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  • 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 Minutes

August 15, 2006

The City Council met in regular session on Tuesday, August 15, 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 Sydnor, Cephas, Brooks, and Travers.

Ed Kinnamon led in the Lord's Prayer. Commissioner Travers led in the Pledge of Allegiance. Commissioner Travers made a motion to approve the minutes of the July 24, 2006 Council meeting as distributed. Commissioner Cephas seconded the motion. The motion passed 4:0.


Proclamation for Veterans Appreciation Day and Request for Noise Variance for Their Tribute on Saturday, September 9th at Sailwinds Park from 10:00 am Until 3:00 pm-Ed Kinnamon read the proclamation and presented to the Veterans Appreciation Day Committee. Commissioner Sydnor made a motion to approve the noise variance. Commissioner Brooks seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously. George Ames invited the community to come the celebration on September 9th.


Frank Gianiny asked why he was removed from the agenda to speak on three topics. Ed Kinnamon said Mr. Gianiny notified City Hall that he wanted to be on the agenda. When he spoke to Mr. Gianiny on August 3rd he asked about the topics. Mr. Gianiny said he did not have them at that time. He asked Mr. Gianiny to let them know what he would like to talk about. Mr. Gianiny said he would and asked for the courtesy of a call if the wording was going to be changed. City Hall did not receive anything from Mr. Gianiny by the deadline of noon on Thursday. Therefore, he was removed from the agenda because he did not supply the topics. Mr. Gianiny was on the agenda on April 24th; however, he did not attend the meeting. Because there was another meeting set with Mr. Gianiny at another location originally for this evening and that had changed, even though he said he still wanted to come, Mr. Kinnamon thought something had happened and he did not want to come. Mr. Gianiny asked why Mr. Kinnamon did not call him. Mr. Kinnamon said he does not make a habit of calling people to see if they want something changed or to ask why they have not called him. Because of what happened in the past, he removed Mr. Gianiny's name from the agenda. When he spoke to Mr. Gianiny yesterday, he told him he could speak; he is just not in line on the agenda. Mr. Gianiny said he made it crystal clear that he was going to come back and discuss corruption in the Mayor's office, the Mayor getting kick-backs, and the Trenton Street property which has the same safety and code violations, illegal building permits, and illegal occupancy permits as Long Boat Estates. He advised Council that he was going to look into these other properties and he was going to present the facts tonight. Last time he was on the agenda, he had very specific topics-racism, corruption, and kickbacks in the Mayor's office. He has 6½ year's worth of evidence in his car. Other people get to say what they want to say but his topics were grouped together under "various topics". He asked why they are doing this if they don't have anything to hide. He wants to prove his accusations. People are living in the Beazer homes that have carbon monoxide issues. The furnaces and hot water heaters are installed illegally almost identically to the ones at Long Boat Estates. His intentions are that if he doesn't get results tonight, he has documents printed with home addresses and phone numbers of Mayor Rippons, Commissioner Travers and Rob Collison. They could have prevented this. He told them he felt the Director of Public Works was not qualified. Commissioner Cephas said Mr. Gianiny will have an opportunity to speak later in the meeting.

Jeff Paxson to Request an Amendment to the Existing Letter of Support from the City for an Affordable Housing Project Proposed by Shelter Development Group-Sandy McAllister spoke representing Shelter Development LLC with regards to the Cambridge Commons project. Jeff Paxson is the development director. Approximately four months ago, the City approved their affordable housing opportunity. The community desperately needs affordable housing, workforce housing, and rental housing. Their project is an opportunity for income-restricted, rent-restricted affordable housing. Jeff Paxson said they applied for and were awarded tax credits for this property in May. Unfortunately, due to an IRS glitch with the tax credits based upon the location of their site, they did not qualify for the amount of tax credits that they originally planned. It created a huge financing gap for the project. They have restructured the project in a way that they feel is financially feasible. They are exhausting every financial source possible in order to make this a financially-feasible affordable housing community. When they appeared before Council in April, they requested a letter supporting a PILOT project consistent with the other affordable housing communities in Cambridge. It equated to $100 per unit per year credit against real estate taxes for the first 10 years of the project. They are asking that the City amend its letter to basically increase the number of units from 72 to 96. They determined that by adding 24 units to the project, they are able to help bridge the financial gap. He described the project and the rents. They have a 21‑acre site but only anticipate developing roughly 8 acres which will leave 12 acres of open space. The State has suggested that the City ask the CDA department to allocate a certain amount of money ($200,000 to $300,000) in the form of a Community Development Block Grant which the City will apply for. It would be a grant to the City on behalf of the project. The City would loan the money to the project and the project would pay that money back to the City.

