• 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
Print this page

City Council Meeting Minutes

March 27, 2017

The City Council met in regular session on Monday, March 27, 2017 at 5:30 pm in Council Chambers. A quorum being present, Mayor Victoria Jackson-Stanley called the meeting to order. Those Commissioners in attendance were Commissioners Rideout, Sydnor, Foster (5:48 pm), Cannon, and Hanson.

A motion by Commissioner Cannon to go into open session was seconded by Commissioner Hanson and approved 4:0.

5:30 pm Mayor to Convene Council in Regular Session

Closed Sessions

1. SUBJECT: A Proposed Closed Session - in accordance with State Government Article, Section 10-508(a) - under:
Exception 1: discuss appointment of City Attorney and
Exception 14: discuss negotiating strategy and contents of bid proposals related to competitive proposal process for City Attorney contract.

A motion by Commissioner Cannon to go into closed executive session was seconded by Commissioner Sydnor and approved 4:0. (Commissioner Foster arrived at 5:48 pm)

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

A motion by Commissioner Hanson to go out of closed executive session was seconded by Commissioner Sydnor and approved 5:0.

 

6:00 pm Mayor to Reconvene Council in Open Session

Mayor Victoria Jackson-Stanley asked for a moment of silence. Commissioner Hanson led in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Agenda

3. Council to approve or amend agenda as presented

Mayor Victoria Jackson-Stanley asked to amend Item 4D. It should read "Conceptually approve a property tax rate increase from 0.007989 to 0.008878...". Sandra Tripp-Jones asked that Item 15 (later corrected to be Item 9) be removed from the agenda. She also stated that in the minutes from the last meeting (March 13, 2017), Item 1B, it was approved on a vote of 4:0. Commissioner Hanson asked that Item 10 be removed from the Consent Calendar and voted on separately.

A motion by Commissioner Rideout to approve the agenda as amended was seconded by Commissioner Hanson and approved 5:0.

Public Comment

Kenneth Hine said that Code Enforcement has cited them several times for the same violations which is against his constitutional rights. Rob Collison suggested he submit something in writing. Personnel issues cannot be discussed in public.

Portia Johnson-Ennels asked if there was a cap on the amount of funds an organization can ask for with a community grant. Mayor Victoria Jackson-Stanley replied that the City will be fair to as many organizations as they can.

Portia Johnson-Ennels said there have been three different brush fires in the area of land behind Calvin Mowbray Park and Bay Country Apartments. She asked that the bushes be cut down.

Portia Johnson-Ennels reported that the children on Park Lane are being rude to property owners and asked that Community Policing patrol that area more than they are doing now.

Tamara Jackson introduced herself as the owner of a new business, T's Devine Sweets, which is a wholesale dessert organization servicing restaurants, hospitals, caterers, etc. Everything is homemade. She tries to us all local farmers.

Hearing:

4. SUBJECT: Proposed Property Tax Increase from 0.007989 to 0.008878
Recommendation: That Council:
A. Hear a presentation from staff
B. Hold a public hearing on the proposed property tax increase
C. Conceptually approve maintaining the personalty tax rate at 1.69 per $100
D. Conceptually approve a property tax rate increase from .007989 to .008878 and approve use of the revenue generated from the increase to maintain services, repair the 300 block of High Street and establish a reserve for housing blight removal.

A motion by Commissioner Hanson to hold a public hearing on a proposed property tax increase was seconded by Commissioner Cannon and approved 5:0.

Sandra Tripp-Jones explained that with the lowering overall of City property tax assessments by about 2.3 percent, the City anticipates, without action by Council, lowering of property tax revenues next year by $130,000. Two of the Council goals which received focus from the Council are the repair of the 300 block of High Street and funds to put into place to address housing blight, particularly in the Pine Street area. Staff brought to Council a recommendation that Council hold a hearing on increasing the property tax rate. To meet constant yield would require an increase from the current rate 0.007989 to 0.008179. That would make the City whole on the property tax revenues. In order to take on the additional projects such as High Street and housing, it would require a source of revenue that we do not presently have. It is proposed that the Council consider a proposed property tax increase-not just to 0.008179 but to 0.008878. That increase would keep the City whole with the constant yield requirement of $130,000 plus an additional $500,000 which staff has recommended that the City use as the General Fund portion of the cost of repairing the 300 block of High Street plus put funds to a home rehab program in the Pine Street area for low income property owners. When information was given to Secretary Holt (DHCD), he said he would match funds for housing rehabilitation.

