• 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 28, 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 Travers made a motion to approve the minutes of the August 14, 2000 meeting.  Commissioner Bohlen seconded the motion. The motion was carried unanimously.


Mr. Kinnamon read the bids for the bituminous overlay for street paving. There were three bids they are as follows:

I.A. Construction, Corp                                 $218,700 for item number one

Delmar, MD                                                 $    7,800 for item number two


David A. Bramble                                         $50,625 for item number one

Chestertown, MD                                         $15,375 for item number two

Eastern Shore Paving                                   $193,905 for item number one

East New Market, MD                                   $   8,000 for item number two

Commissioner Atkinson made a motion to have the bids sent to the Department of Public Works.  Commissioner Watkins seconded the motion. The motion was carried unanimously.


Octavene Saunders asked Mr. Kinnamon to present her request to the Council. The request was for a noise variance and to block off a portion of the 400 block of High Street particularly in front of 409 and 411 which is on the west side and 406 and 408 which is directly across the street on the east side.   The purpose of this request is to entertain a block party this Saturday, September 2, 2000 from the hours of 5:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. Since children will be attending it would be safer for the children to cross the street if it were blocked off. Discussion:  The Mayor wanted to know if there was precedence for blocking streets for small gatherings?  Mr. Kinnamon said that Council has blocked streets off before for interest groups and there may have been streets blocked off for community functions. 

The Mayor asked the Chief as far as traffic would there be a problem?  The Chief said it could be accommodated.  The Mayor and Council have always supported groups and organizations but he wasn't sure about individuals, but as far as he was concerned there was no problem.

Commissioner Weldon had a few issues to discuss.  The first was setting a precedence of blocking off the street for an individual.  The second issue was that High Street is a major corridor going out that would not only close High Street outbound but would effectively close Pine Street outbound also.  Considering that this is a holiday weekend traffic could be heavier then usual.  Commissioner Weldon requested that if possible the Traffic and Safety Committee meet to discuss this or could Mrs. Saunders consider another venue?

Commissioner Watkins stated that due to the time constraints Traffic and Safety wouldn't have time to make a study and report back since there is no meeting between now and the date of the party.  Commissioner Watkins said that his recollection is that closing off streets has been for organizations or churches but not for an individual request.

The Mayor asked Ms. Portia Johnson to come to the podium to explain the block party. Ms. Johnson said that an individual was not giving this party but it was through a program that Ms. Johnson works with and there would be young children attending therefore for safety reasons they wanted the street blocked off. 

Commissioner Weldon said that there was not enough time to consider the request since the first the Council knew of this was when they got their books Friday.  Commissioner Weldon asked could this group contact the Department of Public Works to see if any of the parks were available?

Commissioner Watkins said that since children were involved and it was a group not an individual he made a motion to allow the blocking the street and the noise variance for Saturday, September 2nd from the hours of 5:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m.  There being no second the motion died.


Bruce McWilliams came forward and congratulated the new Mayor and Commissioners and thanked the City for their support of the seed money for the Seafood Feast-I-Val.  Mr. McWilliams said that not all bills or income have been received at this time. He and the committee felt the event was very successful.  Mr. McWilliams asked the Council to consider loaning seed next year as they did this year.  The location will be the same unless something happens to Sailwinds.  The Feast-I-Val next year will be August 11, 2001.  Mr. McWilliams will came back in a month or two with a proposed budget that the committee will put together for next year. The committee also plans to sell sponsorships either monetarily or with in-kind sponsorships for next years Feast-I-Val. The Mayor asked if Mr. McWilliams would want to wait for a motion until he came back with a full report.  Mr. McWilliams said that would be fine. Commissioner Atkinson asked was there enough money to repay the city loan.  Mr. McWilliams said that the money was there. Commissioner Watkins commented that the Feast-I-Val even without the buses was a great success. Commissioner Bohlen asked if they were looking to incorporate as a separate entity?  Mr. McWilliams said that eventually they would like to do this. The Mayor asked if it was Council's wish to offer the sponsorship at this time or wait until the final figures are in.  Commissioner Atkinson said that he felt we should wait until the final report and the repayment funds are made.  Council all agreed to wait.


Mr. Armond Hayward, 711 Locust Street came to the podium.  Mr. Hayward representing the Historic Preservation Committee asked that a sign moratorium be considered in the residential area of the Historic District. When the design guidelines were written they didn't anticipate an incident to occur like the one with Zion Church.  The guidelines were written to regulate the signage that was in the commercial part of the district but not the residential.  The Historic Preservation Committee is in the process of working with the city on a sign ordinance and they would like some guidance. 

