• 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

December 13, 2004

 

The City Council met in regular session on Monday, December 13, 2004 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, Watkins, Brooks, and Travers.

Ed Kinnamon led in the Lord's Prayer.  Commissioner Travers led in the Pledge of Allegiance.  Commissioner Watkins made a motion to approve the minutes of the November 22, 2004 Council meeting as distributed.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion.  The motion was passed unanimously.   

COMMITTEE REPORTS

Traffic & Safety Committee-Commissioner Brooks will give the report at the next meeting.

APPOINTMENTS

Vernon Spear to Discuss Water Service to Magnolia Trail-Mr. Spear said he bought a development at Magnolia Trail off Sandy Hill Road.   It was started in 1958.  A moratorium came along and stopped the building.  Six houses have been built and he would like to develop the remaining 14 lots and he needs water service. He has written permission from the Sanitary District to hook up to the sewer.  The five-acre development off Sandy Hill Road has seven acres of wooded wetlands behind it.  In order for him to be annexed into the City, they would have to bring the wetlands in also.  He would like City water as a grandfather-type option.  He asked that Public Works study the feasibility of getting water without annexation.  Rob Collison suggested referring the request to the Planning and Zoning Commission.  Commissioner Travers made a motion to refer the request to Planning and Zoning and the Department of Public Works for their consideration and recommendation.  Commissioner Watkins seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously.

Dave Singelstad to Discuss Issues Concerning PWCD and Moratorium-Mr. Singelstad discussed the concerns of a group of residents who call themselves "Cambridge Citizens for Planned Growth".  One of their concerns is development in the PWCD.  The condo nearing completion at the foot of Gay Street is giving a negative impression.  A much larger building, proposed for the Point Property, is being reviewed by Planning and Zoning.  The whole Creek may become privatized with a concrete curtain.  If this is done without mixed-use, retail, restaurants, and access for boaters and watermen, it will diminish the value and discourage the value of development beyond the waterfront itself.   They are concerned that the development in the town could be hampered, in part, by continuing what appears to be the mode of building.  They are asking for a moratorium to give them more time to carefully look at what they want for the benefit of the entire town.  They could also take this opportunity to make additions or changes in the City Code and Zoning Code which would help guide the Zoning Commission and better inform developers what is expected of them in the way of conditions or contributions to the City.  Attorney Tom Alspach pointed out last week that the City Code and the Zoning Code are in conflict.  There are contradictory provisions.  We are going into the third year without a revision to the Comprehensive Plan in Cambridge. Six months would give the City a chance to look at all the changes that have taken place since it was revised in 1996.  It is a State law mandate to revise the Code.  The do not have an objection to condo projects.  They are concerned about the size, arrangement, density, and the lack of mixed-use.  Their concern about a moratorium is not made with particular concern to stop any particular project.  It is a concern they have for the Point because they see that this is what lies ahead of them.  They believe that in good faith, Beazer and other corporations can come up with a better plan.  The development they are concerned about is going to shut-off access to the watermen.  After the construction is done, the net job loss may be a real problem.  They are asking that if there is a moratorium, it be done to give adequate time to be heard by any affected party is made available. 

Rob Collison said it is within the discretion of the Council to apply a moratorium throughout the PWCD in such a way that it would be a moratorium on any site plan review by the Planning Commission.  If they have not received final site plan approval, received a valid building permit and begun construction, you could be covered within the moratorium.  It is his recommendation that if Council is inclined to proceed to include every project that has not received final approval and building permits, that there would be an additional public hearing before Council. Initially, there were some projects that got in prior to the commencement of the moratorium that ran from May 1 through October 31.  When the renewal of the moratorium began, there was an understanding that it would be a continuation of the same.  There were no final approvals given last Tuesday evening.  The next Planning and Zoning Commission meeting will be January 18th.  They will deal with the inconsistencies within the City Code at that meeting.  If Council is inclined to include all projects, at the December 28th Council meeting, they will have the specific language in a proposed ordinance for the moratorium.  They will also be scheduling a special meeting of Planning and Zoning for comments.   The vote would then be taken at the first meeting in January.  There would then be public hearings on the purpose of the moratorium which includes the design guidelines, types of materials permitted, etc.  The language of the original moratorium includes specific use designations which means things that are now classified as residential or commercial. 

