• 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

February 27, 2017

The City Council met in regular session on Monday, February 27, 2017 in Council Chambers. A quorum being present, Mayor Victoria Jackson-Stanley called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. Those Commissioners in attendance were Commissioners Rideout, Sydnor, Foster, Cannon, and Hanson. Mayor Victoria Jackson-Stanley asked for a moment of silence. Commissioner Hanson led in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Agenda

A motion by Commissioner Sydnor to open the meeting and approve the agenda was seconded by Commissioner Hanson and approved 4:0. Commissioner Rideout was absent.

1. SUBJECT: A Proposed Closed Session - in accordance with State Government Article, Section 10-508(a) - consult with counsel for legal advice
Recommendation: That Council consider a motion to go into Closed Session concerning consultation with counsel to obtain legal advice.

A motion by Commissioner Hanson that Council consider a motion to go into Closed Session concerning consultation with counsel to obtain legal advice was seconded by Commissioner Cannon and approved 4:0.

2. SUBJECT: Consideration of closing a closed session
Recommendation: That Council consider a motion to end the Closed Session.

A motion by Commissioner Foster that Council consider a motion to end the Closed Session was seconded by Commissioner Sydnor and approved 4:0.

3. SUBJECT: A Proposed Closed Session - in accordance with State Government Article, Section 10-508(a) - discuss: (ii) any other personnel matter that affects one or more specific individuals and before a contract is awarded or bids are opened, discuss a matter directly related to a negotiation strategy or the contents of a bid or proposal, if public discussion or disclosure would adversely impact the ability of the public body to participated in the competitive bidding or proposal process.
Recommendation: That Council consider a motion to go into Closed Session concerning personnel matters and contents of proposals: City Attorney proposals.

A motion by Commissioner Hanson that Council consider a motion to go into Closed Session concerning personnel matters was seconded by Commissioner Cannon and approved 4:0. Commissioner Rideout was absent at the time of the motion and vote but joined the meeting immediately following.

4. SUBJECT: Consideration of closing the closed session
Recommendation: That Council consider a motion to end the Closed Session.

A motion by Commissioner Hanson to close the Closed Session was seconded by Commissioner Cannon and approved 5:0.

6:00 pm Mayor to Reconvene Council in Open Session


Agenda

1. Council to approve or amend agenda as presented

The dates in 2B and 2C were amended. A motion by Commissioner Sydnor to approve the amended agenda was seconded by Cannon and approved 5:0.


Report on Closed Sessions:

2. Recommendation that the Mayor report on the following closed sessions:
A. Feb. 21, 2017 Closed session on personnel matters: City Attorney proposals
B. Feb. 27, 2017 Closed session to consult with counsel on legal matters
C. Feb. 27, 2017 Closed session on personnel matters: City Attorney proposals

On February 21, 2017 Council held a closed session on personnel matters as it relates to the City Attorney proposals. All Commissioners and the Mayor were present at the meeting in the MUC conference room. Sandra Tripp-Jones was also present. Council reviewed the proposals and gave tentative general directions. The letter from the current City Attorney acknowledging receipt of the end of his contract effective April 17, 2017 and his claim for severance was reported. It was clarified that the letter was not to be discussed at this meeting and would be discussed at another closed session. The meeting was not closed as required under the Open Meetings Act. Several Commissioners left at 1:30 pm which left Council without a quorum.

On February 27, 2017 Council held a closed session to consult with Counsel on legal matters in Council Chambers. Council heard advice from legal counsel on potential litigation and gave City Council general direction. The Mayor and all Commissioners were present except for Commissioner Rideout who had recused himself. The session ran from 5:00 pm until 5:30 pm.

On February 27, 2017 Council held a closed session on personnel matters as it relates to the City Attorney proposals in Council Chambers. The Mayor and all Commissioners were present. Council gave staff general direction for scheduling interviews with three of the firms that have submitted proposals to the City. The session ran from 5:35 pm to 5:45 pm.

Public Comment

Sharon Smith commented that Sun Trust is closing its branch in Cambridge. She also discussed a group called Indivisible Dorchester. The group was formed by Congressional Staffers who felt that people might want to be informed about how to go about creating political change. They are opposed to having local law enforcement used for customs and immigration enforcement. They think we should support, not deport, local migrants or immigrants who work in the agricultural and seafood industries.

Tom Puglisi thinks it is very important for the City to support recycling and make voluntary curbside recycling available to those who are willing to pay a reasonable rate for that service. He urged Council to find a way to reduce the cost as much as possible for sidewalk repairs and have payments made over an extended period of time.

Cindy Smith spoke representing Snip Tuck. They are fully at the City's disposal to assist the City with the cat issues. They have funding for spay neuter. They will trap, vaccinate, neuter, and return the cats to their colonies. There is no place to take feral cats.

