• 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 Minutes

June 12, 2006

The City Council met in regular session on Monday, June 12, 2006 Council Chambers. A quorum being present, Mayor Cleveland L. Rippons called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. Those Commissioners in attendance were Commissioners Knox, Sydnor, Cephas, Brooks, and Travers.

Ed Kinnamon led in the Lord's Prayer. Commissioner Travers led in the Pledge of Allegiance. Commissioner Cephas made a motion to approve the minutes of the May 24, 2006 Council meeting as distributed. Commissioner Sydnor seconded the motion. The motion was passed unanimously. 

APPOINTMENTS

Open Bids for GPS Survey System-Ed Kinnamon reported that the City received two bids:

Caron East, Inc. (Cumberland) -- $45,550

DiCarlo Precision Instrument, Inc. (Salisbury) -- $29,233

Commissioner Travers made a motion to refer the bids to DPW for their review and recommendation. Commissioner Sydnor seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Charles E. Gabbin to Discuss Cost of Peddler's License in Cambridge-Mr. Gabbin said the City requires him to obtain a peddler's license for his business. For a year it costs $200; $125 for six months; or $50 for a day. Last year the State charged him $300. They told him that everyone who has an ice cream truck has to pay $300 a year. In addition, he has to pay the City. He is requesting that the City rectify this because it could cost him $450 a year for licenses. This is a lot of money for a part-time business. Ed Kinnamon said it is the fee structure for any peddler. There is also a fee for a street peddler. Mr. Gabbin said because of the cost of gas, he is no longer going to Hurlock. He doesn't want to raise his prices because of the kids. He thinks $75 would be a fair price. Nobody was sure what other municipalities charge for the license. Rob Collison said in order to provide any relief, it would require an amendment to the Code. It cannot be done on an individual basis. Mayor Rippons asked if the ordinance could specify a different fee structure for businesses that benefit the community. Rob Collison said they will have to see the basis behind the peddler's fee and see if it can be segregated by class of business. Ed Kinnamon said the peddler's licenses are usually generated by activities in town that draw a crowd. There are not a lot of people coming under this. He said years back, certain peddlers (newspapers, fish, vegetables, etc.) didn't have to pay anything. A prior Council determined that everyone should have a license. Mayor Rippons suggested that if a vendor provides an on-going service for a number of days, they could get a reduced rate. Rob Collison suggested that seasonal vendors (produce and ice cream) have a different structure. He also suggested that only those businesses that are subject to a State peddler's license get a reduced rate. He will prepare an ordinance for introduction at the next meeting and see what other towns are doing.

Mr. Gabbin said after the Christmas parade he rides around and gives away ice cream. Last year the police ran him away from parking on the lot. Mayor Rippons suggested that he contact Council before the parade and ask for their permission to park there and they will notify CPD.

David Hines, Cornerstone Assembly, to Request Permission to Have a Bake Sale at Long Wharf During the 4th of July Celebration-Commissioner Travers made a motion to approve the request. Commissioner Knox seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Pastor Anthony Dickerson to Request Variance from the Noise Ordinance on July 19th through July 22nd (7:00 pm to 10:00 pm) for a Tent Revival and on Sunday, July 23rd from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm for Outdoor Services on the Church Parking Lot on the Corner of Douglas and Pine Streets- Commissioner Brooks made a motion to approve the request. Commissioner Cephas seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously. The public was invited to attend.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

Formal Execution and Approval of MOU with Lighthouse Committee-Rob Collison said he submitted a draft to the Lighthouse Committee and doesn't think they had any additions or corrections. Commissioner Sydnor pointed out one small typographical error. Commissioner Sydnor made a motion to approve the MOU with the small correction. Commissioner Brooks seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously. Rob Collison said Council may wish to hold some hearings soon on the location. Council will hold a meeting in July.

