• City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
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City Council Minutes

July 11, 2005

The City Council met in regular session on Monday, July 11, 2005 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, Cephas, Brooks, and Travers.

Brenda Bramble led in the Lord's Prayer.  Commissioner Travers led in the Pledge of Allegiance.  Commissioner Knox made a motion to approve the minutes of the June 13, 2005 Council meeting as distributed.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion.  The motion was passed 4:0.    Commissioner Travers made a motion to approve the minutes of the June 20, 2005 Council meeting as distributed.  Commissioner Cephas seconded the motion.  The motion was passed 4:0.   

COMMITTEE REPORTS

Traffic and Safety Committee-Commissioner Brooks reported that the Committee met on June 30th to discuss a request to install specialized safety signs in specific areas due to long-term disabled children living in Patamoke I.  The Committee recommended granting the request after first reviewing current State of Maryland recommended sign language for such situations.  The signs will be erected immediately upon receipt of the new signs, if approved.  Commissioner Brooks made a motion to approve the recommendation.  Commissioner Cephas seconded the motion. The motion passed 4:0.

Street Lighting Committee-Commissioner Brooks reported that the Committee met on June 23rd to discuss two requests for additional lighting.  The Committee recommended increasing lighting on Douglas Street between Pine Street and Cornish Park to every utility pole vs. the "every other pole" policy.  Further evaluation will be performed for other potential lighting locations upon completion of this phase.  The Committee recommended installing an additional light in the area of 915-917 Roslyn Avenue because the area appears darker than usual. Commissioner Brooks made a motion to approve both recommendations.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion.  The motion passed 4:0.

APPOINTMENTS

Butch Hachemeister to Request Relief from Impact Fees for an Apartment-Mr. Hachemeister owns the property at 311 East Appleby Avenue.  The garage was already set-up for an apartment with electric, water, and a sewer line.  He has made it livable for his mother to move into using only one floor.  He feels he shouldn't have to pay an impact fee because the building was already there and set-up for an apartment.  It just hadn't been utilized.  David Pritchett said the Planning and Zoning office agrees with Mr. Hachemeister.  They feel the $4500 impact fee is excessive for one person to starting occupying an accessory dwelling unit.  They have no problem with reducing or waiving the impact fee.  The intent of the impact fee is for new residences with a family.  This situation does not create that level of impact.  Rob Collison said it would be no different than someone having water and sewer going to their garage.  Commissioner Brooks made a motion to provide total relief of the impact fee for this property.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. The motion passed 4:0.

Representatives from Mt. Olive Full Gospel Baptist Church to Request a Noise Variance for Their Church Service on Their Parking Lot at the Corner of Douglas and Pine Streets on July 20, 21, and 22 from 6:30 pm Until 9:30 pm-Commissioner Travers made a motion to approve the request.  Commissioner Cephas seconded the motion. The motion passed 4:0.

West End Citizens Association, Inc. Request for a Letter of Support for Bartus Trew Providence Preservation Fund Grant Application-Jane Devlin said the design guidelines that are currently enacted were done in October 1999.  The development forces have brought many concerns to Historic District residents over the past years.  The National Trust has invited WECA to apply for funding to review and potentially update the guidelines.  The association will be a conduit for funding-nothing more than that.  Everything else will be done at the city level.  The cost will be approximately $15,000.  Updating and strengthening the guidelines will hopefully alleviate some of the concerns of the residents of the Historic District who have had a number of issues in the past two to three years.  Mayor Rippons said within the codified ordinance of the city, the provision to update is relegated to the HPC.  Ms. Devlin said she spoke to Mr. Hayward the other day after trying to reach him a number of times. 

Armond Hayward said the HPC feels that the city has given them the legal responsibility to make these decisions and this is being circumvented by WECA.  They feel that WECA should voice their concerns with the HPC and not go out and seek grants.  They have responded to whatever has been requested of the HPC in changing the guidelines.  He feels the underlying issue is lot size within the district.  That is also the opinion of the other members of the HPC. 

