• 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

Print this page

City Council Minutes

January 24, 2000
 

January 24, 2000

Cambridge, Md.

The City Council met in regular session at 7:00 p.m. with Mayor David J. Wooten presiding.

Those Commissioners in attendance were: Commissioners Vickers, Watkins, Saunders, Swafford and Rice. Commissioner Watkins led in the Lord's Prayer.

Commissioner Watkins moved to approve the minutes of the January 10th Council meeting; seconded by Commissioner Vickers. Motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC HEARING - C.D.B.G. APPLICATION TO SEEK FUNDING FOR ELEVATOR FOR R. F. C. BUILDING AT 307 GAY STREET

Mr. Collison advised that this public hearing was with regards to the City seeking funding for elevator access to the second floor of the existing City Hall building at 307 Gay Street.

Kathy Foster, Grants Administrator, stated that this is for a Community Development Block Grant in the amount of $166,750.00 for an elevator for the City Hall/Rescue Fire Company building to help the City meet ADA requirements. Mr. Collison then confirmed with Ms. Foster that this is for the February 1st round of applications.

Ms. Foster advised that tonight's public hearing was advertised in The Daily Banner on Monday, January 10, 2000.

Mr. Collison indicated that of the total amount of $166,750., $21,750. is allowed for administration and $145,000. is the cost estimate received from Willow Construction.

Commissioner Vickers, acting as Chairman of City Properties, advised that he has worked with the contractor and George Hyde of D.P.W (along with a number of other people) "and we have one major problem with this." He feels it is a grave mistake to put this much money into a building that will probably be complete renovated in the coming years.

Commissioner Saunders indicated that the City has no choice but to make the effort to apply for the grant. There have been allegations made of a threatened law suit if the City doesn't try to meet the deadline on the handicap accessibility.

With no further comments, Commissioner Watkins moved to close the public hearing. Motion was seconded by Commissioner Rice and it carried unanimously.

PUBLIC HEARING - MAIN STREET PROGRAM APPLICATION

Mr. Collison indicated that this public hearing is regarding the proposal to submit an application to the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development to establish a Main Street Program in the City of Cambridge.

He further advised that the public hearing was advertised in The Daily Banner on Monday, January 10, 2000.

For the record, Mr. Collison submitted a letter of support from Frank and Sheri Herbert (101 Willis Street) as well as a letter of support from John B. Comeau, Executive Director of the Dorchester County Chamber of Commerce.

Mr. Anthony Thomas, 109 West End Avenue, came to the podium and read a prepared statement in support of the Main Street Program which has been successful in 1,400 communities across the nation, including Cumberland, Denton, Easton and Westminster in Maryland. "This program is not a grant, but rather a set of tools for success."

Mr. Lee Weldon, 116 Mill Street, was next to speak and stated that one of the requirements of the pre-application phase is this public hearing "and one of the things that they do require of us is a roster of the names of the people attending at the meeting..." Before circulating the roster, Commissioner Saunders asked if it separated who was for and who was against. Mr. Weldon advised that "it's strictly a roster of attendees."

Mr. Weldon then stated this program would give the opportunity to look at the City as a whole "and see what a tremendous opportunity lies ahead." Every year, the State using the national model, selects two or three cities out of a group of dozens of applications to participate in the Main Street Maryland Program which provides market and other technical support to businesses in older downtowns that are working to revitalize. Tonight they are asking Cambridge to enter into this partnership.

He then wanted to clear up a few things with the media. First, ARC as an organization recognizes that the City government needs to be an active player in the development and implementation of the Main Street Program. They welcome the opportunity to have the City set the guidelines for oversight of the project and to lead the discussions that need to take place at the grassroots so that the comprehensive vision for the business district can be developed.

Secondly, ARC supports the concept of establishing a new oversight organization whose only focus is will be to provide ongoing public input into the management of the Main Street Program. This organization should be people with representatives of the major civic organizations and by interested citizens (either by voluntary participation or by appointment). He went on to say than "ARC does not intend to be the sole administrative entity of the program."

Third, the Main Street Program for Cambridge is not set in stone at this moment. The information and suggested activities that ARC has presented are merely preliminary efforts to shine the light on some of the things that are possible. Mr. Weldon indicated "all ideas will be considered and discussed."

Fourth, it is recognized within ARC and in the business community that without vital residential neighborhoods, chances of a successful revitalization of the business district are greatly diminished.

Fifth, no single individual or group is going to direct what type of businesses will be established in downtown Cambridge. Main Street, in city after city, has provided the technical support and tools to businesses that shows the way to that success. Downtown needs a mix of businesses to serve our local needs as well as the growing tourism trade. He added that "Main Street can show the way to ;.he compatible mix."

Mr. Weldon went on to say that studies have shown that for every dollar of support, a city can reap up to thirty dollars of reinvestment. Based on the budget that is being discussed, "what that means is, a potential return of 5.4 million dollars of investment in the streets of Cambridge." He added that studies show that there are cities that have far exceeded that with far less than we have to work with. This is a three year commitment but it has been noted that it takes five years to see results.

