• 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

November 28, 2005
 

The City Council met in regular session on Monday, November 28, 2005 Council Chambers. A quorum being present, Mayor Cleveland L. Rippons called the meeting to order at 7:10 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 November 7, 2005 Council meeting as distributed. Commissioner Sydnor seconded the motion. The motion was passed unanimously. 

PUBLIC HEARING

Proposed Disposition of City-Owned Property-6.2 acres, more or less on the East Side of Leonard Lane Tax Map 302 Parcel 2343-Rob Collison said the only issue of the public hearing is whether or not the property in question is needed (all or in part) for public use. If it is no longer needed for public use, it will constitute excess property which the city can dispose of by selling it or transferring it at a later date. A proposed non-public use, if there is going to be one, is not an issue tonight. The sole issue is whether it will be needed by the city now or in the future. If Council determines that it is excess property, then there will be another public hearing as to when development should take place. Notice of the public hearing was published in the Daily Banner on Monday, November 21st, and Friday, November 25th in 2005. The city received a letter from the West End Citizens Association concerning the land.

Lee Weldon said he was alarmed when he read about this because the Council he served on made an arrangement to acquire the land for the use of expanding the Department of Public Works facilities. The location is ideal. The cost was nothing other than a short strip of land that was turned over to Bay Country Apartments for the construction of their community center. From what he understands, the property has some soil issues, etc. It is large enough that a reasonable buffer can be created between the existing residences that are around it. That end of Leonard Lane is primarily commercial from Cosby Avenue to Washington Street. At the rate the city is growing, our Public Works Department is going to have some very considerable needs in the very near future. If this property is disposed of by the city, when those needs come to a head, the city will be left with no option other than to go out and spend more tax money to find another piece of property. He thinks it would be irresponsible to dispose of this piece of property.

Gage Thomas asked if David Pritchett could share some of his future plans as Director of Public Works. David Pritchett said he concurs that they are running out of space. They are already utilizing the front edge along the piece of property for employee parking. He and Commissioner Sydnor are working to get the needed office space that they have a drastic need for. The building they have to repair vehicles in was built in 1952. It has been his goal, as well as the goal of some of the past Commissioners, to be able to do full maintenance on almost all the departments except some of the specialty work on the fire trucks. The length and height of the current building are not adequate. They cannot install a lift so they have to work on the trucks outside. It is antiquated at this time. They had hoped to build a repair facility on the property to handle all the vehicles. He spoke to the Fire Chief and this property could also be used as a substation as the city grows. MUC could also use the land for an additional water tank. He anticipates addressing whether they could install a Morton or Butler Building to improve the maintenance facility. They are actually doing some things against some of the laws of safety because they don't have any alternative like a lift.

Gage Thomas said the point for Council to consider is that it doesn't necessarily have to be near-term or now, but some time in the future. It is a good cause to preserve this parcel. To keep the department together on one site, you can take the 6.2 acres and the 3.75 acres of the present site. He doesn't know where else you will find 10 acres in the city. At today's price it would cost between $75,000 and $100,000 to replace it if the need should arise. His personal opinion is that this parcel is not excess property.

Charlotte Hughes, a member of the City's Housing Task Force, said the RFP in the paper said this land was going to be available and that all proposals are supposed to be in by November 1, 2005. She thinks the RFP put the cart before the horse. Before you put an RFP in, all your guidelines, policies and procedures, and what you plan to do with the property are supposed to have come first. There were proposals submitted and that was a waste of time, money, and energy. At a previous meeting, Mr. Pritchett said he needed the property on Leonard Lane. There are people in the Ward who were looking forward to this. The proposal writers were looking forward to it. She asked for the guidelines and the proposals for RFPs. The city doesn't have one. The only thing in that proposal is that the city has the right to accept or reject. There are other policies and procedures that should be written in an RFP before it is submitted in the paper. Some of the Council people didn't even know there was an RFP in the paper. It was never run by Council. She thinks the people have been mis-lead. Originally it started out with School House Lane. That was kicked to the curb. Now Leonard Lane is being kicked to the curb. The city has a group of frustrated residents in the Second and Third Wards.