Commissioner Cephas asked where the grant money would go.  Jane Devlin said if they are awarded the grant, the money would go to the city.  Any update must come through the HPC.  They will have public hearings and go to City Council.  WECA is just the conduit.  She has spoken to Anne Roane about it.  There are other mechanisms that can be tied in from the city which should offset all of the costs.  The city should be able to do the updating through a professional with the workings of the HPC at no cost to the city.  WECA's only place will be appearing at public hearings with their concerns. Mr. Hayward is aware of their concerns and has told her that if he is reappointed to the committee, he plans to update the guidelines this year.   Mayor Rippons asked if matching funds are required.  Jane Devlin said it is a matching grant.  She has been told very sincerely that if the city proceeds with the Certified Local Government with the Maryland Historical Trust, they will most probably do a match.  They have pledged some money from their membership and have offered to do an appeal to the Historic District residents. They are applying for $5,000 and need a letter of support.  When the National Trust came to Cambridge to speak at their annual meeting, they toured Cambridge.  They welcomed WECA to apply for funding through the Bartus Trew Providence Preservation Fund.  The application has been submitted and they are in the strengthening process.

Commissioner Cephas asked Armond Hayward if he saw a need to update or strengthen the guidelines.  Armond Hayward said they are in the process of updating satellite dishes.  That is the main issue.  They have not received any requests from WECA for any update of design guidelines.  They sent in their request without even notifying the city or HPC.  They did not follow the proper procedures.  HPC has a liaison with the Maryland Historical Trust.  This liaison will come to Cambridge and do any updating that they need at no cost.  The HPC feels this is a waste of grant money.  If WECA wants to change the guidelines, they need to come before the HPC and be placed on the agenda.  HPC will examine the issue and proceed from there.  They do not need a grant.  He told Jane Devlin they would be glad to put WECA on the agenda for July 21st.  The HPC is the legal body that the city has established to review the design guidelines.

Octavene Saunders said this seems more like a control battle.  She doesn't care where they get the tax dollars from.  They are still her tax dollars.  She suggested reviewing everything together.  There is always another year to apply for a grant.

Armond Hayward said he called the National Trust for Historic Preservation as soon as he received the information from Jane Devlin.  They have not returned his call.  Scott Whipple, their liaison, says they can do it.  Jane Devlin said they are basically requesting a review in light of what they have been dealing with in the past couple of years.  There are a number of issues that are not directly addressed with the design guidelines.  When the group toured Cambridge, they mentioned that some of the in-fill projects are not necessarily appropriate.  There is an issue about the subdivision of land.  There is a concern about the downtown and the abutting areas.  There may be some very tall buildings with some of the provisions that are coming through with the PWCD.  They talked about extending the district down Pine Street.  Commissioner Cephas asked Armond Hayward about expanding into the Pine Street area.  Armond Hayward said that would not be a design guideline issue.  They would probably need help in doing the survey. If they were to go for this grant, that would be a wonderful use.  Michael Day (Chief, Office of Preservation Services) has said the city has excellent guidelines.  The changes are minor changes in language. They have addressed the subdivision issues and it has been addressed at the State level. They need to send WECA a letter from the Attorney General explaining that they do not have that authority.

Commissioner Knox said he thinks the HPC is doing an excellent job.  He commended WECA.  He feels they almost stumbled into this when they invited the Trust to look at the Wallace Building.  He hears what they are saying about review and a potential update.  The State is saying the guidelines are fine.  If the city gives a letter of support, the grant comes through, and they review the guidelines and say they are fine, then we have another higher level of people who do this for a career saying the HPC is doing an excellent job.  They might then assist us when we extend the district to include Pine Street.   His concern is that if the city turns this down, it may come back later to haunt us.  We may want their assistance later on. 

Octavene Saunders said she has not heard anybody definitely say what it is going to cost the city in matching funds.  Jane Devlin said the projected cost at this time to the city is zero as long as the city follows through on the other avenues that are there.   Rob Collison said the city is about to embark on its comprehensive plan update.  He asked if the grant funds could be used for that since the Historic District is part of the city. Jane Devlin said she doesn't know if it would qualify since that is a much broader spectrum than they normally work in.  She said there may be some text amendments that need to go into the Planning and Zoning documents.  Subdivision is a Planning and Zoning issue compared to Historic District.  Rob Collison said it could be one part of the comprehensive plan update.  The letter of support could be limited to a comprehensive plan update.

