• 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

October 11, 2005

 

The City Council met in regular session on Tuesday, October 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, 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 September 26, 2005 Council meeting as distributed. Commissioner Sydnor seconded the motion. The motion was passed unanimously. 

Mayor Rippons announced that Rob Collison, City Attorney, will be unable to attend the entire meeting because of a personal reason. The agenda will be slightly altered to accommodate this.

APPOINTMENTS

Open Bids for Cedar Street Outfall Dredging-Ed Kinnamon reported that the city did not receive any bids.

Laura Weldon to Receive Proclamation for Character Counts Week-Ed Kinnamon read the resolution. Mayor Rippons signed it and presented it to Laura Weldon, the Dorchester County Coordinator for Character Counts. She said they are celebrating their 5th year in Dorchester County. The program is running in every public school in the County. She thanked Council for the proclamation.

Laura Weldon to Request Permission to Hold Christmas Parade on Saturday, December 3-Laura Weldon reported that this is their 58th year. It is officially the second oldest Christmas parade in Maryland. They are starting out in good financial shape thanks to the Nathan Foundation, private organizations, individuals, and businesses who donated money. Commissioner Cephas made a motion to approve the request. Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously. The parade will begin at 5:00 pm.

Jeff Hubbard to Discuss Cambridge Country Club's Request for Sewer Connection-Jeff Hubbard said he is on the Board of Governors for the Cambridge County Club. He is following up on an earlier request for the city to amend their existing agreement with Horn Point to accept an additional flow that would come from Cambridge Country Club. At that meeting a letter was requested from the Dorchester County Health Department to verify that this was a real need. The letter states that the public health would be best served by the connection to the sewer. He asked the Council to sign the two amendments to the existing agreement with Horn Point. The documents have been forwarded to Rob Collison for his review. Mayor Rippons said that Rob Collison will review the documents for the next meeting.

Darlene Mitchell to Discuss Possible Plans for the Cator House-Darlene Mitchell said she has a ratified contract on the Cator House. It will be reopened as a full service inn and restaurant. They will have an executive suite with video conferencing, white-boarding, telephone conferencing, massage services, and catering services. Currently she has one huge obstacle-the dilapidated property that sits next to the building. She is appealing for Council's assistance in how this property can be addressed. She understands it has been posted to be demolished. She has spoken to DPW, written letters to the owners, and spoken to the neighbors who support of something being done. It poses a huge obstacle for her business. She is at Council's mercy. Commissioner Knox said Rob Collison wrote the property owners a letter last September. They have not received a response. He believes one of the biggest obstacles for any business across the street has been that mess. He supports her 100 percent. Commissioner Cephas asked Ms. Mitchell if she had that building next door, could she do anything with it. She said absolutely-there are several options. They could make a parking lot. Another option is to have a gazebo in a garden for outside receptions and parties. She would love to purchase the property. She offered to discuss purchasing options with the current owners but received no response. Mayor Rippons said he will request Rob Collison give his recommendations on the feasible means the city has to move forward. Ms. Mitchell said she would appreciate the timeliness. Her projected opening date is April 16th. She understands there is a hearing on Thursday with the owners regarding possible demolition.

John Cornish, Sr. To Discuss the City's Policy for Pit-Bull Ownership-Mr. Cornish was not present.

John Cornish, Sr. To Discuss License Tags on Vehicles (switching tags)- Mr. Cornish was not present.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