Commissioner Sydnor asked where the fourth building would be located considering the wetlands. Mr. Paxson said they have not finalized their site plan but they were discussing moving the community building and putting the fourth building as close to where the community center was originally going to be located. Commissioner Sydnor asked if they were going to ask the City for any impact fees. Mr. Paxson said at this time they are not asking for any impact fees. Their plan is to pay the impact fees. Because of the way the tax credits work, they can raise money to pay for the impact fees with the tax credits. The impact fees amount to $432,000. Commissioner Sydnor said it is possible the City could end up with $232,000 provided it was a $200,000 grant plus interest. Mr. Paxson said they are going to try to get as much as they can out of the State. With CDBG, there is an actual round that happens every year; however, this year's round is over. Because of their relationship with the State, they told Mr. Paxson that there are ways to apply for money out of the round. It would not offset any other allocation the City gets. It would be over and above what the City already gets. It is a chance for the City to bring $200,000 plus interest into the City at no cost to the City. Commissioner Sydnor said combining the impacts and the grant repayment back to the City, they can be looking at $632,000 plus interest.

Rob Collison said the effect of the amendment would increase the PILOT credit from $7200 per year to $9600 per year for 10 years. Commissioner Brooks made a motion to amend the existing letter of support. Commissioner Sydnor seconded the motion. The motion passed 4:0.

Gary Sawyer, Maryland Rural Development Corporation, to Request the City of Cambridge Sponsor a Breakfast for a Community Development/Housing Summit at the Hyatt-Gary Sawyer asked for the City's support in helping them with a housing symposium that they are sponsoring at the Hyatt with a theme of affordable housing and community development. Joyce DeLaurentis, their agency's community development director, and Rev. Charles Cephas, their housing resource specialist, were present also. The symposium will be addressing the affordable housing issue for low-income communities. Often affordable housing is commonly referred to as workforce housing that really talks about the affordability of housing for people who are not low-income folks. Affordable housing is generally thought of as firemen, policemen, teachers, etc. They are talking about folks who earn far less than that. They are hoping to address affordable housing for them both buying and renting. They will address infrastructure, zoning tools for affordability, cost-efficient rehabilitation, and where it can be built. Their agenda is still being developed. There will be morning speakers and afternoon workshop sessions with concurrent sessions for housing and small town caucus. They hope to address the town-county relationship with regard to annexation. At the request of FEMA, they recently received a small grant to work with small communities on the Shore for emergency preparedness.

Joyce DeLaurentis said they will have speakers who fund infrastructure and housing. Their focus is on the smaller towns (10,000 and under). The overall view is that affordable housing should go into the towns. This symposium is a follow-up based on the input of elected officials from around the region. It is an Eastern Shore event; that is why they are asking Cambridge's assistance to help them with the breakfast.

Mayor Rippons said the request is for $3,000. He thanked them for choosing the City of Cambridge and the Hyatt. The constraints are for cities and towns with populations under 10,000. He finds it hard for $3,000 to be placed on the shoulders of Cambridge. There will be between 125 and 150 people attending the conference which equates to $22.50 per person. He is trying to rationalize why the taxpayers of Cambridge should relegate themselves to this. A lot of the citizens of Cambridge have never had a $22.50 breakfast but now they are being asked to pay $3,000 for over 100 people to come here with the reality being towns under 10,000 people. He asked about the funding sources for the rest of the symposium. Mr. Sawyer said they made a request to Chain Foundation for support as well as asking for support from other small towns for the luncheon. Joyce DeLaurentis said her program of infrastructure is targeted to small towns. The affordable housing is for everyone. Mayor Rippons asked about fees for attending the conference. Ms. DeLaurentis said they are trying to keep it as limited as possible right now because they are trying to get maximum participation. Mayor Rippons suggested off-site facilities that do not charge $22.50 for breakfast.