Armond Hayward said the Bartus Trew is dedicated to the Eastern Shore.  If you use it for this, he doubts if they would give it to Cambridge again.  They want to use it and feel it is a waste right now.  They want to pursue it to expand the district to include Pine Street. 

Commissioner Cephas said he has questions that need to be answered. He has had discussions with both parties.  One of his goals is to expand the district to include Pine Street.  He would hate to see a grant come aboard that is not going to include Pine Street.  Armond Hayward said he discussed the expansion with Anne Roane and Scott Whipple in the fall.  Scott said the grants are very competitive but we have a very good chance.  We need to hold onto this and not use it frivolously.  They would start with a national designation which is what they need grant monies for. 

Commissioner Brooks said the city really hasn't had an opportunity to look at the grant application and neither has the HPC.  Commissioner Cephas said he saw the application.  Commissioner Brooks said without Rob Collison giving them some legal advice, she would find it very hard to make a decision tonight.  She understands it is time-sensitive.  If he looks at it, they can call a special meeting.  She recommended they defer the vote tonight to give Rob Collision and Council an opportunity to look at the application.  Mayor Rippons asked Jane Devlin to give Armond Hayward a copy also. Armond Hayward said WECA is on the agenda for July 21st but Jane Devlin says that is too late.  They could have a special meeting.   

West End Citizens Association, Inc. Request for Letter of Support and Willingness to Convey Perpetual Easement for Maryland Heritage Area Authority Grant Application-Jane Devlin said she is in the process of drafting the application for the Wallace Office Building.  The deadline is July 29th.  She is looking for a letter of support and a letter conferring the willingness for the perpetual easement if the monies are gifted.  She will give Rob Collison a copy of the application when it is completed. 

Representative from the Dorchester County Historical Society to Provide an Overview of Their Building Expansion Program-Doug Robbins, President of the Dorchester County Historical Society, said they received final approval from the Planning and Zoning Commission for the plans they put together for the new building and expansion.  They received a $250,000 grant from the State of Maryland and contributions from local businesses.  The new building will contain a research facility on the second floor.  Their groundbreaking is planned for August 27th at their annual Harvest Festival.  He introduced Don Kozinski, the architect from Santa Fe Builders.  So far all of their expenses and operations have been contained to local firms.  Commissioner Travers asked about the parking.  Mr. Robbins said the parking spaces down the Greenway area are insufficient for this building.  They have been working with Public Works to come up with a number of spaces that will be placed between the new building and the Goldsborough stable.  The entrance will be off LaGrange Avenue.  There will be sufficient spaces to meet the building code criteria.  Commissioner Travers asked about the house on LaGrange Avenue that was purchased from Mr. Smith.  It was to be torn down and used as a parking lot.  Mr. Robbins said the building belongs to the Historical Society and it is currently rented.  It will continue to be rented for the foreseeable future.  There will be no variance to the parking regulation that he is aware of.  Their operating budget is very heavily dependent on the income from renting the house. 

Representative from the Dorchester County Historical Society to Request Relief of All Permit and Regulatory Fees Pertaining to Their Project-Doug Robbins requested relief from various permit fees and other expenses that the city may impose at it relates to this project.  Rob Collison said ASOP 37 permits a 501(c)3 to receive a 50 percent abatement after certain criteria have been met.  Commissioner Knox made a motion to approve the request in accordance with ASOP 37.  Commissioner Cephas seconded the motion. The motion passed 4:0.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

