• City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland

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City Council Minutes

March 6, 2000
 

March 6, 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.

Mr. Collison advised that Council met in closed executive session prior to tonight's public meeting for the purpose to obtain legal advice and also to discuss a personnel matter.

Commissioner Watkins moved to approve the minutes of the February 14th Council meeting; seconded by Commissioner Saunders. Motion carried unanimously.

TRAFFIC & SAFETY COMMITTEE REPORT

Tree in front of pool hall / Poplar Street: A request was received to remove the tree in front of the pool hall due to vehicles striking it. The Committee confirmed the complaints and it was agreed that no corrective measure exists and recommended removal of the tree with a new more appropriate tree to be planted as a replacement. Commissioner Rice moved to accept the Committee's recommendation; seconded by Commissioner Saunders. Motion carried unanimously.

Eliminate all parking / West Side of Poplar Street: Commissioner Rice advised that in the evenings and on Sundays, parking is allowed on both sides of Poplar Street. This was looked at from a safety point of view and the Committee recommended no parking on the west side of Poplar Street at any time. Commissioner Rice motioned to accept their recommendation; seconded by Commissioner Saunders. Motion carried unanimously.

Visibility problem / Academy Street side of Market Square: The Committee determined that there should be no parking on Academy Street next to Market Square from the curb cut back to the Police Department's property. Commissioner Rice motioned to accept the Committee's recommendation; seconded by Commissioner Saunders. Motion carried unanimously.

Commissioner Rice added, for information purposes, that the gentleman that requested a private handicapped parking spot has been notified as to the criteria that needs to be met and measures have been taken to assist the gentleman to move in that direction.

Commissioner Saunders wanted to make sure that the public is properly notified about the elimination of parking on the west side of Poplar Street. Commissioner Rice advised that there would be a public notice and it will be signed properly.

Mayor Wooten then asked that the Traffic and Safety Committee look into a request from Claude Gootee for a "dead end" sign for Radiance Drive.

PUBLIC HEARING - AMENDMENT TO P . W . R . D .

Mr. Collison advised that this is an amendment to the City's Zoning Code regarding Section 20-15 (d) (Planned Water Resort District). There has been a request to amend the size of the parking spaces which currently are required to be 9 feet by 18 feet and to create a separate category for valet parking for the hotel/restaurant/conference facility to reduce the width of a parking space by 6 inches to 8 1/2 feet by 18 feet.

He then advised that tonight's Public Hearing was advertised in the Daily Banner on February 21st and February 28th.

Sandy McAllister came to the podium on behalf of the Maryland Economic Development Company (MEDCO) and Chesapeake Resort, LLC who are developing the Hyatt project. The request is to reduce only valet parking spaces to give the development a more park-like setting. The reduced size is highly recommended in all the state-of-the-art developments.

Mr. Collison asked Mr. McAllister if the valet parking spaces will be so designated as to delineate between self parking and valet parking. Mr. McAllister answered affirmatively.

Mr. Pritchett advised that the Planning and Zoning Committee met on this issue on February 2nd and did recommend approval of the reduction.

With no further comments or questions, Commissioner Watkins moved to close the Public Hearing; seconded by Commissioner Rice. Motion carried unanimously.

PUBLIC HEARING - TEMPORARY MORATORIUM ON BUILDING

Mr. Collison advised that this Public Hearing is to receive public comment and testimony regarding a proposed temporary moratorium on any new residential subdivisions, development projects, commercial and industrial developments and buildings until October 31, 2000 for the purpose of completion of the final Comprehensive Rezoning Plan.

Tonight's Public Hearing was published in the Daily Banner on February 21st and February 28th.

Mrs. Marjorie Hull, 1301 Hambrooks Boulevard, came to the podium to speak both personally and on behalf of the West End Citizens Association to say "we are very much in support of this." Commissioner Swafford asked how many members belong to the West End Citizens Association whereby she responded "300." He then asked if all 300 are against this and she stated that she was speaking for the Board of Directors which consists of approximately 10 people and "the Board has been entrusted with the responsibility to represent the citizens."