Jane Devlin, West End Citizens Association, asked that their letter be submitted into the record. If you are going out for an RFP, you should certainly be sure that the property is considered excess. She is concerned that the School House Lane properties had been purchased with a grant with the intent of low- to moderate-income housing. That has been tabled. There has been an assumption of the Leonard Lane property always being the expansion point for the Department of Public Works. If you look at the history, it is proving that it was a very wise decision. In the next 10 years, we are adding at least 6,000 homes. Most of the annexations are toward that direction of town. Development will demand an expansion of city services. That parcel of land has a direct access to the proposed west side bypass. She asked where we would find nine to ten acres of land for DPW if we choose to consider this parcel excess. Funding has been allotted for a comprehensive plan. Part of this could be an inventory of city properties. Then the community could sit down and realize their needs, including housing and preparing for city services. She suggested discussing this at a work session. The public has need in the future for some of this property.

Portia Johnson-Ennels, a member of the City's Housing Task Force, believes that the city, as a whole, has thrown out a bone to the residents. Although the Department of Public Works wants that land, it has been sitting there for years and they have done nothing. People want a better place to live and that is what Leonard Lane would do. All of it is not commercial; there are homes on that end of the street. The first obligation to the citizens should be the welfare of the citizens. We need decent houses at an affordable price. She is asking Council to think about who they owe their obligation to-the taxpayers or to the Department of Public Works.

Sharon Wilson, Visions America Community Development Corporation, said she can remember when the School House Lane property was an issue. She remembers Commissioner Brooks saying there was property in Cambridge. She was talking to Mr. Hall and the lady from Poverty Solutions and asked them to select other property. They said they could look at the Leonard Lane property. The homes going up in Cambridge are starting at $200,000. The people are migrating here from other areas to live in these homes. They are not for the residents who are paying their taxes. They deserve decent housing. She has nothing against what Mr. Pritchett said about the various departments. She would think that the new fire department building would include all the things that they said they need. As a person who does a lot of minority outreach for Dorchester County, she sent out over 800 surveys to people who were looking for affordable housing. Every one of them came back with a need for affordable housing. The Leonard Lane piece of property would be ideal for low-income housing. She prays that the City Officials will use the property for low-income families in Dorchester County. There is other property for Planning and Zoning behind the current property instead of going across the highway. Leonard Lane would be the ideal choice for some families so they can feel good, have quarter-acre lots, and decent housing.

Wendell Foxwell said he is for affordable housing but that property really belongs for the Department of Public Works. They have a piece of property and they want to keep it all together in one place. He doesn't know where else in the city you can find property like that. The taxpayers will be taxed more money to go somewhere else. Everything will increase with the growth going on. A traffic consultant said Leonard Lane has enough traffic on it right now. He doesn't think it is the place to put public housing. He begged Council to reserve it for the Department of Public Works.

Marge Hull agrees with Portia Johnson-Ennels there is a great need for affordable housing in our city. She doesn't think the choice is between the Department of Public Works vs. low-income housing because she was present at the League of Women's Voters meeting when they had discussions with candidates for County office. Some economists and municipal planning people spoke. They said the increase in population which we know is coming whether we like it or not is going to cost the city unless there are commercial endeavors at the same time.  She disagrees with Portia that we have a choice between the Department of Public Works and the taxpayer because the commercial is not coming in on the plans that are now submitted that is going to make a difference to the tax base of the city. If you take 5,500 units and say two people per unit, you are talking about 10,000+ people. They will need police, water, fire protection, and public works and it will be a cost to all of us. Even if we can get affordable housing somewhere, it will be those property owners' cost too. There will be a tremendous expense not covered by taxpayers with no commercial development of any significance coming along with this residential development. Council has a responsibility, not only to the Department of Public Works, but to the taxpayers because they will be paying for it. It is a documented fact that although residential expansion brings tax money in, it costs the city more than the tax base that it generates. Council needs to consider this. If they need to buy acres and replace everything that is working at Public Works, you are talking more than a million dollars to the taxpayers. She doesn't think we want to look at Leonard Lane as excess property. We do need affordable housing and there are places in the city where this would be a real benefit.