Award Bid for Telephone System for Public Safety Building-Ed Kinnamon said the committee who reviewed the bids recommended Telewire Communications in the amount of $67,802.95. HTC, the low bidder, has since notified Commissioner Knox that they wish to withdraw their bid. They are willing to work with the City in any way they can. Commissioner Sydnor made a motion to accept the recommendation to award the bid to Telewire. Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. The motion passed 4:1 with Commissioner Knox opposed.

NEW BUSINESS

Appoint New Members to the Sailwinds Management Board-Carlton Stanley, Chairman of the Board, provided Council with a list of suggested Board members. They are Troy Hill, Shirley Tarbox, Lisa Tilghman, Martin Tolley, and Grady Wilson. Commissioner Brooks asked how many people are on the Board. Mayor Rippons said they have always had five members but need to expand because of the work load with the new endeavors. He said Lisa and Martin were technically already approved. Commissioner Sydnor said that according to the letter, Carlton Stanley is the only remaining member. Mayor Rippons said it is his understanding that there are three members. Commissioner Brooks said she never received a letter requesting that an additional member be added to the Board. When she spoke to Carlton Stanley, he asked that two members be replaced and he stated that Lisa Tilghman and Martin Tolley were already on the Board. Commissioner Cephas said with six members, they could constantly have a tie when they take votes. Troy Hill said Carlton Stanley would be the tie-breaker. Commissioner Brooks asked about the bylaws. Commissioner Knox has a copy of the MOU between the City and the Sailwinds Board. He is extremely disappointed that none of the Board members are present.  All the people on the list have been serving for some time now. He said Mayor Rippons should have informed them of the changes. He also said the MOU stipulates that Sailwinds should provide the City, on a monthly basis, a written summary in a form suitable for a public press release, and an outline of the events, activities, improvements, and renovations that have occurred during the prior month and proposed for the upcoming months. He hasn't seen one report in over two years. The MOU also stipulates that Sailwinds should provide quarterly profit/loss statements. He has not seen one yet.  He asked Mr. Hill to pass this information to the Board members. He doesn't have any problem with anybody on the list. He is sure they are extremely capable. However, it is protocol.

Commissioner Cephas said he has been hearing many rumors throughout the community about the Sailwinds Board. He didn't know there were new members until the R/UDAT was here. He doesn't personally have any problem with some of the people on the list, but they need to do it right. Almost two years ago, Council made some recommendations about who they wanted on the Board. It was approved by Council. If anything should change, it should come before Council again. The Council should receive quarterly reports. He has not seen one in two years. He has been told through the grapevine that Sailwinds in not making any money but there are functions going on regularly. The City deserves a report. Someone should provide a budget report for the next meeting. He thinks the Chairman of that committee should be here to address the Council. Commissioner Brooks said any policy changes should have come before Council. Council has agreed to a five-member Board. She isn't saying they shouldn't grow to six, but they need to know what is going on. If they are going to make a change in an MOU that they drafted, then that is what needs to happen first. Rob Collison said he will review the MOU and research the documents that may talk more in detail about the structure of the Board. Commissioner Brooks said Commissioner Travers and she were appointed to work with a selection committee of new members along with the current Board. She hopes that Troy Hill is appointed to the Board. Commissioner Sydnor made a motion to table this discussion until they can get the pertinent information that they are looking for. He has no qualms about the members who have been nominated but he thinks Council needs to know the parameters they are working under. Mayor Rippons asked if they can work as interim members of the Board. Commissioner Sydnor said he could with the idea that they will have the information at the next meeting. Mayor Rippons asked Troy Hill to notify the entire Board and ask them to be at the first meeting in July. Troy Hill asked if Council could address exactly what they need so he can take it back to the Board. Commissioner Cephas said they need a Board that is going to do what the guidelines say they should do. They need quarterly reports. Commissioner Knox said they should forget about the rocky relationships that the Council and the Management Board had in the past and start off with a fresh Board and a fresh track about what they are supposed to do with one another working as one for the betterment of our community. They do a great job. There is no question about anybody's ability. It is just a standard procedure. Commissioner Knox suggested that Mayor Rippons pass on their thoughts and comments at the Board meeting on Thursday. Commissioner Brooks said they are doing a tremendous job at Sailwinds. They are beginning to see more activities. She thanked Troy Hill.