Sandra Tripp-Jones presented a few ways to compare Cambridge's property taxes to other jurisdictions. A letter to Council stated that Cambridge has the 14th highest property tax in the State with some 150+ jurisdictions. Of the 150+ jurisdictions, 75 percent of the jurisdictions have populations of less than 5000 people. Seventy five percent of the taxing municipalities in the State have populations of less than 5000 people. Of the population band that Cambridge is in (5,000 to 15,000), there are 20 municipalities. It is appropriate to look at cities with similar populations. The larger the tax-assessable base, the lower the property tax rate. The lower the tax-assessable base, there tends to be higher property tax rates. In the 20 cities in this population band, Cambridge is currently 0.7989. In a county with an assessable tax base of $2,747,948, that sounds like a lot. Brunswick's (Frederick County) taxable base is $27,000,000. If you look at the two tax rates, Cambridge is at 0.789 and Brunswick is 0.47. There can be quite a range of tax rates but they pretty much follow the size of the base. The larger the base, the lower the rate. Looking at Eastern Shore cities, and dropping down to 2,000+ population, you will notice that overall rates tend to be somewhat higher than State-wide rates but the same relationship between tax-assessable base per capita and the tax rate is still apparent.

In Caroline County where the tax-assessable base per capita is $74,000,000, their rate is 0.71, similar to Cambridge. Federalsburg is 0.82, a little higher than Cambridge. Hurlock is also presently higher than Cambridge. Our taxable base per capita is $84,000. Kent County's taxable base is almost double that. It is $141,000,000. Chestertown's rate is 0.37 which is quite a bit lower. Again, you see the relationship between the higher taxable base per capita and the rate.

If you look at the rankings of where Cambridge is relative to Eastern Shore cities with populations of 2,000+, presently with no change, Cambridge is 10th out of 16. If we raise the rate to the proposed level of 0.008878, we would be 5th out of 16. If you go to just those nine municipalities that have taxable base per capita at less than $100,000 per capita, Cambridge moves back into the middle (4th of 9). Overall, Cambridge is not high in its tax rates relative to comparably-sized cities throughout the State of Maryland with per-capita tax assessable bases. When you look at the Eastern Shore, it is even more apparent. We are pretty much in the middle of comparable cities.

Of all cities with populations between 5,000 and 15,000, Cambridge is 4th out of 20. Of all cities with populations between 5,000 and 15,000, with tax-assessable bases under 100,000 per person, we are 3rd of 8. For all cities on the Eastern Shore with populations of 2,000 or more, we are 10th of 16 at our current rate. At the proposed rate, we would be 5th of 16. If you look at all cities on the Eastern Shore with a population of 2,000 or more with a tax assessable base per capita of less than 100,000, we are just about in the middle again (4 of 9) and that is at the proposed rate. While a rate is always reflective of a community's priorities and services, it is safe to say that Cambridge is in the top 14 of all of the cities in Maryland but they are so distinct in terms of size and taxable base.

Since 2013, 23 of the 61 Eastern Shore cities have raised their municipal property tax rates by an average of 13 percent. The proposed increase that is under consideration now would have raised our taxes since 2013 by 11 percent (less than the average for the Eastern Shore).