Finalization of Agreement for Water/Sewer Extension to Proposed Comfort Suites Hotel-Rob Collison said this has been discussed several times.  The property is located on Route 50.  The developer will pay 30 percent of the total cost of the water and sewer extension throughout the whole area.  If they want to assign it to a subsidiary or another entity, that is fine but they will still be responsible if payment is not made.  Fifty percent is due with 30 days of executing the agreement.  The other fifty percent is due upon completion of the water and sewer.  The second half will constitute a lien on the real property collected the same as taxes.  Language has been included that they will use all reasonable efforts to hire residents of Cambridge and Dorchester County and use its best efforts to pay employees substantially greater than the Federal minimum wage level.  Commissioner Brooks said the language is not a guarantee whatsoever. She said she continues to have a problem with the wording. Commissioner Knox made a motion to approve the agreement.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion.  Commissioner Cephas said one of his concerns is the wages. He thinks it was addressed; however it was not addressed 100 percent the way they want it.  He is going to trust the developer at this point.  Commissioner Brooks said they actually specified an actual amount.  As she can recall, it was starting out no lower than $7.50 per hour.  Commissioner Travers said he has a little problem with the amount of the salaries but he doesn't see how Council can dictate to anybody what they have to pay.  Commissioner Brooks said when someone comes before the city and requests the city to give them relief of any specific type whatsoever, they are asking for a favor.  She feels that Council has a right to ask them to do the city a favor and pay our citizens a wage where hopefully they can buy a house.  That is her expectation.  If they don't give her a decent guarantee that the minimum wage there is going to start out at $7.50, then she has a problem.  She doesn't want the kind of job that the people will have to work two or three jobs to feed their family.  Commissioner Knox said he pays people according to how they apply themselves.  If Council starts dictating to any business on what they are to pay, they won't come here.  He doesn't believe in paying minimum wage.  We have to trust that businesses coming to Cambridge feel the same way.  Commissioner Cephas said he thinks he had suggested $8.50 to $9.00 per hour but it wasn't etched in stone.  He feels if an employer wants to come here and they don't want to pay a certain amount, they can go somewhere else.  We need jobs in Cambridge but we don't have to settle for anything.  The agreement was drafted with no specific wages but with the intent that they would pay "as much or more than the rates in the area".  He made a comparison with other hotels in the area.  They pay more than minimum wage.  He said it should be "up to and including the prevailing wages".  He doesn't think he said minimum wage. 

Octavene Saunders said Sandy McAllister was here when the Hyatt started wanting to come here.  Many times they would have to close the meeting because she took the same stand that Commissioners Brooks and Cephas are taking.  The city did not dictate what they would pay but they got a whole lot of freebees.  The Council made sure that most of our people were hired once it was built.  They made sure to the best of their ability that they negotiated some decent benefits, some educational training for the people who wanted to upgrade, and Cambridge residents were considered first to be hired.   Council has a responsibility to the residents, voters, and taxpayers to make sure they get the sweetest deal for the workers of this city.  It is not dictating; it is negotiating. 

Commissioner Knox said you can't compare a hotel like this to a hotel the size of the Hyatt.  He doesn't agree with paying minimum wage.  He is saying we need to be careful and don't set a precedence and reputation with the impression that businesses are going to come to this area but they will have to pay this much.  They have to be careful.  Commissioner Brooks said it is not dictating.  It is negotiating.   Commissioner Knox said it is short term relief.  They will be on our tax base contributing to the city coffers so we can support civic activities and the other needs of our city. This short-term relief would be well retained in a very short period of time through jobs created and tax base.  Commissioner Brooks said it is not a win-win situation if the wages are not adequate to sustain someone getting a job. 

Octavene Saunders asked what incentives the city is giving these people.  Mayor Rippons said there are no tax breaks whatsoever.  They were in negotiations long before the impact fee was established. In consideration of that if the impact fees are waived, they have agreed to pay 30 percent of the total cost to extend all utilities (water and sewer) into the Bucktown area.  Their cost will be a minimum of $120,000.  Rob Collison said the impact fee would be about $140,000.  Commissioner Brooks said the city would be giving them quite a bit of relief.  Mayor Rippons said it could be argued that they started before that.  They will be bringing in 60 to 100 new jobs because they are also contemplating a full service restaurant.  Now there are questions about adequate land for that facility.  Octavene Saunders said she is not hard-nosed about businesses coming in.  She wants Cambridge to be just as diligent about jobs coming in as Baltimore City. 

Rob Collison suggested amending the language to state "prevailing wage or above".   The Council voted 4:0 to approve the agreement with the stated change.

Council to Adopt Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan-Chief Malik asked for additional time to review this plan.  It is not a time-sensitive issue.

Discussion on Assisting Summer School Programs for The Housing Authority of Cambridge, Bethel AME Church, Waugh United Methodist Church, and the Pine Street Committee-Elaine Stafford, representing the Housing Authority, submitted a revised budget.  They thought they were going to have 35 or 40 children.  They now have 79 children.  Commissioner Cephas said the reason they have so many children is because Bethel is not having a summer program this year. 

