• 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

July 17, 2000

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, and Rice.  Commissioner Saunders and Commissioner Swafford were absent.  Mr. Kinnamon led in the Lord's prayer.

Commissioner Watkins made a motion to approve the July 10th minutes.  Commissioner Vickers seconded the motion. The motion was carried unanimously.


Mayor David J. Wooten presented several citizens with a Governors Citation.  The first recipient was Reverend Leon Hall for his faithful service and spiritual, leadership to the citizens of Cambridge and Dorchester County.  Reverend Hall thanked the citizens and welcomed the new Mayor and Commissioners and promised to be of service to them.

The second recipient was Albert B. Atkinson for his dedication that he demonstrated while he was Mayor and for his commitment to ethical and honest government.  Commissioner Atkinson thanked the citizens and Mayor Wooten and said that this award was better then what he received in 1980.

Commissioner Watkins said that this is the start of things to come.

The third recipient was Chief Russell Wroten for his dedicated efforts to protect the citizens of Cambridge and honoring his 37 years of exemplary service and the leadership he has demonstrated in the 29 years that he has served as the Chief of Police.  Chief Wroten thanked the Mayor and was very grateful for the recognition.

The last recipient was William Monk Myers for over fifty years of dedicated service as a volunteer in the Fire Company.  Mr. Myers said that its has been a long time, a lot of fun and hard work but he has enjoyed his time and will continue as long as he is able to volunteer.


Commissioner Vickers said that in order to hold on to his seat a little longer he had prepared an 18 to 20 hour filibuster.  Commissioner Vickers thanked his comrades, his family and hoped he has passed on the legacy that he begun four years ago.  Commissioner Vickers said that four years ago he made headlines with a comment he made which still applies today.  "Sworn in today sworn at tomorrow".  "Welcome to the club gentlemen."


Commissioner Watkins said he had enjoyed immensely working with the out going Council and he knows the work they have done will be extremely helpful to the City of Cambridge and Dorchester County.  He hopes that their friendship will continue through the years.


Mayor Wooten said that he appreciated being able to serve with everyone and that he would be giving a report to the media.


Commissioner Rice said that never had he been recognized so quickly in his life.  Commissioner Rice congratulated the Commissioners coming into office and gave condolences to their families.  He said that Ms. Edna's been living through this so if you want to know how to deal with this just ask her.  Commissioner Rice said that most of these people find it very difficult to leave because they are dedicated to the job, this is not a just a job but a commitment.

Commissioner Rice gave the new Commissioners some advice.  He said just remember you can't solve everybody's problems. You will have to be ready to do the worse thing that will ever cross your mind and that is to say no to one of your constituents.  Be ready to say yes to a project that is good for the city but may not necessarily be good for your area.  Never spend short -term money on long term expenses.  Remember you are the stewards of the assets of the citizens of Cambridge and that this is a tremendous commitment and don't give them away.  The City of Cambridge is on par and equal with every other governments in the State of Maryland, don't take a back seat to anyone.  Don't be afraid to be the only person to speak out and say no if you think you're right stand up for what you believe.  Government is a series of compromises everyone will need to compromise at sometime, just don't compromise your principals and your morals because when you do that you are lost and so is the city.  Commissioner Rice said that great things would happen when nobody cares who gets the credit. Commissioner Rice wished everyone good luck and he knows that they are capable of doing the job. 


Mr. Kinnamon said that Commissioner Swafford called and wanted to send his congratulations to the new Council and his regrets that he couldn't be in attendance this evening. 

Mr. Kinnamon said that per the city charter he wanted to certify by a letter from Michael L. Baker, Clerk of the Circuit Court that Cleveland L. Rippons was sworn in as Mayor of Cambridge on Thursday, July 13, 2000.


Mayor Wooten then asked the new Council to approach their seats.  At this time Mayor Wooten had the new Commissioners take the oath of office and sign the book.  Mayor Wooten then turned his seat over to our new Mayor Cleveland L. Rippons and said that he was proud of him and the new Council and he believes we will have a tremendous four years. Mr. Wooten took his seat in the audience. 