Decision to Approve Ordinance to Amend PWCD Regulations-Rob Collison said the city has held several public hearings on this ordinance. At a public work session on October 6th, an issue arose concerning adequate setbacks to accommodate emergency vehicles. Commissioner Cephas said he needs clarification that the 25-ft setback would be a minimum. Chief Jeff Hurley said the setbacks do not need to be reduced to any less than 25 feet. They need to be looked at on a case-by-case basis for side access and fire department accessibility. Depending on the height requirements, there are certain life safety codes that would go into effect to protect the citizens. The reason for the 25-ft setback is because the area platform requires 19 feet jackleg-to-jackleg to set the stability up for the ladder. The bulkhead is going to have to be reinforced if it is on the waterfront to support a vehicle weighing 80,000 lbs. The current equipment can accommodate a building as high as 100 feet if they can get right next to it. They can accommodate a 75-ft building if they can get within 25 feet of the building.  Rob Collison said Council can made minor adjustment to the ordinance without going through the entire process again. If there is a drastic change, they have to re-advertise and hold a public hearing. Commissioner Knox made a motion approve the ordinance with a 25-ft setback for buildings 65 feet or more in height and if it is less than 65 feet, have an 18-ft setback. The density would be limited to 18 units per acre. Commissioner Cephas seconded the motion for discussion. He asked Chief Hurley's opinion. Chief Hurley said the setback should be 25 feet regardless of the height. Commissioner Knox withdrew his motion because safety is our goal. In light of this, he said he would like to make a motion to have a 25‑ft setback on all buildings in the PWCD. He would still like to have an 18-unit density. Rob Collison said the current ordinance calls for a 15-ft side setback. That would give them 30 feet between buildings. It appears to him that the ordinance will be approved as drafted with the amendment being an 18‑unit per acre across-the-board density. Jeff Hurley said they oppose cedar-shake roofing unless it is properly fire-retardant treated. Mayor Rippons said this should be added to the ordinance. Rob Collison said because the PWCD extends well beyond the creek itself, it probably is appropriate to have vinyl siding as an approved material.  Commissioner Sydnor made a motion to approve what has been submitted by the Planning and Zoning Commission with the following exceptions: the setbacks be 25 feet; the side setback be 15 feet; the density set at 18 units per acre; vinyl siding be allowed as a material and that anything on the material list be of a flame-retardant nature. Commissioner Knox seconded the motion. Rob Collison said the setbacks are in the ordinance. They are not an exception. The motion passed unanimously. The ordinance will become effective 10 days from today. Commissioner Knox thanked all the citizens who came to the public hearings with the Planning Commission. They received a lot of positive input. He thanked the Planning and Zoning Commission for all their hard work. He thanked Council for voting on this ordinance so we can move forward.

Decision on Ordinance to Increase Height in R3 Districts for Parcels Greater Than 20 Acres-Rob Collison announced that the city held a public hearing on this ordinance in June. A State regulation required that it be referred to the Board of Zoning Appeals. It, in essence, grants to the Planning and Zoning Commission through its site plan review, an administrative adjustment. By looking at various criteria set forth in the ordinance, the Planning and Zoning Commission may grant an increase in the height to 70 feet if the parcel is more than 20 acres and that it is appropriate for the entire site. The Board of Zoning Appeals and the Planning Commission both recommended approval of the text amendment. Commissioner Sydnor made a motion to approve the ordinance as proposed. Commissioner Cephas seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Council to Approve Final Segment of CPD Pay Increase-Rob Collison recommended that if Council is making any type of budget amendment after the budget has been approved, there is a legal requirement in Maryland that it must be a balanced budget. If Council approves a new appropriation, they have to provide the funds for it. Commissioner Brooks thanked all those involved in many meetings and sessions they have attended dating back to November 2004 and the more intense meeting starting July of this year. She acknowledged the patience the sworn police staff has had while they spent countless hours trying to reach a solution. Her motion represents an agreement between the sworn police officers and the City Council to bring a resolution to the issue surrounding their pay. Commissioner Brooks said her motion will also include the Chief of Police. The final salary increase segment for all sworn police personnel will begin with the next payroll issued on October 14, 2005. For clarity sake, this increase will be applied using the normal 26-week payroll process according to the grade and step applicable for the individual. Also there will not be additional amounts added for the purposes of making up loss or otherwise to inflate the salary amount to be paid. This does not, however, include any overtime pay which will be included and paid according to the policy. This is per our city auditors. They will also have to add another motion to amend the city budget to move funds from the reserve funds to the budget, if necessary, to cover the final segment of the police raise. Commissioner Cephas seconded the motion. Commissioner Sydnor said as Co-Chairman of the Financial Committee, he has looked at the data with the police salaries and the increases that are going to be. He found that the total would be approximately $87,279.92. This does not include any FICA. In going through the budget, there are several positions that Council had appropriated at the beginning of the year and have not filled at the present time. There is going to be a savings of $54,721.50. Later this evening they are going to be looking at a proposal for a truck for DPW. If they approve the purchase, it will result in a savings of $7,626. At that point, we are looking at $60,367.50. There are other funds that the city has available that can surely support this raise.