Commissioner Bohlen said that when the guidelines were developed signage was investigated in the commercial aspect.  Unfortunately churches and other areas of the residential area were not considered.  Commissioner Bohlen feels that with the new sign ordinance to be considered and eventually to be applied that this request is not unreasonable, it doesn't effect the commercial district. 

Mr. Hayward said that the Historic Preservation is working on the city's sign ordinance and they are looking at other city's ordinances. This may mean a special session between the Council, the Historic Preservation and the public. 

Mr. Pritchett stated that it is imperative to make a decision because there are problems with two of the sign permit requests.  The sign ordinance is vague, unclear and they are battling with an agency that they should be working with.  Mr. Pritchett wanted to know if the Council wanted to know how long before they could have the new zoning ordinance adopted or just the sign portion adopted? 

The Mayor said that the Council could entertain both ways.  Mr. Pritchett said that it was possible to get the sign ordinance adopted but not the whole zoning ordinance.  Mr. Pritchett recommended granting a moratorium in the residential district.  

Commissioner Atkinson felt that since a sign ordinance would be adopted in a few months he didn't feel we needed a moratorium at this time.

Mr. Hayward said that there was a sign request coming before them soon for the Glasgow Nursing Home.  This sign will not be grandfathered in since the Historic Preservation Committee has not received the information from Glasgow that was requested.

Commissioner Bohlen made a motion to allow a moratorium on signage in the historical district of residential section of the city until at such time the new sign ordinance is approved.  Commissioner Weldon seconded the motion.  Discussion:  Commissioner Weldon wanted to know how broadly this moratorium would apply.  Would this moratorium only apply to permit signs?  Mr. Hayward said they would be permit signs or signs that are attached.  Mr. Hayward offered to write a sign ordinance for the Historic District and have it completed within a month.

Allen Dickinson 610 William Street came to the podium.  His question on the moratorium was would this include the 911 number on a residence or where they just talking of commercial properties? Mr. Pritchett said that house numbers do not require a permit.

The motion was carried 4 to 1.  Commissioner Atkinson was opposed.


Lauren Frampton came to the podium to request that the picnic the hospital emergency room will hold at Great Marsh be allowed to bring small coolers with beer. Mr. Kinnamon said that it has been Council's position in the past not to allow any alcoholic beverages at Great Marsh.  The only time there is an exception is at the power boat regatta. Mr. Pritchett said that the precedence has been not to allow alcohol at Great Marsh. The Chief stated the same that alcohol is not permitted. Commissioner Watkins stated that if you allow one individual group to do this then you would have to allow every group to do so. The Mayor asked if she had received a copy of the rules for Great Marsh which she did and therefore Councils decision was to deny her request.


Commissioner Atkinson brought forth a motion to allow the Department of Public Works to increase their weeds/grass cutting fees.

Mr. Pritchett said that the Department of Public Works is often called upon to cut properties where the landlord has been notified but refuses to cut the grass.  At that time DPW abates the problem.  The suggestion is to add an administrative fee and a minimum fee per hour for the manpower to abate the nuisance. 

Commissioner Atkinson said that the cost would be a $100 per man-hour or a portion there of plus a $100 fine. Commissioner Watkins felt that this was too high.  Commissioner Weldon made a motion to adopt the increase of fees.  Commissioner Bohlen seconded the motion.  Discussion:  The Mayor made a point of information that in the minutes of August 14th Mr. Collison drafted a resolution to increase the fee from $50 to $100 for the first offense.  The subsequent offense will be to raise the fee to $200 and if the grass needs to be cut again the fee will be $300.  The Mayor reminded the Council that Mr. Pritchett stated that the depending on the size of the lot the cost has been as low as $25 with commercial lots costing from the amount of $50 to $75 per lot. 

The motion was carried 4 to 1 with Commissioner Watkins against. 


Mr. Pritchett requested that the low bid of $5,453.95 for the inkjet plotter be awarded to Charrett Corporation.  Commissioner Travers made a motion to approve the bid from Charrett Corporation.  Commissioner Atkinson seconded the motion.  The motion was carried unanimously.