Robert Klimczak would like to put a math and science center for children in the old K Mart building. He submitted plans to the Mayor who will pass them to the developer of the shopping center.

Wayne Suggs spoke representing Habitat for Humanity. They are in support of Ordinances 1090 and 1091.


Consent Calendar

3. SUBJECT: Work Session Minutes from February 6, 2017
Recommendation: That Council approve as submitted.

4. SUBJECT: Meeting Minutes from Council Meeting on February 13, 2017
Recommendation: That Council approve as submitted.

5. SUBJECT: Request from Cambridge High School Class of 1970 for permission to reserve a pavilion in Great Marsh Park for their High School Reunion on Saturday, June 17, 2017 from noon until dusk, permission for individuals to bring their own alcohol, and a variance from the noise ordinance
Recommendation: The Council approve the request.

6. SUBJECT: Request from Cambridge Rotary Community Service Foundation to hold an oyster roast near the Long Wharf Park Memorial Fountain on Saturday, March 25, 2017 from noon until 4:00 p.m., a variance from the noise ordinance, permission to erect a tent, street closure from 11:00 a.m. until 4:46 p.m.; and permission to serve alcohol
Recommendation: That Council approve the request.

7. SUBJECT: Police Grants
Recommendation: That Council authorize the Police Department to apply to the Governor's Office of Crime Control and Prevention - Victims of Crime Assistance for a grant of up to $18,000.

A motion by Commissioner Sydnor to approve the consent calendar (Items 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7) was seconded by Commissioner Cannon and approved 5:0.

Requests from the Public

8. SUBJECT: Request from Eastern Shore Land Conservancy's (ESLC) for a letter of support of ESCL's grant application to the Maryland Heritage Area Authority, for $100,000 to assist with stabilization of the symbolic smoke stack at the Phillips Packing Company, Factory F (The Packing House)
Recommendation: Approve as requested.

Rachel Roman said they are asking for grant funding to stabilize the two smoke stacks that are attached to Factory F. No funding is being requested from the City. A motion by Commissioner Sydnor to approve the letter of support was seconded by Commissioner Hanson and approved 5:0.

Ordinances for Introduction

9. SUBJECT: Ordinance No. 1095 Text Amendment to (1) include windblown banners as a prohibited use (2) permit the relocation of a non-conforming billboard within the State's Scenic Byway to a location outside the byway (3) establish parameters for flags (4) define temporary sign display limitations (5) allow two free standing signs for thru lots, and (6) allow window signage to be calculated separately from the other site signage.
Recommendation: That Council
A. Introduce Ordinance No. 1095 by reading of title only; and
B. Schedule March 13, 2017 for second reading, public hearing and adoption of Ordinance No. 1095.

Rob Collison introduced the ordinance and reported that the Planning and Zoning Commissioner gave a unanimous recommendation for adoption on January 3, 2017. A public hearing will be held on March 13, 2017.

10. SUBJECT: Ordinance No. 1096 Text Amendment to Section 5.1.3 to clarify setbacks for accessory structures.
Recommendation: That Council
A. Introduce Ordinance No. 1096 by reading of title only; and
B. Schedule March 13, 2017 for second reading, public hearing and adoption of Ordinance No. 1096.

Rob Collison introduced the ordinance. The Planning and Zoning Commissioner gave a unanimous recommendation for adoption on January 3, 2017. A public hearing will be held on March 13, 2017.


Ordinances for Second Reading, Public Hearing, and Adoption

11. SUBJECT: Ordinance No. 1090 (note: Ordinance number corrected to 1094) Text Amendment to Amend Section 2.4.2 Non-conforming Lots, Structures, and Uses to permit a single family dwelling on a legal lot of record.
Recommendation: That:
A. The Mayor open the public hearing, hear from the public, and close the public hearing;
B. The Council give the ordinance a second reading and adopt Ordinance No. 1094.

The Mayor opened the public hearing. Jeff Hubbard said the development community would be interested in anything that would expedite the process of getting lots approved in the City. He would be in favor of this ordinance. Nobody else asked to speak. A motion by Commissioner Hanson to close the public hearing was seconded by Commissioner Sydnor and approved 5:0.

A motion by Commissioner Sydnor to adopt Ordinance 1094 was seconded by Commissioner Hanson and approved 5:0.

12. SUBJECT: Ordinance No. l09l Text Amendments: (I) to Amend Section 4.4.5 to modify setback/lot minimums; and (2) to Amend Table 3 for minimum lot sizes for the Downtown Waterfront Development District, Neighborhood - Sub-District and (3) to Amend Section 5.2 to require compliance for the sub-district and include additional language to that section as it relates to the design standards.
Recommendation: That:
A. The Mayor open the public hearing, hear from the public, and close the public hearing;
B. The Council give the ordinance a second reading and adopt Ordinance No. 1091.