Mayor Rippons had the Commissioners take their seats.  Mayor Rippons said that one of the local newspapers asked that the Mayor and Commissioners to remember statements and promises that they had made to the citizens to win the election.  During his election campaign Mayor Rippons had said he was willing to give the authority back to the Department Heads and the Council agreed.  The Mayor had a meeting with the Department Heads last week and they now are in charge of their departments.  The Mayor and Council will always be there if something comes up that involves a legal issue and the Department Heads need their advice but these people who are the department heads have proven that they are capable of running their departments. 

Another promise made during the campaign was the settling of the lawsuits.  Mayor Rippons has met with the plaintiff in one case and tomorrow night the attorney from LGIT will be addressing the entire Council and the Mayor in regard to one of the legal issues in an executive session.  Mayor Rippons said that these gentlemen to his left and right are here to serve the citizens of Cambridge diligently.  Shortly there will be an end to one of the lawsuits and hopefully soon there will be some resolutions on the other lawsuit. 

Another promise that was made was to bring the city and the county together.  The Mayor and Commissioners wish to solidify their relations with the county because it is their idea that they have been denigrated over the last few years.  The Council together will attend the County Commissioners meeting on Tuesday, July 18th to introduce them selves and to ask to begin a working relationship for the betterment of the city and Dorchester County.

The Mayor met today with Mr. Pritchett to discuss the marina upgrade.  The work session to be held July 18th at 7:00 p.m. will address the upgrade of the marina and introduce the new Commissioners to the problems the marina is facing.   The Mayor said that there would also have to be discussion concerning the safety building.  The Council has already convened and they have received a copy of the fiscal year budget.  The Mayor has invited the Department Heads to come to a work session next Tuesday to discuss the budget.  Then individual times will be set up for each department to discuss their budgets. 


Mayor Rippons requested that Council approve the Organization of the Council.

Council President -                           Commissioner Albert Atkinson

Finance Chairman -                          Commissioner Walter Travers

Chairman of Street Lighting Committee - Commissioner Lawrence Bohlen

Chairman of Streets, Sewers/and Drainage - Commissioner Albert Atkinson

Chairman of City Properties -          Commissioner Leland Weldon

Chairman of Traffic and Safety -  Commissioner Edward Watkins

City Attorney -                                                Robert S. Collison

City Health Officer -                                       Roger Harrell

Supervisor of Elections -                              Claude Gootee

Liaison to Planning and Zoning Commission -Commissioner Edward Watkins

Historic Preservation Committee Liaison -            Commissioner Lawrence Bohlen

ARC & Main Street Program Liaison -       Commissioner Leland Weldon

Chairman of the Police Board -                   Mayor C.L. Rippons

Pro tem Police Board Members -               Commissioner Edward Watkins

                                                                        Commissioner Walter Lee Travers

Delegate to ESAM and MML -                  Mayor Rippons


Commissioner Atkinson made a motion to accept the City Council Organization slate as presented by Mayor Rippons.  Commissioner Watkins seconded the motion.  Motion was carried unanimously.


Due to a vacancy on the Municipal Utilities Commission Mayor Rippons asked the board to approve the appointment of Charles "Chuck" Prahl of 213 Willis Street.  Commissioner Atkinson made a motion to accept Charles "Chuck" Prahl to the MUC board.  Commissioner Watkins seconded the motion.  Motion was carried unanimously.


Commissioner Bohlen thanked the people for their support and promised to do his utmost to fulfill this office for the benefit of the citizens of this great city.


Commissioner Watkins thanked all the citizens that supported him, and pledged his continued interest in doing all he can to move the City of Cambridge forward.


Commissioner Weldon said that this his first foray into public office and he thanked all the citizens that voted for him and supported him.  He also thanked all those citizens that voted against him because this is a reminder that there are many different viewpoints in the city and they all need to be taken into consideration.  Commissioner Weldon feels it is going to be an exciting four years.  There is a lot of work to be done and this group stands ready to do the work.


