Commissioner Sydnor nominated Keisha Petticolas; Commissioner Cooke nominated Mary Losty; Commissioner Thomas nominated Andy Pasden; and Commissioner Hanson nominated Wayne Towers. Mayor Stanley will be serving as the sixth person on the search committee. A motion by Commissioner Vickers to accept this slate was seconded and approved unanimously.

New Business

Introduction and first reading of ordinance to set the tax rates for FY2016 (Ordinance 1047)-The ordinance would establish the tax rate for real property maintaining the current rate of $0.7989 for each $100 of assessed valuation of real property in the City and the rate of $1.69 for each $100 of assessable personal property in the City. Public comment will be taken at the next meeting at which time the ordinance can be acted upon and approved.

Introduction and first reading of ordinance to adopt and approve the budget for FY2016 which appropriates the necessary funds for the operation of the government and administration of the City (Ordinance 1048)-This ordinance sets forth the expenditures for FY2016. The draft creates an overall operating budget of $14,029,755; the sewer charge would remain 290% of the water charge; the sewer enterprise fund budget is proposed in the amount $4,365,000; the marina enterprise fund budget is proposed in the amount of $568,192; and the Municipal Utilities Commission budget is in the amount of $1,857,776. If approved, this would take effect July 1, 2015 for fiscal year ending June 30, 2016. Public comment will be taken at the next meeting and possibly one meeting after that.

Discussion of proposed ordinance for regulation of PODs and dumpsters-There has been discussion for some time of creating regulations with regard to PODs (portable storage units). This proposed ordinance would set location requirements and time limitations on the PODs, and likewise with the larger trash dumpsters. When possible, the containers should be put on the homeowner's property. The material being put in the dumpsters must be coming from the location specified on the permit. Permits will be site specific.

Resolution to extend use of Governor's Hall to January 3, 2016-A motion by Commissioner Thomas to approve Resolution 15-008 was seconded and approved 3:2 with Commissioners Cooke and Vickers opposed.

Approve budget amendment for the Department of Public Works-A motion by Commissioner Hanson to approve the budget amendment for the Department of Public Works was seconded and failed. Commissioners Cooke and Vickers voted against the motion. Budget amendments require four votes.

Approval of transfer of the former Maces Lane High School property to Dorchester County-A motion by Commissioner Thomas that pending legal approval, to accept the proposal whereby an MOU be established between the City and County regarding the deferral of real estate taxes until such time that it is transferred from the County to a third party was seconded and approved unanimously.

Approve Purchase Orders:

PO 2015-065 - Advanced Electronic Design, Inc. - remaining portion of MDT (CPD) - $3,190.66-A motion by Commissioner Thomas to approve Purchase Order No. 2015-065 was seconded and approved unanimously.

PO 2015-066 - Sherwin Williams - Line Striper (DPW) - $3,999.99-A motion by Commissioner Thomas to approve Purchase Order No. 2015-066 was seconded and approved unanimously.

PO 2015-067 - Russell Paving Co., Inc. - Road Resurfacing for Egypt Road and Glasgow Street - $28,000.00-No action taken because the budget amendment was not approved.

Mayor's and Commissioners' Comments

Payroll-A motion by Commissioner Vickers to authorize the current signatories on the account to issue the payroll in light of the absence of an acting City Manager was seconded and approved 4:1 with Commissioner Sydnor opposed.

Closed Executive Session-A motion by Commissioner Hanson to go into closed executive session following the meeting to discuss personnel was seconded and approved unanimously.

Public Comments-A motion by Commissioner Thomas to receive public comments on the budget on Tuesday, May 26th and Monday, June 8th 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 9:10 p.m. I hereby certify that the foregoing is a true and accurate account of the Council meeting Monday, May 11, 2015, insofar as I personally am aware.



Victoria Jackson-Stanley
Mayor

COMMISSIONERS OF CAMBRIDGE
CLOSED SESSION REPORT

Date: May 11, 2015 (1)
Time: 4:30 p.m.
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: absent
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: The former Maces Lane High School property
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 Sydnor, Commissioner Cooke, Commissioner Thomas, Commissioner Hanson, Rob Collison, Oden Wheeler, Jeremy Goldman (Acting County Manager), Councilman Ricky Travers
F Actions Taken at the Closed Session: No motions were made. See regular session.


COMMISSIONERS OF CAMBRIDGE
CLOSED SESSION REPORT

Date: May 11, 2015 (2)
Time: 5:30 pm
Place: City Council Chambers

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

X 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;
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: Candidate for a vacant position and a retirement notice.
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, Oden Wheeler (part time);
F Actions Taken at the Closed Session: No motions were made.



COMMISSIONERS OF CAMBRIDGE
CLOSED SESSION REPORT

Date: May 11, 2015 (3)
Time: 9:12 p.m.
Place: City Council Chambers

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

X 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;
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. Seconded: Comm.

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: Candidate for a vacant position
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, Oden Wheeler
F Actions Taken at the Closed Session: No action was taken.