Mr. Weldon further stated that with the Hyatt coming to Cambridge, "we need to make sure that the revenue from those visitors is going to stay in this community through the restaurants and the shopping opportunities..." Speaking for himself, "so that there is more opportunities here for us, the residents, to take advantage of and enjoy staying here. I'm tired of going to Salisbury every Saturday to go shopping." He said they would like to look to the major employers in the area to seek their support because obviously their employees and customers are going to benefit from an improved and revitalized downtown Cambridge.

Statistics of communities involved with the Main Street Program were then shared by Mr. Weldon.

Commissioner Saunders asked Mr. Weldon how this Main Street Program, as it relates to bringing in businesses, fits in with Betty Causey's job as Economic Development Coordinator for Dorchester County. Mr. Weldon said, as he understands it, she works primarily with the County wide focus on industrial recruitment. The Main Street Program would zero in on storefronts in the City to find viable businesses to occupy those spaces and start generating revenue for the building owners and tax revenue for the City. He said they would certainly work closely with Ms. Causey with any resources that she would have available, "and I can see that being a valuable relationship there."

Commissioner Saunders stated that Main Street, as described in papers submitted, dwells on historic buildings "and that's one of the main focuses of any revitalization." She asked if the City's Historic Preservation Commission has been made a part of this planning, "and have you gotten any information and any recommendations from them?" Mr. Weldon responded that they have had audience participation at a couple of meetings, "not specifically in that role but it certainly is a key part of the program and it would certainly be a vital element in the formulation of the Main Street Advisory Board."

Commissioner Saunders then asked how many active members are involved in ARC? Mr. Weldon said there are probably between half a dozen to a dozen.

Commissioner Vickers asked what he expects as far as participation from the businesses? The response from Mr. Weldon was, "I think that the businesses that recognize an opportunity are going to fall in line, and the opportunities are many..." Mr. Weldon feels the fact that they have received a letter of support from the Chamber of Commerce is indicative of the support they will get from the businesses.

It was then confirmed by Mr. Gage Thomas, in response to a question from Commissioner Saunders, that all of the businesses in the designated area were not contacted about the Main Street Program. A gentleman from the audience stated that this has been going on for two years and it has been publicized for all businesses and anyone interested could come to the meetings in the Public Library.

Commissioner Rice asked at what point would they know how many jobs will be created, number of businesses and number of renovations. Mr. Weldon responded by saying that you need to take the first step before everything starts to come into focus.

Commissioner Saunders asked Mr. Weldon if the "Program Manager" job description was drawn up by the State "or are they tailor made to fit the community?" Mr. Weldon said his understanding of the program is that it can be tailored for specific areas and for specific needs.

Commissioner Watkins wanted to know what this program would do to improve neighborhoods. Mr. Weldon advised that "we're inviting everyone to come to the table to help get this thing off the ground."

Commissioner Swafford brought to light the fact that during the planning stages of this program, the budget from two years ago has increased from around $25,000. to $60,000. tonight. He understands that these are all estimates but he wanted the public to realize that even before "we take off, this has gone from here to here.

Additionally, Commissioner Swafford stated that in the early stages, ARC said they would like to be the lead agency and now "we've talked about possibly a Main Street Cambridge corporation. How would that be formed?"

Mr. Weldon said that if "this body here takes the lead in establishing this and wants it to be a City administered program, then what we would anticipate would be a body that is appointed by the Commissioners... with a number of at-large seats that could be filled on a voluntary basis."

Commissioner Swafford then did some comparisons between the old book and the new book to show all the work that has been put into this project.

As a citizen of Cambridge, speaking for himself, Commissioner Swafford stated that a lot of things are already happening and there are many visual changes "without a program." He further added that any individual or business person can seek help through grants administrators and there are a lot of free seminars offered by the State. There is a lot of information available "if somebody has got enough initiative to go out there and seek it."

Mr. Weldon stated that "what the Main Street Program does is it bundles it up into convenient bite size form... spreads the cost out so that no one individual is socked with the whole thing and makes those resources and that information available on a broader basis ...because every business person cannot afford to have the consultant come in and help them lay out their store windows or their retail floor..."

Commissioner Saunders asked Mr. Weldon if the State says the projected area is too large and sends the plans back, who are the people who will cut out certain business areas? Mr. Weldon feels that the people who are directly affected by that decision should be the ones that make it.

Mr. Tom Rolston, 112 High Street (Cambridge House), came to the podium to share some of his experiences because "I've been through it." He gave many positive examples of a Main Street Program in Iowa and expressed how he was made knowledgeable of grant funding through the City's Grant Administrator for the Nathan Building on High Street which he is now renovating into a restaurant.

In closing, Mr. Weldon said, "we've talked about this seed and we put it up on the shelf and we've looked at it for two years. It's time to plant it and let it start to grow so that we can reap the harvest."

Mr. Collison then asked for those coming to the podium to speak in favor, to not reiterate what has already been said.