Mr. Pritchett explained that the final work for this year at the pedestrian mall is to purchase the benches.  The Boy Scout is prepared to combine his funds with the city and the money that the previous Council approved.  The previous Council had approved to match what the Boy Scout raised by 50%.  The Boy Scout raised $1,500, therefore Councils share would be $750, and the amount in the DPW account is $1,000.  The benches cost approximately $400 to $600 per bench it would take about 10 or 12 to totally outfit the mall. At this time they are only looking at 6 or 8 since DPW does not have enough money.

Commissioner Bohlen asked if the Historic Preservation has been involved in the style of the benches or the trash receptacles?  Mr. Pritchett said not in that way but a committee was formed to make a selection of the benches and trash receptacles.  Commissioner Atkinson made a motion that the Council approve the $750 towards the benches and trash receptacles.  Commissioner Watkins seconded the motion.   The motion was carried unanimously. 


Mr. Pritchett discussed the kiosk to be placed at Long Wharf.  In researching the purchase of a kiosk it was discovered that through catalogs it would take six to eight weeks to order and have the Kiosk delivered.   Mr. Pritchett felt that this was not suitable.  Mr. Pritchett tried to commission Harold Ruark to build the Kiosk but unfortunately at this time he is unable to build the Kiosk at this time.  Mr. Ruark suggested that Mr. Chata should be contacted but he would not be able to build the Kiosk until next year.  If the Kiosk would be ordered it would still be six to eight weeks and would be in a modern style.   If we had the Kiosk built it would be like the one that Dorchester County has across from the Post Office but larger.  The cost for the building of the kiosk would be $1,000 to $1,500.

Enez Stafford Grubb came to the podium and wanted to know if anyone else was contacted.  She asked if it had been advertised on the radio or the newspaper because there may be other individuals interested in the job?  Mr. Pritchett told Ms. Grubb that in the event that an item has a cost under $2500 they only need to get three quotes so he was going under the procurement policy and who has the best quote.

The Mayor asked the members of the media would they place the information in the papers and advertise on the radio?  The media agreed to help with the advertising.

Commissioner Weldon is familiar with this type of project in other communities and often they are under taken as a volunteer effort. 

Mr. Tony Thomas of 109 West End Avenue came to the podium.  He asked what the Kiosk was going to be used for?  Mr. Pritchett said that the initial request for the Kiosk was to have boat schedules for the boat businesses at Long Wharf.  Mr. Thomas asked if it would be possible to have any commercial advertising at the Kiosk.  Mr. Pritchett said that has been discussed.  Mr. Thomas stated that if you would allow business advertising then businesses might be willing to help pay for the Kiosk. 

The Mayor also asked the public if they know anyone that might be able to help with this project please contact the Mayors office or Mr. Pritchett.

Mr. Gene Tolley asked if there is a design he might be willing to take on the project at no charge to the city.  Mr. Pritchett said he would get the plans for Mr. Tolley to see.

Commissioner Bohlen reminded them it is in the Historic District so it should be shown to HPC for their input.


Mr. Pritchett stated that the pump out did arrive and the last part that was delayed finally arrived.  The old pump out will be removed this week and the new one will be put in place by sometime next week.


The sub group is still meeting and this issue will be discussed at a later time.


The Mayor asked for anyone wishing to speak to come to the podium.

LaBella Kane, Cambridge, MD came to the podium.  Ms. Kane referenced the newspaper article that was written on the public meeting held at the library where the Mayor referred to the Council as "my Council". Then later at the same meeting there was a discussion between the Mayor and Ms. Hull, Ms. Kane told him last year he didn't appreciate it when he was at the podium and people didn't treat him with respect and she feels now he is doing the same thing.  She said he shouldn't have anymore powers.

The Mayor stated that it is by his discretion how much or little feed back is allowed to go before Council.  The Mayor stated that the evening the meeting was held in the library the comments Ms. Hull made were ancillary to the issues at hand.    The Mayor said that he calls the Council "my Council" because he feels an affinity with the Council. 

Enez Stafford Grubb came to the podium.  Ms. Grubb said that this Council has not been a government body for very long and it appears that there needs to be ample time for adjustments.  Ms. Grubb said that at this time the Mayor should not gain anymore powers. 

Tony Thomas 109 West End Avenue came to the podium.  He stated that the lady is correct that this Council is new but Mr. Thomas feels that this Council is far superior and ahead of the last Council.  This Council has accomplished more in the last four weeks then had been accomplished in the last four years.  Mr. Thomas feels that the Mayor should have all more power.  Mr. Thomas said that he didn't vote for the Mayor he voted for himself, but if he had known then what he knows now he would have voted for the Mayor.  He feels they should be congratulated for all their hard work and we are going in the right direction.