Charlotte Hughes said if everyone is concerned about the land and the city really wants to do affordable housing, she asked them to consider land trust. The city will always own the land but they won't own the house. The occupant can sell the house but they can't sell the land.

La-Kisha Smith really wants affordable housing to happen. She has three children, works hard every day, and wants a house. She is tired of staying in the projects. Nobody wants to stay on School House Lane. Leonard Lane is a good neighborhood with a good community. She asked Council to think about it.

Lee Weldon said the reason the public works facility wasn't considered in the plan with the public safety building was because the city owned the Leonard Lane property. As big as it looks, that facility is designed for public safety functions. There are things public works needs that are not compatible with public safety and vice versa. The Council had a vision on how they could keep the city functioning with all this growth. It meant assigning purposes to various properties. He wants to see affordable housing in this community too. He believes that Talbot County or Easton has regulations in place that when a developer comes in to build his condominiums, he has to allot a certain amount of money or a certain amount of his property toward construction of affordable housing.  He talked about it 5 years ago and it never got anywhere.

Corinthian Tilghman asked what will happen in the future. We need affordable homes now. He can't afford to pay what they are asking for the new homes around the creek. People are working here and paying taxes. They need affordable houses now.

Tony Thomas said the longer we put off expanding the Department of Public Works, the longer it takes to get permits. He is ready to hire 20 to 30 more people, but without the offices and the people to do the work for the thousands of permits, he cannot do it. He asked what people consider affordable housing. He bought houses for $45,000 and $50,000. There is affordable housing that you can buy and sell and make money. These houses have been here forever and are available to anybody. There are loans to fix them up. He thinks we need the land for the Department of Public Works.

Wanda Palmer addressed School House Lane. It is an island surrounded by drugs. She will not allow herself to live in an area that is so infested that she is not safe. She understands that Public Works needs to expand. She is looking for a house and hasn't found anything for less than $80,000. She asked what other area Council is looking at to consider putting affordable housing on. Some place needs to be designated for affordable housing.

Portia Johnson-Ennels said she knows David Pritchett wanted the land on Leonard Lane for his department. She asked why it was ever put out that it was available. The Councils before this one would advertise for possible excess land before an RFP.  Rob Collison said his understanding from the discussions was that it was done simultaneously. It was not clear if it was excess land or not, but they wanted to see what type of response they would even receive. In the past there have been Raps that have been published and there was no response.

Commissioner Brooks asked David Pritchett how much land he needs in addition to where the Department of Public Works is now. David Pritchett said he would say in the vicinity of 1½ to 2 acres. Commissioner Brooks asked if the city had 1½ to 2 acres behind DPW that we are not utilizing. David Pritchett said they have utilized all of the land. They do not own the empty land behind it. The engineer has determined that it is full of wetlands. He would be negligent not to inform Council of growing needs of the department. Commissioner Brooks asked how close Mr. Fang's new proposal comes to this area. She is concerned that his land might be wetland also. She said from the map it looks fairly close. Rob Collison said part of Mr. Fang's parcel is wetland and he is not proposing to construct anything on it. He doesn't think he would get the permits-not even enough to allow him access onto Leonard Lane. Planning and Zoning had requested him to try to have another outlet and they don't think he can get permitting for it.