Marge Hull, 1301 Hambrooks Boulevard, came forward and expressed her excitement about what has been said so far this evening. On a down note, she expressed her concern when she found out that a local company referred some of their incoming employees to a realtor in Easton. When they stated they wanted to see something in Cambridge, the comment was "why do you want to live there!" Ms. Hull said this has to change. She added, "we have too much more than either Oxford or Easton or St. Michaels has." She repeated the words that Commissioner Watkins has made at several Council meetings, "we have got to do it together." Ms. Hull added that the Main Street Program was unanimously supported by the Board of Directors of the West End Citizens Association. She then asked for a show of hands from members of the Association who were in the audience and in support of this.

Armond Hayward, 711 Locust Street, was next to speak. He indicated "I'm kind of both ways on this issue." Also shared by Mr. Hayward was the fact that he is Chairman of the Historic Preservation Commission, Vice-Chairman of the Pine Street Committee, Chairman of the Cambridge Millennium Commission and serves on the Landlord Committee and said "I was glad that you finally made a statement that ARC was not going to be appointing the directors because that would be a very sad thing because of ARC's reputation."

Next he indicated that he doesn't feel they have been inclusive of the community... "you have not gone up and down the streets and talked to the different people." He added that if they modify their plan to be more inclusive, he would go along with it.

Pastor Ray Rodgers, 215 Choptank Avenue, came to the podium. He is the coordinator for the Lutheran Mission Society at 415 Race Street. It is not just another thrift store... it is a mission of hope. if people can have hope in themselves, they will have hope in their family, their neighborhood and their community. They are working for a better Cambridge, "but a better Cambridge spiritually."

Mr. Jorje Alverez, a Cuban American who witnessed a Main Street Program in Coconut Grove, Florida was next to speak. Jobs were created for all the people who lived in that neighborhood. Witnessing this as a young man helped him to grow and become a businessman himself.

Verna Asplen, 1102 Travers Street, came forward to say she recently shopped in Denton with her 87 year old mother who commented "a11 the stores are full." Ms. Asplen feels that if this program helped Denton it could certainly help Cambridge too.

Charles Lednum, from Lednum's Jewelers on Poplar Street, stated his father started this business 63 years ago. He has experienced a steady decline in the income of his business since the early 90's. This year, for the first time since that date, he has had an increase. He is 100% behind the Main Street Program.

Additional support for the Main Street Program was shared by Allen Nelson, 4330 Maple Dam Road, representing the Dorchester Chamber of Commerce; Catherine Jiggs, homeowner in the Algonquin area. William Jackson, 1301 Goodwill Avenue, indicated he is for the program "if there is no hidden agenda" and all businesses are included.

Portia Johnson, 700 Cornish Drive, said that she was not for or against the Main Street Program. She indicated this program has been around for approximately seventeen years, "under different names" and there has been talk this evening about all the successes, "but you haven't talked about all the communities that it failed in." She feels people need to know about the failures as well as the successes.

Free technical assistance for this type of program is available at Salisbury State, LIMES, Washington College and Chesapeake College. They have intern students, "and that's what they do as a part of their graduate work." She then said, "at times we cannot always come to the government and say will you help us... will you give us dollars... we know we have to go ourselves and go into other fields and look for these dollars."

Enez Stafford Grubb, 816 Bradley Avenue, said she is concerned that after two and one-half years a format of what is to be expected downtown has still not been established. She said she is for the Main Street Program but she feels it needs to be inclusive "and there are too many unanswered questions."

Bertha Robinson Mack said she has been in business at 630 Race Street for fifteen years (boutique and beauty salon). When William Jackson approached her about the Main Street Program last Saturday, she indicated that she had never heard about it. She checked with Mr. Hubbard at the pharmacy next door, and he also indicated that he had not heard about it. Ms. Mack said she agrees with some of the things she heard about the program but she still thinks that everyone should be involved.

William Nichols, 803 High Street, said he has no problem with Main Street but he does have a problem with exclusion. He sat in on a meeting when Sailwinds was being proposed and when someone asked a question about opening a business at Sailwinds, they were told they could open it on Race Street. He is not against Main Street but he sees the same thing happening as did with Sail winds..."they forgot to include everyone."

Wilma Meekins, owner of the Hair Top Beauty Salon at 533 Race Street, said she also has never heard about this project. She indicated that she has not, as yet, made a decision on the program although she does feel that it would help the community.

Attorney Collison then asked if there was anyone else in opposition. He saw one more hand raised and said after that person speaks they'll go into explanations.

Commissioner Saunders interjected that "I feel like we sat here for better than an hour and heard everybody who was for-you're saying one more opposition, then we're going to rebuttal and explanation... I feel like you need to give the same time if there is more opposition." Mr. Collison said he had only seen one more hand in opposition and that is why he made that comment.