Mayor Rippons said the issue is not that. The question that the officers have is not that they want next year's increase. It is that the financial mechanization is incorrect in their belief. If we save money, it should go back to benefit the taxpayers. They received increases in July and August. Even though the gross amount is correct, they do not believe the net amount is correct. He asked if adding next year's raise now is good business practice. Commissioner Sydnor said the police department is a benefit to the taxpayers. Mayor Rippons said it certainly is. Everybody agreed last January and when they went through the budget proceedings that the raises were to be implemented at that level. Instead of looking at the salient issue that is raised, they are throwing more money at them. Commissioner Sydnor said fortunately it is less than the $163,000 that was stated at a previous meeting. Mayor Rippons said they are not looking at the fact that if they approve it tonight, they also will encumber automatically in next year's budget, an additional amount which raises the issue about the $87,000. Portia Johnson-Ennels said as a resident of Cambridge, we have been trying to get new officers because we are understaffed. One of the main reasons is because of money. Anyone who may have had an interest in wanting to be a member of the police department from these last meeting, Council is turning them against wanting to come to Cambridge. She thinks it is petty to want our police officers to have to choose whether they are going to protect us or go along with the ego of some of the Council. It was voted on months ago to give the police officers this money and nobody raised a stink about it then. Why should they raise a stink about it now? She would like them to vote on it tonight to give the police officers what they deserve or she believes we will be loosing them. Mayor Rippons asked Chief Malik if we are understaffed. Chief Malik said we are short one officer out of their 47 allotted officers. Portia Johnson-Ennels said we are short more than one officer the way she looks at it. Mayor Rippons said the July raises were implemented. The January raises were moved ahead for them in August. Now they want to vote to move the fourth increment into this fiscal year. It is inaccurate to say the raises are being turned down. Portia Johnson-Ennels said with the growth that is expected in the city, 47 police officers cannot handle it.  Mayor Rippons asked Chief Malik how many officers Dorchester County has. Chief Malik said the have roughly 30 officers. He said Cambridge has 60,000 calls and they have 20,000 calls. There is a big difference between what Cambridge does and what Dorchester County does. Cambridge's workload is tremendously more than the county's. Mayor Rippons asked Chief Malik for his opinion on the raise. He asked if Chief Malik's department agreed to the increments as they were arranged. Chief Malik said they don't agree to anything; they abide by the decision of the Council. Whatever decision the Council makes, they have to abide by it.

Gage Thomas asked what prompted the increase. Mayor Rippons said as the second and third increments were awarded, some members of Council decided not to look at the problem, they wanted to let them have more money by bringing in next July's increase.

Jane Devlin asked if the software problem has been corrected. Mayor Rippons said it is of their opinion that everything that our payroll department has done has been done judiciously and correctly. It has been looked at by outside auditors and also other CPAs. He asked Chief Malik today to qualify in writing any of the officers' questions and/or concerns and they will address them in a short period of time.

Commissioner Cephas called for a vote. Mayor Rippons said the motion is to approve the final segment of the Cambridge Police Department pay increase. He called for a role-call vote. Commissioner Knox: aye; Commissioner Sydnor: aye; Commissioner Cephas: aye; Commissioner Brooks: aye; Commissioner Travers said he will vote aye but he has some reservations about this. Council voted for this last August and we were to give it to them over a period of two years. They will be hurt by the amount of income tax they will have to pay this year.  The motion passed unanimously.

Commissioner Brooks made a motion to amend the city budget to move funds from the reserve funds to the budget, if necessary, to cover the final segment of the police department raise. Commissioner Sydnor seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Appoints to Special Election Review Committee-Commissioner Knox appointed Hubert Wright. Commissioner Sydnor appointed Portia Johnson-Ennels. Commissioner Cephas appointed Mary Davis. Commissioner Brooks appointed Octavene Saunders. Commissioner Travers appointed Diane Fitzhugh. Commissioner Knox made a motion to approve the slate. Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously. (Note from typist: later in the meeting, Commissioner Brooks withdrew Octavene Saunders' name and replaced it with Jamal Pinder.)

NEW BUSINESS

Request from Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church for Financial Assistance for a Homeless Shelter at Their Facility ($7,500 to $10,000)-Nobody from the Church was present to speak. Mayor Rippons asked that a representative be present at the next meeting.

Set Date and Time for Trick-or-Treat (Monday, October 31st)-Commissioner Knox made a motion to set trick-or-treat hours for Monday, October 31st from 6:00 pm until 8:00 pm for children 12 and under. Commissioner Brooks seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Request to Adjust Uniform Allowance (DPW)-Commissioner Cephas made a motion to approve the request. Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Request to Purchase One Full-Size GMC 1500 Pick-Up Truck Under State Contract (DPW)-Commissioner Sydnor made a motion to approve the request. Commissioner Cephas seconded the motion. The amount under the contract price is $11,374. The motion passed unanimously.