Commissioner Cephas asked how many participants will be from Dorchester County. Mr. Sawyer said he doesn't know. Ms. DeLaurentis said that because the conference is in Cambridge she would seriously think that we would get more attendance from Dorchester County. They have a list of every Commissioner from every town as well as public works and planners. Commissioner Brooks asked if it would be for the general public. Ms. DeLaurentis it will be advertised and people can choose to come. Commissioner Cephas said if he was an invitee, he would probably buy his own breakfast. If the City was going to donate funds, they could go somewhere else for the breakfast. Most cities give their city officials funds for their breakfasts at conferences. Ms. DeLaurentis said a lot of the small towns would not be able to do that. Commissioner Brooks said the people who want to buy the homes are the people who would need the funds for the breakfast and lunch and to be able to attend the workshop. Commissioner Cephas said the officials receive stipends when they go on these trips. Mr. Sawyer said they are asking for other funding as well. If the City can assist them at all, they would be grateful for whatever they can give.

Rev. Charles Cephas said one of the things Council should consider is that MRDC has had a presence in Dorchester County in the housing counseling field and for financial literacy. The symposium will benefit the citizens of Cambridge. The town of Hurlock will participate because they know it is something good. It will address some of the issues that need to be addressed. It is open to citizens, not just politicians. Commissioner Brooks said if each municipality took care of their own, it would be more cost-effective than asking one particular city to give $3000. Commissioner Cephas said there are people in the audience who have experience in catering a nice buffet breakfast for $6 or $7. There is also transportation available all over the Shore to bring the participants to a different location for a breakfast. He is not opposed to Cambridge helping then. He will work with Rev. Cephas to see how Cambridge may be able to help and then they can discuss it further at another meeting.

Jackie Noller, Habitat for Humanity, to Request a Resolution to Approve a Project to Continue Building Decent Homes for First-Time Homeowners-Jackie Noller said Habitat for Humanity received an impact fee abatement for the house of Phillips Street they are building. They want to continue to find funding channels like they did for their first house. They raised $160,000 in cash and in-kind services the first year. Ninety-five percent came from the private section. Over fifty percent came from business or corporations based in Dorchester County or are doing business here. They are applying to the State of Maryland to be awarded tax credits from the State that they can market to businesses. Habitat for Humanity is asking for a written resolution from the City stating that the Council believes in the project. The funds and goods they receive from the tax credits will be used to acquire more land, acquire more building materials, and help finance the salary of a site supervisor for the construction projects. Commissioner Sydnor made a motion to approve the request for a resolution. Commissioner Brooks seconded the motion. The motion passed 4:0.

Jane Devlin, West End Citizens Association, to Request Letter of Support for Grant Application-Jane Devlin said their historic tours are basically going into their eleventh year and have been extremely successful. This past weekend they introduced the community to 180 participants at the Seafood Feastival. Originally they were doing about 5 to 10 people a year and now they are doing 500 to 700 tourists a year. They need to expand their program with marketing as well as purchasing a sign for the Wallace office building. She is preparing a grant application with the Heart of Chesapeake Country Area Management Board. She is asking the City for a letter of support. They are requesting $1000 from the Management Board and have the required cash match of $1000 in-hand. All they are asking for is a letter of support. Commissioner Cephas made a motion to approve the request. Commissioner Sydnor seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Jane Devlin said WECA was awarded grant monies from Maryland Historical Trust for the Wallace office building. They expect to start the preservation of the building next spring with completion expected by the end of next summer.


Council to Approve Adjustment in Septic Hauler Rates-Ed Kinnamon said several weeks ago Council had approved increased septic hauler fees from $40 per 1000 gallons to $60 for in-county and $80 for out-of-county haulers. Some of the septic haulers asked to meet with Mayor Rippons, George Hyde and him to discuss this further and asked that the City phase-in this increase. Instead of $60 and $80, they agreed to $50 and $60. Ed Kinnamon polled the Council by phone because they were trying to establish the new fees by August 1st. Commissioner Brooks made a motion to approve the adjustment. Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. The motion passed 4:0.

Second Reading and Vote on Ordinance to Amend Section 4-37 of Chapter 4 "Buildings and Housing" to Reinstate Provisions Erroneously Omitted During Re-Codification-Commissioner Sydnor made a motion to approve the ordinance. Commissioner Cephas seconded the motion. The motion passed 4:0.