Edgar Williams, 101 Oakley Street, said he totally supports what Mrs. Hull has said about the moratorium. He commended Cambridge on the Historic District passage and having the Comprehensive Zoning redone. He has lived here for 10 years and there has been a lot of "piece meal zoning" and many of them don't make any sense whatsoever. He strongly urged the Council to hold off on approving any more piece meal projects that might tend to conflict with what the professionals come up with on the Comprehensive Plan. He further commended Commissioner Vickers for making the motion for the moratorium.

Carroll Dail, 202 Glenburn Avenue, also totally supports the moratorium and brought up the fact that Cambridge currently imposes no impact fees on developers. Much of the burden is put on the taxpayers for streets being widened due to added traffic when an impact fee could take up a large share of it.

Speaking in opposition, Gage Thomas, 1502 Race Street, came to the podium to speak against the moratorium as proposed in the paper. He stated that the current zoning regulations have been working for approximately 30 years, "and we haven't done anything too bad in the last 30 years." They may need some fixing here and there and some revisions for better regulations but he does not feel the necessity for a moratorium.

Commissioner Vickers, in response to a question from Mr. Thomas as to why he made the motion for a moratorium, indicated that he did not get the idea from anyone on the West End nor did the Consultant working on the zoning changes suggest anything to him about a moratorium. As an individual, he felt it was the right thing to do.

For the record, Commissioner Saunders verified that Mr. Thomas is the realtor who is handling the sale of the Oakley Beach property. (Mr. Thomas stated that he represents Mr. Mills, the seller of the property.) She also verified that Mr. Thomas is on the Planning and Zoning Commission for the City.

Mr. Collison stated that Mr. Thomas felt the proposal was too broad and asked him if he had some suggestions that would be more acceptable. Mr. Thomas said that if someone owns a piece of commercial real estate and wants to erect a building on it this year, "he can't do it."

Mayor Wooten went on record to say that he is opposed to the moratorium. There are checks and balances that go through the process and are operational. May times throughout the process "we can say no to it." He's afraid that if the we are looked at as a community that says no, even temporarily, it reflects negatively on the City.

Phyllis James came forward and stated that she is the realtor representing the gentleman who is proposing to develop property on Route 343. He has spent a lot of time and money on this project only to have it halted. She feels the moratorium is grossly wrong.

Commissioner Swafford spoke in opposition. He stated if the moratorium is imposed, our tax base could shoot up because services will still need to continue. The new zoning may not even be done by October 31st, because they haven't had their first public hearing yet and there needs to be a minimum of 5 public meetings. Anyone who has dreamed of developing anything in this town will have the door shut in their face. He voted to have this Public Hearing so that all the ideas could be heard but he is definitely against the moratorium.

Commissioner Saunders asked Mr. Pritchett if there was a specific reason why the proposed zoning changes that were given to Council are not available to the public? Mr. Pritchett was not sure. The consultant sent the changes to the City Engineer and they were copied in house for Council and the City Attorney to look at prior to setting up the first public hearing. Commissioner Saunders wondered how the public could comment on something that they haven't even been able to read.

Sandy McAllister said he represents a number of people who have pending ideas regarding City development. From the experience of every municipality that has undertaken a comprehensive rezoning, he feels it would be naive to assume that six months is what's in store. It takes years to get a project going with all people pulling in the same direction. The proposed moratorium is well intentioned, but you will never know who went on to Salisbury to develop or stopped in Easton. He urged Council, on behalf of clients he has who are very interested in this community, not to go through with the moratorium.

Shirley Hubbard, 303 Somerset Avenue, asked if the moratorium applies to residents as well as commercial and industrial? Mr. Collison said it is his understanding that if a resident wanted to put an addition on their existing home, it would be permissible. Also, if someone wanted to build in a sub-division that has already been approved, that would be permissible.