Discuss Options for Community Legacy Grant Application (Due November 1)-Anne Roane provided an outline for Council. Commissioner Cephas suggested submitting applications for all the items outlined. The items are: High Street (300 block) infrastructure and streetscape; Chesapeake College rear entrance façade; Harriet Tubman museum renovations-indoor and outdoor ramps, and elevator to comply with ADA; Dorchester County transitional shelter which will be sponsored by Shore Up; and welcome signs for Cambridge.  Commissioner Travers made a motion to submit all the applications. Commissioner Cephas seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

ADDITIONAL ITEMS

Ed Kinnamon responded to the Council and the citizens about the newspaper articles written after the last Council meeting which he did not attend. The articles shocked him and then he listened to the tapes. He responded to several different comments. One comment made was probably someone misusing a word. He cannot legally approve anything that needs Council's attention. He can only offer his opinion and add suggestions he may have. The city's payroll department has been able to comply, contrary to what was said, with whatever was required. In this case we have never before been asked to do what ended in a requirement to deliver a set dollar amount within a certain timeframe. This turned out to be a major headache. After several hours of attempting to accomplish this by several people, they were able to do it. He contacted two different auditors from two different CPA firms (one locally and one from our auditing firm) and explained to both what was required and what was done to make this work. In the end, they both agreed that what we did was necessary to affect the Council's directive and they saw no problem. Payroll taxes from the police salaries were deducted in accordance with the payroll tax tables that were in effect at the time the salaries were earned. The employees were not overtaxed. All overtime earned has been paid correctly according to the officers' hourly wage. However, some of the officers seem to think they need to be on a different level. The city's payroll system can accurately calculate what information it is given. It is a very sophisticated payroll system. It is part of a government software accounting package with safeguards against abnormal inputting of information. The city has used this government software for over 14 years. It is constantly upgraded when changes have to be made. To further prove whether or not our computer was accurately taking payroll deductions, we took as a sample, five or six police officers at various levels, and manually computed their taxes. Everyone was correct within a few pennies.

Ed Kinnamon addressed the memorandums that were read at Council. Commissioner Knox read a memo dealing with his (ECK) request of Council not to implement a change in the payroll register regarding the police officers being removed and then put back in the register. He and Commissioner Brooks met with some of the police officers regarding their salaries and this issue came up. It was the consensus of the officers not to do this. Seeing that the Council already had his other memo, the Council was to be informed at Monday's meeting that this was no longer an issue.  The second memorandum which Commissioner Brooks read, was an attempt to assist the Council in making the motion to approve the final segment of the police officers' salary. She read it again this evening. At a personnel meeting on September 21st, a discussion to allow the final segment of the police officers' raise was discussed with Council. At the end of the discussion it was his opinion that it was unanimous that Council would approve the motion at the following meeting, September 26th, to grant the additional monies necessary to give the officers their final segment of the raise. It was brought out that this was not part of this year's budget, and that it was scheduled for July 2006. At this meeting he stated Council's motion would be necessary since it will affect the budget. Regarding whether or not the city can afford to bring over an additional $100,000 estimated cost including FICA only, from its reserves without it being a burden, he can only offer his opinion. The city remains in a positive cash flow and has an adequate amount of reserves that can handle this amount without a negative impact at this time.

Commissioner Travers asked if it is a little early to discuss the trip he and Mayor Rippons took to Princess Anne with a member of the House of Delegates to look at low-income housing. It surprised him a lot. Commissioner Brooks said it surprises her since she has been appointed to the Housing Task Force and was not invited on the trip.

Commissioner Brooks thanked Ed Kinnamon for the statement he read tonight. Everything that he said is correct with the exception of, depending on who you talk to, you will get a different answer when you ask a police officer if his paycheck is correct. It is still the opinion of many police officers that there are still problems with their pay. Mr. Kinnamon, Chief Malik, Commissioner Sydnor, Commissioner Cephas and she have met for countless hours to try to bring this to a solution. They were unable to and that is the result of why they came up with following statement: to give them the final pay raise and hopefully in January, when the system starts all over again, they are hoping that the issues and problems will be taken care of if it is a true effect of the cramming in that Mr. Kinnamon spoke about tonight.