Pastor Riley, 432 Race Street, said he is not really here in opposition. He came tonight to get some understanding as to what's going on. What he is hearing on the street is "there is a big separation between who thinks who should be on Race Street and who shouldn't and what should be on Race Street and what shouldn't." He said he has also been hearing that they want Cambridge to be like St. Michaels, Oxford and Easton. Cambridge has it's own history and his business is thriving and it is booming. People from Oxford, St. Michaels and Easton come into his store "so I hope you don't do anything that would offend them." Commissioner Saunders asked Pastor Riley if anyone from ARC contacted him and he said no. He said he would appreciate knowing something before a decision is made.

Robin Rogers, 215 Choptank Avenue, said she is the wife of Pastor Rogers of the Lutheran Mission Society who spoke earlier this evening. She indicated "this is not a black/white thing and I'm not saying whether I'm for or against." The Mission Society helps anyone who comes in and needs help. She has been told that they want the Mission Society off Race Street because of the element that it brings into town. These people are part of the community... this is the neighborhood in which they live. She also indicated that she was told by another business on Race Street "that they could shut down the Lutheran Mission with one phone call if they desired to do so."

Ann Strauss, 77 Algonquin Road, said she moved to Cambridge six months ago. She fell in love with Cambridge because it's a city that has so much promise and has such wonderful history. She and her husband have a business in Delaware which is an hour away and they travel back and forth every day. They have had the business for ten years and "I would love to have resource available to help me to find different funding. We have done it ourselves as many of you have." She is not for or against the program but feels everybody needs to be included.

Tom Rolston said he was first told about Main Street on August 17th when he received something for Cambridge House about "Company is Coming". He feels badly that everyone was not canvassed... "if I weren't so busy, I would have done it myself." Nothing is set in stone... we don't even have boundaries. He further stated that it is very sad that people are against this " nott because they're against the program... they're against this because they're against individuals who are sitting in this room who they said didn't do right by them."

He indicated that he heard from several people this evening about postponing a decision... "we have a February 1st deadline so postpone means until next year." Mr. Rolston then mentioned "our economic development... this is not black and white... economic development has to do with how Cambridge is coming up... and right now it is going down."

Mayor Wooten said that he agreed with Mr. Rolston except for one thing... "I don't think Cambridge is going down."

Tony Thomas asked Commissioner Saunders how long she has known about the Main Street Program. She said probably about six months after they started. Commissioner Watkins responded in like manner. Mr. Thomas then asked why they kept it secret. Commissioner Saunders said she did not keep it secret and, as a matter of fact, she discussed it with William Jackson, Portia Johnson, Monroe Smith, Mrs. Smith, "and many other African Americans." He then asked her if anyone knew about the public ARC meetings by stating "no business here was ever asked to be there ...black, white, green or pink... it was a public meeting."

Commissioner Saunders said in the beginning she attended ARC meetings at the library. She stated, "the last meeting I attended, I was attacked so bad by one of your business people as being a know nothing, big mouth City Council person until I decided that I didn't need to be whipped up like that so we asked our Grants Administrator to go. Our Grants Administrator came back and said please don't ask me to go anymore... because all they did was talk about how dumb the Council was, how we didn't know what we were doing, and on and on, so we did not come anymore."

Commissioner Watkins said at the meeting he attended he got the impression that ARC was so involved with how they felt things should work, that they didn't think they needed to talk with anybody else.

Mr. Thomas said ARC shouldn't be criticized for it..."it's five basically volunteers raising $2,000. to bring this program this far and to turn it over... to the Mayor and City Council. You guys take it from here. We've brought it this far to put it into your ballpark." Commissioner Watkins said Council certainly appreciates their bringing it this far, "but we think that when you got to a certain point, you should have included all people."

Mayor Wooten stated that if we communicate, if we'll talk amongst ourselves with the doors flung wide open, if we'll coordinate, and if we'll cooperate, we can can come together as a community and take what's best in this program and use it.

Larry Bohlen, 1406 Hambrooks Boulevard, came to the podium and stated that he is Vice Chairman of the Historic Preservation Commission for the City of Cambridge. He said he is very much in favor of this program. This City is indicative of the slow decay as described in the National Trust for Historic Preservation. It didn't happen overnight, and the restoration of Cambridge will be gradual also. To restore anything, you have got to have a plan and know what your ultimate goals are... "You have to do them in little tiny steps for the entire piece to come together." Mr. Bolhen stated that he has restored furniture, antique cars as well as his home and he hopes to play an important role in the restoration of this City "which I hold near and dear to my heart."

Commissioner Saunders asked Mr. Weldon whether the City needs to write a letter or fill out the forms that were dropped off by ARC which they had received from the Department of Housing and Community Development. Mr. Weldon said it is his understanding that what is needed to file with the State is a letter that they intend to file an application... it is not the full blown formal application. Commissioner Saunders stated that if they read their manual, "this is it ...you are not writing a letter saying the City of Cambridge endorses the concept of the Main Street Program... these three pages I have read is what the City of Cambridge will have to fill out and endorse."

Mr. Lednum, Lednum's Jewelers, spoke again and stated "everybody here has been talking about two things ...black and white. The trouble is we're talking about the wrong color... the color is green. Green is what we need downtown."