Kenneth Usab, Andrews, Miller & Associates, said he is not formally representing anyone but he does have 6 or 7 clients that would be directly impacted by the proposed moratorium. He is concerned because the development process for larger, quality planned community type developments can run anywhere from one to two years. With the Hyatt Resort going up, there will be approximately 350 or more employees who will be looking for a home and they may need to look outside Cambridge. He hasn't seen any irresponsible development in the area and is against the moratorium.

Ed James said he hates to see the City or County set back by a moratorium "when we're finally moving ahead."

Oliver Gore said he is opposed to the moratorium and feels the City has not been burdened with development "as we have with lack of development." He feels that if the Council is faced with a development that they don't think is right for the City, they have the strength to put a stop to it without the moratorium.

Commissioner Rice commented on pockets of spot zoning. Most of the areas that are inadequately zoned are zoned incorrectly, or done so by the change from the industrial areas that used to be, to commercial or residential areas which they are today. Some areas are not correctly zoned from changes in the area over time and possibly some mistakes over last 30 years. As Mr. Usab pointed out, it is difficult to get a sub-division going. Interest rates could also be a factor. He is of the opinion that the existing laws and the current Comprehensive Plan is more protection than this City needs. He admires Commissioner Vickers' intentions and reasoning for the proposed moratorium but he thinks, in this instance, it would be wrong to do so.

Commissioner Watkins commended people for coming to express an interest in the development of the City of Cambridge. He is not against any developments that are in process, but feels anyone who hasn't started, should wait until the zoning issues are settled.

With no further comments, Commissioner Rice moved to close the Public Hearing; seconded by Commissioner Swafford. Motion carried unanimously.

PROCLAMATION FOR "NATIONAL NUTRITION MONTH"

Norma Lee Payton from the Dorchester County Health Department came to the podium to state that they are declaring March as "Nutrition Month".

Mrs. Adams proceeded to read the proclamation aloud. Commissioner Rice then made a motion to authorize the Mayor to sign the proclamation; seconded by Commissioner Watkins. Motion carried unanimously.

REQUEST FROM CAMBRIDGE CLASSIC CRUISERS

Satina Scott, 4009 Bradley Circle, Hurlock, Maryland, came to the podium as the public representative for the club. Last year they held approximately 15 car shows which brought many people to Cambridge. Many businesses in Cambridge have sponsored these events with money for trophies. Most of their events are held in the Super Fresh parking lot with some also in Pizza Palace's lot.

Commissioner Saunders made a motion that the Cambridge Classic Cruisers be allowed to continue with their valuable work in the community; seconded by Commissioner Watkins. Motion carried unanimously.

The Cruise - In Schedule is as follows:

April 2 (2 - 6 PM)

Trophy Show & 100 dash plaques

May 7 (2 - 6 PM)

50 dash plaques

June 4 (4 - 8 PM)

50 dash plaques

July 9 (4 - 8 PM)

Top 20 trophy show and 50 dash plaques

August 6 (4 - 8 PM)

50 dash plaques

September 3 (2 - 6 PM)

50dash plaques

October 8 (2 - 6 PM)

Trophy Show & 100 dash plaques

Commissioner Saunders then made a motion to waive the noise ordinance for all their events; seconded by Commissioner Watkins. Motion carries unanimously.

REQUEST TO HOLD ANNUAL SAIL REGATTA

A request was received from the Cambridge Yacht Club to use east beach at Great Marsh, duck walk area of Water Street and municipal crane for their Annual Sail Regatta on July 15th and July 16th.

Commissioner Vickers indicated that this request was received about a month ago but had been scheduled at the same time as the American Powerboat Association's show. Since that time, they have spoken with the Powerboat Association and the Sail Regatta has been rescheduled to this earlier date.

Since this is an annual event and has been supported in the past, Commissioner Vickers made a motion to support it again this year; seconded by Commissioner Saunders. Mr. Collison advised that it is necessary for them to provide the City with proof of proper insurance. Motion carried unanimously.