Rev. William Wallace, Waugh United Methodist Church came to the podium.  The Rev. was a little confused when it comes to giving the Mayor ultimate power and authority.  A few months ago the Reverend sat in a meeting when at that time the Mayor spoke up against any parliamentary procedure.  The Rev heard tonight the Mayor reference to Roberts Rules of Order.  The Reverend asked what parliamentary procedures does he plan to use so there won't be any confusion.  The Reverend also stated that the Mayor should not have the powers restored.

The Mayor responded that the city has adopted parliamentary procedures and these procedures are almost verbatim to Roberts Rules of Order. The Mayor may and will use his discretion as Robert Rules of Orders allows him to do so. 

Rev. Wallace then stated that when he was on the audience side the Mayor then very strongly wanted to be heard and this audience expects the same treatment from him. 

The Mayor stated that he allows everyone to be heard. 

Enez Stafford Grubb returned to the podium.  She stated that it is not the point that people haven't had the opportunity to speak but the respect they should receive. 

Eugene Tolley of Race Street and 106 Vue De Leau Street came to the podium.  He has attended the meetings since the new Council has bee elected.  Mr. Tolley said that the Council works well together and that the Mayor should have more powers.   He told the Mayor he is a good Mayor and keep up the good work.

Commissioner Atkinson stated to the audience for their information that the amendment was copied 90% from the duties of the Mayor of Salisbury.  Commissioner Atkinson said that this charter is not something new or something this commission dreamt up.  This charter is known in the municipal government as a strong Mayor relationship.   

Commissioner Weldon wanted to clarify he that these are the some powers that the previous Mayor had and relinquished.  The only difference is with this new proposed charter the Department Heads would report to the Mayor and not to the Council. 

Jerome Stanley 417 Leonard Lane came to the podium.  Mr. Stanley was worried that if in four years you have a new Mayor he may not like someone and fire them and that is when you play with peoples livelihoods. Mr. Stanley feels that we would be better off to have a City Manager and is against the Mayor having more authority. 

The Mayor said that he would not have enough power to fire someone.  The Mayor would go to Council with his feelings but the Council would have a final say in any employment matters.

Commissioner Weldon said what this charter will do will bring a balance to the city government that there hasn't been before. 

Commissioner Watkins said that previously the Mayor was Chief Personnel Officer but the last Mayor didn't want the responsibility so Council took it away from him. 

Mr. Pritchett, Director of Department of Public Works stated that he is appreciative that the Department Heads have more ability to run their departments.

Russell Wroten, Chief of Police said that he likes working for one person instead of a whole group. 

Commissioner Atkinson made a motion to approve the charter amendment to reinstate the powers of the Mayor.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion.  Discussion:  The Mayor explained that if the motion is passed tonight that the charter will be posted at City Hall for fifty days, plus the charter will be advertised in the paper and the public may petition for a referendum.  The motion was carried unanimously. 


Commissioner Weldon researched the property and discovered that Mr. Moxey doesn't have a contract on the property at this time.  There is a $566.10 lien on the property that the city holds.  Commissioner Weldon received some communications from citizens in regards to the property.  Mr. Hayward sent a letter to Commissioner Weldon concerning that property and the historic district.  Commissioner Weldon read the letter for the record.  "In response to your request to the Cambridge Historic Preservation Commission in reference to Moxey's Taxi Service as chairman I have reviewed the previous recommendations which were made around five years ago by the Historic Preservation Commission members.  The address that Mr. Moxey's Taxi Service is proposing to locate in the 400 block of High Street was recommended for further study and is to be listed as part of the Local Historic District.  The Historic Preservation Commission does not meet again until September 24, 2000 therefore the following recommendations are based on the previous ones and have not been discussed since then with the other Commission members.  The CHPC had recommended that a Local Historic District be created to include the area forming Pine, Washington and High Street within this Historic District. This includes Bethel AEM Church, Waugh Church, which are eligible for listing on The National Register of Historical Places. Also within this area is the Women's Club, Sycamore Cottage which is already individually listed on the National Register.  The Commission had originally requested that Sycamore Cottage be included in the Cambridge Historic District boundaries when originally presented and then Commissioner Otto Chesseman was extremely vocal against the request and the request was withdrawn.  Much of the High Street and Pine Street area are architecturally and historically significant to the community.  There are important sites where meetings were held by the Cambridge Colonization Committee before the Civil War, which discussed the returning of freed slaves to Africa.  As well as meetings held by leaders of the Civil Rights movement in the 1960's.  These historic aspects are well documented and are only a few of many.  This area should be designated as a Local Historic District there is a possibility that a conservation district could also be developed for this area.  I discussed this with a representative of the Annapolis Historic District Commission.  A public presentation from this group can be set up by CHPC if so desired by the Mayor and Commissioners."