The first $130,000 under the constant yield change would go to maintain the services that the City has been providing. An additional amount ($250,000 per year for two years) is proposed to repair the 300 block of High Street. That is just the General Fund portion. The whole cost of the repairs to the 300 block of High Street is $800,000. The rest comes from water reserves and sewer reserves. The $250,000 in the first year for housing is an amount we understand will be matched by the State. If approved, it would be proposed for a second year to expand that same program. Instead of doing 25 to 30 houses, we would do another potential 15 to 20 houses in the second year. We have met with Habitat for Humanity to partner on a project. We want to bring in a services partner for support of families. This is not a new model. It would be a home rehabilitation program focusing on roofs, windows, doors, and interior work on heating systems to help cut heating costs. The program will potentially look at foundations and floors. This would make the houses more energy efficient. The State may have a requirement that there be a lien on the property for the State's portion that would be a decreasing lien over the years. The City's portion will not require a lien.

Commissioner Sydnor asked about the cost of building the Public Safety Building. Oden Wheeler said the cost of the land and the building was approximately $15,000,000. Commissioner Sydnor asked if the tax rate was increased to pay for that building. Oden Wheeler said to the best of his recollection, there was not a tax increase. Mr. Kinnamon made presentations to Council on a tax increase to pay for the structure, however, Council did not make any provisions for it. Commissioner Sydnor said the annual payments for that building are approximately $800,000. It was approximately $830,000, but the loan was refinanced. Commissioner Sydnor said the City went into the venture of building this facility without any means of paying for it. Oden Wheeler said it costs approximately $1.8 million to operate the building. Commissioner Sydnor said over this period of time, the General Fund has been absorbing this cost in order to pay for that building.

Commissioner Foster asked if the City lost any other anticipated funding in the period that the Public Safety Building was built, such as money from the Hyatt or monies from properties that we thought were going to be developed and for some reason flopped. The Public Safety Building is not the only building where the City has not lost or has not received funding to help pay for some of these ventures or projects that we have had in the past. Oden Wheeler said at the time the City was planning the Public Safety Building, there were developers here that were looking at doing projects throughout the corporate limits. They promised Council they would get certain income, however, none of that ever came to fruition. In 2009 or 2010, the State of Maryland did away with the Highway User Funds and Police Aid. The first year it was an approximately $800,000 loss. They have come back some. The Highway User Fund is around $127,000. It is now considered a one-year grant. Between the two funds, we receive approximately $395,000. Commissioner Foster said the proposed tax increase is not directed at paying for the Public Safety Building but for all the projects that we have going on in the City. Oden Wheeler said it would be for at least the one that Sandra Tripp-Jones has pointed out. In 2010 they had to take drastic measures because of the decreases in funding and the public safety debt by laying off 12 employees, decreased staff, health insurance changes, and taking other measures to pay our debts.

Commissioner Rideout said in the memo that Sandra Tripp-Jones sent out, she called out reasons to consider the increases as funding for repairs to the 300 block of High Street over two years ($250,000 per year) and then providing matching funds of approximately $250,000 for the grant application regarding Pine Street. That totals $750,000 and it looks like the tax increase for those two projects would be over $1,000,000. He asked for an explanation on the difference. Sandra Tripp-Jones said $750,000 has not been a number she has been trying to express but she sees how it looks like that. The original recommendation to hold the hearing to raise the rates was for an on-going tax increase for the first and second year for High Street and the first year of $250,000 for housing plus a match if we could get it. At that meeting Council suggested an option for increasing it to cover constant yield and then for High Street and housing, as a two-year special tax. She took that to mean two years of housing. We will make no progress into doing something about housing unless we have a solid revenue stream that will extend beyond two years for housing rehabilitation. Of course, it is all optional. If Council were to approve a two-year special tax assessment for High Street and housing, then it would be $500,000 plus at least a $250,000 match from the State for housing rehabilitation in the Ward 3 area. The home rehabilitation program would be directed at repairing homes of low-income home owners and seniors. There is other wider work that needs to be done in that area.