DISCUSS CABLE FRANCHISE FEES

Mr. Collison advised that the City was notified about a month ago that the amount paid to the City by Comcast must also include the franchise fee. The City may elect not to have the franchise fee apply to the cable franchise fee revenues collected by the cable company and thereby limit the franchise fee to the actual cost of the cable bill.

Commissioner Swafford made a motion to leave it as it is; seconded by Commissioner Watkins. Commissioner Rice questioned when the original regulation came about as to whether or not this was done. Mr. Collison said, to his knowledge, he has never seen anything but he would be glad to follow it up with Mr. Kinnamon to see if it had been corrected for prior years. Motion then carried unanimously.

REVISED PROCEDURES FOR MEETINGS

Mr. Collison stated that this has been something that has been pending for some time. He then asked Council to refer to the revised ordinance which was in their packet.

Commissioner Rice referenced Section 106 on page 3 "Journal of Minutes"... "does the journal refer to the transcribed minutes or does it refer to the tape?" Mr. Collison said it was his understanding that it would be the actual minutes themselves but it should probably be specified that there should be a transcription of the minutes kept. Commissioner Rice interjected... "the transcription is what's available to the public... is that what you're trying to say here?" Mr. Collison then added, "as opposed to the tape." Commissioner Rice's concern is that the tapes could be damaged and it's the only source that the City has.

On page 4, Section 107(f), he feels the words "on a rotational basis" should be left in. This was agreed by the Council.

On page 6, Section 112 (b) , "a vote of two-thirds (2/3) of all members of the Council" should be changed to "a vote of four members of the Council."

Commissioner Saunders had a question on this paragraph and Mr. Collison explained that the Mayor or any Council member may bring up business matters to deliberate so long as no decision is made that night, but if immediate action is necessary the night of the meeting, there would need to be a vote by four Council members to address the particular situation.

Commissioner Rice went on to refer to page 7, Section 116 (a) dealing with time limit when addressing Council. He said he has a problem with the wording "shall limit his address to Fifteen (15) minutes" and feels it should be left at the discretion of whomever is chairing the meeting. Commissioner Watkins felt there should be a time limit set and Commissioner Rice suggested the wording "the presiding officer may limit as needed." It was determined that whatever is set needs to be consistent.

On page 8, Section 118(b), "Any person making personal, impertinent, or slanderous remarks or who shall become boisterous while addressing the Council shall be forthwith, by the presiding officer, barred from further audience before the Council,..." It was suggested that the wording "at that meeting" be added after the word Council.

On page 10, subsection (j) "In the event of a tie in votes on any motion, the motion shall be considered lost." It needs to be stated that the Mayor can break a tie.

Commissioner Saunders then made a motion that these revised procedures for meetings be adopted and become effective April 1, 2000; seconded by Commissioner Watkins. Commissioner Rice added that the motion include the additional revisions. Motion carried unanimously.

APPOINTMENTS TO BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS

Mayor Wooten nominated Wade Roche to the Board of Zoning Appeals and Commissioner Rice moved to authorize the appointment. Motion was seconded by Commissioner Saunders and it carried unanimously.

The Mayor then nominated Mary Thompson as the Board of Zoning Appeals alternate. Commissioner Saunders moved to authorize the appointment; seconded by Commissioner Rice. Motion carried unanimously.

APPROVE CITY'S FINANCIAL STATEMENT FOR JANUARY, 2 0 0 0 (ASOP # 10 )

Commissioner Swafford made a motion to approve the City's Financial Statement for January, 2000; seconded by Commissioner Rice. Motion carried unanimously.

REQUEST TO HOLD LITTLE LEAGUE'S OPENING DAY PARADE

A request was received from Samuel W. LeCompte to hold the opening day parade on Saturday, April 15th from Long Wharf to Pliescott Memorial Park at 10:00 a.m. Commissioner Saunders made a motion to approve the request; seconded by Commissioner Watkins. Motion carried unanimously.

