• 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

May 8, 2000

May 8, 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 Commissioner Vickers, Watkins, Saunders,Swafford and Commissioner Rice.

Mr. Kinnamon led in the Lord's prayer.

Commissioner Watkins made a motion to approve the minutes from the May 1st Council meeting.  Seconded by Commissioner Vickers.  Motion carried unanimously.


Commissioner Watkins reported that the Planning and Zoning Commission met to have an update on the revised Zoning Ordinance that they are preparing.  The Planning and Zoning Commission will need to meet three times, and Commissioner Watkins suggested that the Council meet also so they may familiarize themselves with the revised Zoning Ordinance before they go to public hearing.  Mr. Watkins asked Mr. Pritchett to contact Redmond and Johnston Associates to set up a time that will be convenient for them to meet with Council.  Commissioner Watkins then made a motion to have Mr. Pritchett make contact with Redmond and Johnston and set up a time for the Council to meet with them.  Seconded by Commissioner Rice.  Motion was carried unanimously.


Mr. Kinnamon read the proclamation aloud.  Commissioner Watkins made a motion for the Mayor to sign the proclamation.  Seconded by Commissioner Rice.  Motion was carried unanimously.  Mrs. Skinner updated the Council on the upcoming Relay for Life.  We have 47 teams registered and 4 teams interested but not yet registered. She spoke on the schedule of events that will begin on May 19th.  She thanked them for the proclamation. The Mayor said that he would be there and would try to do several laps as he has in the past.  Commissioner Saunders made a motion to allow for the noise variance from Friday, May 19th at 6:00 p.m. until Saturday. May 20th at 11:00 a.m.  Commissioner Watkins seconded the motion.  Commissioner Rice wanted to state for the record that normally a noise variance is not granted past 10:30 or 11:00 p.m. Since it is held at the high school and it is quite a distance from any surrounding property and there have not been any complaints in the past, these are special circumstances and we would be justified in granting the variance beyond the normal times.  The motion was carried unanimously.


Mr. Kinnamon read the proclamation aloud.  Commissioner Watkins made a motion for the Mayor to sign the proclamation.  Seconded by Commissioner Vickers. Motion carried unanimously.   Mrs. Townsend thanked the Council for their support as they prepared for this special celebration.  She gave a list of the calendar of events for the celebration. 


Mr. Collins apologized for not being at the meeting last week.  He thanked Council because he heard that the City is going to provide the kiosk for himself and possibly anyone else to advertise activities.  Mr. Collins did say that insurance wise he would provide the information as soon as the Coast Guard sends him his captains' license. Then he will forward the information to the insurance company.  His main concern was that he knows someone else has come before Council with the same request.  Mr. Collins suggested that there is plenty of room at Long Wharf so provisions could be made for all involved.  He asked Council if they could allocate locations so there wouldn't be any controversy or problems if someone wants to get in there to pickup and discharge their passengers, since we are fortunate to have enough waterfront at Long Wharf.  He doesn't expect any preferential treatment but he did come before the Council first.  Mr. Collins reminded the Council that he was given permission to use that area first.  He would hope that if there were several other boats that wanted to come in and use the area assigned to him and if he would show up he wouldn't have or be given a hard time about using the area.  Commissioner Saunders said she believed the decision was made last week that anyone who wished to use the Long Wharf area for his or her tour boat business would need to do the scheduling with Mr. Pritchett.  Mr. Collins said he had talked with Mr. Pritchett but he hoped that they would consider the amount of space and there is plenty of room for everyone.


Bruce McWilliams thanked the Council for the seed money to keep the Feast-I-Val alive for one more year.  He gave a report on the meeting held last Wednesday. Mr. McWilliams wanted to know the exact verbiage and wording that needs be included in the press releases, also he needs an office space.   Commissioner Saunders said that Kathy Foster had asked her to ask the Mayor and Council if they could make a phone and office space available.  A suggestion was the back of Council Chambers.  The Chamber of Commerce had made a desk and phone available to them.    Commissioner Saunders made a motion that a phone be available for Ms. Barbara Dalrymple Monday through Friday during regular business hours.  Seconded by Commissioner Vickers.  Motion carried unanimously.  Commissioner Rice answered Mr. McWilliams question on the wording.  The funds came from the citizens of Cambridge so they should be listed as sponsors.   Commissioner Watkins agreed.  Commissioner Rice made a motion that the advertising should read sponsored by the Citizens of the City of Cambridge.  Commissioner Saunders seconded the motion.  Commissioner Vickers said there was some discussion about the County Commissioners also helping with the Seafood Feast-I-Val.   Mr. McWilliams has not heard from them at this time.  The press releases need to be issued so it was decided that the wording should be the Citizens of the City of Cambridge.  Motion was carried unanimously.  Commissioner Saunders made a suggestion that our attorney and Mr. McWilliams get together to make sure the wording is accurate.  Mr. Collison said that he didn't see a problem with it being the Citizens of the City of Cambridge.  Mr. McWilliams asked for any of the Council members to be at Council chambers on Wednesday for the meeting.  He wants someone there to go over some of the changes that have occurred.  Some bills will be higher and some bills will be erased.  Commissioner Saunders made a motion that a written report should be in their books for the meeting on May 22nd.   Seconded by Commissioner Rice.  Motion was carried unanimously.  The Mayor said he would try to be at the meeting on Wednesday, May 10th at 5:15 p.m.