Commissioner Foster said she understands we need to do something in order to bring in money to pay bills within the City; however, she feels we should be paying attention to economic development-bringing jobs here. Raising property taxes is a short term answer to a long term problem that has been here for a very long time. When the City Manager was hired, it was her hope that economic development would be a priority. We have a lot of projects that are going unfinished because people do not like the tax rate in Cambridge. In addition to that, we are not like Blatensburg, Salisbury, and Aberdeen who make higher money. They are larger income bases. We live in a city that has a large area of poverty. When you say that we have a certain number of people per capita, look at the income that Dorchester County and City of Cambridge are producing vs. the income in Blatensburg, Salisbury, and Aberdeen. That is around the D.C. area where people are making around $100,000 a year so they have the tax base where the increase the City is proposing would not hurt a lot of them. We are talking about blighted housing in the Third Ward as part of it and also High Street. She has some concerns in that area as well as to why not go after as many programs as we possibly can and if most of the homes are being rented, what is going to happen to the ones that are already not making any money. The landlords will have to increase their rent and then there will be more evictions than what we already have. They will go from one landlord to the other landlord because they cannot afford it. Unless we address economic development issues here within the City of Cambridge and try to increase what are citizens are making-bring more jobs here. We are going to be going up on taxes every three to four years to beat the next cost because inflation is going to go up. We are also at a time of uncertainty. A couple of weeks ago, the City decreased any type of health insurance for any retiree that is coming into the City of Cambridge as of July 1, 2017. In her opinion it was not a good move. She was on an island by herself and voted against it. She doesn't think we should raise this tax rate right now without carefully considering all facts and not just a chart that shows her cities making really good income so their homeowners can afford to pay their tax base vs. a lot of the ones here in Dorchester County and the City of Cambridge.

Sandra Tripp-Jones said when the Council worked on Council goals, it called out addressing blight as an economic development issue as did the Economic Development Strategic Plan that we did. Commissioner Foster said we should address it.

Commissioner Sydnor said for many years sitting on this Council, he has requested that we do something for other wards in the Cambridge, other than the first and the fifth-not that what was done there was not necessary, but it seemed like the second, third, and fourth wards were being neglected. He constantly mentioned that statement. I now see where staff is beginning to consider doing something into other wards.

Commissioner Foster said this tax increase is going to help pay for all the projects that we have going on in the City of Cambridge-not just places within the Third Ward and not just High Street. We have a lot going on-Maryland Avenue, the wharf, Sailwinds. There is a lot going on. You may say that it is directed towards the Third Ward on paper or for somebody to hear, but take a look at everything that we have within our budget that we have to pay for and you will find out that maybe the Third Ward is taking the blame for the tax increase. Commissioner Sydnor said the Third Ward is not taking the blame. Commissioner Foster said that is the way she sees it. Don't put it on the Third Ward. She represents the Third Ward. Put everything out there and let everybody know. She said to put the whole budget out there to show everything that has to be paid. It is not just going to go for housing within the Third Ward or for High Street. We were working on High Street forever.

Sandra Tripp-Jones said if the Council approves a special tax assessment for a purpose, it has to go to that purpose.

Commissioner Rideout said why make the increase if the underlying financial situation of the City doesn't require it. For instance, have we been so efficient and effective in our running of the City this year that we're going to have a budget surplus of $130,000. If so, why pump it back up to 0.81 to get that $130,000 more if we saved that kind of money in the efficiencies and effectiveness of management of the City. Sandra Tripp-Jones said proposed General Fund Operating Budget right now has four significant pressures on it that it didn't have last year financially. One is that health insurance costs were significantly underestimated this year and will cost $300,000 more next year. Council has conceptually approved about $120,000 for an average 2 percent salary increase for staff and an additional $65,000 for staff for lowest paid workers to have their salaries made more comparable with comparable workers. We will have additional attorney costs. Those four things together are costs that we did not have last year. When you couple that with a reduction of $130,000 in revenue, we have had to cut our operating budgets even more this year to balance. The capital program is no larger than it was last year. Commissioner Foster asked if the City looked at other health insurance programs or are they operating under the same one that we have had for years. Sandra Tripp-Jones said they went to LGIT and gave them our numbers. They told us out-of-the-box that they thought it was unlikely that they could do it for less. They did the analysis and they cannot do it for less.

Discussions continued on the starting salaries for police officers in Cambridge as compared to other local areas and what raising the starting salaries does to the budget.

