• 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

August 14, 2000

The City Council met in regular session at 7:00 p.m. with Mayor Cleveland L. Rippons presiding.

Those Commissioners in attendance were Commissioner Bohlen, Watkins, Weldon, Atkinson and Travers. Mr. Kinnamon led in the Lord's Prayer. Commissioner Atkinson led in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Commissioner Atkinson made a motion to approve the minutes of the July 31st meeting.  Commissioner Watkins seconded the motion.  Discussion: Commissioner Weldon stated at the bottom of page 505 there needed to be more clarification on the proposed land swap with Cambridge Park Apartments.  Corrections have been made and are reflected in the minutes of the August 7th meeting.    The motion was carried unanimously.


Mr. Edwin Kinnamon read the three bids for the combined sewer separation and they were as follows:

  • Jay Mearing, Bryan Sons, Inc. (St. Michaels, Maryland)  --  $1,897,200
  • Beka, Industries, Inc. (Ellicott City, Maryland) --  $2,277,611
  • Hopkins Construction, Inc. (Bridgeville, Delaware) -- $2,488,846.40

Mr. Kinnamon recommended that a motion be made to have the bids referred to the Department of Public Works for review and verification.  The chair requested that we refer these bids to G.M.B. our engineers for their recommendations.  Commissioner Watkins made a motion that the bids be referred to G.M.B. for their recommendation.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion.  The motion was carried unanimously. 

The Mayor requested that a motion be made to go into executive session for some legal considerations immediately following the meeting.  Commissioner Watkins made a motion to go into executive session after the meeting.  Commissioner Weldon seconded the motion.  The motion was carried unanimously.


Mr. Kinnamon read three bids for the ink jet plotter and they were as follows:

  • BLK Solutions (Herndon, VA)   $5,652
  • The Cad Store (Glendale, AZ)  Glendale, AZ. $5,855
  • Charrette Corp. (Beltsville, MD)  $5,299

Additional accessories from the Charrette Corp included an upgrade in the amount of $123, service contract for 2 years $550 and 3 years $995.  The Mayor entertained a motion that these bids should be turned over and recommendation come from DPW.  Commissioner Weldon made a motion to turn the bids over to DPW.  Commissioner Bohlen seconded the motion.  The motion was carried unanimously.


The Mayor requested that discussion be waived until the work session of August 21st.The Council agreed to this request.


Commissioner Weldon met with Mr. Johnson he feels Mr. Johnson has made an effort to keep his operation in good order.  Commissioner Weldon believes there have been no traffic problems.Commissioner Weldon made a motion to renew the special use permit for another year.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion.Mr. Collison said at that the time of renewal the audience should be asked if they have any comments in favor or against the renewal.  The Mayor asked for any comments and there were none.The motion was carried unanimously.The Mayor stated that in addition next week at the work session there are some ancillary points that need to be addressed in regards to this matter.


Commissioner Atkinson met with Mr. Pritchett and they looked at the portion of Fairmont Avenue that Mr. Hazelhurst has requested.  Since that portion is a dead end Commissioner Atkinson recommended that we turn that portion of Fairmont Avenue over to the developers.  This will be in exchange for the portion of land across from the DPW that the developer will turn over to the city.  Commissioner Atkinson made a motion that we turn that portion of Fairmont Avenue over to Mr. Hazelhurst in exchange for the parcel of land across from DPW.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion.  Discussion:  Commissioner Watkins wanted to clarify that the portion of Fairmont Avenue they were discussing is the portion after Edgewood Avenue. Mr. Collison asked that the motion have the provision that Council has determined that this portion of Fairmont Avenue is no longer a public road.  The Mayor asked if in the motion it should be sited that it is a swap.  Mr. Hazelhurst has it shown as an in kind and then the other parcel that he wants to donate should stand-alone.The Mayor wanted to entertain an amendment to the motion that the city would yield the dead -end street portion of Fairmont Avenue as it now stands.  Mr. Collison will draft a document concerning the property that is across from DPW so the city will be protected.  Commissioner Atkinson accepted the amendment.The motion was carried unanimously.