William Jackson came back to the podium and stated that if the community knew, as Mr. Thomas stated, "we've been to Annapolis... we're a shoe-in... it's going to happen." Mr. Jackson said if we knew this months ago and went from merchant to merchant downtown, "this room would be filled with enthused people but instead it is filled with people with optimism... it's filled with people with uncertainty... it's filled with people that really don't have trust for one another."

Mayor Wooten asked for one final comment so a brief break could be taken "and then close this after two hours and forty-five minutes." There is a long agenda that needs to be taken care of tonight.

Dr. Donald Rae, like Ms. Grubb, said he has been disfranchised too. He lives in East New Market and since he is retired, he is no longer practicing in Cambridge. Although he thinks it is a good program, his concern is that in the preparation and presentation of the program a tactical error was made which may make this Council vote against it. He suggested that the Council and the people who oppose it, because of the tactical error, get someone like me ("who has no ax to grind") to act as mediator in this concern and get back to the Council with a recommendation before the February deadline.

Mayor Wooten said he tried to act as mediator Friday night so that's already been done and "hopefully, maybe if necessary, we can do it again."

Commissioner Saunders made a motion to close the public hearing; seconded by Commissioner Watkins. Motion carried unanimously. (Council took a five minute break.)

REQUEST TO USE BOAT SLIP AT LONG WHARF

Captain Dickie Webster of the "Caleb Jones" and Kool Ice & Seafood requested to use the "Nathan of Dorchester's" boat slip while it is not being used at Long Wharf. The "Caleb Jones" is presently moored at the Kool's Crab Shack on Cambridge Creek and with the closing of the Cambridge Creek bridge from January 31st through March 10th to Vehicle and boat traffic, the "Caleb Jones" would be unable to do oyster dredging.

Commissioner Saunders said since this is a legal issue, she made a motion to refer this to the City attorney for guidance before a vote is made; seconded by Commissioner Watkins. Mr. Pritchett indicated that he was prepared to address this and Commissioner Rice said he feels this falls into sub-leasing like any other boat slip. Commissioner Saunders then withdrew her motion.

It was determined by Mr. Collison that Council has no problems with this as long as the legalities can be worked out. Commissioner Swafford then made a motion to move forward on this particular project if all the legalities can be worked out with the contracts; seconded by Commissioner Rice. Motion carried unanimously.

RENDER DECISION ON SPECIAL USE PERMIT FOR DAY CARE CENTER AT 1107 ROSLYN AVENUE (SHERRY STOKER)

Commissioner Rice stated that all the items have been met and the only issue that was brought up, and Mr. Collison made a point of it, was that the Special Use Permit is site specific and non-transferable. He then moved to adopt the Findings of Fact and grant the Special Use Permit; seconded by Commissioner Saunders. Motion carried unanimously.

RENDER DECISION ON SPECIAL USE PERMIT FOR OFF-PREMISES SALE OF BEER AND WINE AT 603 METEOR AVENUE (SHAHBAZ AZAM)

Commissioner Rice said this location previously had a similar license and it did not cause any problems in the neighborhood. He moved to grant the Special Use Permit for a period of five years to be reconsidered at the end of that time frame; seconded by Commissioner Watkins. Motion carried unanimously.

RENDER DECISION ON PROPOSED TEXT AMENDMENT REGARDING CHESAPEAKE BAY CRITICAL AREA PROGRAM

Mr. Collison indicated this is to amend the Critical Bay Code and the State's Code that eliminates the duplicate public hearings.

Commissioner Rice moved to make that alteration; seconded by Commissioner Saunders. Motion carried unanimously.

RENDER DECISION ON PROPOSED TEXT AMENDMENT TO ALLOW SALE AND STORAGE OF PROPANE (TIMOTHY MOXEY)

Commissioner Vickers stated this is a particular item that 'he has been opposed to all along. At the public hearing, Mr. Moxey was not present and there was no one present to speak in favor of it. Everyone who spoke, spoke against it.

He then made a motion "that we do not render a text amendment to allow the sale of propane gas." Motion was seconded by Commissioner Watkins. Mr. Collison indicated, for clarification, that the proposal would have been to amend the City Code so that it would be available in all the C-1 "Neighborhood Commercial Districts" not just Mr. Moxey's location. Motion carried unanimously.

Commissioner Rice made a point to be considered that anytime anybody requests a public hearing for a Special Use Permit or anything else, "if they do not show that the request should be summarily rejected.,, He added, "if they're not interested enough in the hearing to be here, why should we be interested enough in the hearing to consider it?... if they don't show up, somebody should be here on behalf of the applicant.

REVISED ETHICS CODE

Commissioner Saunders stated that she had started the ball rolling on this and she had two questions on page 6 of the proposed draft.

Under Enforcement procedures, Section A states "the Commission may recommend other enforcement or disciplinary action as set forth in subsection B below." She asked Mr. Collison if this is being recommended to the Mayor and Council "because it does not identify that in subsection B below either? In her opinion, that needs to be inserted.

She went on to say in subsection B, it does not say who makes the final decision. Mr. Collison said if it were a classified employee, they would have a different procedure than any elected official so the Employee Manual, Charter or Code provision would control how that would be done.