Commissioner Rideout asked what the savings was going to be in regard to the 9-1-1 operators. Sandra Tripp-Jones said it is about $200,000. This is the first year we are saving. Commissioner Hanson mentioned that the City renegotiated some of our debt service which resulted in reduced annual payments.

A motion by Commissioner Hanson to hold a public hearing on a proposed property tax increase was seconded by Commissioner Sydnor and approved 5:0.

Joe Brooks said he owns a home and business in Cambridge. He is opposed to the 11.13 percent tax increase. He understands that our taxable assets in our county are not as great as other places. We just don't have the assets that other places have. He would love to see all the streets in Cambridge redone. We have to be realistic and responsible in spending money wisely. He asked if the City looked into alternative methods other than a total rebuild of the bricks. Sandra Tripp-Jones said they have looked at other options. Oden Wheeler said the estimate for materials and installation of the bricks is $100,000. The issue is the what is under the street-the base, the sewer, the water, the gas lines, etc. That is the true issue. Joe Brooks said that is why blacktop is more appropriate in his mind. Street openings can be repaired much more readily and not look like patchwork. The tax rate is to possibly people staying here and possibly people investing here. Council should create an environment where people want to come and invest and bring jobs and tax base. Many properties are considered blight and it should be a priority. Cambridge needs to be the cleanest, safest, most attractive community it can be but it has to live within our means and that is his point.

James Chaney said the charts are pretty but they don't show an accurate picture. Dorchester County is raising taxes. Cambridge is raising taxes. Cambridge can't afford to raise taxes at this point. They are going to kill the real estate industry. We were off to a slow start but are starting to get somewhere now. He asked Council not to stop it now. There are a lot of first-time homebuyers and it is going to put them out of the ballpark. He understands wanting to do the streets. He suggested selling the bricks like they sold the steps to the lighthouse. He was told that supposedly a lot of the assessments went down. He showed a bunch of assessment bills that did not budge one bit. Some others went up as much as $15,000 per property. He will not have a choice but to raise rents. A lot of people fought the assessments and lost. We have one of the lowest median incomes in the State. People cannot afford to keep living here. If Cambridge raises taxes, the people are going to go to Delaware or Easton. Cambridge has a larger population than Hurlock or Federalsburg. There is no comparison. We almost have the same tax rate. They have less people in those towns so how can Cambridge justify it? It is just going to hurt the town.

Donald Gray said he just got his appraisal on his property on Glenburn Avenue. It went up $42,000. The County Councilmen did not know that everyone's assessment went up this kind of money. It went up a total of $683.00 per year. About 17 people in Long Boat Estates that came to Cambridge to retire will have to move out. Some of their assessments went up $60,000 to $80,000. Some of those people are paying $13,000 to $14,000 a year in taxes. We need to is think about bringing jobs here and getting this County straight. We need to focus on jobs. There are jobs at the Hyatt and the Sherriff's office that cannot be filled because of drugs. He hopes they consider not raising the taxes.

Martin Mullaney owns a few businesses and a lot of rental property in Cambridge. He wonders if bricks are a great idea for High Street. He sees a lot of heavy vehicles going down High Street. It doesn't seem like the road holds up very well. Brick looks very pretty if you can afford it. From what he is hearing, we are not a wealthy town. Can we afford it and can we afford the upkeep? It might not look good once patches are made to fix pipes. A lot of the houses that he paid $40,000 for are now assessed at $80,000 or $90,000. He doesn't think the assessments are really accurate on some of these properties. Taxes seem to come up a lot when he tries to encourage people to move to Cambridge. He doesn't know if it is the right move because the right move is jobs and some type of economic development that brings in more of a tax base.

Robert Aaron said taxes are going up but no more money in coming. Walmart gives raises but then cuts back hours. If taxes go up, he may not be able to afford his house.

