• 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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Council Meeting Minutes

November 9, 2015
The City Council met in regular session on Monday, November 9, 2015 in Council Chambers. A quorum being present, Commissioner Donald Sydnor called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. Those Commissioners in attendance were Commissioners Vickers, Sydnor, Cooke, Thomas, and Hanson. Commissioner Sydnor asked for a moment of silent prayer. Commissioner Hanson led in the Pledge of Allegiance.

A motion by Commissioner Thomas to amend the agenda by adding City Manager under New Business was seconded and passed 4:0 with Commissioner Vickers out of the room at this time.

A motion by Commissioner Thomas to approve the minutes of the October 13, 2015 Council meeting was seconded and passed 4:0 with Commissioner Vickers out of the room at this time.


Amy Craig, on behalf of the Christmas Tree Lighting Committee, to request police assistance with traffic at the 3rd Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony on Saturday, November 28th (ceremony begins at 5:00 pm in Spring Valley)-Commissioner Thomas recused himself because he serves on that Committee. Ms. Craig asked for police assistance on the corner of High Street and Spring Valley and on the corner of Gay Street and Spring Valley to help with traffic and crowd control. A motion by Commissioner Hanson to approve the Christmas Tree Lighting Committee's request was seconded and approved 4:0.

Bruce McWilliams to request permission to hold the Christmas Parade on Saturday, December 5th starting at 5:00 pm (rain date: December 6th at 2:00 pm)-Mr. McWilliams said their plans are to start the parade at Long Wharf and end at Muir Street. He asked that vendor permit fees be waived for non-profit organizations and a variance from the noise ordinance. A motion by Commissioner Vickers to approve the 67th annual Christmas parade on December 5th, a rain date of December 6th, a possible modification of the route, a variance from the noise ordinance, waiver of vendor fees, and presence by the Cambridge Police Department was seconded and approved 5:0.

Jane Devlin, Executive Director of the Richardson Maritime Museum, to present overview of Cambridge Schooner Rendezvous 2015-Ms. Devlin said this was the most successful Schooner Rendezvous. She thanked Council for their support. Twenty one vessels attended the event. Children from Choptank Elementary and Hurlock Elementary attended the educational portion of the event. More than 2500 people attended the public events. Ms. Devlin thanked the Cambridge Police Department, the Department of Public Works, and Rescue Fire Company for their assistance and guidance. Next year the event will be held on October 21st, 22nd and 23rd. The American Schooner Association was very impressed with the event the past two years and has pledged funding for the educational day for the children next year. Ms. Devlin said she looks forward to working with Mr. Wheeler on the floating dock issue. Anything the Richardson can do, they are at the City's disposal.

Gene Tolley to discuss the 500 block of Race Street-Mr. Tolley said he would like to hear the City's plans for the building at 509-511 Race Street (the Hearn Building). He has already talked to Dorchester County. Mayor Stanley said the City and County are working very closely as a team. Oden Wheeler said the County has applied for multiple grants to look at the possibilities of shoring the structure. There are no eligible grant funds for demolition; there are only grant funds for stabilization. The County has received verbal notification for one $10,000 grant and they have applied for four additional grants. The City hired an engineering firm and has received a quote of $5,000 from them to design the stabilization of the building. The County will see if this is an eligible expense for the grant they were awarded. If they were to proceed with demolition, they have to go through the full Historic Preservation Commission procedure. The ballpark estimates for demolition have been between $300,000 and $500,000. This would also include filling the basement. The engineer's recommendation was to leave the street closed until the structure is stabilized. The City has not been able to reach the owner of the building for several years now. The County was looking to foreclose on the building because there is a potential purchaser who is still interested in the building. They were not able to locate the owner(s). Rob Collison said the County holds the tax certificate for the property and they could take title of the property if it is needed for any grant funding. He said the reason demolition is probably a second or the least favored option is that the bulk of the funding the County is pursuing is historically related. Oden Wheeler said the engineering firm is looking at two to three weeks to design it. Mr. Tolley said he thinks that demolition could be done a lot cheaper than the estimates Mr. Wheeler mentioned. He said the back end of the building is starting to crack at the top. More of it will come down with wind or freezing weather. When the front part of the building came down, it did not do a whole lot of damage to his building because it was a higher roof. When he gets back to where the apartment is, his roof is lower and when that comes down, it will take his apartment out and the kitchen out. He will have nothing. He became homeless that night. The crash happened about 25 feet from where they were sitting. The City needs to get more serious. That building is an accident waiting to happen. The bricks are eroding. The people from Historic Cambridge, Inc. tried their hardest to get grants for their building (505-507 Race Street). He would like to see someone get a price for taking the building down. Mrs. Shirley Tolley said each brick fell by itself. There is nothing holding them together. The walls are three bricks thick. If it is to be done over, each brick will have to be cemented. She cannot fathom the money it will take to re-do this building. Mayor Stanley assured the Tolleys that the folk in Annapolis know that the County and City are working together because this is a critical situation.