Approve Job Description for DPW City Building Official-Commissioner Travers made a motion to approve the job description. Commissioner Cephas seconded the motion. Commissioner Sydnor had a question concerning the ICC Building Code Official Certification in lieu of the bachelor's degree. He said the certificate could be incurred over a relatively short period of time. George Hyde said you must pass five separate exams to get the certification. Typically the building inspectors are required to take a residential building inspector's test and a commercial building test whereas the code official has those plus a plans examiner's test, certified building official technology examination, and a legal and management examination. Commissioner Sydnor said the pay grade would be 15‑3 or 15-4 which would be equivalent to the salary they had for the assistant director. He asked if there was any particular reason for the number of years experience being 7. George Hyde said they did a search on line to see what other areas were requiring and that is what they found. Commissioner Sydnor asked if anyone at DPW would currently meet these qualifications. George Hyde said he knows nobody has taken all these exams. The last two exams are very complicated. Mayor Rippons said he doesn't believe there is anyone who has taken all five exams. Commissioner Brooks asked if the ICC Building Code would include them also having a Master Code Professional. George Hyde said he isn't sure what that is. Commissioner Brooks said she believes it would mean the person would be certified in every code official that is listed (electrical, fire, mechanical, plumbing, etc.). Commissioner Sydnor asked if there was any reason they couldn't change the years of experience to a higher number rather than 7. George Hyde said they can make it whatever Council is comfortable with. Commissioner Sydnor said because of the problems they are currently possibly having with this particular area, he would like to see as much experience as possible. He would have no problem with 15 years of experience. George Hyde said they will try to find a person with that experience. Commissioner Brooks said 15 years experience or a bachelor's degree. Commissioner Cephas withdrew his second to the motion. George Hyde clarified that they wanted a bachelor's degree and 7 years experience and then the certification basically substituted for the bachelor's degree. Maybe they would have two different levels of experience-one for the bachelor's degree and a second if it is the certification. Commissioner Brooks suggested the certification plus 15 years experience. She is interested in knowing how long it takes to study and prepare for the residential building inspector, commercial building inspector, and building plans examiner exams. George Hyde said it depends on the individual. You may have someone who is experienced and is ready to take the test now. He has not taken any of the tests. He is not a code official. To get them is pretty involved. It is a lot more than picking up a book and studying it for a couple of months and then taking the test. These are things you learn through your years of experience. He is sure the section on legal and management is a lot more involved. Commissioner Sydnor said because this job is not currently in our budget, they are going to use the money from the assistant director's position. George Hyde said that was his suggestion. Commissioner Brooks asked if that would have to come before Council to move the money around. Rob Collison said if it was going over and above what they had budgeted, there would have to be a budget amendment for the Council to approve. Council would have to vote to make a certain position inactive if they were going to use those funds. Council agreed they need more time before they vote on this. Commissioner Travers withdrew his motion.


Request from Family Tabernacle of Faith Church for a Noise Variance on Saturday, August 26th from 11:00 am Until 9:00 pm and to Block Off Robbins Street from Pine Street to Central Avenue-Commissioner Sydnor made a motion to approve the request. Commissioner Cephas seconded the motion. The motion passed 4:0.

Request from Zion United Methodist Church to Use Great Marsh Park on Sunday, October 8th from 2:00 pm Until 6:00 pm for Their Annual Picnic- Commissioner Brooks made a motion to approve the request. Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. The motion passed 4:0.

Award Contract for Engineering Services Related to the Wastewater Treatment Plant-George Hyde said Council gave DPW permission to solicit proposals in April. They received six proposals. He reviewed them with an engineer and a manager from Maryland Environmental Services. They ranked them primarily based on the qualifications and then interviewed the top three ranking firms. Their recommendation is to award the contract to George, Miles & Buhr at a cost of $36,000. The project will be completed funded by the State Department of the Environment. Commissioner Sydnor made a motion to accept the recommendation of the DPW to award the contract to George, Miles & Buhr. Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. The motion passed 4:0.

Introduction of Petition for Annexation of Dorchester County/Cambridge Airport and Dorchester County Tech Park Property (Bucktown Road Area)-Rob Collison said this petition was initiated by the Dorchester County Council. It is to provide annexation of the property that runs from Bucktown Road. The connection would be to the areas behind the existing Econo Lodge or Cambridge Inn all the way to where the Tech Park is being proposed which is southwest of the airport. Commissioner Sydnor made a motion to accept the petition and refer it to Planning and Zoning for their review and recommendation. Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. The motion passed 4:0.

Approve PO 743 - John W. Tieder, Inc. - $324,607.25 - Public Safety Build­ing Security System-Commissioner Travers made a motion to approve the purchase order. Commissioner Cephas seconded the motion. The motion passed 4:0.