Commissioner Cephas said he was at the Planning and Zoning meeting on Tuesday and at the public hearing on Monday.  A question came up about Beazer meeting the guidelines and timetable.  It is his understanding that they came in 15 minutes before the deadline.   Rob Collison said their application was submitted between 4:00 pm and 4:15 pm on April 30th.   The moratorium became effective on May 1st.   Commissioner Cephas said the concerns seem to be about size, architectural design, height, and the number of buildings.  He expressed his concerns to Sandy McAllister because the project is in his Ward and he has spoken to a lot of his constituents.  He can't say there is an agreement until he sees it in writing.  They have verbally agreed to reduce the number of units, the architectural design as well as the height.   He is concerned that they met the deadline by only 15 minutes.  He is concerned that people are saying they will file a lawsuit against the City.  If Beazer is willing to talk for at least another week or day, he is saying to give them that opportunity.  If they don't come up with a plan to reduce the height, the number of units to be scaled down, and the architectural design he doesn't have a major problem with the project.    

Sandy McAllister, representing Beazer Homes, said he spoke to Commissioner Cephas over the weekend.  Last Tuesday they requested the Planning and Zoning Commission defer a vote in light of them being made aware of some of the concerns that were reiterated tonight.  Because of the transition of the election, and the re-appointments to the Planning Commission and because of the new interests of quite of number of local citizens, there is some sort of sense that the evaluation of this process began 30 days ago.  In fact, in August and October, they received unanimous approval from the Planning and Zoning Commission.  They have every expectation of being able to address the mass and density issues.  They were at final development stage and that requires final drawings.  They are going to address the residents' concerns and then go back to the Planning Commission to address their concerns.  Sandy McAllister said he would meet with the group of residents to discuss their concerns.  He asked Commissioner Cephas to attend also.  Commissioner Knox and Jane Devlin, West End Citizens, asked to be involved also. 

Debbie Meyer said she and her husband Roland moved here last year from the District.  She said they have never met people as nice and caring as those who work and live in Cambridge.  She said these wonderful people deserve the best. They got almost the worst with the design and placement of the building on Gay Street.  They must fight against any grinch who wants to steal their dignity and the beauty of this City.

Jo Chapman, Chairman for the Cambridge Citizens for Planned Growth, said she appreciates Commissioner Cephas going to the effort to talk to Sandy McAllister on the citizens' behalf.  She said she wishes Beazer had made that effort toward more citizens before then.  Mr. McAllister referred to many meetings with citizens in the past which meant he met with Jane Devlin repeatedly.  Each time she said the project is too big.  It does not fit that space.  They did nothing.  She doesn't feel they took the citizens' interest at heart all along the way.  The moratorium was set originally so we can review Planning and Zoning guidelines along Cambridge Creek under the PWCD.  They could review them, discuss them in public, and pass them.  We haven't finished that job.  Extending the moratorium is designed to finish that job and have the public comment on how we best use Cambridge Creek.  There are incentives for mixed-use development but not requirements and there is no incentive for a developer to do anything but a flat-faced condo to maximize profit.  The only way to help them with their incentives is in the zoning code.  She feels Mr. McAllister and Beazer have acted in bad faith three times.  The first was when they submitted an application 15 minutes before a deadline that they knew was designed to review the use of Cambridge Creek property but they submitted it anyway.  The second was submitting a design that was taken off of the Deep Harbour Landing project.  They did not look at the site and decide what Cambridge needs and wants there.  The third is view corridors.  They were asked to address it by Planning and Zoning and said they cannot do it.  It is required. She doesn't trust them and she thinks we need the force of law that we might accomplish through a moratorium and changing zoning codes.  She thinks they can wait six months for us to decide what is best for the City.   