Commissioner Cephas said when he and Commissioner Knox were running for office; their goal was to leave nobody behind. They didn't talk about any particular areas of leaving people behind-employment, business, or residential. Mrs. Wilson took it upon her to send out 800 surveys forms and got almost all of them back. The consensus was low- and moderate-income homes. School House Lane was not selected because of the blight and a number of other things. At that time Commissioner Brooks brought it to Council's attention to use Leonard Lane. He did not hear any opposition at that time. It was brought up at a second meeting and there was no opposition or comments at that meeting. At another meeting he heard Mr. Pritchett make a comment that they need that property for a garage. When asked how far in the future, he said about 10 years down the road. David Pritchett asked to correct that statement. He said that he stated that the Fire Department would potentially need additional land 8 to 10 years down the road and public works needed it 5 years ago. He believes what Mr. Weldon said about it originally being proposed for Public Works. He listened to what everyone else said. Sylvia Jones also did a needs assessment survey. She said there is an immediate need in Cambridge for 162 or 163 low to moderate homes. He can't, in good conscience, listen to the surveys and let it fall on deaf ears. He knows there is a need for Public Works down the road. David Pritchett said he needs approximately 1½ to 2 acres of land. There are 6.2 acres we are talking about on Leonard Lane. There is some excess property there. His mind is not made up. Prior to hearing discussions, his mind was made up that the land they are discussing would be the place for low- and moderate-income homes but he has heard other comments. He wishes some of the people who called him tonight had called him prior to tonight and shared some things with him. We have to address the need.

Commissioner Brooks asked everyone to keep an open mind. There has been talk that DPW may move into one of the locations that are currently being occupied by the Fire Department and Police Department. If we designate a future need now and deny it from housing and we know there are talks going on for DPW to relocate, she thinks we are not looking out for everyone in the city.

Commissioner Sydnor said some of the discussions reference affordable homes priced at $80,000 and $45,000. The latest data for the city shows that an affordable home would cost $180,000. We have people who want to bring the cost of those homes down by $50,000 to $60,000. That will make it affordable. We need jobs. Without jobs, no home will be affordable. The city should not be burdened with the new development. We should ask the developers for 10, 15, or 20 acres. The people who have lived here all their lives should be able to enjoy some of the benefits that are now happening in this area. He spoke to David Pritchett at one time about the possibility of using the current police department building. Something can be done for the people living in unsafe conditions. We need to consider all of the citizens of Cambridge.

Commissioner Knox said housing is something we all need. We need property for DPW as well. A few months ago, folks came to Council who were interested in developing the land on the corner of Park Lane and Leonard Lane. The parcel across from DPW would accommodate 12 or 16 homes. There was a zoning issue because they wanted to put townhouses on the land. Council debated changing the zoning. There is probably grant money available for this land for single-family houses just like there was for the School House Lane project.  He suggested trying to acquire this property with a grant, change the zoning, and then we may be able to build 30 homes. He is open-minded. We must think of not only today, but tomorrow as well. He suggested looking into the larger parcel for housing. He visualizes a city-wide maintenance facility with bulk fuel storage which will save the taxpayers money. It could possibly be the location for a substation also. Commissioner Brooks said she believes that parcel is already zoned for single-family homes. She believes the request was to change it for townhouses and to squeeze 20+ townhouses on that little lot. Commissioner Knox said there was a small pocket that needed to be changed.

Commissioner Travers concurred with Mr. Knox on that piece of property. Council has discussed it several times. They will not find a developer to come into Cambridge and build affordable houses because they cannot make any money on it. The only way to tie them into it is to give them some other houses that they can build along with the low-income houses. It will cost them at least $50 per square foot to build a home. He saw houses in Princess Anne that were put up for $85,000. The people had to work on the houses themselves for at least 100 hours.

David Pritchett said the main problem that they know exists in dealing with Leonard Lane is not only that it has wetlands; it is where it is located. It doesn't allow for the access road to go through that would serve approximately 16 homes. That is a big problem because normally to get to that many homes, you build a center road down the middle of the property and branch off. If the wetlands end up being non-mitigatable, then the developer will have to build two roads-one on each side. He would love permission to proceed forward and get it delineated. If they use it for DPW, they will use a corner, so they can do it.