Commissioner Saunders indicated that from what she has researched, under the Code provision the Mayor and Council make the final decision based on an elected official even if there's a criminal charge found. Mr. Collison said if it's a criminal charge, that would be handled by the States Attorney. As an example, Commissioner Saunders used the case of Larry Young... "they hastily removed Larry Young from office just to go to court and be found out that after 24 years he did nothing wrong If he had done something wrong and they waited for the Court to make the decision, it would have been up to the legislators to remove him... is that the way ours is?"

Mr. Collison replied by saying, "the way the City Charter is, is that the Council has the authority for removal of office for anyone who's there for a specific period of time, and that's a Charter provision." He then added that classified employees would have to go through the grievance procedure.

Commissioner Rice felt the issue of 4/5ths vote may be a problem that needs to be addressed inasmuch if you are dealing with one of the members of the Council, unless you give the vote to the Mayor, then you could have 4/5ths. Another issue that might come up is "if I were involved and Commissioner Watkins for whatever reason had to dismiss himself because of a conflict, now there is no way to get 4/5ths." Commissioner Saunders said possibly the wording "in the event of" should be added. Mr. Collison said there would need to be a Charter revision because the Charter s what dictates.

Commissioner Saunders made a motion that Mr. Collison be given two weeks to come back with a Charter amendment and with the language relative to the vote and have it on that agenda for adoption; seconded by Commissioner Vickers. Motion carried unanimously.

PROCEDURES FOR THE CONDUCT OF MEETINGS

Commissioner Saunders said she has read this and she has a lot of problems with it. "Since the hour is late and if others may have some comments to put in, if we can put this down for the next two weeks meeting... that's my motion." Motion was seconded by Commissioner Swafford and it carried unanimously.

APPROVE CITY'S FINANCIAL STATEMENT FOR DECEMBER, 1999 (ASOP #10)

Commissioner Swafford made a motion to approve the City's financial statement for December, 1999; seconded by Commissioner Watkins. Motion carried unanimously.

REQUEST FROM CAMBRIDGE YACHT CLUB FOR "2000 ANNUAL SAIL REGATTA"

Commissioner Vickers said he received a phone call from someone involved in the Power Boat Regatta who stated that the date for their regatta conflicts with the date of the sail regatta. He added that once before they shared the same date, but it was under different circumstances. A suggestion was then made by Commissioner Vickers that the representatives for the Power Boat Regatta get together with Mr. Nabb. He then asked Mr. Pritchett to check to see if he has reserved this spot for both of these at the same time. A motion was then made by Commissioner Vickers to delay this until we get more information; seconded by Commissioner Saunders. Motion carried unanimously.

REQUEST TO CONSIDER A "GOVERNMENT" RATE TO BE ESTABLISHED FOR THE DORCHESTER COUNTY DETENTION CENTER FOR SERVICE PROVIDED BY C.E.M.S. '

Commissioner Saunders made a motion to deny the request; seconded by Commissioner Rice. Motion carried unanimously.

TEXT AMENDMENT TO SECTION 20-16(12) and 20-16(13) OF THE CITY CODE TO REDUCE THE NUMBER OF SEATS WHICH CONSTITUTE A BONAFIDE RESTAURANT FROM 100 TO 40

Commissioner Saunders said she was persuaded that a bonafide restaurant can seat 40 to 50 people, still be within 500 feet of a church, still serve at least two full meals a day, seats would not include the bar seats and not let alcohol be the major income. She then made a motion to refer this to Planning and Zoning, however, "there is a person on Planning and Zoning that this will affect his employer and his employer will be re-filing and I'm making that very clear to a member of Planning and Zoning sitting here. if you don't want us to get into another ethics problem, maybe this person needs to talk to Rob Collison before that meeting. Maybe this person should not even be in the room when this particular gentleman makes his application or maybe he should not even vote on this." Motion was seconded by Commissioner Vickers.

Commissioner Rice said "we started out with 100 because we were going along with the County and the State... and it's probably a good idea." He added that what bothers him is the fact that the neighborhoods are not involved in the decision and there is no special use permit. Mr. Collison said they are only permitted in C-2 zones. Commissioner Rice stated that even in C-2 it's a special use permit. With the code being changed, what is C-2 today may not be C-2 tomorrow.

Commissioner Saunders stated that there are two business people that want to have a small restaurant (one on Race Street downtown), and with the selling of alcoholic beverages on premises during dinner hour or cocktail hour, it will help them to draw up their business. She added that she would prefer to see 50 seats "but the attorney put in 40." Mr. Collison stated that he just submitted a draft and Council can change it if they would like. Commissioner Saunders then included in her motion to make it 50 seats instead of 40.

Commissioner Swafford added, "when we get our new zoning in, hopefully a lot of these special use permits we won't have to fight through because our zoning with these public hearings and everything else will work a lot of this out and I'm looking forward to it regardless of who sets in this seat to really help take and put this where it belongs and that's in the zoning."