Douglas Worrell, an Attorney for Cambridge Citizens for Planned Growth, said the moratorium gives us an opportunity to stop and think.  Beazer will not go broke if their project does not move forward for another three or four months.  The moratorium is to give us the totality of this community.  It will give us an opportunity to come up with new thoughts on what should be on the Harbor.  An appointed community group came up with certain recommendations.  The recommendations should be considered.  In fairness to Beazer, he thinks they should participate in the decision on what would constitute a good development in the Harbor.  The process should proceed in front of the Planning Commission with an ultimate decision by the City Council as to whether there should be any amendments to the Zoning Code including such things as mass, size, and uses.  Beazer would then understand what the rules are.  They are requesting that the Council move forward with adopting the sequence to adopt a moratorium.  The Supreme Court has stated that a moratorium is entirely appropriate.  Changing the zoning is entirely appropriate.  If someone is vested, the change is zoning will not affect their property.  If they are not vested, they do not have a constitutional right to pre-existing zoning.  Their request is that a moratorium be adopted with the entirety of the properties on the Creek included.  Those that are vested have their rights stated.  Those that are not vested will then understand the rules and this community will end up with a development which we will be proud of. 

Barbara Bows has lived in Cambridge for over a year.  For the past 10 years she has been publishing a guide to Florida so she has learned a little about how destinations are perceived and marketed.  The waterfront is a huge asset for all of Cambridge residents. 

Roland Meyer asked that the moratorium include the property on the Point because of the increasing traffic and congestion that the City is experiencing through growth.  In the medium future, serious consideration may have to be given to building a second bridge over the Creek.  The point, in his opinion, would be one location for that bridge.

Jane Devlin said approximately two years ago there was a discussion on a moratorium on the Creek which the West End Citizens had fully supported.  There were a number of oppositions and a number of projects coming through and the moratorium was not approved by the City Council.  The moratorium was enacted this past spring.  She is still concerned about to what point this will bring us.  She asked if we are going to sit here and let another mistake be built.  Now is the time to enact a moratorium for those projects that are either not purchased, no land transferred, or not vested with a permit.  She feels one third of the project is done.  The review committee has done their work and submitted their plans.  It still needs to go through the Planning and Zoning Commission.  This can be done in the next six months.  When we get to the end result, it will be a win-win for Beazer because they will hopefully listen to the citizens who are here and do not only the best for Beazer, but the best for the community.  Their association (400+ members) fully supports a moratorium. 

Tom Johnson said he has been attending Council meetings for the last year and a half.  It appears that if you have a lawyer, the money, and the professional people behind you, you can do about anything you want in this town.  Sometimes he wonders about the motivations of the elected and appointed officials.  He understands the Beazer building is going to be 85-ft but the building code is 75‑ft.  It will only be a little cupola which is not even 5-ft tall.    David Pritchett said that is totally incorrect.  The building does fully, by 1½ ft, fall under the allowed height.  There is a formula for calculating the ridge height of a roof.  The cupola shall not be included in height calculations. 

Commissioner Cephas said he took it upon himself to contact the developer and had lots of discussions.  They agreed to do a number of things.  He did not see anything in writing and that bothers him.  He is not opposed to a moratorium.  He thinks they are on the right track to doing something about the concerns of the newly-formed committee as well as other citizens of Cambridge.  He will meet with the citizens and developer as mentioned earlier.  They have the ability to do something.

Gloria Warner asked why they can't still talk during a moratorium because that is only one piece.  There are other things that could be going on that might be very destructive to the Creek.   Commissioner Cephas asked if they would continue to talk if there is a moratorium.  Rob Collison said if Council acts tonight to proceed with the process, there would be a public hearing before the Planning and Zoning Commission which would be December 29th at the earliest.  The meeting could take place within the next two weeks.  They would come back with a recommendation to the Council for a formal vote the week after that or sometime thereafter.  At a minimum there would be three weeks to have the meeting.  If during those three weeks there is a consensus, they could remove it from the table or amend it and say these are continued to be exempted because there has been a resolution to the matter. 