REQUEST TO AWARD CONTRACT FOR SALT DOME (CONTRACT NO. 0 0 - 0 6)

Mr. Pritchett advised that there are only two companies in the United States that build this prefabricated structure and he received proposals from each of them with Dome Corporation of North America coming in $3,000 below Bulk Storage, Inc. Commissioner Saunders moved to award the contract to Dome Corporation; seconded by Commissioner Vickers.

Commissioner Rice felt there might be a problem with the process of procuring the numbers "or is it a specialty item allowed within our procedure to do that." Mr. Collison suggested making the motion contingent upon his review with Mr. Pritchett of the advertisement and the amendments. if there are any problems, they will submit it to Council. Commissioner Saunders then amended her motion to reflect the attorney's comments. Motion then carried unanimously.

REQUEST FROM SOCIAL SERVICES TO HANG BANNER ON RACE STREET

A request was received from Susan B. Todd of the Department of Social Services requesting permission to hang a banner from March 8th until April 1st across Race Street at the pedestrian mall in honor of Social Work Month.

Mr. Collison suggested that the motion state the banner is to be hung over the City's right-of-way and Commissioner Saunders moved to grant permission based on the advice from the City attorney. Motion was seconded by Commissioner Rice and it carried unanimously.

REQUEST FROM HUBERT BROHAWN TO RENEW SPECIAL USE PERMIT FOR PRODUCE STAND

Commissioner Rice made a motion to approve the renewal provided the two refrigerators are not in the yard. Motion was seconded by Commissioner Watkins and it carried unanimously.

REQUEST TO BID FOR PRELIMINARY ARCHITECTURAL DRAWINGS / PUBLIC SAFETY BUILDING

Commissioner Saunders made a motion for Mr. Pritchett to proceed with the first phase; seconded by Commissioner Watkins. Motion carried unanimously.

REQUEST FOR ANNUAL FAMILY & YOUTH FESTIVAL DAY

Commissioner Saunders indicated this is the fifth year for the Family & Youth Festival which is scheduled for May 13th from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Each year the County, the City, private businesses and citizens contribute money to carry the activities out. She then made a motion for approval of the City's contribution of $400 which has been committed each year. Motion was seconded by Commissioner Watkins and it carried unanimously.

She also made a motion, on that date and time, to block off from the corner of Muir and Race Streets to the beginning of Craig's parking lot. Motion was seconded by Commissioner Watkins and it carried unanimously.

A final motion was made by Commissioner Saunders to hang their banner up beginning on May 8th and be taken down after the event on May 13th. Motion was seconded by Commissioner Watkins and it carried unanimously.

She then requested Heidi Adams to notify Kathy Hachemeister before the next Council meeting that these things have been taken care of.

APPROVE OCCUPANCY AGREEMENT FOR EMPOWERMENT CENTER

Commissioner Saunders indicated that the State stated the Empowerment Center had to be recognized as 501 C3 organization that would occupy and carry out the directives for what the City approved in their grant to be the program for the community.

Mr. Collison has drafted an Occupancy Agreement for a period of ten years at the fee of one dollar per year with the 5010 group being responsible for the payment of taxes, utilities, repairs and maintenance and for insuring the interior contents.

Commissioner Swafford made a motion to move forward with this Lease and Occupancy Agreement; seconded by Commissioner Watkins. Commissioner Rice questioned if lease amount of $1.00 annually would raise question of taxability as in the past. it was felt that it would be exempt per use. Mr. Collison will research and confirm. Motion carried 4 to 0 with Commissioner Saunders abstaining.

REQUEST TO GO TO BID FOR REFUSE REMOVAL AT LONG WHARF (CONTRACT

NO. 00-10)

Commissioner Saunders made a motion to allow the Department of Public Works to go to bid for the refuse removal at Long Wharf; seconded by Commissioner Watkins. Motion carried unanimously.