Gage Thomas asked if all the accounts that Sailwinds has are managed through the City Treasurer. Ed Kinnamon said they have separate accounts. Gage Thomas asked if there is a positive balance. Ed Kinnamon said he does not see their books. The only thing he or one of his employees does is to approve the checks when bills come in. It has been requested that this be changed effective July 1st. Commissioner Sydnor asked if that request should have come through Council. Ed Kinnamon said it was his understanding that the Board initially requested it and it has been going on for some time now. He received a letter from Mr. Stanley asking that the signature now come from the Management Board which would sever all ties with Sailwinds check approval. Commissioner Sydnor and Commissioner Brooks said they have a problem with that. Rob Collison suggested discussing this at the July work session. By that time they may have the profit/loss for the first two quarters. Commissioner Brooks asked for a report starting in July 2004. During the work session on June 20th, Council will discuss the R/UDAT implementation. Commissioner Sydnor asked if Mr. Stanley and the people wishing to be appointed to the Board could meet with Council on June 20th. They can then gather the other information for July. (Note from typist: A motion was made; however, no vote was taken.)

Award Contract for Surveying Consultant Services-Mayor Rippons said that the Department of Public Works recommended awarding the bid to Johnson, Mirmiran & Thompson in the amount of $5,750. Commissioner Cephas made a motion to approve the request. Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Award Contract for Turn Out Gear for RFC-Ed Kinnamon said Chief Robert Phillips recommended that Council award the bid to Personal Protection Equipment Specialists in the amount of $1,568.46. That amount is per turn-out gear suited-up. They would like to have a total of 23 suits. Commissioner Travers made a motion to approve the bid from Personal Protection Equipment Specialists. Commissioner Cephas seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously. Ed Kinnamon said Chief Phillips has given him a purchase order to purchase the gear in the amount of $36,074.58.  Commissioner Travers made a motion to approve the purchase order pending verification that the funds are in the account. Commissioner Cephas seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Approve Benefit Enhancement to Maryland State Retirement Plan-Mayor Rippons said this may be a very effective tool in the retention of City employees. Ed Kinnamon said the employer's cost will be 1.76 percent over and above the normal fee. The employees will have a 1 percent increase over the next 3 years bringing it up to a 5 percent contribution. They are trying to get back to where the State retirement was prior to 1980. Maryland is 49th in the nation in their retirement system. In 1998 they started a contributory pension system whereby the employees and all non-sworn personnel of the police department would be in the contributory pension system. They have been contributing 2 percent since July 1998. This year the General Assembly approved the new plan. It is not mandatory but it is recommended so the employees can get a better retirement.

Commissioner Sydnor said Maryland is one of the lowest in the United States with their pension system. They have tried to rectify this during the last session such that retirees would be able to receive more benefits. The employees and the employers will have to pay more. In the long run he feels it would be more beneficial to the employees. Ed Kinnamon said all the department heads are behind this. Commissioner Sydnor made a motion to approve the benefit enhancement and allow Mr. Kinnamon to forward the letter to that effect. Commissioner Cephas seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Approve MOU Between the Yacht Club and the City-Rob Collision said the MOU shows that the City is responsible for 70 or 71 percent but they get the benefit of all the grant funds. Mayor Rippons said the City will receive $2.6 million in grants at this point. The balance will be borrowed with consideration that the funds from the additional slips will service the debt. Commissioner Sydnor asked about the additional parking. Rob Collison said there have been discussions about additional parking for the Yacht Club portion of the marina expansion. There is a portion of Mill Street on the left side going toward the Yacht Club where there is currently no parking. They can pick up about 15 or 16 spaces here if they can continue that parking toward Mill Street. The Yacht Club would pay for that. Commissioner Sydnor asked if this has gone before the Traffic & Safety Committee. Chief Malik said it has not gone before the Committee. Ed Kinnamon said it will not be in the park on Water Street.  Jane Devlin said there has been much discussion earlier about the parking. This has not been brought up to the public. It would have to get HPC review. Rob Collison said he will look into it.