Guinervere Banks said she worked at the Bethel program.  They requested money from the city and county.  The county turned them down.  The city didn't.  It wasn't enough to run the program efficiently.  They asked other people for money but it was too late.  They do intend on having the program next year.  The 100+ children are now going to the Housing Authority, Waugh Chapel, and Pine Street.

Rev. William Wallace said in the past years, Waugh Chapel has run a summer program. The State has funded much of their program in the past years.  This year they did not fund any of the programs.  One of the issues they have is a transportation problem.

Some of the students who attend the Housing Authority program come to them to be fed.  They are willing to use their church van.  Salaries also must be met.  Commissioner Cephas said Mrs. Cornish had requested $7000. 

Octavene Saunders said the $1200 that the Pine Street Committee already received was seed money.  It wasn't considered part of their request.  With the increased number of children and their increased expenses, they are looking for $6,000.

Commissioner Brooks said the city has to look at the youth.  Not everyone can afford to go to summer camp or the YMCA.  The majority of the children depend on the free programs to continue to learn reading, writing, and keeping up with other activities.  She feels it is Council's duty to serve our children and to give the programs the monies they have asked for to help them do their jobs. 

Commissioner Cephas said originally there were four groups and Council said there was $20,000 available.  He made a motion to give the three groups $6,350 each.  Commissioner Brooks seconded the motion.  Commissioner Knox said he would like to know more about the details of the programs and cost analyses.  He asked about the ages of the children, parental contributions, church contributions, the length of the program, etc.  He suggested a detailed expenditure report at the end of the program so the city will know where the monies are going.  Octavene Saunders said she supplied all that information weeks ago.  Commissioner Brooks said the Housing Authority has also supplied this information on their own.  She said other groups have come before the city and have asked for monies and Council has paid $5,000 and more and has not put them through what they are asking these groups to do.  Everybody should be treated the same way.

Rev. Wallace offered to provide a profile of Waugh Chapel's summer program.  Their program is regulated by the State.  State employees come down regularly and spend hours inspecting what goes on in their program.  Last year their program was awarded an A+ for the material that was done.  Victoria Stanley said they are trusting that the city would come forth and fund their program as they have run their program before.  Their program started last week.  She invited Commissioner Knox to visit them to see how the program is run. It runs from 8:00 am until 2:00 pm every day at the Elks Lodge on Pine Street.

Commissioner Travers asked Mrs. Stafford about the $1000 for transportation.  Mrs. Stafford said they have so many children and they have to transport them to eat. The van will only hold 6 people.  Waugh Chapel has offered their van. They can no longer use DDU transportation because of the changes in State law. 

Patricia Johnson, a licensed day care provider, said for the last two years the State has a freeze on the purchase of care program.  They lifted it as of July 1; however, it is impacting those people who are usually on the TCA of public assistance.  These families can no longer afford to put their children in summer programs.  A lot of children are left on the street unsupervised or home alone.  She feels the city needs to help these programs.  Ron Dickerson said he will make his 15-passenger van available to anyone who needs transportation. 

Mayor Rippons repeated that the motion is to appropriate $6,350 for the three organizations-The Housing Authority, Waugh United Methodist Church, and the Pine Street Committee.  The motion passed 4:0.

NEW BUSINESS

Request for a Noise Variance for the Seafood Feastival at Sailwinds Park on Saturday, August 13th from 1:00 pm Until 6:00 pm-Commissioner Cephas made a motion to approve the request.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. The motion passed 4:0.

Introduce Bond Ordinance for Public Safety Complex-Rob Collison said this will be the first reading of the ordinance.  It authorizes the city to issue bonds or borrow up to $13 million for the construction of the new public safety complex as well as the renovation of the existing fire house and city hall.

Appoint Two Members to the Historic Preservation Commission-Commissioner Knox made a motion to appoint Lee Weldon.  Commissioner Brooks seconded the motion.  The motion passed 4:0.   Commissioner Cephas made a motion to re-appoint Armond Hayward.  Commissioner Brooks seconded the motion. The motion passed 4:0.