Commissioner Rice said that he has felt for the past 8 to 10 years that we should stagger our elections.  The proposal was basically that a process would be set up where three of the six seats would be up for re-election every two years.  Not all six would be replaced at one time.   This would assure that we would have experienced people sitting in three seats at all times.  Since there are long term projects that need to be dealt with we would have three people who would be familiar with the projects and would see them through to completion. Commissioner Rice made a motion that we adopt the proposal tonight.  Motion died due to no second.


Commissioner Rice discussed this proposal to reinstate the powers of the office of Mayor as the Chief Executive Officer of the City.  The Mayor would have Powers of the personnel officer.  Maintain the existing appeals procedure; make sure that all parties in any case have the right to appeal.  This process per se shall remain as is with only the insertion of the Mayor as personnel director.    Hiring and dismissing of department heads would remain the same, but add the Mayor as Chairman of any such meeting and let the Council sit as the final review board on any personnel decision made by the Mayor. Commissioner Rice made a motion that this proposal be adopted on July 13th.  Motion died due to no second.


Vincent Johnson represented the Family Tabernacle of Faith.  Their church bazaar will be held on June 17th and 18th.  Bishop Johnson requested the blocking of Robbins Street between Central Avenue and Pine Street for Saturday only on June 17th.  The street would be blocked off from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.  Commissioner Watkins asked since that is a busy street and it is a weekend would they be willing to change the hours from 11:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M., which Bishop Johnson agreed.  They will be willing to let people in and out.  Commissioner Swafford made a motion to allow the street to be blocked off from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 17th.  Seconded by Commissioner Saunders.  Motion carried unanimously.    Commissioner Swafford made a motion to allow a noise variance for the two days of the bazaar between the hours of 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  Seconded by Commissioner Watkins.  Motion carried unanimously.


Mr. Pritchett said that he has been working with the City engineer in dealing with Biochemical Oxygen Demand and Total Suspended Solids.  Even though it is not a toxic condition the plant does have an increase of maintenance cost because it is basically grease and oil.  Coldwater is the only plant affected by this surcharge and the surcharge varies from quarter to quarter depending on how much they bring into the plant.  The intent was to come up with an average of what the cost is at the plant and to establish a mathematical formula.  We know what the average is and the Department of Public Works suggestion is to favor the higher side of the average because they feel that is the appropriate place to begin.  The surcharge would be a $0.24/lb for the BOD and $0.36/lb for the TSS.   By doing the surcharge this will cut down on the calculating time for each quarter and it will save DPW about 2 to 4 hours a quarter.  The goal is to have the BOD and TSS as near zero as you can.   The idea is to not have any but you do need to have a surcharge to cover your cost of handling it.  The rates are getting lower and lower all the time through Coldwaters' cooperation and our mandates and we feel we are right on track with correcting the problem.  The surcharge does bring a decrease in the amount of solids that we are handling.  Mr. Pritchett said they would be doing a yearly evaluation on the surcharge amount and make an appropriate decision on the cost.   Commissioner Rice made a motion that we adopt this procedure and that the review be done to coincide with the budget on an annual basis.  Commissioner Watkins seconded the motion.  Commissioner Vickers asked if the testing was done by an independent.  Mr. Pritchett said it was done by Maryland Environmental Services and that we contract them and it is handled through their laboratory. Motion was carried unanimously.


Commissioner Swafford made a motion to approve the expenditures over $250.  Commissioner Rice seconded the motion.  Motion was carried unanimously.


The Mayor had recently made the acquaintance of Fred Landy of Mallard Bay Nursing Center, where the Mayor has recently been employed.  The Mayor has asked Mr. Landy if he would take a position on the housing authority board. The Mayor therefore announced Mr. Landy's appointment to the Housing Authority Board.  Mr. Landy approached the podium and gave a few comments.  He stated he moved to Cambridge in 1999 with his family.  He has been in health care for about 20years, "Not only in nursing homes, but senior housing and assisted living."  His background is in urban and regional planning and in public policy.  He feels very strongly about public housing and how it will help a community grow.  He feels with the economic development that Cambridge is going to experience over the next few years that a strong public housing program is going to be very important to help the economy grow. 


Mr. Pritchett wanted to remind the Council that on Tuesday, May 9th at 1:00 p.m. they will be conducting interviews with the architects for the public safety building in Council Chambers.  The interviews should run until about 3:30 P.M. and he invited any member of Council to attend it possible. 