Commissioner Watkins made a motion to refer the consideration of a moratorium on any site plan review to Planning and Zoning for a public hearing and their recommendation of that point.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously.

Natalie Chabot, Heart of Chesapeake Country Heritage Area, to Discuss Dorchester First!-Natalie Chabot said Dorchester First! is a small business development program.  Rich Loeffler said he is currently working with the Small Business Development Center.  He said Dorchester First! is working with the towns and the county to improve the business climate with Dorchester County.  The entire formation of this was based on trying to develop businesses such as service, retail, tourism, and restaurants.  They started as a volunteer group coming together under the Dorchester County Heritage Area.  Through the Federal government, they have raised over $75,000 that is going toward the program.  With the money, they are setting up a revolving loan fund that would supply businesses with gap financing.  The funds are for people who show very good potential, have good business plans, and have been reviewed by a bank.  A website is available for people to obtain information on the City planning and zoning, County zoning ordinances, information from the Board of Health, resource help, and other information to help them starting their business.  Part of their goal has been not only to offer the service, it is also to make sure that when someone comes to them, they have given them the proper information.  They have had 35 serious inquires so far since May.  Three actual businesses have been started.  They are asking the Council to help financially support them a little bit this year so they can get additional brochures and rack cards that would give a little more information about the revolving loan program.  They are also asking for help during the next fiscal near.  At this point, they would like $5,000 that would match what the county has given them to support this program and keep it going.

Mayor Rippons said before Council decides on this issue, he would like to see the detailed financial analysis. Sixty-two percent of the total financing for the Preservation America event came from the City of Cambridge.  Natalie Chabot said this program is focusing on developing small businesses in Dorchester County.  The County Council puts $15,000 into the Heritage Area every year.  In addition, they are putting $5,000 specifically into this program.   USDA has been a funder of the program so far and they are very excited about what Dorchester County has done. 

Commissioner Cephas said he is the liaison for the City on the Heart of Chesapeake Heritage Area.  He attended the meeting when they addressed the county.  The county willfully made a contribution of $5,000.  They suggested the group go to the City and if the City is not willing to give them any funds, they should come back to the county again.  He is totally in favor of marketing our City and has no objection to giving something. 

Portia Johnson-Ennels said she heard what the county said they would do.  She suggested that they ask the Board of Education and the two colleges to take part in this program also.  It would teach the children about marketing.  Natalie Chabot said it was a good idea.

Commissioner Watkins made a motion to give them a monetary contribution predicated on the feasibility and to show an interest in what is being done irregardless of what the county is doing.  He would like to see a statement to give Council an idea on what they are doing.  Commissioner Cephas seconded the motion.  The motion was passed unanimously.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

Appoint Members to the Housing Board of Review-Mayor Rippons read the list of recommendations consisting of Donald Sydnor, Olwyn L. Maxey, David Cannon, James Slacum, John Matthews III, Octavene Saunders, and William Jackson.  Commissioner Cephas made a motion to accept the names.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously.

Request from Chesapeake Country Heritage Area Management Board for Representation from Cambridge Relative to the County's Comprehensive Plan Update-Natalie Chabot said the County is updating their comprehensive plan, at least in part.  They felt it was very important for each of the communities to get involved in that planning process. 

Council to Consider Adopting Uniform Rate for Sanitary District Users-Mayor Rippons said they met with the Sanitary District Commissioners.  The City Council requested additional time to review this item.

First Reading for Charter Resolution to Amend Duties and Power of Mayor-Rob Collison said he revised the Charter Resolution following the changes outlined during the last meeting.  Commissioner Cephas said there are some items in the Charter Resolution that he is concerned about that have not been removed.  He will contact Rob Collison to address them before the next meeting.