Rob Collison said Council may wish to consider leaving the record open for any written comments and/or rebuttals and then consider this at the next meeting.  Commissioner Travers made a motion to leave the public hearing open until the next meeting. Commissioner Cephas seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously. Rob Collison asked people to forward their comments to City Hall.

APPOINTMENTS

Open Bid for Cedar Street Outfall Dredging-Ed Kinnamon reported that the city received two bids:

  • Wheatley Brothers (Cambridge) - $35,800
  • Mike Davidson Excavating LLC (Goldsborough) - $30,000

Commissioner Travers made a motion to refer the bids to the Department of Public Works for their review and recommendation. Commissioner Knox seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

Second Reading and Vote on Charter Resolution to Amend Section 3-21 to Eliminate the Personnel Duties of the Mayor-Rob Collison said this is Charter Resolution CR-2005-01. The proposed charter resolution would eliminate Subsection (e) of Section 3-21 of the city charter entitled "Personnel Duties" under the section of Mayor.

Richard Brown asked the Council why this subject came up. Commissioner Sydnor said it is a rhetorical question because it is dealing with personnel and Council cannot address personnel. Mr. Brown said he understands that each Council member wants to take care of a particular department. He challenged the integrity of several members of Council.

Tony Thomas said he thinks the Mayor has done a great job. He doesn't know if Council has any knowledge of how much time it takes or what the cost is. He thinks this should also be in the comprehensive plan and maybe it should wait until the next election. He thinks the commercial and housing parts of the town are moving great and moving forward. To stop it at this point would be critical.

Commissioner Cephas said some people seem to have the wrong impression of what the proposal is about. The issue is not to take all the powers from the Mayor. They are talking about hiring and firing of personnel within the city. That is it. He thinks the Mayor has done a decent job. He is developer-friendly and that is not going to stop. There are certain personnel issues that were discussed in executive session dealing with hiring and firing. He said Commissioner Brooks made a statement that she views it as possibly being a conflict. It has nothing to do with his daily functions. He has not been doing some of the firing and hiring he was supposed to be doing. That is the only issue at hand. He has fallen short in only a couple of areas.

Gage Thomas asked if Council would make the same recommendation for whoever is sitting in the chair. Commissioner Cephas said if the same incidents occurred with someone else in the chair, he thinks Council would feel the same way. It is not the individual; it is the position. It is nothing against the Mayor.

Jamal Pinder doesn't believe the Mayor is doing a wonderful job. He has brought in development but not for the low-income people.

Wendell Foxwell said he is fully aware of what the score was when he wrote a letter to the editor. He knows Council wasn't going to take away all the powers of the Mayor. He voted for a Mayor with full powers. If you don't like the Mayor and what he does and what he stands for, the time to do something is election time.  If someone wanted to relieve the Mayor of his powers, they should have put that in their agenda when they were running for election. Council should tell the taxpayers what is going on. Did he do something wrong? Did he commit a crime? He thinks the people of Cambridge really deserve an answer. It could be mentioned in a broad basis without mentioning anybody's name.

Commissioner Cephas said thinking back several months ago, Mr. Foxwell said nothing when Commissioner Knox made the same motion and asked him to resign. Now that three other Commissioners are making the same request and the same motion, he has a problem with it and other citizens have a problem with it. He doesn't understand it. Mr. Foxwell said he thinks they owe it to the citizens to tell them why they want to do it without mentioning names.  Commissioner Cephas said he thinks the citizens have a right to know. Unfortunately, he didn't make the guidelines and he can't discuss what happens in executive session. He would love to tell them.

Commissioner Knox said it was October 25, 2004 when he wrote the letter talking about being verbally abused and belittled by the Mayor. He continued that he will not allow this to continue if it means asking for the resignation of the Mayor. He didn't say anything about removing his powers. He said he would supply a copy of the letter if anyone wanted to read it.