Critical Areas Commission-Mayor Rippons said the City received a letter from the Critical Areas Commission stating the because of the voluminous input that they have had, they are requesting a 90-day extension from both the City and County. Commissioner Travers made a motion to allow them a 60-day extension. Commissioner Sydnor seconded the motion. Commissioner Cephas said with something as critical as Blackwater Development, he thinks Council should give them as much time as they ask for. He doesn't think 90 days is an unreasonable request. Commissioner Sydnor suggested giving them 60 days from the time in September it was supposed to come in. The motion 3:1 with Commissioner Cephas opposed.

Frank Gianiny to Discuss a Safety Issue-Mr. Gianiny said his hot water heater in Long Boat Estates was installed in the garage which is against the law. All the homes received illegal occupancy permits. The building permit on the one he illustrated was illegal also because it showed the hot water heater on the floor. The contractor brought it up to code by moving it 18 inches off the floor. He spoke about the carbon monoxide problems at Long Boat Estates and referred to a report by Rescue Fire Company. He said he told Ed Kinnamon a long time ago that there were other problems and asked him to speak to the Commissioners. Mr. Gianiny then presented photographs from a Beazer Homes model unit. The hot water heater is sitting on the floor. He also showed photographs of the gas-fired furnaces. There are several code violations. The building permit was illegal. The occupancy permit is illegal. He is in possession of DPW signing-off on the HVAC, plumbing, gas and the final occupancy permit on every one of the homes. Every one of the homes is illegal with major violations. He showed other photographs with other violations. His carbon monoxide detector went off immediately. There are 32 homes; some are occupied. He took 160 pictures of Beazer Homes at Deep Harbour. He presented the installation instructions for the furnace. Commissioner Brooks asked to note for the record that Mayor Rippons and Commissioner Travers left the meeting at this point. Mr. Gianiny said the code says appliances must be installed to manufacturers' instructions. These appliances are not installed according to the instructions. These are safety issues. He asked how the City of Cambridge allowed this to happen for a second time. He brought it to the City's attention when it happened at Long Boat Estates and there were only three residents living there. The problem has been corrected but there is a bigger problem at Beazer. They have the exact same problem at Cattail Crossing. He knows what the Director of DPW said and that he is not following the codes. He keeps bringing more proof that is undeniable. They need training at DPW. The blueprints didn't meet code to start with. The inspectors are signing things off without knowing what they are doing. Because Mayor Rippons, Commissioner Knox, and Commissioner Travers did not do the right thing, he has printed up some brochures supplying their home phone numbers, addresses, how they voted, and that they voted improperly. Commissioners Sydnor, Cephas, and Brooks did the right thing. If he cannot get some kind of response from someone tonight, he is going to distribute the thousands of brochures he had printed. He has the addresses of the people who bought the homes. The City is begging for lawsuits. Rob Collison asked if the problems are confined to the townhomes at Deep Harbour. Mr. Gianiny said the condominiums have separate problems. He does not want to address it at this time. George Hyde said he will have to talk to the inspectors who looked at the HVAC items. Rob Collison said because it is dealing with public safety, they need to act immediately tomorrow and meet with the inspectors to try to get a representative from the manufacturer and the contractor to verify the code violations, get answers, and immediately correct them. They will get the building permits and occupancy permits that have been issued. Commissioners Sydnor and Cephas will attend the meeting at 10:30 a.m. They will meet at DPW and then attempt to get access to the project for an inside inspection. Mr. Gianiny said this is a step in the right direction. He said they did this once before at Long Boat Estates. It seemed like nobody at DPW knew what they were doing. He was the one who came up with the codes.

Commissioner Brooks recommended that George Hyde or Ed Kinnamon be in charge at DPW in the absence of David Pritchett. In the event that something comes up, Council needs someone to contact. George Hyde said in the past, he has been the person. Commissioner Sydnor will coordinate everything with Mr. Hyde. Mr. Gianiny said he will be in town until this gets resolved. He has all the signatures of all the inspectors who signed use and occupancy permits as well as building permits. He asked if something was going to be done with DPW. You cannot mess with carbon monoxide. He showed pictures of other violations in the kitchens.

Mr. Gianiny asked if there is still a stop work order at Long Boat Estates with Lennar. Ed Kinnamon said he gave Council a copy of Lennar's response. Commissioner Brooks said there is still a stop work order.