Commissioner Rice stated, "and just as soon as you get there, you'll find out that you'll have special use permits... because things change... it needs to be looked at ...there are some special uses that we decide now that I don't think should even exist ...if it's made for a commercial zone, that's where you ought to be." With no further comments, motion carried unanimously.

REQUEST FROM ZION UNITED METHODIST CHURCH FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF MONIES PAID FOR SIGN PERMIT

Commissioner Saunders made a motion to do as we've done before and reimburse $75.00 to Zion Church; seconded by Commissioner Watkins. Motion carried unanimously.

DISCUSS VISION COMMITTEE'S SUGGESTIONS FOR "WELCOME TO CAMBRIDGE" SIGN

Commissioner Saunders said Council approved the formation of a Visioning Committee to look into different things that would help upgrade the City of Cambridge. Some of the members were present this evening.

She asked Council to take into consideration the drawings in their packet as well as the pictures that Kathy Foster took throughout the State of Maryland "and come back and make a decision on having this sign put up coming into Cambridge." She added that the final decision would be made by the Mayor and Council with input from Mr. Pritchett's department.

Gage Thomas came to the podium and stated that Tim Miller of McMahan oil (owner of Sailwinds Amoco on the corner of Maryland Avenue) said he would permit the City to put a sign on the corner of his property at no expense. The City would be responsible for electricity (separate meter) and maintenance and any landscaping would be subject to his approval.

Commissioner Saunders made a motion to address this three weeks from tonight if this is a project that the Mayor and Council would like to move forward with. Motion was seconded by Commissioner Swafford and it carried unanimously.

APPROVE BUDGET AMENDMENTS FOR FINANCIAL ADMINISTRATION AND D.P.W.

Commissioner Swafford made a motion to approve the Budget Amendment for the Department of Public Works; seconded by Commissioner Rice. Motion carried unanimously.

He then indicated there was another Budget Amendment from the Financial Administration Department and "1, Commissioner Daniel Swafford would like a written opinion from our City attorney as to whether I should abstain from this Budget Amendment and I would like to defer this until 1 get my written opinion." Mr. Collison stated that Commissioner Swafford could abstain and that would remove any doubt. Commissioner Swafford said, "my motion stands."

Commissioner Swafford then said, "my motion is, I want a written legal opinion as to whether I can present this to the Mayor and Council as a City Commissioner and as Finance Chairman... I need a written legal opinion."

Commissioner Saunders asked why he couldn't pass the Budget Amendment to someone else to make the motion and remove himself from making the motion "because that's holding up our Chamber of Commerce dues too because they're included." Commissioner Watkins seconded the motion and Commissioner Saunders said she thinks there should be two motions... one to pay the Chamber dues to keep our membership current and keep the other portion separate. Motion carried 3 to 1 with Commissioner Saunders opposing and Commissioner Swafford abstaining.

APPROVE BUDGETED EXPENDITURES OVER $250

Commissioner Swafford made a motion to approve all budgeted expenditures over $250. with the exception of Purchase Order No. 1376 (demolitions of properties) and Purchase Order No. 1332 (professional services relating to ethics complaint). Motion was seconded by Commissioner Saunders and it carried unanimously.

Commissioner Saunders made a motion to proceed with the demolition of the buildings (No. 1376); seconded by Commissioner Watkins. Motion carried 4 to 0 with Commissioner Swafford abstaining.

LIBERTY VILLAGE EMPOWERMENT CENTER

Commissioner Saunders stated that the City learned today that "our proposed persons to get the contract for the Empowerment Center, not being the low bidder, that we could not actually go through with that based on the low bidder's ability to lodge a complaint." After many phone calls, they got in touch with the right people at the Department of General Services and Mr. Pritchett contacted Mr. Ruark and his associates and explained the situation. Commissioner Saunders indicated that she was advised that Council needs to make a motion to recommend that the low bidder receive the bid for the Empowerment Center and we have to get it off before the close of business tomorrow... "so that is my motion." Commissioner Watkins seconded the motion and it carried unanimously.

Commissioner Saunders made a motion to officially rescind the motion that was made before and to include in the motion "as soon as we get straight with the State, that Mr. Ruark's company receives a letter to the effect of what happened." Motion was seconded by Commissioner Rice and it carried unanimously.

COMMENTS FROM CITY ATTORNEY

Mr. Collison referred to a proposed Annexation Resolution included in the packet regarding a property that had come to the Council last Fall. This past week he received the metes and bounds description that he had been waiting for, however, there is a question as to which zoning the applicants wish to have designated for that. The last time he spoke with Mr. Pritchett, he was going to talk to the applicant, Mr. Green, and his engineering company and ask them if they wanted Council to defer this formal introduction until they make a determination as to which zoning they're going to pursue.

Mr. Collison said this can be amended and be formally introduced at next week's meeting.

Commissioner Rice said that decision is the County's "if they will allow that change for a five year period. At the end of the five year period then the option is ours anyway.,,

Mr. Collison said if the applicant wishes to pursue the R-4 zoning, then we need to have the express approval of the County Commissioners for that change.