Victoria Stanley said the city and its government is a business. It's not personal. If the city is going to be about its business, a lot of these personality issues have to be stopped. If Council feels there are certain things the Mayor should not be doing for the good of the city, she thinks the citizens should consider that as the way the city should run. People don't want a lot of mess in the community. She finds it resentful to live in a city where you can't be judged by the content of your character. That is not good business. She thinks if the personnel duties of the Mayor need to be lessened, then so be it. He is a man like everyone else. We have to be humble sometime. If you can't be humble, then you are not about the business of this city.

Commissioner Brooks said there are many reasons that because it was done behind closed doors and because it is personnel issues, the Council cannot discuss it. She can address one small issue. There could have been potential lawsuits to the city. She finds that to be a problem. She heard someone say that the Mayor is doing a good job. He does not stand on an island alone. He works with a team of six. They all make decisions every day. They make decisions together; they make decisions apart. Commissioner Knox had said that Mayor Rippons was not a people person. She asked how someone could be in personnel if they aren't a people person. Personnel is one small aspect of the city's business that can be seen as politically driven. If she was sitting in a position of Mayor, she would not want someone to tell her that because she did not vote for them and made it publicly known, that she was fired. There are many issues of hiring and firing that can present major problems to the city. From the Maryland Municipal League meetings they have learned and discussed the issues that we have in Cambridge. Taking recommendations from many cities, they have come up with looking at other sister cities our size and their policies and procedures.  The Mayor is not the head of personnel. This is not a personal attack because the Mayor does not stand alone. They all stand together. They look good together; they look bad together. They vote together. If it's 3:2, that is the consensus and that's the way it goes. This is not about Cleveland Rippons; it is about the position.

Portia Johnson-Ennels said she thinks this is going to be a questioning government. She asked Rob Collison when the Mayor received personnel powers. Rob Collison said it was in 2000 or 2001. Commissioner Atkinson made the motion and he believes it was Salisbury's example that they used. That is when the powers of the Mayor were elevated a little bit. Ms. Ennels said she believes the department heads handled their employees before that. She asked if it was a success or failure. Ed Kinnamon said when he came in 1989, Mayor Robbins was head of personnel. When it got down to serious personnel issues, he was brought into the picture and took care of it. When Mayor Wooten came in, he requested that his personnel powers be removed. They were removed. When Mayor Rippons was elected, they were put back at Commissioner Atkinson's motion. Mrs. Ennels said since it was a see-saw thing about the powers, shouldn't the extension of powers to the Mayor be given to the voting public and not to the people who sit behind the table. Rob Collison said Council approves or does not approve Charter Resolutions.  Assuming it is approved, it is then advertised in the local paper once a week for four successive weeks within a 40-day period. During that 40-day period, if at least 20 percent of the registered voters sign a petition for referendum against the Charter Resolution, it then has to go for referendum or to the ballot. That is the State process. Within 60 days there has to be a special election on that Charter Resolution.

Wendell Foxwell asked Commissioner Brooks if she had an idea in the future which way she wants this to go. He asked if she was thinking about a personnel manager or who will take over the personnel duties if this goes through. Commissioner Brooks said a personnel manager or city manager has certainly been the thought. After speaking with the department heads, the department heads feel that as in the past, they can handle their own hiring and firing. It is not politically driver. They did not get a vote to get into the position. They were hired into it so they have nothing to loose. The department heads will resume that particular function just as they have in the past. The City Council, as in other cities, would like to be a liaison to each particular department. It has nothing to do with personnel issues. It has to do with other issues. They cannot get involved with personnel issues. The hiring and firing will be done by each department head. If there is a grievance, they will handle it like anybody else would handle it.

Chuck Brooks said he doesn't see why all this hassle has to come up over a good leader that we have had for the past 5 years. Under his leadership, Cambridge has come further than it has in the past 50 years. Hiring a personnel manager would cost the city extra money. He suggested letting the voters decide.