Rob Collison said if there are code violations, they have to be addressed immediately because of the seriousness of the ventilation and carbon monoxide. They need to see the fire chief's review, the plans that were submitted, and see if they were constructed to the plans. Generally, the plans are reviewed by the fire marshal's office before final approval is granted. He doesn't know if that procedure was implemented before or after Beazer began. If it was done, he will see what plans were submitted and see if the plans deviate from what was actually constructed.

Frank Gianiny said he wants his fair chance to be put on the agenda. He wants to come back to Cambridge and he has undeniable proof that the Mayor has accepted thousands of dollars in kickbacks. He made lots of allegations the last time he was here and nobody said a peep. He wants the opportunity to play some audio recordings. He wants to put on the agenda the things he wants to discuss-corruption within the Mayor Cleveland Rippons' office. The second thing he wants to discuss is Ken Knox. He said that the Mayor blackmailed him. He wants to discuss that. If he cannot prove his point, he will leave Cambridge.

Commissioner Cephas said some of the things Mr. Gianiny is saying can be construed as criminal acts. Mr. Gianiny said they are criminal acts. Commissioner Cephas said if that is the case, he thinks the appropriate authorities should be involved in any criminal act that is being afflicted by any elected official. If he commits a crime while in office against the citizens of Cambridge or anything, he thinks the appropriate people should be involved. Mr. Gianiny knows several people have sent boxes of information to the FBI, Public Corruption Squad in Baltimore. He knows some other people have contacted the special agent in Salisbury. He asked how Commissioner Cephas thinks they should go about it. He will distribute thousands of pamphlets to people in Cambridge. The public deserves to hear it.

Rob Collison said since Mr. Gianiny is making allegations against the Mayor and Commissioners, our Police Department cannot investigate it. He can make a complaint to the ethics commission for them to investigate. There is also a special prosecutor's office through the Attorney General's office. They investigate local governments within the State. Chief Malik said this is correct. Mr. Gianiny said he wants to present it to the Commissioners. He will give them all the proof he has. He is asking to be put on the agenda to discuss corruption in the Mayor Cleveland Rippons office. Commissioner Brooks asked if this is considered a personnel session. Rob Collison said he doesn't think they can use the audio recording devices at a public meeting. If there is criminal activity, he thinks it should be referred to the appropriate authorities because Council does not have the authority to bring any type of criminal proceedings. The ethics commission would investigate if there is an ethics violation. They are independent of Council. He needs to take this under advisement and let Council know if it can be presented to the City on the agenda.

Commissioner Cephas asked Mr. Gianiny to send a letter with his request to Mr. Kinnamon if he wants to come before the City. Mr. Gianiny said he wants the other Commissioners addresses or e-mail addresses so he can have a trace and he can send it to certain Commissioners so when he sends it to Mr. Kinnamon there is no mistake and it says exactly what he wants to say.

Mr. Gianiny asked Rob Collison about the ethics commission and racial comments. Rob Collison said he doesn't know if that would fall squarely within the ethics code. He will look into it. It may be with regard to professionalism. Mr. Gianiny said it has gotten back to him that he may try to incite a race riot. That is the last thing he wants to do. He wants to rectify a wrong and he wants to remove the Mayor from powers. He thinks there is a problem at DPW. He thinks there is a problem with Commissioner Knox. The race issue in Cambridge was here long before he came to Cambridge.


Ed Stivers, owner of Copy Graphics Digital and also the Dorset building said he has some problems that he stated a while back. He asked that they have a private meeting to discuss the problems because the developer had agreed to give him access to the side of his building and it has not been done. He is also concerned if he has to get a fire truck in there. He has not heard from the fire department. He is asking Council again tonight. The condo building is a stick-built building. The developer put a roof over the top of the pumping station. If lightning were to hit the building and it started to burn very fast, and the condominium were to come down on the pumping station, the City will have a real problem. The tin metal roof will not stop a disaster. Anything could start a fire. It is very close to his building. He asked Council to look at it. Commissioner Brooks asked if one of the fire chiefs could take a look at this situation some time this week to see if there are any fire concerns or hazards with the pumping station.

Mr. Stivers said he didn't realize that Rescue Fire Company is a volunteer fire department. He asked when we are going to upgrade to a paid fire department especially with the way we are expanding within this town. We are bound to protect the Hyatt Regency. He really thought that he heard somewhere a while back that the Hyatt Regency was going to contribute to build the fire house and to move the fire house closer to them. He thinks a paid fire company is something that is needed.