Second Reading and Vote on Ordinance to Eliminate Chapter 20 of the City Code-The zoning code was adopted in May 2003.  It did not specifically say it pre-empted the existing code.  This deletes the old code and references the new zoning code which is codified in a separate volume.   Commissioner Cephas made a motion to eliminate Chapter 20 of the City Code.  Commissioner Brooks seconded the motion.  The motion passed 4:1 with Commissioner Travers opposed.

First Reading of Ordinance to Add Certain Provisions Which Would Clarify the Process and Procedures for the Establishment of a Planned Water Resort District-A public hearing was held last Monday concerning this issue.  The PWRD district has a total of three phases (preliminary, design, final).  This clarifies the requirements for each phase.  It developed a check-list or chart as to what is to be submitted at each phase.

First Reading of Ordinance to Create a Health Care Zoning District That Would be Applied to the Hospital and Surrounding Areas of the Hospital-A public hearing was held last Monday concerning this issue.  A public hearing was held last Monday concerning this issue.  Our current zoning code does not have a health care zoning district.  This ordinance would create the district.    

Re-Zone a Portion of the Property Binding Upon the Westerly Side of Dorchester Avenue, the Northerly Side of Byrn Street and the Easterly Side of Franklin Street to "Health Care Zoning District"- A public hearing was held last Monday concerning this issue.  If the health care zoning district is approved and is applied to the proposed area, there would be a portion of the hospital's property that would remain in the PWCD. 

NEW BUSINESS

Request from Cambridge Police Department for Noise Ordinance Variance for a Hay Ride with Christmas Carols on December 22, 2004 from 6:00 pm until 8:30 pm thru the City of Cambridge-Commissioner Cephas made a motion to approve the request.  Commissioner Brooks seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously.

Request to Receive Council's Direction on Traffic Study-Rob Collison said he will submit further information to Council for the next meeting. David Pritchett said they have to move forward with updating the comprehensive study.  This is typically part of the comprehensive study unless voluntarily deleted.  They feel they can make the specifications for the comprehensive study to be more inclusive as they want to make it.  They have it budgeted this year in the amount of $150,000 and would like to combine the traffic study with the comprehensive study.

Recommendation to Award Contract for Purchase of New Dump Truck-David Pritchett said they received two bids within their budgeted amount of $70,000.  They recommend awarding the bid to Criswell Chevrolet Fleet Sales in the amount $59,315.  Commissioner Travers made a motion to approve the recommendation of DPW.  Commissioner Watkins seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously.

Public Works' Request to Close Office for 2 Hours on Friday, December 17 for Employees' Christmas Party-Commissioner Travers made a motion to approve the request.  Commissioner Watkins seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Recommendation to Purchase Engineering Talloid Laser Printer-David Pritchett said this is an item that will cost over $2500.  Nobody sells this project locally.  They have researched 12 prices through the internet.  Rob Collison said he feels they should develop a revision to the ASOP for instances when you cannot find the product locally. 

Water Street Light Installation--David Pritchett said they have been working on this project for over two years.  They were given price estimates, not based on any evaluation by the utilities, but what they said it will fall within.  The only one who has stayed fairly close is Conectiv.  The others have increased up to 800 percent due to increased requirements that they said they did not know existed at the site.  He is questioning that the location is correct on that side of the road.  In his opinion, the lights will be completely obscured by the trees which they have to pay $40,000 to core bore under the street. Their latest estimate for doing the Water Street project is $224,000. They had originally estimated to be in the vicinity of $35,000 just to put them in and another $30,000 to get everything up and going.   The cost does not include buying the seven lights.  It is cost prohibitive with the funding we currently have. Mayor Rippons asked David Pritchett to provide additional data to Council for the next meeting.  