Commissioner Weldon continued stating that he has spoken with Mrs. Saunders since the last meeting regarding the High Street property.  Commissioner Weldon spoke to her about the Historic Preservations recommendation but there is not a great support of that proposal from the African-American community.  Commissioner Weldon said that there are several avenues to follow since the property doesn't have a contract on it.  If anyone wishes to move forward with a contract on the property they are free to do so.  The other issues is that if Mr. Moxey wishes to move forward with purchasing the property and instituting his cab stand under the present zoning as a C-2 property he may do so.

Mr. Charles Moxey of 416 Robbins Street came to the podium.  Mr. Moxey said at this time he operates out of 618 Race Street.  Mr. Moxey was never contacted by anyone on High Street and said he is willing to work with the community if he moves his taxi cab business. 

Commissioner Watkins said that serious consideration should be given to the church and the citizens in the area of High Street where he wants to open his business.

Phil Ronald Insley 319 Colony Avenue came to the podium.  Mr. Insley has been in the cab business for roughly 45 years in the Cambridge area.  Mr. Insley wanted to know what the community wanted there?  Did they want it to stay a dirty vacant lot? 

Grason Eckel came to the podium and supports Mr. Moxey's efforts.  Mr. Eckel stated that many of the allegations that have been brought against Mr. Moxey are strictly hearsay.  Mr. Moxey has 3 cab operators at this time. 

Ella Mae Brown 420 High Street came to the podium.  Ms. Brown is concerned about the neighborhood.  Ms. Brown closed her taxi cab stand in June.  She closed her taxi cab stand because she felt it might cause problems soon in the neighborhood. 

Sister Mary Winifred 406 High Street came to the podium.  Sister Mary stated that she doesn't object to Mr. Moxey making a living, but she does object to the business being at 421 High Street.  The area should be cleaned up including the entire 400 block of High Street. 

Mr. Moxey came back to the podium and said there are three different cabstands in Cambridge and all are located close to a church.  Mr. Moxey said that the reason he hasn't made a contract on the property is he was waiting for approval from Council and the citizens. 

Phil Ronald Insley came back to the podium.  He didn't understand why everyone is opposed to a cab stand business.  He knows people think that drug pushers and prostitutes inhibit at taxicab businesses but they are everywhere in the city. 

Rev. William Wallace of Waugh Church came to the podium. He just wanted to state that the intent is not to prevent Mr. Moxey from making a livelihood.   They are willing to sit down with Mr. Moxey and discuss what his intentions are.  Rev. Wallace said that the citizens came a few weeks ago to ask for a work session and that session was held last week. Rev. Wallace feels that Mr. Moxey should have appeared at that time and given his statement on what his business intentions were and not come before Council at this time tonight.

Commissioner Atkinson doesn't feel that the Council can make a decision until someone gets a contract on that property. 

Commissioner Watkins said that we have an obligation to listen to the citizens that live in that area and what they have to say what happens in that area.  Commissioner Watkins agreed with Commissioner Atkinson that since Mr. Moxey doesn't have a contract on that property Council couldn't make a decision at this point.

Commissioner Weldon tanked everyone for their comments and promised that before a decision was made the citizen's opinions would be listened to. 


The Mayor asked if Council was ready for these appointments.  Commissioner Atkinson and Commissioner Travers both need more time to find appointments for their wards.


The Mayor announced that since next Monday, September 4th is Labor Day there would be no Council meeting.  The Mayor asked if Council would consider having a full calendar of meetings by using Monday, September 18th as a regular meeting instead of a work session?  Council agreed to do so. 


The Mayor stated that he had received a salary schedule from each Department Head and he did not feel that it is in the best interest of the employee's morale to be ladled with such low salaries.  The Mayor asked for Council to be prepared to vote on these salaries at the September 11th meeting.

Commissioner Weldon wanted to know if there needed to be an executive session on the 11th of September?  The Mayor felt that would be necessary.  Commissioner Weldon made a motion to have an executive session at 6:30 P.M. on September 11th.  Commissioner Atkinson seconded the motion.  The motion was carried unanimously.  