Commissioner Brooks said for obvious reasons she voted Octavene Saunders for the Special Elections Committee. She made a motion to withdraw Octavene Saunders' name and replace it with Jamal Pinder. Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Commissioner Cephas said on Tuesday, October 18th, there is going to be a conference in Baltimore called the Governor's Workforce Housing Conference. He thinks it is very important for two or three people from Cambridge to attend. The registration fee is only $35 including lunch. Commissioner Brooks said there are several people from the Housing Task Force who are already registered for the conference.

Commissioner Sydnor said there is a vacancy in the Second Ward for the Housing Board of Review. He made a motion to appoint Tommy Foxwell. Commissioner Brooks seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Commissioner Sydnor made a motion to proceed with a charter amendment to remove the Mayor's personnel duties from the Charter, Section 3-21 Part (e). Commissioner Brooks seconded the motion. Commissioners Brooks, Sydnor, and Cephas voted for the motion. Commissioner Knox and Travers voted against the motion. The motion passed 3:2.

Commissioner Knox thanked everyone for coming to the meeting.

Peg Wolff asked if Council has a replacement for the Mayor to handle personnel. Commissioner Brooks said there is a process that has to be followed for a Charter Amendment. At the next meeting, the city attorney will introduce this for the first reading. Once they go through the entire process, if it is passed, they have someone that will be assuming those responsibilities. A public hearing will be held.

Portia Johnson-Ennels spoke about the Workforce Housing Project. Her understanding is that the city has an RFP that is due November 1st for property on Leonard Lane and that the city only owns one piece of property, and that is the property facing DPW. Reading the article, it seems like Visions America is saying the project is theirs. She asked for clarification. If that is the case, there should not have been an RFP put out. Commissioner Brooks said they have not received any RFPs and they have not made a decision. She is not aware of who will submit an RFP. The article is way ahead of its time. Mayor Rippons said the article says Wilson has asked the city to grant land on Leonard Lane. There is nowhere that she stipulates that she has control. Portia Johnson-Ennels asked Council to be very fair when the proposals come in. Gage Thomas said Visions America got the ball rolling about that site. The city told them they couldn't grant them the site; they would have to go through an RFP. They are one of many.

Gage Thomas asked for further clarification on the PWCD ordinance and the 18 units across the board instead of 15 with an incentive for mixed-use. Commissioner Knox said Rob Collison said they can fine tune the ordinance.

David Tomey said the 15-ft setback on the sides does not preclude if you have a fence between adjoining properties. You can have an older house that is 10 feet from the property line. He dreads thinking of a fire on a Sunday when people are parked on both sides of High Street, both sides of Church Street, and both sides of Locust Street. The fire truck will not go around a 90-deg turn like the old trucks did. He asked if there was going to be a comment period on the re-written ordinance.

David Tomey said if the police department raise implemented tonight was supposed to be implemented in July 2006, obviously the cost implications are going to be more because overtime will be paid at a higher rate as will the benefits paid on a percentage rate. He asked if there will be another negotiation in July or will they remain stagnant for a year. Mayor Rippons said if they can change it arbitrarily in four months, he cannot even begin to answer the questions about what will happen during budget discussions next year. David Tomey asked if this brought them to the top of the scale with neighboring jurisdictions. Chief Malik said when they get this raise, they will be exactly on the same pay scale as Easton. Ocean City pays higher than we do. They have 100 full-time officers plus seasonal officers. The starting salaries for the Caroline County Sheriff's Department and the Dorchester County Sheriff's Department are equal to ours and in some cases higher. Mayor Rippons said there are other factors like LEOPS. There are not very many municipalities that are putting better than 30% away in addition to the salary for the officers' retirement. Chief Malik said our retirement is very good.

Tony Easter asked which of the Mayor's powers the motion made by Commissioner Sydnor would affect. Commissioner Sydnor said it is personnel powers outlined in the Charter, Section 3-21 Part (e). Commissioner Brooks said the Mayor, prior to 2000, never had personnel duties. This was something extra that was added in the Year 2000.

Jamal Pinder said speaking as a private citizen, Mayor Rippons has been very rude to his counterparts. He hollered at and demeanored Mr. Sydnor. He is upset about the whole process and this is his first time being here. When he met Mayor Rippons on the street, he came across as a very nice person.