Request from Frannie Phillips for Additional Street Light on Roslyn Avenue-Commissioner Cephas made a motion to refer this request to the Street Lighting Committee.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. The motion passed 4:0.

Approve PO 538 - Atlantic Machinery - $22,000 - Emergency Repair of Vac Con-Commissioner Travers made a motion to approve the purchase order. Commissioner Brooks seconded the motion. The motion passed 4:0.

Approve Financial Statement for May 2005-Commissioner Travers made a motion to approve the request.  Commissioner Cephas seconded the motion. The motion passed 4:0.

ADDITIONAL ITEMS

Rob Collison said a few weeks ago the city had public hearings on annexations.  One was for a 15.9 acre parcel (Palmer Farm on Route 343) and a 162.9 parcel (Robbins Farm on Route 343).  In order to approve those pending annexations, the city has been negotiating with the developers/owners.  It is his recommendation to approve an agreement with the following terms:  With regard to the Robbins parcel, the minimum lot size would be 15,000 sq.ft.  All the infrastructure expenses of the internal roads, lighting, water, and sewer would be paid by the developer/owner.  There would be no waiver of impact fees; however, the developers would have the right to pre-pay if they wish.  In addition to the developers being responsible for the internal roads, they will also be responsible for any upgrades to Route 343 that the State would require.  They will pay at least $3100 per unit up to $3500 per unit for any off-site improvements that are needed.  It is anticipated that these funds would be used for the connector from Route 343 to Route 16 that is anticipated to run behind Maces Lane School.  They would contribute the funds toward that road or wherever else the city deems necessary.  This will address the concerns of the comprehensive traffic study.  The staff at the Department of Public Works and Planning and Zoning wish not to cap it up to $3500 and have them responsible for the pro-rata share that the traffic study indicates may be needed.  The provisions that were in the draft regarding the waving of taxes or keeping them constant at the current agricultural rate is being deleted.  The developer has to design the project with an internal road so that when the bypass is constructed, if it ever is constructed, the residents don't have to drive on Route 343 to get to the bypass. 

Everything would be the same for the 15.9 acre parcel except they would not have to design it with an outlet to the bypass and there would not be the minimum 15,000 sq.ft. requirement.  This is a townhouse project with senior assisted housing.  They may come back and ask for an in-kind contribution to qualify for the tax credits for the senior affordable housing component.  They will be committed to the $3100 to $3500 in the annexation agreement.  Later on the city could say they are obligated for $3500 but drop it by $1000 per unit as the city's local contribution.

Rob Collison asked Council for permission to finalize the agreements.  All the public hearings have been conducted.  Commissioner Brooks made a motion to allow Rob Collison to draft the documents.  Commissioner Travers Knox seconded the motion. The motion passed 4:0.

Rob Collison asked for a referral to Planning and Zoning to address a possible amendment in our sensitive soils with regard to man-made or farm-made ditches.  Commissioner Knox made a motion to allow Rob Collison to refer the issue to Planning and Zoning.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. The motion passed 4:0.

Commissioner Knox gave his best wishes to the candidates for Ward 2 Commissioner. 

Commissioner Cephas thanked the Department of Public Works for fixing up the Douglas Street Park for the weekend event.  He suggested coming up with a couple more ideas for the park. 

Commissioner Brooks wished all the candidates good luck in the election.  She said Council knows Commissioner Edward Watkins will never be replaced; however, it will be a brand new start for whoever gets elected.

Commissioner Brooks said the pay raises are incorrect for a certain group of employees.  There was a motion made for this particular group to receive their pay a certain way and they are not receiving it that way.  A pay raise was granted to all city employees.  All employees are receiving their monies correctly except for one specific group. This group's pay raise has been divided into something call regular and salary.  If they were to work overtime, they will only be given overtime on the 7.5 percent which comes under regular.  The entire increase should come under one category.  This will affect their retirement as well.  Rob Collison suggested referring this matter to Ed Kinnamon for further clarification and explanation.  He will return from vacation on Monday.  Commissioner Brooks said she was going to make a motion that it be corrected as soon as possible.  Her recommendation is that it be corrected immediately.   All of their increase should come under regular.  It should not be divided between salary and regular.  They should be treated the same as every other city employee. 

Commissioner Travers extended his best wishes for everyone running for Ward 2 Commissioner.