Commissioner Atkinson and Mr. Pritchett discussed the grass cutting fees.  In essence we are cutting grass on vacant lots much cheaper then any lawn care business. Mr. Collison has drafted a resolution to increase the fee from $50 to $100 for the first offense.  The subsequent offense fee will be raised to $200 and if the grass is to be cut again the fee will be $300.  Mr. Pritchett said depending on the size of the lot the charge has been as low as $25.00 and commercial lots at $50.00 to $75.00.  The Mayor asked if there ever is an occurrence where there is a commercial lot that would cost more then $75.00.  Mr. Collison said that the resolution drafted states that that the rate is at $100 per man- hour or any fraction there of.  The $100 and $200 fine would be if a citation were issued.  If DPW does have to go out and "abate the nuisance" it is at the rate of $100 per man hour or any fraction there of.    Mr. Collison said that because this is an ordinance the requirements are that this be introduced this evening and voted on at a later date.  At the work session next week it should be on the agenda and then voted on at the August 28th session.  The Mayor asked for any questions from the audience and there were none.


Commissioner Atkinson said as the current charter stands the Mayor has very little authority and the rest of the authority rests with the Commissioners.This resolution would make the Mayor Chief Executive Officer of Cambridge.The personnel powers would be returned to the Mayor and this would make a strong Mayor similar to the city council in Salisbury.Mr. Collison explained that because this is a charter amendment it would be introduced this evening, advertised once a week for four consecutive weeks, it would become effective 50 days after its formal approval unless there is a substantial group of the public that object.The public does have the right to petition for a referendum and vote on this matter.  It will be introduced tonight; a formal vote on August 28th and then the publication would begin thereafter.

Commissioner Watkins asked if this would be available to the public?Mr. Collison said that a copy would be posted on the bulletin board in City Hall and there will be copies available for the public to take with them.Mr. Collison said that if you look at this charter and compare it to the present charter it basically changes two items.  The first is the budgetary powers. Previously the Mayor and the City Clerk-Treasurer had the budgetary powers.  Then in 1996 the Clerk-Treasurer and not the Mayor prepared the budget under the supervision of the Council.  The other item is personnel issues. This proposed charter would make the Mayor the Chief Personnel Officer for the City of Cambridge.Any hiring and firing would be by the full Council but the Mayor would be the CEO, if a Department Head felt someone needed to be terminated that Department Head would discuss it with the Mayor and the Mayor would make the final decision.  The employee would still have the grievance process.The Mayor asked for any comments and there were none.


The Mayor asked for a motion to approve the purchase order for the Great Marsh Breakwater.  Commissioner Weldon asked if this is a payment on an existing contract?  Mr. Pritchett said that it was.  Commissioner Weldon made a motion for Council to approve the purchase order in the amount of $20,000.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion.The motion was carried unanimously.


The Mayor asked how many audience participants were there to discuss the Glenburn Housing Project? By the show of hands there were a great number.The Mayor announced that Mr. Russo would be here Wednesday, August 16th at 7:00 PM in the library meeting room to hold an informative meeting.The Mayor said that if there was anyone there tonight that could not attend the Wednesday night meeting they could come forward.But he would prefer to not have a detailed discussion this evening since it would be held Wednesday evening.

Ray Simmons came to the podium and said he would be there Wednesday evening. But Mr. Simmons asked exactly what passed last Monday evening 4 to 1?  The Mayor stated that the motion that was passed was a motion of support for the project.  Mr. Simmons spoke on the resolution and the dollar amount on the resolution.  Mr. Simmons wanted clarification that no resolution of in kind funding was passed.  The Mayor stated that was true. 

Mr. Simmons asked if all the written documents are available would be available to the public?  Mr. Kinnamon stated that all the publications would be available at City Hall.

The Mayor asked the media to announce that the meeting would be held at 7:00 p.m. in the library meeting room.  Mr. Kinnamon reminded everyone to use the entrance under the canopy. 