Mr. Stivers said the other day when he was coming down where Green Street used to be, Beazer had a hand-painted sign saying "no public thoroughfare" so you couldn't go through there. There used to be a fire plug on the outside by his building. That fire plug is now on the other side of the fence. They have planted shrubbery near it. If they place a sign there that says that says "private - stay out", and his building catches fire, the fire company will have a difficult time getting to it and he doesn't have a fire hydrant. He needs a fire hydrant in front of his building. Commissioner Brooks asked that the fire chief should also address this issue. Rob Collison said the fire department will get to the fire no matter what the sign says. He said they will review the plans that were presented and what was constructed. Mr. Stivers said they put four or six fire hydrants around the condominiums. Access to his building concerns him. They need to discuss it in the very near future. He will bring his attorney if he needs to. Commissioner Sydnor said Mr. Stivers will have access to the hydrant. He said he would like to meet with the fire chief when he makes his decision.

Mr. Stivers said he went to court because of this thing with Beazer. The judge denied the request for an injunction. There is a lot of stuff in there that is very serious and involves the City. He said they need to take a look at it. It could be very expensive to the City. He is talking about $15,000,000.

William Jackson, Goodwill Avenue, said he came to Council with a complaint about the Fifth Ward. He is appalled that his Commissioner left. The problem is the field across from where he lives. They have complained to the Commissioners that the grass hasn't been cut over there all year. They complained to DPW. The Sunday before last, there was a vehicle cutting the grass on the front side of the ditch but not the field which is what the City probably owns. It wasn't a city machine cutting the grass; the City must have subcontracted it out. The field hasn't been cut all year. They have been trying to find out who owns the property. His Commissioners told him that he can't find out. George Hyde said the men sometimes work overtime but he would be surprised if they were cutting on a Sunday. Rob Collison said this should be referred to the property maintenance department. Mr. Kinnamon will find out who owns the property.

James Cornish asked when DPW will fix the light on the corner. George Hyde said he knows they ordered the light but he doesn't know if it has come in and if so, why it wasn't installed. Commissioner Sydnor said they were waiting for a switch to come in. That was a while ago. Rob Collison suggesting implementing crosswalks similar to what Easton has where they have the fluorescent signs saying that pedestrians have the right of way. Commissioner Sydnor said he will check into this with DPW.

Rob Collison announced that Council will be meeting on Monday, August 21st at 6:00 pm. They will be in regular session to vote on the Egypt Road final master development plan. Following that will be the normal work session. The work session topic is the implementation of the city manager form of government.

Commissioner Sydnor told George Hyde that Frank Foxwell will probably be contacting him. There are two ditches and his property extends beyond the first ditch. He had a diagram where he wants to have a patio. George Hyde said they went out and looked at it today. He will talk to Mr. Foxwell tomorrow.

Commissioner Brooks said they are actively trying to work on some of the problems that have been addressed because of Lennar Homes. It is not just Lennar Homes. The City officials are trying to raise the standard as well as come up with some other suggestions that will address, and hopefully prevent, the problems that the Commissioners are hearing that have allegedly occurred at Beazer and the ones that occurred at Lennar Homes. They are constantly working on it and will resolve this issue very soon.

Ed Kinnamon said the attorney for Lennar had supplied answers to those concerns. He called and requested that they can once again be issued permits. Commissioner Cephas said they need to discuss it themselves. He suggested addressing it on August 21st as part of the work session. Commissioner Sydnor asked if DPW received copies of the letter. Mr. Kinnamon said he will make sure they get a copy if they have not received one.

Ed Kinnamon said the streetlight on Weaver and Cornish has been installed.

Ed Kinnamon said some of the vehicles for CPD are available through a leasing program. Commissioner Sydnor made a motion to approve Purchase Order 4034 to Ford Motor Credit for five Ford Crown Victoria patrol vehicles in the amount of $37,206.02. This was approved in the budget. Commissioner Brooks seconded the motion. The motion passed 3:0.

Commissioner Cephas thanked everyone for attending the meeting.

With no further business, Mayor Rippons adjourned this portion of the meeting at 9:12 p.m. I hereby certify that the foregoing is a true and accurate account of the Council meeting Tuesday, August 15, 2006, insofar as I personally am aware.

Edwin C. Kinnamon, Clerk & Treasurer