David Pritchett said Council already approved the Kalmar Nyckel docking at Long Wharf in August. There are three lights along the waterfront where the ship berths. Dominion University would like to film the ship.  Those three lights would have to be temporarily turned off for a four-hour period right after dark.  The technical aspect is very easy.  Commissioner Cephas made a motion to allow DPW to turn off the lights during the stated hours.  Commissioner Brooks seconded the motion. The motion passed 4:0.

David Pritchett received a request from the residents of 704 Governors Avenue for additional street lighting and child safety signs.  He said they are looking into the State regulations on suggested language.  Commissioner Cephas made a motion to refer the requests to the appropriate committees.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. The motion passed 4:0.

Jane Devlin, West End Citizens Association, said Glasgow Street between Glenburn Avenue and Leonard Lane does not have a yellow line down the center. She asked that this be looked at.

Jane Devlin thanked Chief Malik for the increased patrols in the West End.  It is very obvious and they are very comfortable with what is going on.

Marge Hull said she was pleased to hear that the HPC is interested in adding Pine Street to the District.  This has been worked on for years.  There seems to be tremendous interest from the State in our Historic District particularly as an economic engine.  She asked if anyone applied for grants for the Pine Street addition and if so, are there timelines.  The West End citizens totally support this.   Mayor Rippons said Armond Hayward alluded to it earlier this evening.  Armond Hayward suggested that they could apply for funds during the next grant round for the required survey. 

Evelyn Townsend, President of the Harriet Tubman Organization, said they requested Council's help in April for funds to repair their roof.  They can't get aid from the Senior Aid Program until they get the roof repaired.  They have a lot of mold and mildew.  It has ruined about 15 computers.  Mayor Rippons asked if they have approached the county for funds.  Mrs. Townsend said they have not.  Mayor Rippons asked her to speak to the county also.  He said three years ago he brought State representatives to look at their building.  There are other avenues available.  Certainly the city will become a viable partner.  Commissioner Cephas said when Evelyn Townsend came before them with about 10 other people when Council was preparing the budget, they requested paperwork at that time for Council to review.  Council allotted monies for some services.  He asked Mrs. Townsend to bring Council a complete breakdown of what they are looking for just like the other organizations did tonight.   Mayor Rippons suggested that they also apply for a Heritage Tourism Grant in July.

Donna Dean, a city employee, requested an executive session as soon as possible regarding a personnel issue.  Mayor Rippons asked her to draft her consideration so the City Attorney and Council could have knowledge of what is going on.  After they review it, they can set up an appropriate time for a meeting.  Ms. Dean said she needs to talk to Council before Thursday.  She thinks they are aware of it because everything has been put in writing.  Commissioner Cephas said they received packets and he reviewed his last weekend.  Commissioner Cephas made a motion to have a brief executive session with Ms. Dean after the meeting.  Commissioner Brooks seconded the motion. The motion passed 4:0.

Wendell Foxwell asked if the little street that runs from Dorchester Avenue to Sunburst Mall is a city street.  Mayor Rippons said it is not a city street.

William Wallace, Pastor of Waugh Chapel United Methodist Church, on behalf of Dorchester County Branch of NAACP, read a resolution regarding lack of representation from Ward 2.   He asked that the resolution be included in the minutes.

Janice Banks said she has come to a lot of City Council meetings.  She is glad there is representation running for Ward 2 at this time.  She has listened to the Mayor and the Commissioners speak to the public.  There are times it is very rude.  She was raised to respect people.  It discourages her the way the Mayor speaks to people.  She used to do it too but she has learned otherwise.  She said you get results back when you speak to someone nicely.