The Mayor opened the public hearing. Wayne Suggs thanked Pat Escher for working with them to figure some of these things out that work best for the developers and for the neighborhoods. The neighborhood compatibility part really makes this all worthwhile to save the character of the City while encouraging redevelopment at the same time. Jeff Hubbard encouraged Council to support this ordinance. Nobody else asked to speak. A motion by Commissioner Sydnor to close the public hearing was seconded by Commissioner Hanson and approved 5:0.

A motion by Commissioner Hanson to adopt Ordinance 1091 was seconded by Commissioner Cannon and approved 5:0.

13. SUBJECT: Ordinance No. 1092 Text Amendment to Amend Section 5.1 Table 4: Yard and Bulk Requirements to increase the building height in the Industrial Zone District from 35 feet to 50 feet.
Recommendation: That:
A. The Mayor open the public hearing, hear from the public, and close the public hearing;
B. The Council give the ordinance a second reading and adopt Ordinance No. 1092.

Jeff Hubbard encouraged Council to approve this ordinance. He has a lot of clients looking at industrial property in Cambridge and height is an issue for them. Nobody else asked to speak. A motion by Commissioner Hanson to close the public hearing was seconded by Commissioner Sydnor and approved 5:0.

A motion by Commissioner Sydnor to adopt Ordinance 1092 was seconded by Commissioner Cannon and approved 5:0.

14. SUBJECT: Ordinance 1093 A Map Amendment and a Rezoning of a property from Resource Conservation to General Commercial - Rte. 16 Map 307, Grid 0017, Parcel 5724.
Recommendation: That:
A. The Mayor open the public hearing, hear from the public, and close the public hearing;
B. The Council give the ordinance a second reading and adopt Ordinance No. 1093.

Rob Collison reported that it is staff's position that there was a mistake in the last comprehensive rezoning. Previously the parcel was zoned General Commercial. Some of the grading and infrastructure work had been completed as a commercial site. Planning and Zoning Staff's recommendation is that based upon a mistake in the last comprehensive rezoning, it should have been zoned General Commercial. The owner was here at the last meeting and commented that support the correction. Nobody else asked to speak. A motion by Commissioner Sydnor to close the public hearing was seconded by Commissioner Cannon and approved 5:0.

A motion by Commissioner Sydnor to approve and adopt the findings of fact that are attached as Exhibit A and to approve Ordinance 1093 was seconded by Commissioner Hanson and approved 5:0.

The text amendments will become effective on March 9, 2017.

Old Business

15. SUBJECT: Status Report on Cameras in Greenwood Area project.
Recommendation: That Council receive a verbal report.

Oden Wheeler reported that the City is in the process of obtaining right-of-ways from the property owners. The recording unit is functioning now for the other cameras in town. Flags have been put in place to mark the spaces for the poles. Miss Utilities has been contacted. The transmission radios have been configured and are operating. The cameras are in stock. We are negotiating with trenching companies.


16. SUBJECT: Sailwinds Port Property Request for Expressions of Interest (REOI)
Recommendation: That Council direct staff to send out a request for expressions of interest to the development community for the City-owned Sailwinds/Port Property and adjacent properties.

A motion by Commissioner Sydnor to direct staff to send out a request for expressions of interest was seconded by Commissioner Cannon and approved 5:0.


17. SUBJECT: Sidewalk Research on Practices of Other Municipalities
Recommendation: That Council consider the report and give direction to staff.

A motion by Commissioner Rideout that staff in cooperation with the Commissioners identify places where there are not sidewalks and/or paths and sidewalks need to be built and consider looking for grants for those areas and that the Commissioners in their own wards look for sidewalks that are in need of repair and notify the City so they can investigate and see if it is appropriate to issue citations or warnings was seconded by Commissioner Hanson and failed 1:4.

A motion by Commissioner Rideout that as part of the budget process the City Manager consider proposing some sort of a tax that would be applied for the repair of sidewalks that could be used as a rotating fund and as part of that tax to consider a proportionate sharing of the cost of the repairs of sidewalks died for lack of a second.

A motion by Commissioner Rideout to table this and tell staff to do nothing was seconded by Commissioner Sydnor and passed 5:0.

18. SUBJECT: Recycling and Trash Reduction Strategies
Recommendation: That Council:
A. Receive a report on options for reducing trash to control wild animals and to reduce unsightly trash in the streets
B. Receive a report on options for providing recycling services to residents that elect to pay for recycling services.
C. Provide direction to staff.

A motion by Commissioner Sydnor to have Mayor Victoria Jackson-Stanley send a letter to the Dorchester County Council to give them permission to install recycling bins on the City-owned property across from 705 Leonard Lane was seconded by Commissioner Cannon and approved 5:0.