REQUEST TO GO TO BID FOR DREDGING OF GREAT MARSH BOAT RAMP (CONTRACT NO. 00-09)

Mr. Pritchett advised that the boat ramp has filled in greatly from sand. The proposal is to dredge out approximately 400 feet to a mean low water at low tide of 3 feet, minimum depth. This is completely funded by D.N.R. and is not a matching grant.

Commissioner Vickers made a motion to move forward with this; seconded by Commissioner Saunders. Motion carried unanimously.

REQUEST FROM JAMES MEREDITH REGARDING STREET LIGHTING

A request was received for street lighting in the vicinity of 420 Willis Street. Commissioner Watkins moved to refer this to Traffic and Safety; seconded by Commissioner Vickers. Motion carried unanimously. (*should be referred to Street Lighting Committee.)

APPROVE BUDGET AMENDMENTS FOR HOUSING DEPARTMENT AND FINANCIAL ADMINISTRATION

Commissioner Swafford moved to approve both Budget Amendments; seconded by Commissioner Saunders. Motion carried unanimously.

APPROVE BUDGETED EXPENDITURES OVER $250

Commissioner Swafford moved to approve all budgeted expenditures over $250. with the exception of Purchase Order #1387; seconded by Commissioner Watkins. Motion carried unanimously.

Purchase Order #1387 refers to the purchase of the salt dome and it was suggested that this be held until information is received from Mr. Collison as to the legality of the bidding process. Commissioner Swafford then made a motion to approve this pending the positive outcome from the attorney; seconded by Commissioner Rice. Motion carried unanimously.

PROCLAMATION FOR "SOCIAL WORK MONTH"

Commissioner Saunders proceeded to read the proclamation aloud and Commissioner Watkins moved to authorize the Mayor to sign the proclamation. Motion was seconded by Commissioner Rice and it carried unanimously.

COMMENTS FROM DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC WORKS

With reference to a previous request from Reverend Blackman, Pastor of the First Baptist Church, regarding concerts at Long Wharf during August on Sunday evenings, Mr. Pritchett confirmed that the hours will be from 5:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

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

Mr. Pritchett then stated that he had received a request from the Powerboat Association to install a pole at Great Marsh, at their expense, including conduit that would run from the pavilion to it (underground). The purpose of this would be to install speakers that they use during the powerboat event. They may even put a light on the pole in the future which would be in the area of the restrooms. Commissioner Vickers made a motion to allow this; seconded by Commissioner Watkins. Commissioner Swafford made a suggestion to run two or three conduits for future growth with the possibility of another pavilion. Commissioner Rice suggested putting a bigger pipe in. Commissioner Vickers amended his motion to include the larger pipe; seconded by Commissioner Watkins. Amended motion carried unanimously.

He then referred to a map of Rambler Road along with a letter from Sue Wyatt regarding the possibility of a portion of this, that adjoins her property, to be turned over to her. Commissioner Rice made a motion to refer this to Traffic and Safety; seconded by Commissioner Saunders. Motion carried unanimously.

Mr. Pritchett referenced his memo regarding a response to a commentary published in the Daily Banner regarding the sewer situation. Commissioner Saunders made a motion for Mr. Pritchett to put his response in a proper format and forward it to the paper; seconded by Commissioner Vickers. Motion carried unanimously. Commissioner Rice suggested that the letter be sent directly to the gentleman as well.

Mr. Pritchett referenced his memo regarding D.P.W.'s budget for the Maryland Municipal League. He would need to make a budget amendment at a future time if he is planning to attend.

Work was started at the Empowerment Center today with removal of concrete in the area.

He then presented building permit #3011 for Theresa Stafford, 2423 Rock Drive, for a new single family dwelling in the amount of $121,000. at a permit fee of $1,527.50. Commissioner Swafford made a motion to accept this; seconded by Commissioner Watkins. Motion carried unanimously.