Mr. Pritchett stated that DPW budgeted this year $80,000 to build a 12 bay equipment shed.  There is no place to keep their equipment under cover.  Mr. Pritchett requested that he be allowed to go to bid for the budgeted line item.  Commissioner Atkinson made a motion to allow DPW to go to bid for the equipment building.  Commissioner Bohlen seconded the motion.  The motion was carried unanimously.


Mr. Pritchett discussed the parking lot between Benny Smith's Funeral Home and Center Market.  In 1988 the fence except for the back portion was removed.  Mr. Pritchett has received several requests to replace the fence.  Mr. Pritchett stated that the prices he has may have inflated but if they use the existing poles the cost would be $1,675 if chain link fencing were used.  The Mayor requested that Council would visit the site and is prepared to discuss this at the next meeting.  Commissioner Bohlen reminded Council that area is in the Historic District.  Commissioner Bohlen will speak with Mr. Hayward.


Dorchester County Planning and Zoning appointed Mr. J. Michael DuBuque to be a member of the City's Planning and Zoning Commission.  Commissioner Atkinson made a motion to accept Mr. DuBuque.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion.  The motion was carried unanimously.


The Mayor entertained a motion to approve Kitty Jones as the Mayor's appointment to the City's Planning and Zoning Committee.  Commissioner Watkins made a motion to accept Kitty Jones.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion.  The motion was carried unanimously.


The Mayor entertained a motion to approve the reappointment of Andrew Atkinson and James Slacum to the Housing Board of Review.  Commissioner Travers made a motion to accept the reappointment of both candidates.  Commissioner Watkins seconded the motion.  The motion was carried unanimously. 


Commissioner Watkins made a motion to approve the job classification of the City Planner/Grants Administrator and to start advertising for the position on Tuesday, August 29th.  Commissioner Bohlen seconded the motion.  The motion was carried unanimously.  The Mayor announced that all resumes and applications should be in City Hall by September 13th.


The committees to be abolished are as follows: The Architectural Board of Review, The Board of Construction Appeals, The Great Marsh Development Committee, The Cambridge Task Force (the gaming committee), The Citizens Advisory Committee. 

Mr. Kinnamon stated that Mr. Collison said that there would need to be a second reading on the abolishment of these committees.    Commissioner Weldon stated that the reason these committees are being considered for abolishment is that they have been inactive for years or their mission has been completed.  Council will have the second reading and render a decision at the September 11th Council meeting.


Commissioner Watkins made a motion to approve the financial statement for July.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion.  The motion was carried unanimously.


Commissioner Bohlen presented his appointment for the Historic Preservation Committee to take his place he appointed Ms. Jean Jenkins.  Ms. Jenkins will serve the rest of the commissioner's time. 


Commissioner Watkins will be re-appointing his Human Relation Committee members.


The Mayor shared a memorandum from Mr. Collison on the hiring of temporary /part time employees.  The two relevant issues are what is the policy for hiring family members? The second issue is what is the application procedure for hiring temporary/part time employees?  The Mayor shared that there is an employee manual but it was not intended for it to apply to "non classified" employees.  It has been the practice of the Department Heads to informally hire family members for temporary help during the summer.  However, the employee manual does not specifically exempt temporary employees.  The manual states on page 1-3 that the policies and procedures apply to all city employees and exempts only members of the Police Department and the Rescue Fire Company.  The manual does expressly state that emergency employees and temporary extra employees are not in the classified service.  All employees must complete and submit an employee application.  Sect 4 expressly prohibits the hiring of members of ones immediate family if it will create a direct or indirect supervisor/subordinate relationship.  Therefore, the practice that was complained of does not comply with the form of regulation of the city's employee manual.  The Mayor said that the practice of hiring family members has not been limited too Department of Heads but has included family members of the commissioners. 

Mr. Collison said that the Council should consider adopting a regulation to advertise in the spring of every year that the city is accepting applications for employment during the summer months.

The memorandum continued by stating that all employees whether classified or Non -Classified temporary or permanent have an application on file. It is sound management to discourage the hiring of immediate family members within ones department. 

Mr. Collison recommended that a memo be circulated to all Department Heads advising them of these polices.  The manual should be amended to state that the grievance procedures apply only to classified employees.   Temporary or emergency employees should not have the right to an appeal hearing. The Mayor asked Council to review this and be prepared for a discussion at the next meeting. The Mayor requested Council to consider an Ethics Board. 