Phyllis James commented that the property directly adjacent to it is zoned R-4. Commissioner Rice said that this has nothing to do with anything. The situation is that anytime you annex out of the County, the County zoning is supposed to be transferred to that property once it is in the City. That could be waived by the County should the County Commissioners decide that they're not going to enforce the maintenance of that zoning designation, but they are the ones who actually have to do that.

Mr. Collison said the procedure would be to formally introduce the Resolution for annexation next week, advertise for four weeks, hold a public hearing and following the public hearing Council would either adopt or reject the Ordinance. if adopted, it is effective 45 days after the adoption date and during that period there could also be a petition for a referendum.

Commissioner Saunders asked if the County is involved, how does this play into it? Mr. Collison stated if it goes in R-1 then the County is just notified of the public hearing and they have the opportunity to be heard. They could also, by a majority vote of the Commissioners, petition for a referendum. If it's R-4, you have to get their express approval in addition to giving them notice of the public hearing. Commissioner Rice added that State Planning could also override all that.

COMMENTS FROM THIRD WARD

Commissioner Saunders said there was a memo in Council's books from Dave Pritchett regarding a request for architectural proposals for the Public Safety Building. She asked that this be put back in Council's books for next week.

Commissioner Saunders then read a memorandum from the Board of Police Commissioner regarding a recommended change in City Ordinance dealing with garbage on city streets and sidewalks. The board feels this should be the responsibility of the Housing Department rather than the Police Department.

She then made a motion to have the City attorney draw up the proper documentation and that Council act on it two weeks from tonight. Motion was seconded by Commissioner Watkins and it carried unanimously.

There were also three personnel issues "that I would like to, in advance, ask for a 6:30 p.m. Executive Session next Monday to discuss three personnel issues that deal with specific employees." Motion was seconded by Commissioner Watkins and it carried unanimously.

Commissioner Saunders then thanked the Mayor and Council for the work they will be doing about the Vision Committee. Once they get Council's input and approval or disapproval on the sign, they can go on to another project that they will then bring to Council.

COMMENTS FROM FOURTH WARD

Commissioner Swafford addressed Mr. Collison and said "just because of things that have happened in the past, and sometimes I just don't know what to do, are there any forms that we need to, as a Mayor and Council, f-11 out for the year beginning 2000 and if there are, could you please research them because I don't want to get caught with my pants down again."

COMMENTS FROM DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC WORKS

Mr. Pritchett requested Council's approval for a building permit number 2975 for Regina, USA. They are looking to do an addition in the amount of $780,000. at 824 Chesapeake Drive. It is a 30,000 square foot addition to the existing manufacturing building and the permit fee has been collected in the amount of $6, 395.

Commissioner Saunders made a motion to approve the building permit; seconded by Commissioner Watkins. Motion carried unanimously.

Mr. Pritchett then brought to Council's attention, that in four working days, they have had one trash truck drop a transmission and another had a wheel spin that took out the whole axle. They have the money for repairs but no time to go through the normal chain of paperwork.

Commissioner Swafford made a motion to do the emergency repairs; seconded by Commissioner Watkins. Motion carried unanimously.

Mr. Pritchett announced that the creek bridge will be closed starting January 31st at 5:00 a.m. until March 10th at 5:00 P.M.

COMMENTS FROM GRANTS ADMINISTRATOR

Ms. Foster advised that she dropped off bond bill forms in Annapolis today to Senator Colburn and the delegates regarding the pumping station and the treatment plant.

COMMENTS FROM THE AUDIENCE

Gage Thomas spoke regarding the Main Street Program. All they were asking for tonight was a letter of intent. What Steve DelSordo had given to Council was the final Resolution that goes with the final application which is not due until March 15th. Between now and March 15th issues discussed tonight need to be resolved.

Commissioner Saunders said that between now and March 15th "you're not going to get the concerns resolved. They've been around a whole lot of years and a lot of the concerns would not have surfaced if you guys had harnessed some of the public comments..."

Commissioner Saunders said if this was deferred until the next round of funding wouldn't Cambridge still grow? Mr. Thomas said it would not die, "we're just trying to get things on the fast track by getting everybody involved."

MORE COMMENTS...

Lee Weldon came forward to publicly thank the Mayor and Commissioners on behalf of his employer Glenn Ruark for Council's original decision. He spoke with Delegate Cane and raised the issue that Council spoke about in their original motion about keeping the money in town with regards to the bid proposals for the Liberty Village Empowerment Center. Under the State purchasing guidelines, Mr. Kane advised him that their hands are tied. He asked the Mayor and Commissioners for any input they might have when there is a local project involving a significant amount of State investment, that there be consideration given to the local businesses that could potentially be involved.

With no further business, Commissioner Saunders made a motion to adjourn at 10:45 p.m.; seconded by Commissioner Watkins. Motion carried unanimously.

I hereby certify that the foregoing is a true and accurate account of the Council meeting of Monday, January 24, 2000 insofar as I personally am aware.

Heidi R. Adams

Administrative Assistant