Approval was then requested for the following building permits for Chesapeake Resorts, LLC (Hyatt project):

Permit #3012  Hotel - including accessory structures & marina  $20,726,262. (permit fee $87,023.57)

Commissioner Saunders made a motion to proceed; seconded by Commissioner Watkins. Motion carried unanimously.

Permit #3013  Conference Center $8,387,469. (permit fee   $36, 434.52)

Commissioner Saunders made a motion to proceed; seconded by Commissioner Watkins. Motion carried unanimously.

Permit #3014   Golf Clubhouse  $1,496,300. (permit fee   $8,180.73)

Commissioner Saunders made a motion to proceed; seconded by Commissioner Watkins. Motion carried unanimously.

Permit #3015  Wintergarden Spa    $3,321,878. (permit fee $15, 665.60)

Commissioner Saunders made a motion to proceed; seconded by Commissioner Watkins. Motion carried unanimously.

Permit #3016 Specialty restaurant / marina store $1,287,091. (permit fee $7, 322.97)

Commissioner Saunders made a motion to proceed; seconded by Commissioner Watkins. Motion carried unanimously.

COMMENTS FROM EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT

Ms. Adams referred Council to her memo regarding the July 4th fireworks display. Commissioner Swafford made a motion that $15,000. be budgeted for this expense; seconded by Commissioner Watkins. Commissioner Swafford indicated that the City had asked the County for financial support for the fireworks but they said no. Motion carried unanimously.

Commissioner Saunders stated that in speaking with two County Commissioners, they indicated that they did not realize the City's request was turned down. She then made a motion for the Mayor to draft a letter to the President of the County Commissioners and carbon copy all the Commissioners requesting that they help finance the help of the fireworks. Motion was seconded by Commissioner Watkins and it carried unanimously.

COMMENTS FROM FIFTH WARD

Commissioner Rice referred to Mr. Pritchett's memo regarding a request to dispose of the PWCD wall model at D.P.W. He then made a motion to allow Mr. Pritchett to do so; seconded by Commissioner Saunders. Motion carried unanimously.

COMMENTS FROM FOURTH WARD

Commissioner Swafford mentioned some parking problems on Appleby and made a motion to refer this to Traffic and Safety; seconded by Commissioner Saunders. Motion carried unanimously.

A reference was made to a memo from Kathy Foster regarding Economic Development promotion bags and various items to be included in them. Commissioner Swafford made a motion to approve the expenditures since the money is already in the budget and to just use the City of Cambridge seal on the bag; seconded by Commissioner Saunders. Motion carried unanimously.

It was requested that Ms. Foster draft a letter to the County for the Mayor's signature about sharing expense in the next budget year for the bags.

Commissioner Swafford mentioned that earlier this evening discussion came up about impact fees. He wanted everyone to know that the City is working on that and it is part of the budget process. Mr. Pritchett has done some research with other cities in determining how they handle this.

COMMENTS FROM THIRD WARD

Commissioner Saunders discussed some issues that were brought up at the Employee Work Session:

  • Consider offering employees group life insurance benefits to those who retire in good standing - Council needs to make decision.
  • Conditions of City signs - Mr. Pritchett is in the process of evaluating and up-dating signs.
  • "Welcome to Cambridge" sign - the Visioning Committee is working on the welcoming sign.
  • Flu shots for employees at City's expense - City provides a good health insurance plan and flu shots are available at the Health Department for six or seven dollars.
  • Employees be permitted to work in other departments during emergencies with pay - needs to be put on agenda for Council approval.
  • Enforce in-house advertising procedures for all departments - to be put on Council's personnel agenda.
  • Consider A.S.A.P. glass partition for front counter at City Hall in keeping with same design as M.U.C. has.

Commissioner Saunders asked that these be put on Council's agenda. On the last item, Commissioner Swafford commented that this is a budget item that Mr. Kinnamon needs to look at.