Discuss Citizen's Request to Increase West End Lot Area-David Pritchett said a couple of property owners in the West End area asked to subdivide their large lots to build another home.  Citizens have requested increasing the minimum lot size to 10,000 sq.ft. instead of 6,500 sq.ft.  This would negate the possibility for the three property owners who wish to subdivide at this time.  The opinion of the staff of Planning and Zoning is that it is being approached inappropriately in that you are talking about the actual zoning.  Here we are centering it in on the West End section.  This would make at least 80 percent of the lots in the West End non-conforming.  As homes burn down or get too old, it will change the character of the neighborhood.  The homes there will be illegal because their lots are not this big.  Anne Roane said it is the wrong approach to the problem.  David Pritchett said the only solution they can think of is to either change the lot size dimension of the zoning or some kind of text amendment.  They don't see a need to address this.  Planning and Zoning has looked at this thoroughly.  They feel that if a lot has the amount of land, can meet the street frontage and can be a self-sustaining lot, then the property owner has a right to request it be subdivided as a separate lot.  Rob Collison said the Planning and Zoning Commissioner has various concerns about this issue and he thinks it will be addressed at the January 18th meeting.      

Approve PO 441 - Criswell Chevrolet - 2005 Chevrolet Trail Blazer for DPW ($21,466)-Commissioner Watkins made a motion to approve the purchase order.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously.

Approve PO 3399 - Decatur Electronics - 3 Gemini Plus In-Car Video Cameras for CPD ($10,785) -- Drug Forfeiture Fund-Commissioner Knox made a motion to approve the purchase order.  Commissioner Cephas seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously.

ADDITIONAL ITEMS

Rob Collison announced that Council met in closed executive session at 6:00 pm to consider the relocation of businesses to the City of Cambridge.

Commissioner Knox gave the Council information he compiled regarding the PWCD.  The guidelines call for multiple-uses.  Developers have been proposing, and the City has been approving purely residential projects without regard to the ordinance. The Point Project is about to receive final approval.  While there are several problems beside the scope of the project, it is a purely residential development and not in conformance with the multiple-use provision.   There is also a discrepancy between City codes on density in the PWCD.  Now is the time to review the codes so the developers are on the same page as the City.  On Page 3‑12 Section 405, Adequate Public Facilities, requires the Planning Commissioner to review each proposed subdivision to determine if it is served by property community access roads.  They may postpone or not approved any subdivision until it determines such needs are there.  A Public Works Agreement and associated documents are required for final approval.  He requested a rough draft of one of those documents for his review. 

Commissioner Knox made a motion to have a City-wide comprehensive traffic study take place during the moratorium of the Creek.  Commissioner Knox made a motion to begin updating the City's comprehensive plan.  Mayor Rippons said plans for the comprehensive plan are already in the process.  The City has contacted the County as they move forward with their comprehensive plan to make it equitable and to see if we can do something together (no votes were taken).

Commissioner Knox made a motion to require 1½ parking spaces for all multi-units developments within Cambridge.  Rob Collision said this would require a text amendment so it should be referred to Planning and Zoning.  Commissioner Knox made a motion to refer this item to Planning and Zoning.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously.

Commissioner Knox said with the developments taking place in Cambridge, he would like all residential developments having 75 units or more to have berms  (10‑ft high minimum with 120-ft minimum width). This would promote safety, reduce traffic noise, and create additional wildlife habitat and would also create a natural buffer for adjacent property owners and add in stormwater management.  He made a motion to refer this to Planning and Zoning.  Commissioner Cephas seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously.

Commissioner Knox made a motion to form an architectural review committee for all commercial and multi-residential buildings.  The committee would be made up of a seven-member board--one from each ward, one from the county, and one appointed by the Mayor.  The board member would serve a three-year staggered term at the pleasure of the Council and be appointed by the Council.  This committee would review all commercial and multi-residential development designs.  Their responsibility would be to review the design and architectural compatibility to the surrounding affected area.  Upon approval by the committee, it would then move on to Planning and Zoning.  The Historical Preservation District would be excluded.  Commissioner Cephas said he assumes these people will have to be very knowledgeable about architectural drawings.  Commissioner Cephas seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously.