Commissioner Sydnor made a motion to accept the Charter Amendment as read by Mr. Collison. Commissioner Brooks seconded the motion. Rob Collison said that will be Charter Resolution CR-2005-01. Commissioners Brooks, Cephas, and Sydnor voted for the motion. Commissioner Knox and Travers voted against the motion. The motion passed 3:2. Rob Collison said absent of petition for referendum, the Charter Resolution will become effective in 50 days.

Second Reading and Vote on Resolution to Establish Council Liaisons to Executive Departments-Rob Collison said this resolution was introduced at the last Council meeting. It was originally written that the hiring would be done in consultation with the liaison. It is his understanding from the comments made tonight that hiring and firing would be excluded. He asked that this be deferred until the next meeting when he can fine tune the document. It will become effective as soon as it is approved. The resolution would create a liaison position for each of the executive departments filled by Council members. They would confer with the liaison on all issues other than the hiring and firing and grievance procedures which are set forth in the city's employee manual. The department head would remain solely responsible for the evaluation, performance reviews, hiring and firing, of the employees within his or her department. The Council will be responsible for evaluating and reviewing the performance of each of the department heads on not less than an annual basis.

Chesapeake College's Request for a Dedicated ADA Parking Space-Ed Kinnamon said Mr. Boettger at the college called and requested that this request be withdrawn.

NEW BUSINESS

Request from Butz, Inc. for Water Service to Property Located on Tax Map 30, Parcel 59, Lot 8 (Oak Street)-Ed Kinnamon said this property is outside the city limits. Rob Collison said this lot is not susceptible for annexation. The area has been under contract with MUC. This is the only area that was in existence when MUC acquired Dorchester Water Company. There would be no prohibition to granting them permission to hook up provided they pay all applicable impact fees for water and sewer. Commissioner Knox made a motion to grant the request subject to payment of all applicable fees. Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Request from Columbia Triathlon Association to Use Great Marsh Park Including the Boat Ramp for the Eagleman from June 7 through 11, 2006 and

Request from Columbia Triathlon Association to Use Great Marsh Park Including the Boat Ramp for the ChesapeakeMan from September 27 through 30, 2006-David Pritchett said these dates have already been pre-scheduled by the Association. Commissioner Travers made a motion to grant the requests. Commissioner Knox seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Request from Wal-Mart to Use Storage Trailers Behind Their Store in the Month of December 2005-Commissioner Travers made a motion to grant the request. Commissioner Sydnor seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Request for a Streetlight Near 1016 High Street-Commissioner Knox made a motion to refer the request to the lighting committee. Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Discussion on Quit Claim Deed for Parcel on Greenwood Avenue-Rob Collison said his office was contacted by Homes for Cambridge, Limited Partnership who are renovating the housing development on Greenwood Avenue. When they had their survey plat completed, the property line that divides their parcel from the city's area (park and open space) behind it, there was a small gap that varies in width by no more than 5 feet at any one place. The surveying company concluded that the city's description of the open park space did not close when you look at the metes and bounds. They are proposing that they delineated the line and that the city would quit claim anything to the south east of that line. David Pritchett reviewed the plat and he has no objection with the city quit claiming any rights to that southeast area. It would allow them to proceed with the rehabilitation and renovation of that project at no expense or detriment to the city. Commissioner Cephas made a motion to approve the quit claim deed and authorize the Mayor to execute it. Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Approve PO 3658 Hertrich Fleet Service - 3 Ford Crown Victorias ($62,700) (CPD)-Commissioner Travers made a motion to approve the request. Commissioner Knox seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Approve PO 3715 - Medtronic Emergency Response - Upgrade of Cardiac Monitors - $3,290 (CEMS)-Commissioner Travers made a motion to approve the request. Commissioner Sydnor seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Approve PO 3754 - RFC - Exempt Member Benefit Payout - $65,940-Commissioner Travers made a motion to approve the request. Commissioner Cephas seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Approve Financial Statement for October 2005-Commissioner Travers made a motion to approve the request. Commissioner Cephas seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

ADDITIONAL ITEMS

Chief Malik reminded everyone that the Christmas Parade is Saturday and starts at 5:00 pm.