Michael Wheatley said he owns properties and has managed properties for other owners. Tenants are barely making their rent because of job decreases. He is all for making Cambridge a better place. He does not think brinks is the angle the City should go for if it means raising taxes. He understands the historic beauty but it is also hurting the City in the long run. People, especially elderly people, will not be able to pay for the property taxes and will have to give their property back to the City. He asked Council to think about the people who are on a month-to-month income basis. Some families cannot afford a rent increase. He hopes the City can find other funding ways to cover these costs.

Monroe Smith was born in Cambridge. He pays taxes as much as any other people. He asked if the area where he was born and raised is part of Cambridge. Evidently, they want strangers coming here. Pine Street and parts of the Third Ward are never mentioned except that it is blight. It is blight and it has done well for him.

Suzy Hayward said she is a real estate agent. She thinks it is ironic that some of the main causes of blight is lack of funds to care for the property and yet the direct effect of raising property taxes will be taking away more money from those who still cannot afford to taken care of their property and pay for the upkeep. The real estate market is just starting to increase. People are coming to Cambridge because of the lower property values. If the taxes are increased, then the difference will be much smaller. People will look other places to retire. That will hold true also for commercial. They want a steady workforce and they want to be able to have housing available for that workforce. If the workforce can't afford the housing, they are not going to come.

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 keep the record open until the next Council meeting for written comments only on the real property tax rate was seconded by Commissioner Foster and approved 5:0.

A motion by Commissioner Sydnor to conceptually approve maintaining the personalty tax rate at 1.69 per $100 for FY2018 was seconded by Commissioner Foster and approved 5:0.

A motion by Commissioner Sydnor to conceptually a property tax rate increase from 0.007989 to 0.008878 and approve use of the revenue generated from the increase to maintain services, repair the 300 block of High Street, and establish a reserve for housing blight removal for FY2018 and FY2019 died for lack of a second.


Report on Closed Session:

• March 27, 2017 - City Attorney Selection

Council meet at 5:30 p.m. today in closed session. Commissioner Foster was not present at the beginning but joined at 5:48 p.m. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss negotiating strategy for appointment of the City Attorney. No action was taken.


Consent Calendar

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

6. SUBJECT: Request from the Dorchester Family YMCA to hold their Heart of the Chesapeake Bike Tour on July 22, 2017 from 6:00 am until 2:00 pm starting and finishing at the YMCA
Recommendation: That Council approve the request

7. SUBJECT: Request from Kingdom Family Worship Center to hold "Unity in the Community" on the City-owned lot on the corner of Race and Cedar Streets on Saturday, April 15, 2017 from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm and a variance from the noise ordinance for a DJ
Recommendation: That Council approve the request

8. SUBJECT: Appropriation of a donation to the Cambridge Police Department
Recommendation: That Council approve the donation of $9,431 from the Elks Dorchester Lodge #223 and increase the Police Department budget by $9,431 for Uniforms.

9. Recommendation: That Council: [Removed from the Agenda]
A. Approve the request of Enterprise Homes, Inc. that the City approve transfer of 85% general partnership interest and 10% limited partnership interest in the general partner of the Owner of Cambridge Commons LLLP from Shelter Partners, II LLC to an affiliate of Enterprise Homes, Inc. subject to the final approval by the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development's Division of Credit Assurance's approval of the final transfer documents and the organization documents of Enterprise Homes, Inc.'s affiliates and subject to:
1) Continuation in force of affordability restrictions and loan use and repayment provisions in current agreements between the City of Cambridge and Shelter Partners II, LLC, and
2) Continuation of the current PILOT agreement without change.
B. Authorize the Mayor to execute the transfer agreement letter, subject to approval as to form by the City Attorney.
10. SUBJECT: Request from the American Legion for a letter of support for their loan application to USDA
Recommendation: That Council approve the request.

A motion by Commissioner Hanson to approve Consent Calendar Items 5 (with correction), 6, 7 and 8 was seconded by Commissioner Cannon and approved 5:0.

A motion by Commissioner Rideout to approve Consent Calendar Item 10 was seconded by Commissioner Cannon and approved 4:0. Commissioner Hanson recused himself from the vote.