Dave Bromwell, Cambridge-South Dorchester High School, to request preliminary permission to hold the prom at Great Marsh Park on Saturday, April 30, 2016 or May 14, 2016 from 8:00 pm until 12:00 midnight and a variance from the noise ordinance-A motion by Commissioner Sydnor to move forward working with the principal at Cambridge- South Dorchester High School and the class officers in planning their prom for April 30, 2016 or May 14, 2016 at Great Marsh Park and a variance from the noise ordinance was seconded and approved 5:0.

Presentation of Long Wharf Improvement Plans by Lane Engineering-Jeff Hubbard said they have been working with the City to do some stormwater management at Long Wharf. The City received a grant for green infrastructure about two years ago. They worked with the Long Wharf Advisory Committee and came up with several arrangements on how to arrange the park. They wanted to keep as much space together for events. They concentrated on not losing any existing parking spaces and making sure they look to the future. They found space for additional parking near the marina. The plan will open the view up more than it is today. There will be two types of treatment. As you walk around the circle, the green areas will be more like lawns. They will separate where you walk and where you park. Because the park is sometimes under water, the best way to treat the run-off would be a living shoreline. The design will make a statement that the City is serious about stormwater management. Water and electric lines will be run in coordination with what the City is doing with the bulkhead replacement. Lou Hyman, representing the Long Wharf Committee, said they have reviewed the plan. Several changes were made because of comments made at the committee. They are endorsing what Mr. Hubbard has come up with, they are in favor of it, and recommend it to the Council. A motion by Commissioner Vickers to allow Lane Engineering to move forward with the plans for Long Wharf was seconded and approved 5:0.

Unfinished Business

Award contract for Long Wharf bulkhead replacement (Contract 16-02)-A motion by Commissioner Sydnor to accept the recommendation of the Department of Public Works to award the bid the low bidder, Murtech, Inc. (Salisbury, MD), in the amount of $417,147.00 was seconded and approved 5:0.

New Business

City Manager-A motion by Commissioner Thomas to hire Mrs. Sandra Tripp-Jones as City Manager and authorize Mayor Stanley to enter into an employment contract (one year) was seconded approved 4:1 with Commissioner Sydnor opposed. She will begin employment with the City effective November 30, 2015.

Nomination approval for City-County Planning and Zoning liaison-Commissioner Hanson reported that on November 4, 2015, Dorchester County Planning and Zoning Commission met and unanimously approved a request of the City Council to have Mary Losty be the liaison between the City's Planning and Zoning Commission and the County's Planning and Zoning Commission. A motion by Commissioner Hanson to approve Mary Losty as the liaison was seconded and approved unanimously.

Historic Preservation Commission's request/recommendation for a moratorium on solar panels in the Historic District from January 1 through April 30, 2016-LaSara Kinser said this timeframe will provide time for the staff and Commission to develop solar panel guidelines, consider public comment, and present the guidelines to Council for approval. Council decided a moratorium was not necessary; therefore, no action was taken.

Discussion on Governors Hall extension-The current time period for Governors Hall to close is January 3, 2016. Commissioner Hanson said it is the opinion of George Hyde that the work on the wharf will probably not start until July or August 2016. A motion by Commissioner Hanson to extend the use of Governor's Hall until August 16, 2016 was seconded and approved 3:1 with Commissioner Sydnor abstaining and Commissioner Vickers opposed.

Holiday schedule for 2016-A motion by Commissioner Sydnor to approve the holiday schedule was seconded and approved 5:0.

City Council meeting schedule for 2016-A motion by Commissioner Thomas to approve the meeting schedule was seconded and approved 5:0.

Mayor's and Commissioners' Comments

Closed Executive Session-Council held a closed executive session at 6:00 pm to discuss personnel.

Committees-There are vacancies on the Planning and Zoning Commission, the ADA Committee, and the Policy Advisory Committee.

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 9:12 p.m. I hereby certify that the foregoing is a true and accurate account of the Council meeting Monday, November 9, 2015, insofar as I personally am aware.

Victoria Jackson-Stanley


A Date: November 9, 2015
Time: 6:00 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: X
Donald Sydnor Vote: X
Frank Cooke Vote: X
Gage Thomas Vote: X
Commissioner Hanson Vote: X

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

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: Starting salary at the Police Department
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, Ginger Heatwole, Chief Dvorak, Major Mark Lewis
F Actions Taken at the Closed Session: Starting salaries will be increased to keep them more in line with other agency's starting salaries.