Commissioner Atkinson said that when he applied for this office many of his friends said he must be out of his cotton-picking mind to go back there again.  Commissioner Atkinson believes in Cambridge and that is why he is back.  Commissioner Atkinson definitely believes that we must establish and maintain a working relationship with the county.  Commissioner Atkinson looks forward to working with these gentlemen and the committees.


Commissioner Travers thanked everyone from the fifth ward that supported him. 


Mayor Rippons had received a letter from Kim Seward of Sailwinds requesting a noise variance for an event to be held on Sunday July 23 from 6:30 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. Mayor Rippons said the American Cancer Society and the local little league would share in the profits.

Commissioner Bohlen made a motion to allow the noise variance on Sunday, July 23rd from 6:30 p.m. until 10:00 p.m.  Commissioner Atkinson seconded the motion.  Motion was carried unanimously.

Mayor Rippons had also received a request from Rev. Enez Grubb she wants to close Pine Street from Cedar Street to Cross Street on Saturday August 5th from 11:00 a.m. until 3:00 P.M. for Sojourner Douglas College Day.  Commissioner Watkins spoke to Ms. Grubb and she also requested a noise variance for that day from the hours of 11:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.  Commissioner Watkins made a motion to grant Ms. Grubb's entire request for Saturday, August 5th.  Commissioner Weldon seconded the motion.   Motion was carried unanimously.


Marjorie Hull of 1301 Hambrooks Blvd. came to the podium to thank the past Commissioners for their support of the West End Citizens Association.  Ms. Hall also thanked the Commissioners for their help in working with the Historic Commission, which has been a tremendous benefit for the city.  She congratulated and thanked them even if they felt at times that they had a thankless job.  Ms. Hall then congratulated the new Mayor and Commissioners and reminded them that it was the voters that put them in office and it should be the voters that they pay the most attention to, not special interest groups or other people. 

Portia Johnson of 700 Cornish Drive came to the podium, Ms. Johnson wanted to know who the Mayor had appointed as the Liaison to the Main Street Committee.  Mayor Rippons said that Commissioner Weldon was appointed.  Ms. Johnson wanted to know if the original committee members would keep their appointments.  Mayor Rippons said that at this time they don't see any reason to do anything different.  A liaison was being appointed so that he could work closely with the Main Street Committee and report back to Council.  Ms. Johnson then asked Commissioner Weldon if she could meet with him for five minutes after the meeting was adjourned and Commissioner Weldon agreed.

Jack Helgason 7 Willis Street came to the podium to congratulate the new Mayor and Commissioners.  He feels that we have a great four years upon us.  His questioned was concerning parliamentary procedures. When the Mayor asks for discussion before voting is that for the Council members?  The Mayor said that most of the discussion is and should be followed by those who have the voting interest.  Council plans to get information out on every paramount issue as soon as possible through the media.  The Council would hope the citizens would have enough leave time to come in during their portion of the meeting or get in touch with their elected representative to inform him where you as a citizen stand on the issue. 

The City Attorney stated that in March there were procedures of meetings that were adopted.  If there is an ordinance or any other formal action of Council it can't be passed the same night that it is proposed.  It will be read twice before it is acted on.  There are times when Council will hold public hearings and work sessions they are all advertised.

Commissioner Tom Flowers stood and said that he is truly proud of the Mayor and Council.  He feels that the county and city can work together for good solutions.  Commissioner Flowers said people asked him if he had a hidden agenda and he said that his hidden agenda is to make Cambridge, Hurlock and all the towns and Dorchester county the most beautiful place that we can have.  Commissioner Flowers hopes that his commission and the city commissioners can work together to make Cambridge and Dorchester county prosper.

Mayor Rippons said that there would be an executive session tomorrow evening, that there are three personnel issues to deal with.

Commissioner Bohlen made a motion to have an executive session meeting on Tuesday, July 18, 2000 during the work session.  Commissioner Weldon seconded the motion.  The motion was carried unanimously.

With no further business, Mayor Rippons adjourned the meeting at 7:43 p.m.

I hereby certify that the forgoing is a true and accurate account of the Council meeting Monday, July 17, 2000 insofar as I personally am aware.

Edwin C. Kinnamon, Clerk & Treasurer