Mr. Pritchett reminded the Mayor and Council that the dockmaster has left.  The peak season is upon them and at this time it will be difficult to replace the dockmaster.  The option has come before DPW to allow the summer employee to work around his college classes.  Mr. Josh Wheeler is willing to take night classes and stay on until the end of the season.   Since the season doesn't end until around November this will allow DPW the time to find a replacement to start the season next year.  The Mayor asked Council if they have any questions.  Mr. Collison asked if this individual is capable of handling the position or would they need a temporary or part time employee?  Mr. Pritchett said that the back up would come from DPW.  Mr. Collison said that the Council could allow Mr. Pritchett to hire someone with out the advertising.   Mr. Pritchett clarified that the person that wants to fill in as the dockmaster is a temporary employee.  The Mayor asked for questions from the Council there were none.  Mr. Pritchett was authorized to allow the temporary employee to stay on in the dockmasters place.


Mr. Kinnamon had one building permit application from the Housing Authority. Cost of improvements is $181,740.00.  Commissioner Watkins made a motion to approve the building permit.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion.  The motion was carried unanimously.


Commissioner Travers said that Commissioner Atkinson worked with the Sheriffs Department to have a couple of prisoners' help with the cutting of the grass on the curbs and sidewalks in the fifth ward.


Commissioner Atkinson asked the press to continue to ask the citizens to clean their own sidewalks.


The Mayor recognized the efforts of the Seafood Feast-I-Val that occurred this past Saturday.  The Mayor saw all the Council members there.  Given the time constraints that the committee had to deal with he felt they did an exceptional job.  The LiveWire a newsletter that Choptank Electric publishes has the Cambridge Classic on the front page. 

The Mayor requested to entertain a motion to advertise for a position of City Planner/Grantsman.  Commissioner Atkinson made the motion.  Commissioner Weldon seconded the motion. The motion was carried unanimously. 

The Mayor continued by saying that last week he and Commissioner Tom Flowers met with the Sailwinds Park Board of Directors to see if the city and county could facility help for Sailwinds.  The city will put up $5,000 along with other considerations from the county that will allow all the groups that have booked Sailwinds to have their requests honored until the end of the year.  This money will basically help pay the electric bills at Governors Hall. There will be a meeting for long term considerations at a later date.  Commissioner Atkinson made a motion that the city allocates $5,000 to Sailwinds Park.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion.   The motion was carried unanimously. 


Commissioner Atkinson had a transfer of a liquor license from 1801 B Race Street.  It is located in a C-2 general commercial district and per section 20-16 of the City code retail business the sale of beer or other alcohol beverages. Mr. Collison stated that since it was just a transfer there is no action needed by the Council.  Mr. Pritchett said that this was a courtesy letter since the store is in Mr. Atkinson's ward.


The Mayor stated that there is a need for more office space for city employees.  The space is needed both for some existing employees and also for the position of planner.  Mr. Collison has also shown interest in moving his business downtown.  Therefore, on October 1st the office space above the MUC will become available for city use.  The Mayor asked for the board to discuss this at the work session in September.

The Mayor requested that at the work session on Monday, August 21st the Council would need to discuss all outstanding organizations that have not been filled.  Council will discuss briefly the reorganization of some of the departments within the city. 


Commissioner Weldon asked if the Department of Public Works could look into the possibility that when citizens need to repair their front sidewalks on private property could the sidewalks be installed and billed on the property taxes for five years? 

Commissioner Weldon also attended the Seafood Feast-I-Val.  He said that he was pleased that city had taken over the event.  He felt more citizens had attended then in the past.  He also noticed more community organizations involved in food preparation.  The food was tremendous and the entertainment was great.  That is what Sailwinds has become a place where the community can come together and enjoy good times near the water.


Commissioner Watkins further commented on the Seafood Feast-I-Val and he felt that the city needed to be congratulated for fronting the $10,000.  It is a good advertisement for the city and the county.  He hopes it will continue in the future.


Commissioner Bohlen also attended the Seafood Feast-I-Val and found it be delightful.  He had the opportunity to take several busloads of people on a historic tour of the city.  The people that took the tour were delighted.

Commissioner Bohlen said that Mr. Grason Eckel sent a letter to him referencing the marker for Governor Holiday Hicks in the Cambridge cemetery.  Commissioner Bohlen went out to the cemetery and feels that the marker is in a poor location for public view.  He will be contacting the state roads and talking with Council to see what is required to have that marker moved from Academy Street.