Commissioner Knox asked for clarification about the allocation of slips in Paragraph D. Rob Collison said Exhibit A is a plat of the marina expansion. It shows what the Yacht Club has control of and what the City has control of.  Commissioner Knox said Paragraph F says the City will enter into a lease agreement with the Yacht Club for a period of 99 years but it doesn't say for how much. Rob Collison said in the past it has been $1 a year because they have been paying the costs for that breakwater area. It is a unique situation. The land on which the Yacht Club is located is the Yacht Club's. They have certain riparian rights. The riparian rights end at a certain point of the breakwater. Then the breakwater is in the City's riparian rights.  It does no good to the City because you can't get to it because it is not connected to our side. In the past the practice has been that the Yacht Club would lease the breakwater that is outside their riparian rights. They pay for the maintenance of it.

Commissioner Knox said in Paragraph G it says the City shall mail the Yacht Club on not less than a quarterly basis, a billing statement for the sum due and owing by the Yacht Club. Rob Collison said it will be paid as the bills come in from the contractors and they have 30 days to pay it. Commissioner Knox said in a sense we are financing their project. Rob Collison said the City will pay their 71 percent. They are not advancing funds and then being reimbursed. The Yacht Club is not on the contract. Commissioner Knox asked if the City has any type of collateral if the Yacht Club defaults. Rob Collison said the City would bring suit against the Yacht Club. They agreed to pay 12 percent interest. Ed Kinnamon said the Yacht Club has procured funding. Rob Collison said he will add language that if the Yacht Club defaults on this, they agree to confess judgment.

Commissioner Sydnor asked if the City paid part of the engineering costs last year. Mayor Rippons said all the engineering costs have been paid. There are also pre-paid expenses that have already been paid. Some of the $2.8 million will be going back into the General Fund for pre-paid expenses toward the cost of the marina. The Yacht Club will pay $25,000 of the engineer costs.  Commissioner Sydnor said we have $25,000 in the budget for engineering costs. He asked how it got to $75,000. Ed Kinnamon said the only $25,000 he can recall is a receivable from the Yacht Club.

Commissioner Sydnor made a motion to approve the MOU between the Yacht Club and the City with the parking being subject to public review and with the wording suggested by Rob Collison concerning payment by the Yacht Club. Commissioner Knox seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Approve Budget Amendment for CEMS-Commissioner Travers made a motion to approve the budget amendment. Commissioner Sydnor seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Approve Budget Amendment for DPW-Commissioner Sydnor made a motion to approve the budget amendment. Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Approve PO 3845 - Jess Jr. & Sons - Lights and Related Wiring for Expedition - $3985 - CEMS-Commissioner Travers made a motion to approve the purchase order. Commissioner Sydnor seconded the motion. He asked for clarification on this item. Mayor Rippons said the City was award a grant for 75 percent of the cost of a vehicle for the Director of CEMS. The lights and safety equipment must be installed so it can be classified as an emergency vehicle. Chief Malik and Calvin Stack both said the price sounds right with all new equipment and labor for wiring the vehicle. Mayor Rippons said the vehicle was purchased through a State contract and 75 percent of the funding came from a grant from Rural Development. The motion passed unanimously.

Approve PO 711 - Tri-County Trenching Co. - Trenching Near Public Safety Building - $2,699.82-Commissioner Knox made a motion to approve the purchase order. Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Approve PO 721 - Cole Roofing - Harriet Tubman Museum - $15,664-Commissioner Cephas made a motion to approve the purchase order. Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

ADDITIONAL ITEMS

Ed Kinnamon asked for approval on PO 4012, Schaefer Pyrotechnics, in the amount of $12,500 for the final payment for this year's fireworks. Commissioner Travers made a motion to approve the purchase order. Commissioner Brooks seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously. The fireworks will be on July 4th.