Commissioner Brooks asked Rev. Wallace about the resolution.  She asked if he was suggesting that they wait on voting on any major decision until the seat for Ward 2 is filled.  Rev. Wallace said that is correct.  Commissioner Cephas said there have been vacancies throughout the country.  There are a number of ways that they are filled until there is an election.  Members of families have actually sat in that seat and performed until an election is held.  Edward Watkins' daughter has been attending a lot of city meetings.  That could have happened until the election took place.  It would require a change to the charter.  He thinks it is something we should consider doing immediately.  Rob Collison said that because of a certain language in our charter, the election was set up as quickly as they could.  He said it is appropriate to appoint a committee to review options and they can report back what other communities do.  Commissioner Cephas said Council should appoint an ad-hoc committee to look into something like that considering the resolution that was submitted by Rev. Wallace.  Commissioner Brooks said she spoke to several different municipalities at the MML convention and that discussion came up.  There are other municipalities that use a family member to fill the seat until an election is held. The language about special elections is vague in our charter so Council made their own language and included the primary and the general elections.  Rob Collison said the language about an absentee wasn't vague.  It states there must be a special election unless the death or resignation occurs within four months of the next election.  In another section of the charter that talks about primary elections, filings, and general elections, it is very specific.  Commissioner Brooks said it did not give a clear definition of what special election was.  Because of that, they used the primary and the general which was in another section.  When it comes to special election, it is very short and vague.  Without having anything to go on, certain ones elected to move with the primary and the general elections.  It is vague and needs to be changed.  Rob Collison said to change the charter would have taken longer than letting it play out as it did.  Commissioner Brooks said regarding the request for the representation for Ward 2 is another concern by many of Ward 2 residents.  Council needs to seriously consider this. It could happen again.  She is in favor of either a charter change or adopting a resolution.  Commissioner Cephas made a motion that each Commissioner appoints an ad-hoc committee member for that sole purpose.  Commissioner Brooks seconded the motion. 

An unidentified woman said she addressed Council about Ward 2 not being represented when the developer case came up.  Council could have waited 60 days until the election before a decision was made. It really disturbed them because they did not have a representative.  She is sure if Mr. Watkins was living and another Commissioner was gone, he would have wanted the same thing done.

Lee Weldon said when he was a Commissioner, he had three members on his Council that were in their 80s.  This was something that was on their minds.  In their research of the charter, the issue of a vacancy due to death is very clear.  There is a special election.  The definition of a special election, in this case, falls down to a matter of it being an election that is not falling on the regular election cycle.  The process of amending the charter would be far more time consuming than the process we are undergoing now.  If only two candidates filed, they would not have needed a primary.   When he was a Commissioner, he never regarded himself as just a representative of Ward 3.  Ward 3 elected him and he was answerable to Ward 3 but if there was an issue on the east side or west side, he tried to make it his business.   If a Commissioner's passing created a void, as a representative of a neighboring district, he would regard it as his responsibility to make sure he was communicating with the constituency down there.  He would also make sure he was communicating with the Mayor since he knows that the ultimate decision is going to rest in his hands.  The Mayor represents all five wards. He is going to make his decisions based on the information on hand.  If we don't make every effort to communicate our concerns, he won't be able to make an informed decision.  He agreed with looking at other charter options.  The business that has been completed has been completed legally under the charter.  The Mayor has exercised his vote in the event of a tie due to an absence on the Council.  It's in the charter. There is no legal standing to reverse those decisions.

Commissioner Brooks said they are not trying to make it retroactive.  Special election is very vague.  The charter needs to be corrected. 

Rev. Wallace said is not his intent to debate the issues and address concerns that are of major significance.  The key here is representative.  The charter is such that every person should have representation.  The problem is that we know from history lessons that representation, even according to the charter that we use in Cambridge, unless it is modified and changed, that representation means only white males.  It doesn't mean everyone.  We have someone who made a decision without even conferring with persons from Ward 2.  The attorney said they don't have to make this decision immediately.  He asked how they expect him to have confidence in the leadership, particularly the Mayor, if he doesn't feel that he is making a decision that is going to be best for him.  They need to look at the charter and make sure it doesn't happen again.  He is not saying that Council stop all issues.  He is saying that they reconsider and think about issues that will impact the entire city.  People have raised this concern at other meetings.

Commissioner Cephas stated that his motion is that each Commissioner appoints someone to form an ad-hoc committee to review and make proper changes to the charter in reference to special elections.  Commissioner Brooks seconded the motion.  The motion passed 4:0.

With no further business, Mayor Rippons adjourned the meeting at 9:35 p.m.  I hereby certify that the foregoing is a true and accurate account of the Council meeting Monday, July 11, 2005, insofar as I personally am aware.

Brenda D. Bramble, Financial Specialist