Council asked that the following section be included verbatim in these minutes:

Chuck Brooks:  In reference to what he said (referring to Jamal Pinder) you have been a good leader for the past four years and you've been elected for the next four years. 

Mayor Rippons:  Please, if you can introduce your name and address.

Chuck Brooks:  Oh, Chuck Brooks, Phillips Avenue, Cambridge, Maryland.  And what he just said and what I just repeated, you have been a good leader for the past 4 years and we're looking forward to four more years for you to be another good leader.  Does the city ordinance ever come up to be reviewed or change some rolls or anything?

Mayor Rippons:  It can come up...

Chuck Brooks:  Who does it? The law, the lawyer, or what?  or you?

Mayor Rippons:  Ultimately the final vote is going to be by the members of Council.  Any member, any citizen can request that any issue be looked into.  If you want to look into facets of personnel issues that was discussed earlier, duties of any officers that is elected, whatever you wish to have, that can be looked into and you may request that the city entertain your consideration.

Chuck Brooks:  Well, you may say a request, but the city ordinance should be reviewed and some of the rules changed.  The new members that have come in seem to want to take all your power away.  Now, if they take your power away, who is going to run the city?  You've done a wonderful job for the past five years.  That's my opinion.  I know a lot of people in here don't agree with it, but you're one of the best mayors we've ever had and then people come down here and want to run you down and say things against you and I don't think it is right.  Like that man there a while ago.  And so maybe the city ordinance should be reviewed because I understand you can't vote.  You should be put in there to vote cause the way it stands now, you have three against two every time a vote comes up but you only vote in a tie.  Is that right?

Mayor Rippons:  That's correct, sir.

Chuck Brooks:  That's correct.  Well you should be able to vote all the time, I think. 

Commissioner Cephas:  Let me just make a comment.  It troubles me when you say you have three against two every time.  We've had motions passed tonight with five, five, four to one, and I'm not sure where you are coming from with this three against two.

Chuck Brooks:  These three new members...

Commissioner Cephas:  We have four new members...

Chuck Brooks:  You stick together on everything that has ever come up here and you have three against two so why not change the ordinance and let the mayor have something to say and let somebody be the boss on any organization or any administration(?)  you have to have a leader and we have a good leader up there but you all want to take the power away from him and I don't think that's right.  I'm just a minor(?) citizen and I don't pay heavy taxes like some of the people do but that's my feelings.

Janice Banks, 1505 Stone Boundary Road:  He continues to say three against two.  That's what the city needs to get away from.   He is stating, and I'm going to be correct, you're stating the three blacks but it was four people elected this year.  Mr. Knox was one of the ones and I've seen this Council vote, everybody vote on the same matter together; I've seen them vote in difference; I've seen the Mayor break a tie when the issue should have been tabled until the city Ward 2 had their representation here.  So, let's not make it a black and white issue or anything else.  Let's make it an issue of the City Council.  Those were elected our City Council men and women.  They vote together; they vote separately; they vote individually for the city and it's there each and own opinion.  One person shouldn't make their opinion for everybody else which the Mayor's shouldn't.  I'm not going to say the Mayor does a bad job; I'm not going to say he does a good job.  He's brings houses and stuff here.  Has he brought jobs here?  I haven't seen any but it's the city together.  Either they float the ship or they take the ship down together and right now it's been floating real good.

Jane Devlin thanked the Council for the 5:0 vote on the PWCD text amendments. It is something positive for the community at large.

Laura Weldon said she is issuing a challenge to the other municipalities of Dorchester County to let her have one person to work in the schools to develop good character. In Cambridge, Officer Anton Patton, Officer Chante Nelson, and Officer Deborah Slowik act not only as DARE officers, but they coach for Character Counts in the classroom. Anne Harris, with Cambridge Emergency Medical Services, also volunteers as a Character Coach. She is trying to get other municipalities to allow one employee to work in the classroom for one half hour a week. Cambridge has allowed four. She offered a huge thank-you to the City of Cambridge for continuing the DARE program and for allowing the officers the flexibility in their schedules to provide such a fabulous service for our kids. She loves bragging about the city she lives in and what they are doing in our schools.

With no further business, Mayor Rippons adjourned this portion of the meeting at 8:35 p.m. I hereby certify that the foregoing is a true and accurate account of the Council meeting Tuesday, October 11, 2005, insofar as I personally am aware.

Edwin C. Kinnamon, Clerk & Treasurer