The Mayor continued by discussing an item in the budget for a skateboard park.  The Mayor would like this item looked into and be prepared to discuss what is in the best interest of the city.  The Mayor asked for the people that were involved with the skate board park to be at the meeting on Sept. 11th.


The Mayor discussed an update on the Empowerment Center.  The Mayor has discussed this matter with the County Commissioners in particular Commissioner Nichols. It was the county's opinion when they sent the $19,500 over that the major portion of that money was for paving the Empowerment Center.  The engineer estimated that the cost for paving would be approximately $15,220.  The Mayor stated that the board has two options one would be that they request a check in that amount and that may or may not be payment in full.  If the amount comes over the $15,220 Council would request that the remainder would come from the Pine Street Committee.  If the paving amount comes below that figure then Council would send the excess money back.  The second option that Commissioner Nichols found to be more favorable is to wait until the bids are received and Council approves and accepts the bid.  Commissioner Nichols will guarantee the day after Council takes action he will have a check in that full amount.  Commissioner Nichols would feel more comfortable if the Council would visit option #2. 

Commissioner Atkinson made a motion before any additional funds are requested from the Pine Street Committee on the paving contract that Council waits until the paving bids are opened and accepted by the DPW then the amount be requested. Commissioner Watkins seconded the motion.  The motion carried unanimously.   

The Mayor reminded the Council that there is an outstanding loan balance in the amount of $5,600 and again the Mayor stated that the Pine Street Committee is not amenable at this time to discuss the repayment.  All questions are to be referred to their attorney. Ms. Saunders has requested a copy of the tape from the November 11, 1997 meeting and if necessary the Mayor will bring the tape in to play it for the entire board.   

Commissioner Atkinson said that the official typed minutes of that meeting states that there is a loan and there is nothing alleged about it.  Therefore, he didn't see any need of hearing the tape. 

The Mayor continued discussing the Empowerment Center.  He told the Council they need to go back and revisit the lease agreement, because his understanding is that the agreement in not in full compliance of the law.  The city may not enter into a lease agreement without prior authority of the state.  The Mayor sees no such request from the state that allows us to enter into a lease agreement.

The Mayor stated that some city employees contacted him with their concerns that a citizen has called them and read them the riot act and made several statements to the employees. The Mayor was at this employee's workplace and the Mayor informed the Department Head that if this individual calls again that person should contact the Mayor's office.  The Mayor does not feel that the employees need to be harassed.               


Commissioner Weldon stated that he has stopped working for a boating contractor.  In the past weeks the Council has voted on $20 million of construction projects and he felt that he could not sit there and in good conscience consider those projects and vote on those projects being in the construction business.  Commissioner Weldon is now pursuing other job opportunities.     


Commissioner Atkinson made a motion that to keep better communications with the departments that all four Department Heads or their duly appointed representative attend all Council meetings.  Those departments will be Housing, Police Department, Administration and Department of Public Works.  Any other department heads such as Fire Department and Emergency Medical Services will attend when there is an agenda item or they have concerns to bring to Council.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion.  The motion was carried unanimously.  

The Mayor asked if the Chief had anything to say.  The Chief said that he can be there every Monday night but he feels that it is a waste of his time. 

Commissioner Atkinson explained that the few times the Chief hasn't been there that it seems a question always comes up for the Police Department.  Commissioner Atkinson has come across other areas where motions have been made but the Department since it had no representation did not get the information or pass it on to their employees.

The motion was carried unanimously.


Commissioner Travers said that there is a building permit for Elias Adamopoulos for the new WaWa store at Sunburst Highway where the Shoals Restaurant was located. 

Commissioner Travers stated that approximately 10% of the property taxes have been paid.


Mr. Kinnamon had two requests for Special Use Permits.  The first request came from Mark Christopher he has requested a Special Use Permit for a produce stand from now until October at the Snows Turn Market he has had a Special Use Permit for the same place before.  Mr. Christopher has also asked that he be permitted to have a Special Use Permit for produce and snowball stand next year at the same location. 

Mr. Christopher came to the podium.  He explained that two years ago Mr. Sewell Hubbard sold Snows Turn. Another family brought the store and there were conflicts between Mr. Christopher and that owner.  In the past two or three weeks there have been new owners again, and Mr. Christopher is able to work with the new owners.  Mr. Christopher knows it is late in the season but he has met the new owners and he feels comfortable in operating his produce stand again at Snows Turn.  Mr. Christopher requested to be allowed to start this Wednesday, August 30, 2000.