Commissioner Brooks asked Rob Collison to investigate the City doing a combination of excise tax and impact fees. In 2004 they had a long debate as to which they should do. She hasn't found anything that says they cannot do a combination of both keeping the same amount of money that they have.

Commissioner Cephas thanked Chief Malik for his hospitality during the Torch Run for Special Olympics. Mayor Rippons, the Commissioners, and some City employees participated. Chief Malik thanked everyone for participating and showing support for the officers and what they are doing for Special Olympics.

Commissioner Sydnor said he would like Council to begin looking at increasing the building permit fee for all developments that have more than a certain number of units. He doesn't know what the number is right now and he doesn't want it to apply to individuals. It is something that can apply to developers in order that they can shoulder more of our tax burden.

Commissioner Knox thanked everyone for allowing him to grace their presence and wished them a safe journey home.

Portia Johnson-Ennels said last Tuesday she was at the County Council meeting. The gentleman from the USS Sherman was there. He made several statements that in reality were false because the City put together a committee and they made a recommendation to the Council. If Council has not made a decision, she hopes they make one tonight. She spoke to Congressman Wayne Gilchrest because the gentleman kept informing the audience that they had a letter of support from the Congressman for the destroyer to come to Cambridge. When he began talking to Congressman Gilchrest, there was going to be no cost whatsoever to bring the destroyer here. Now it is up to millions of dollars. The Navy said they were not going to put a dime toward it. If the City is not going to be involved with the USS Sherman, she asked the Commissioners to send a letter to Congressman Gilchrest in his Chestertown office stating that information. The gentleman made it sound glorified that the City was on-board and were going to do this and that. Her understanding is that the City was looking into having the tub boat school in Cambridge at Sailwinds. She asked Council to make a formal motion that the deal with the destroyer is a done deal. Commissioner Sydnor said he doesn't know that they have to make another motion. He and Commissioner Travers spoke to the gentleman and told him that they had made their decision. They made their motion and forwarded it to the Sailwinds Board to work out the details. They then suggested that if he wanted anything to be changed, he would have to go through the Tug Boat Committee. Unless they recommend to rescind what they had voted for and come along with this particular new project, he is going to stand by them with what they gave Council before and that is to go with the tub boat and barge. Portia Johnson-Ennels said she was a member of that committee. Although she may voluntarily sit on a committee, it does not give the Council the right to give her mailing address to anyone. The only way that gentleman got her mailing address was from the City. If someone wants to send her something, they can send it to the City and they should find a way to get it to her. Commissioner Brooks said if your telephone number is listed in the white pages, they can go on line and get your address.

Commissioner Knox said the meeting minutes clearly state that Council gave the Sailwinds Board permission to pursue the contract with the tug boat school. Commissioner Knox made a motion stating the Council is no longer interested in the destroyer USS Forrest Sherman or any other large Navy vessel of that size in the City of Cambridge as far as a tourist attraction or anything such as that. That would result in a letter to follow-up as well to Congressman Gilchrest. Commissioner Brooks seconded the motion. Ed Kinnamon said Kurt Wagemann called and said he would like Council to allow him to come before Council at a work session so he can present his information himself. Commissioner Knox said it would probably be the most disastrous financial strain the City of Cambridge could ever witness in its entire existence. The motion passed unanimously.

Ed Kinnamon suggested Council meet at least one more time to discuss the budget. Council decided to meet Wednesday, June 14th at 6:00 pm.

With no further business, Mayor Rippons adjourned this portion of the meeting at 8:25 p.m. I hereby certify that the foregoing is a true and accurate account of the Council meeting Monday, June 12, 2006, insofar as I personally am aware.

Edwin C. Kinnamon, Clerk & Treasurer