Commissioner Brooks asked David Pritchett for an update on street lights that we ordered. David Pritchett said he does not have a date for them to be installed but he will call her with it tomorrow.

Commissioner Brooks said in the past the Council has been invited to the Christmas Parade. She asked if they were invited this year. Ed Kinnamon said that they were.

Commissioner Brooks said starting in January, she would like one day of every month that Council can have a public session that they spoke about. The hours would be between 6:00 pm and 8:00 pm. The sessions would be held in Council Chambers and be advertised in the Daily Banner. It would be the public's agenda. They should call Ed Kinnamon to let him know what they would like to discuss. Rob Collison said in the City Code, it designates that work sessions would normally be held on the third Monday of the month. He suggested they use that date or amend the code if they wish not to have it. Commissioner Brooks said that day would work. Ed Kinnamon said he will supply Council with a memo outlining the history on it and then they can get back to him.

Commissioner Sydnor asked how he was coming along with the addition to the Department of Public Works. David Pritchett said they received a total of four estimates to increase the size of the trailer. The lowest one is still the company that they purchased the trailer from and also eliminates the problem of getting rid of the trailer. It is still non-negotiable below the price they quoted. The pre-manufactured home business is inundated with the hurricane relief effort. The offer they came up with is $277 over their one-day estimate. This can be handled within the department's budget. All the preparation work would be done ahead of time. There will be two days when it will be very difficult to operate. Some of the other estimates have been substantially higher. One was $600 more per month. He will certainly continue trying. Commissioner Sydnor said so that we can expedite this situation, he made a motion to allow David Pritchett to negotiate an amount not to exceed $300 from the original motion. Commissioner Cephas seconded the motion. David Pritchett said they will do all the plumbing and electrical in-house. The motion passed unanimously.

Rob Collison announced that Council met in closed executive session at 6:00 pm to discuss personnel issues and to obtain legal advice.

Commissioner Knox made a motion to meet in closed executive session on Tuesday, November 29, 2005 with the Dorchester County Council for the consideration of businesses entering into the city. Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Portia Johnson Ennels invited the Mayor and Council to C-Safe luncheon at the Empowerment Center.

Portia Johnson Ennels said she asked Ms. Foster to get some material for her concerning the amendment that is needed for the Charter concerning the death or sudden removal of someone from office. Ms. Foster said that she couldn't do anything until someone from the Council becomes the liaison. They need information from other municipalities that is similar to Cambridge so they can see what the other municipalities do. Rob Collison said he can obtain the information. He asked that Ms. Foster schedule a meeting in the next two to three weeks. Rob Collison said he will attend the meeting.

Jerome Stanley asked about the status of the request of Waugh Chapel United Methodist Church concerning the land on School House Lane. Mayor Rippons said the matter was forwarded to the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development who gave the city the grant for the land. Their representative wrote a letter stipulating that when the grant was written the city expressed that their purpose was ultimately to place homes on that site. That met one of their national objectives. The State said a cemetery does not meet a national objective. They said the city can offer it to Waugh Church at the same amount of the grant and then repay the State with the funds. Nobody was exactly sure of the total amount of the grant. They will invite the State representative to come to Cambridge and discuss it with Council. Commissioner Brooks said the Council will learn exactly what the national objectives are and then they can educate everyone as to how they can proceed with that piece of property. James Cornish asked the status of the grant money. Mayor Rippons said all the money was either used or returned. The amounts can be obtained from Kathy Foster in City Hall.

With no further business, Mayor Rippons adjourned this portion of the meeting at 9:30 p.m. I hereby certify that the foregoing is a true and accurate account of the Council meeting Monday, November 28, 2005, insofar as I personally am aware.

Edwin C. Kinnamon, Clerk & Treasurer