Commissioner Knox made a motion to review established guidelines of the fire department's procedure for inspecting development sites concerning fire equipment accessibility.  Mayor Rippons suggested contacting RFC to see if they have any formal documentation rather than putting it in the form of a motion (no vote was taken).

Commissioner Cephas said three meetings ago he presented a letter from The Friends of the Stanley Institute asking for a donation.  The request was approved by Council but no amount was determined.  He made a motion to donate no less than $100 per month for one year (total $1200).  Commissioner Brooks seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously. Commissioner Cephas asked that the check be prepared the next day so he could hand deliver it.

Commissioner Brooks said Chief Malik gave a presentation at their last meeting that showed a comparison of the Easton Police Department.  He also talked about the State Police and Caroline County.  Within that presentation, he submitted two plans.  Commissioner Brooks made a motion to accept Plan B approving a pay raise for the Cambridge Police Department at 100 percent of the requested amount with 50 percent implemented on January 15, 2005 and the following 50 percent to be implemented on May 15, 2005.  Commissioner Cephas seconded the motion. Commissioner Cephas said he took the opportunity to ride with the City Police with Lt. Bromwell.  He had a tour of the complete police department and it is a little crowded in there.  We really need to move forward on the other project. He was really impressed with the job the officers do.  He commended them.  He was totally shocked with the presentation that Chief Malik gave.  There is a wide spread of wages between Cambridge and Easton.  To look at the workload, the amount of arrests, etc. the spread was so far, it was surprising.  He is 100 percent in favor of an increase.   Commissioner Watkins said we have an outstanding Police Department.  He wants to do what he can to find some kind of raise for them because we will be losing them if we don't.  He congratulated them on the manner in which they conduct themselves.   Commissioner Knox said he rode with the Police Department from 10:00 pm until 2:30 am.  It was non-stop.  He appreciates and admires all of them. They are above approach in their professionalism.  Peg Wolff said the Police Department is fantastic.  Anytime she has had a problem, they have been there within a very few minutes.  They are always protecting the downtown shoppers.  Guinevere Banks cannot say enough about the officers. They are great.  If anyone deserves a raise, it is the police officers and the teachers.  She feels they deserve a raise.  Portia Johnson-Ennels said she has been working on and off with the Cambridge Police Department for many years.  She gives her praise to them and she is glad that finally they are going to be getting the pay they deserve. Tony Thomas said he feels safe downtown and thanked the police officers.  The motion passed unanimously.

Chief Malik thanked everyone for their kind comments and he thanked the Mayor and Commissioners for their support, not only in this vote, but over the years. 

Chief Malik said a Law Enforcement Terrorism Prevention Grant for $118,000+ was given to the County to distribute to the law enforcement agencies within the county to use for planning against terrorism attack by equipment.  He has been meeting with representatives from the County and they decided to divide the grant with 62 percent for the county and 38 for the Cambridge Police Department which he personally thinks is very inequitable for a number of reasons including the fact that most of the major infrastructure are in the City (bridge, hospital, court houses, Hyatt).  He is still in discussions with Steve Williams who was not aware of how this was divided at the time.  If it is not equitably divided, Chief Malik would like to have a meeting with the County Council and the City Council to get what he believes is our equitable distribution.

Tony Thomas requested a noise variance from December 14 to December 24 (3:00 pm until 10:00 pm) to play Christmas music on Race Street.  Commissioner Travers made a motion to approve the request.  Commissioner Cephas seconded the motion.  The motion passed unanimously.  

With no further business, Mayor Rippons adjourned this portion of the meeting at 9:10 p.m.  I hereby certify that the foregoing is a true and accurate account of the Council meeting Monday, December 13, 2004, insofar as I personally am aware.

Edwin C. Kinnamon, Clerk & Treasurer