Commissioner Atkinson knows he has a good stand and has no problem with letting him starting this year.  Commissioner Atkinson would like to hold a decision for next year until they see if any of the neighbors in the area have any complaints.  Commissioner Atkinson made a motion that Mr. Christopher be granted permission for a Special Use Permit for this year.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion.  Discussion: Commissioner Weldon stated that because of a prior incident this evening where someone waited too late he did not feel that it would be fair if he voted for Mr. Christopher even though he knows he runs a good produce stand.   The Mayor asked if there are any fees?  Mr. Kinnamon said that the only costs are those that incur in processing and Mr. Christopher is on private property.  Mr. Kinnamon said after he has applied and wants to do it the following year he just needs to make a written application and this gives Council the opportunity to visit any problems if there aren't any then the request is generally approved.  The motion was carried 4 to 1 with Commissioner Weldon against.

The Mayor stated that he felt that it was not proper that Mr. Clarence Johnson pays $200 a year for his stand and no one else pays for their permit. 

Commissioner Atkinson said that the attorney was to be working on a proposed resolution for produce stands so it is fair to everyone. 

Mr. Kinnamon asked about his request for next year.  Commissioner Atkinson said that Mr. Christopher should wait.

Mr. Kinnamon presented Mr. Shahbaz Azam request.  He business is located at 603 Meteor Avenue the new Crusaders Mart.  Mr. Azam currently has a Class "A" Beer and Wine Off Sale.  He is requesting that the license be upgraded to a Class "A" Beer, Wine and Liquor Off Sale. Mr. Kinnamon said that this should be referred to Planning and Zoning for review.  Once Council approves Mr. Azam's request then the county can be informed that he has been passed and has the permit.    

Commissioner Atkinson made a motion to send Mr. Azam's request to Planning and Zoning.  Commissioner Travers seconded the motion.  The motion was carried unanimously.


Mr. Pritchett would be meeting with the Yacht Club at DPW on Tuesday, August 29th at 8:30 am to discuss the redesign of the Yacht Basin. 

Mr. Price had a memo in the books reminding Council that they do need to get involved with the Redmond & Johnston rezoning issue. As soon as Council can get a date Mr. Pritchett will help them schedule a meeting.

The Mayor and Council scheduled a work session to discuss the Redmond & Johnston proposed zoning ordinance on Tuesday, September 5th at 6:30 p.m. 


Gloria Camper MaCray representing United Missionary Baptist Church 1006 Phillips Street came to the podium.  Their church is currently planning a Christian bazaar starting at 918 Phillips Street and continuing to 1006 Phillips Street.  The request was to block off that portion of the street.  The street is not a busy street it is close to Bradley Street and there are no homes in that area of the street.  The date will be September 30th from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.  The Mayor asked if Ms. MaCray would need a noise variance? She also requested a noise variance.

Commissioner Weldon made a motion to allow the blocking off of the street and a noise variance for the date and time of the bazaar.  Commissioner Watkins seconded the motion.  The motion was carried unanimously. 

Gene Tolley came to the podium.  He complimented the DPW in their quick response in repairing several streetlights.  Mr. Tolley asked if there is a procedure or do they just wait for the citizens to call in.  Mr. Pritchett stated that the procedure is to call in but if there are a good number of lights out then possibly the Traffic and Safety Committee could investigate the situation one evening.  Mr. Tolley said that there are at least a half a dozen in the Race Street area.

Commissioner Bohlen said that he is chairman of the street lighting committee and he has given Mr. Pritchett a list of at least ten streetlights that are out.  Commissioner Bohlen said if the citizens notice that streetlights are out they need to get the pole number and report this to DPW. 

William Wallace 425 High Street came to the podium again.  Rev. Wallace knows that last week there was discussion concerning the game room Mr. Moxey operates at his cab business. Rev. Wallace wanted to know if there was any information on game room?

Commissioner Weldon said that he contacted Mr. Pritchett's office and there is no Special Use Permit for a game room.  But, the understanding is that the equipment in the building is for the use of his employees during their down time and not for public use. 

With no further business, Mayor Rippons adjourned the meeting at 9:32 p.m.

I hereby certify that the forgoing is a true and accurate account of the Council meeting Monday, August 28, 2000 insofar as I personally am aware.

Edwin C. Kinnamon,  Clerk-Treasurer