An issue has come up and it was an oversight on Mr. Pritchetts' part.  As materials are beginning to be ordered and delivered to the empowerment center location we do need to look at protecting the center.  We didn't address this up front with the contractor or make this part of the contractors contract. The contractor never said he wouldn't do it but DPW feels it is their responsibility.  Mr. Pritchett looked at the prices and said that at this point we are looking at approximately 4 or 5 months that we would need to rent the fence.  The lowest price he received was through Anderson Fence out of Salisbury and the cost would be approximately at $147.50 per month for the rental fee to have the fence installed and put into place and lockable.  The cost to secure all the materials throughout the needed period of time will be between $600.00 and $800.00.  It is very standard and it should have done in the beginning.  Mr. Pritchett will look in his budget to find money for this; or he can pass it on to the contractor if the Mayor and Council feel that is more appropriate because he did not deny it.  Mr. Pritchett felt personally that this was his mistake.  Commissioner Saunders made a motion that we allow Mr. Pritchett to handle this in the most economically and expedient manner.  Commissioner Vickers seconded the motion.  Motion carried unanimously.


Mr. Kinnamon received a building application from Penny Aaron the owner of 2504 Legacy Court, Jenkins Creek.  The permit fee is $1858.32 for a new home cost of $165,110.  Council's policy is anything over $100,000 needs to be read one time.  Commissioner Saunders made a motion to accept the application.  Commissioner Rice seconded the motion.  Motion was carried unanimously.

Mr. Kinnamon read a note from Herschal Johnson from the Friends of Stanley Institute. Mr. Johnson was requesting a letter of support from Council as the Institute was going to need additional emergency funds.  Commissioner Saunders said that Portia had been in touch with her on this issue and we were not committing to any financial support just a letter of support.    Commissioner Saunders made a motion that we send a letter of support for the Stanley Institute.  Commissioner Swafford seconded the motion. Motion was carried unanimously.


Commissioner Rice spoke about the prom and that there were 380 young people attending the prom and 325 attended the after prom party.  All the young people had a good time.


The Mayor received a letter from Comptroller William Donald Schaefer in regards to Sailwinds Park.  The Board of Public Works approved at the April 26th meeting the capital expenditures in the amount of $150,830 for the construction and completion of a timber river walk and improvements to the amphitheater at Sailwinds Park in Cambridge.  The Comptroller knows how important the park is to the citizens of Cambridge and he was pleased that he could support us in this effort.


The fifth annual Family Youth Festival will be on Race Street this Saturday from 11:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.  Gage Thomas has tried to get the businesses on Race Street to show support and promote this event.  Commissioner Saunders thanked the media for the coverage they have given to the youth festival.  The Talbot Royals which is a motorcycle club will be here, there will be more antique cars, Mr. T. George Wittstadt will be playing the music again this year.  The children will be able to participate in the "Touch Tank" and the "Scales and Tales."  There will be plenty of food and everyone should have a wonderful time. 

Commissioner Saunders confirmed with Mr. Kinnamon that next Monday would be a public work session on the proposed text amendment for seating capacity for bonafide restaurants from 100 persons to 50 persons or more.  There also, will be a public work session on tax abatements for any real estate property owner in the City of Cambridge. 

Commissioner Saunders made reference to the memo on the Mayor's expense account.  The Mayor's budget is approximately $1,105 overspent. Commissioner Saunders told the Council that the Mayor would be working with Mr. Kinnamon to realign his budget. Money needs to be allocated in his budget so that his budget comes out to a zero balance.  Commissioner Swafford stated that on the 22nd of May at the regular meeting we should process a budget amendment.  Commissioner Saunders made a motion that Mr. Kinnamon should work with the Mayor to process a budget amendment in the amount of $1,105.00.  Commissioner Swafford seconded the motion.  Commissioner Rice said that most of what the Mayor does would fall under Economic Development and we should have funds in that area.  Commissioner Saunders said that under Economic Development Kathy Foster would not have that much money left because she has a workshop and she also is buying items to be used by the Commissioners to promote Cambridge in Ocean City for two days at MML.  Motion was carried unanimously.


The Mayor reported on the seminar that was held last Thursday.  The attendance was not as large as was hoped but the speakers all did an excellent job.  He thanked all those who helped prepare for this seminar.  The Town of Hurlock provided lunch for the speakers.


Commissioner Vickers told Dave Ryan that in regards to the power lift contest that will be held this weekend he was going to challenge him but due to his back problems he will try to challenge him next year instead. 


Mr. Collison said the work session would be next Monday at 6:00 p.m.  He will need to do more research on the tax abatement for the businesses and give to the Council at the next meeting.   Mr. Kinnamon said that he recalled the work session was set for 6:30 p.m.  Commissioner Swafford said his notes for the work session had it starting at 6:30 p.m.   Mr. Kinnamon will let the press know through the Agenda.

With no further business, Commissioner Rice made a motion to adjourn, at 8:00 p.m.; seconded by Commissioner Swafford.  Motion carried unanimously.

I hereby certify that the forgoing is a true and accurate account of the Council meeting Monday, May 8, 2000 insofar as I personally am aware.

Edwin C. Kinnamon, Clerk & Treasurer