 


Requests from the Public

11. Introduction of Bunky Luffman. Eastern Shore Intergovernmental Affairs (Office of the Governor)

Mr. Luffman will be at the April 24, 2017 meeting.


Ordinances for Second Reading, Public Hearing, and Adoption (7:00 pm)

12. 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. Give Ordinance No. 1095 a second reading;
B. Open the public hearing, take public comment, and close the public hearing;
C. Adopt Ordinance No. 1095.

Notice of the public hearing was published in the Star Democrat on March 10, 2017 and March 17, 2017. The Planning and Zoning Commissioner considered this ordinance at their meeting on January 3, 2017 and recommended unanimously for approval of the text amendment. The ordinance was introduced on February 28, 2017.

A motion by Commissioner Hanson to hear public comment was seconded by Commissioner Cannon and approved 5:0.

Nobody from the audience asked to speak. A motion by Commissioner Cannon to close the public hearing was seconded by Commissioner Rideout and approved 5:0.

A motion by Commissioner Cannon to adopt Ordinance 1095 was seconded by Commissioner Rideout and approved 4:1. The ordinance will become effective April 6, 2017.

13. SUBJECT: Ordinance No. 1096 Text Amendment to Section 5.1.3 to clarify setbacks for accessory structures.
Recommendation: That Council:
A. Give Ordinance No. 1096 a second reading;
B. Open the public hearing, take public comment, and close the public hearing;
C. Adopt Ordinance No. 1096.

Notice of the public hearing was published in the Star Democrat on March 10, 2017 and March 17, 2017. The Planning and Zoning Commissioner considered this ordinance at their meeting on January 3, 2017 and recommended unanimously for approval of the text amendment. The ordinance was introduced on February 28, 2017.

A motion by Commissioner Hanson to hear public comment was seconded by Commissioner Cannon and approved 5:0.

Nobody from the audience asked to speak. A motion by Commissioner Hanson to close the public hearing was seconded by Commissioner Cannon and approved 5:0.

A motion by Commissioner Rideout to adopt Ordinance 1096 was seconded by Commissioner Hanson and approved 5:0. The ordinance will become effective April 6, 2017.

Old Business

14. SUBJECT: Human Services Grants
Recommendation: That Council:
A. Approve a Human Services Grants application, process, and selection criteria;
B. Authorize staff to publish a notice of availability of applications; and
C. Authorize formation of an ad hoc committee to review applications and make recommendations to the City Council for grant awards in July 2017.

A motion by Commissioner Hanson that Council table a vote until the next meeting was seconded by Commissioner Foster and approved 5:0.

New Business

15. SUBJECT: Working Waterfronts Implementation Plan Proposal Selection
Recommendation: That Council authorize the City to enter a contract in a form to be approved by the City Attorney, with Campion Hruby Landscape Architects in the amount of $30,000 for the preparation of an implementation plan to complete the Working Waterfronts Grant received from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

A motion by Commissioner Rideout to move forward with contracting with Campion Hruby was seconded by Commissioner Hanson and failed 2:3.

Meetings

16. City/County Coordinating Committee Meeting:
• March 6, 2017

No action was taken.

17. Ordinance Committee Meeting:
• Jan 18, 2017
• March 18, 2017

No action was taken.


Mayor and Council

18. SUBJECT: Appointments/Re-Appointments to the Police Board
Recommendation from the Mayor that Council reappoint Sputty T. Cephas as Mayor's appointment.

A motion by Commissioner Sydnor to re-appoint Michael Wheatley, Andrew Allen, Pastor Cesar Gonzalez, Michael Edgar, Kisha Petticolas, and Sputty Cephas to the Police Board was seconded by Commissioner Hanson and approved 5:0.

A motion by Commissioner Hanson to appoint Commissioner Cannon to carry the Cambridge flag in the MML Parade of Flags was seconded by Commissioner Rideout 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 8:19 p.m. I hereby certify that the foregoing is a true and accurate account of the Council meeting Monday, March 27, 2017, insofar as I personally am aware.



Victoria Jackson-Stanley
Mayor