A motion by Commissioner Rideout to instruct Mr. Wheeler to continue contacting recycling companies and report back to Council about curbside recycling for citizens who wish to recycle was seconded by Commission Hanson and approved 5:0.

19. SUBJECT: Deterring raccoons and vultures
Recommendation: That Council receive the report and provide direction to staff.

A motion by Commissioner Hanson that staff come back with some options for the FY18 budget was seconded by Commissioner Sydnor and approved 5:0.


New Business

20. SUBJECT: Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad State Park and Visitor's Center
Recommendation that Council: Hear presentation by Amanda Fenstermaker, Director, Dorchester County Tourism Department

Jill Jasuta reported that the Visitor's Center has been years in the making. It will officially open to the public on March 11, 2017. On Friday, March 10, 2017, there will be an invitation-only ribbon cutting. There will be grand opening events throughout Dorchester County. A driving tour includes 36 sites. A bus shuttle will be available from Academy Street.

21. SUBJECT: Grant funding for the completion of the Historic Preservation Commission Recommendation: That Council authorize staff to apply for funding through the Maryland Historical Trust Certified Local Government Program in the amount of $15,000 to complete the proposed Cambridge Historic District Design Guidelines

A motion by Commissioner Cannon to direct staff to apply for the grant was seconded by Commissioner Sydnor and approved 5:0.

22. SUBJECT: Grant Request to Support Training for Historic Preservation Commission
Recommendation: That Council authorize staff to submit a grant application to the Maryland Historical Trust, Certified Local Governments Education and Training Grant Program in the amount of $1,000

A motion by Commissioner Sydnor to authorize staff to submit a grant application to the Maryland Historical Trust, Certified Local Governments Education and Training Grant Program in the amount of $1,000 was seconded by Commissioner Foster and approved 5:0.

23. SUBJECT: Ward Three Blight Study Report
Recommendation: That Council:
A. Accept the report and take its conclusions under advisement., and
B. Direct staff to bring back a plan for developing an application to CDBG for a home rehabilitation project for the 3rd ward to be brought back to Council for consideration and approval, including an appropriation for the cost of developing a "shovel ready" project in order to qualify for funding

A motion by Commissioner Foster that the City Manager and the Department of Public Works try to figure out why we have more houses being demolished in the Third Ward, why we have more fines in the Third Ward, how to reduce these as well as find a way to let them know that Historic Preservation funds may be able to help, that the City will apply for some type of grant and funding to help repair the houses for low-income citizens, and put a halt on demolitions in the Third Ward that are not court ordered and put a halt on new demolition orders by the City was seconded by Commissioner Sydnor and approved 5:0.

24. SUBJECT: Appropriation of Sewer reserves
Recommendation: That Council appropriate $156,250 of Reserves into the Sewer Fund Revenue and $156,250 to the Sewer Fund budget.

A motion by Commissioner Rideout that Council appropriate $156,250 of Reserves into the Sewer Fund Revenue and $156,250 to the Sewer Fund budget was seconded by Commissioner Cannon and approved 5:0.

25. SUBJECT: FY 2018 Budget Planning
Recommendation that Council conceptually approve:
A. Inclusion of an average 2% salary increase in the proposed FY 2018 operating budget;
B. Inclusion of up to $65,000 for salary comparability adjustments for Public Works field staff and sanitation workers at the lowest salary grades in the proposed FY 2018 operating budget;
C. Inclusion of a volunteer firefighter incentive program in the proposed FY 2018 operating budget;
D. Inclusion of a reserve for a Human Services Grants program in the proposed FY 2018 operating budget;
E. Inclusion of repair of 300 block of High Street in the proposed FY 2018 capital budget;
F. Inclusion of a $3/month increase in solid waste collection (trash) fees in the proposed FY 2018 operating budget; and
G. Setting March 27, 2017 for a hearing - as required by State law - to consider setting the real property tax rate to maintain constant yield

A motion by Commissioner Sydnor to accept this report as a conceptual budgetary report was seconded by Commissioner Cannon and approved 5:0.


Meetings


Mayor and Council

26. SUBJECT: Committee Appointments
Recommendation: That Council approve Commissioner Cannon's recommendation to appoint Nick Grande, Rodger Harrell, Carlos Wilson, Louise White, and Anne Whaples to the ADA Committee

A motion by Commissioner Hanson to appoint Nick Grande, Rodger Harrell, Carlos Wilson, Louise White, and Anne Whaples to the ADA Committee was seconded by Commissioner Sydnor and approved 5:0.

Adjourn

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 8:50 p.m. I hereby certify that the foregoing is a true and accurate account of the Council meeting Monday, February 27, 2017, insofar as I personally am aware.



Victoria Jackson-Stanley
Mayor