Commissioner Saunders then shared a letter she received regarding the Eastern Shore Unemployment Insurance Claim Center which the City is trying to have located in Cambridge.

She then read a letter that she had written for citizens to sign urging Governor Glendening to locate the call center in Cambridge. Copies would be made available for additional signatures and if people don't want to mail it themselves, they could get them back to Council and they could all be mailed in one envelope.

COMMENTS FROM SECOND WARD

Commissioner Watkins said he is happy to be a member of the City Council as they work to move the City forward.

COMMENTS FROM FIRST WARD

Commissioner Vickers addressed the Glenburn Forest Villas project that has been presented by A & S Development. Some of the things that bother him about this development is the fact that there is already 55a rental in the City and we should be moving more toward home ownership. Another issue is Section 8 that's involved and he further feels there is too much concentration in one area "and I can see no good coming from the project." He then made a motion to deny their request for help and give the Council's disapproval of the project and have a letter sent to that effect "post haste". Motion was seconded by Commissioner Rice who stated that he does not feel that this project who help the people who need the help... "every project that comes through, we've helped everybody else's poor working class instead of our own and until we can get a project that guarantees that our people are the ones that are going to be helped, I would oppose it."

Commissioner Watkins indicated that he would be for a program that would foster home ownership or lead to home ownership and in his judgment, this project doesn't lead towards that.

Commissioner Swafford stated that as much as the City needs a tax base, "the negatives outweigh the positives..."

Commissioner Saunders said she is not against Section 8, but she is hesitant because within her Ward the Housing Department has had to condemn at least five of them. She also indicated she is not in favor of this project. Motion then carried unanimously.

Commissioner Saunders then requested that Mr. Collison send a letter to A & S Development advising of Council's decision. Mayor Wooten also indicated that he is in agreement with the vote.

Commissioner Vickers then discussed the elevator for the firehouse. Experts from the State in this field who dictate, interpret and enforce the law "tell us that we do not have to go this route." The DHCD Program Manager said if the grant application is withdrawn, it would not reflect on the City.

The City is proposing to withdraw the request and possibly resubmit it in one year to make another request for ADA compliance of some other nature to address the situation at hand. He made a motion to follow through and withdraw the request; seconded by Commissioner Saunders. Motion carried unanimously.

Commissioner Saunders suggested that Ms. Foster fax the letter withdrawing the application since the oral presentation is scheduled in Crownsville at 3:00 p.m. on March 8th.

Commissioner Vickers mentioned the need to schedule a personnel meeting regarding the City attorney and it was determined to schedule a closed executive session at 7:00 p.m. on March 20th.

COMMENTS FROM CITY ATTORNEY

Mr. Collison referenced his memo regarding the City's Comprehensive Rezoning indicating that the consultants would like to see a liaison committee formed to work with them. it was suggested that the committee have at least 15 persons and that it should be formed by the first part of April. He further indicated that he needs a closed executive session this evening. Commissioner Saunders made a motion that Council go into executive session for a personnel issue; seconded by Commissioner Watkins. Motion carried unanimously.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS FROM FIFTH WARD COMMISSIONER

Commissioner Rice stated that last week a woman had come to his front door "beat up and bloody." It was at 5:00 p.m. and he was not home at the time so the woman spoke with Mrs. Rice. The lady was on the 200 block of Maryland Avenue at the vacant lot where the house was demolished, fell and smacked her face into the concrete and she is looking for some relief. Commissioner Rice indicated that "we need to know who owns the property and then she needs to take it from there." Commissioner Rice said this is one of the reasons why the sidewalk issues need to be address. Mr. Collison stated that he would forward this information to the Housing Department to take the necessary steps.

Commissioner Saunders then made a motion at 9:35 p.m. to adjourn; seconded by Commissioner Watkins.

I hereby certify that the foregoing is a true and accurate account of the Council meeting of Monday, March 6, 2000 insofar as I personally am aware.

Heidi R. Adams, Executive Assistant