The Mayor has contacted the state roads and they will come in and place the marker to a spot that belongs to the city and they will pick up the marker, move it and set it in place for the city.


Mr. Collison stated that Council needed to have a motion to meet in closed executive session for the purpose of obtaining legal counsel on Wednesday, August 16th at 4:30 p.m. in Council chambers.  Commissioner Weldon made a motion to go into closed executive session.  Commissioner Watkins seconded the motion.  The motion was carried unanimously.

Mr. Collison said that he would be attending the work session next Monday, but the following Monday he would be attending the Municipal Lawyers Association Conference.


Rev. William Wallace, Pastor Waugh United Methodist Church 425 High Street came to the podium.  Rev. Wallace spoke about the property located at 421 High Street. Some citizens are concerned about the type of business that wishes to purchase this property. Rev. Wallace would like the discussion held either at a work session, or a public hearing.  The Mayor stated that there is a work session next Monday and there could be discussion at that time.

Corrine Mitsak 100 West End Avenue and co-owner of the Place on Race came to the podium.  Ms. Mitsak requested clarification on the noise ordinance and are churches exempt?  On Sunday the members of St. John's Holiness Church at 426 Race Street created a disturbance with the noise of their service.  The police informed her churches are exempt from the noise ordinance and she wanted Councils verification. Mr. Collison said that he would look into the matter.  But it was felt that since churches when they hold outdoor functions must come before Council for a noise variance that they are not exempt.

Bill Hazelhurst from Osprey Bolton came forward and thanked the Council for their confidence in the upgrading of Cambridge Park Apartments.  Mr. Hazelhurst needed to know if approval was needed on the resolution that they had brought last week.  Mr. Collison wanted the resolution to be voted on with some corrections. Mr. Collison said that the resolution seemed to imply that Council was approving the financing of the project and not the project itself. Mr. Collison requested that the proposed resolution state that we approve of the applicant being the limited partnership applying for and obtaining that financing.  And in a later section it states that the Mayor gives his support and it should read the Mayor and the city's support.  Mr. Hazelhurst agreed to the changes.  Mr. Collison said that the Clerk's office would have this prepared by Tuesday, August 15th.     The chair entertained a motion with Mr. Collison's changes.  Commissioner Bohlen made a motion to approve the resolution with the changes.  Commissioner Watkins seconded the motion.  The motion was carried unanimously. 

William Jackson, President HRC came to the podium.   Mr. Jackson announced that this Thursday, the HRC would be having a back to school block party from 5:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. in the 600 block of Pine Street.  Saturday, August 19th they will be holding a back to school pool party from 3:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. at the Cambridge Pool on Virginia Avenue.  At both of these affairs the Human Relation Committee will be giving school supplies to the youth.  Mr. Jackson said that he was trying to get the City of Cambridge bags to use and had talked to Pat and Kathy Foster and had not yet received a response.  Mr. Jackson said that since some of the HRC members could not be there Saturday, and Mr. Jackson would not be able to attend either he asked for support from the Council that some of the Council could attend the function on Saturday to help with the project.  Mr. Jackson thanked those who did contribute to the Great Cambridge Cookout, but due to the lack of volunteers and lack of contributions the cookout could not be held.  Many of the contributors of the cookout did allow their contributions to be used for the back to school project.

Mr. Collison answered Ms. Mitsak's question on the noise ordinance.  The ordinance is found in section 8-21 of the code subsection C-4 it states that the sounding of bells, or chimes, being used for religious services or in conjunction with national or state celebration shall be exempt.  The other item is the production of non amplified crowd noises resulting from activities such as daycare centers, schools or government or community groups in such a manner as would otherwise cause a noise disturbance. Ms. Mitsak stated that St. John's Holiness was not using bells or chimes but the noise vibrated the windows.

The Mayor asked for any other comments there being none Council went into executive session.

With no further business, Mayor Rippons adjourned the meeting at 7:58 p.m.

I hereby certify that the forgoing is a true and accurate account of the Council meeting Monday, August 14, 2000 insofar as I personally am aware.

Edwin C. Kinnamon, Clerk-Treasurer