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City Council Minutes

September 27, 1999
 

September 27, 1999

The City Council met in regular session at 7:00 p.m. with Mayor David J. Wooten presiding. Those Commissioners in attendance were: Commissioners Vickers, Watkins, Saunders, Swafford and Rice. Mr. Kinnamon led in the Lord's Prayer.

Commissioner Saunders made a motion to go into Executive Session after tonight's meeting with the Housing Director on a personnel matter and with the Police Chief, Fire Chief and Public Works Director for public safety on a legal matter; seconded by Commissioner Watkins. Motion carried unanimously.

Commissioner Watkins moved to approve the minutes of the September 13th Council meeting; seconded by Commissioner Swafford. Motion carried 4 to 0 with Commissioner Rice abstaining.

A second motion was made by Commissioner Watkins to approve the minutes of the September 20th work session; seconded by Commissioner Vickers. Motion carried 3 to 0 with Commissioners Rice and Swafford abstaining.

STREET LIGHTING COMMITTEE REPORT

Commissioner Rice advised that the committee conducted a tour to view the lighting conditions in the area of Cornish Drive, Weaver Avenue, Camelia Street and Camelia Circle. It was obvious to them that the lighting was no worse than any average street in town. Some of the problems in this particular area are due to overgrown trees. The committee made a suggestion that the Housing Authority use their mandatory porch lighting and, at this point in time, the committee recommended "to do nothing." Commissioner Rice did further state that if the trees were thinned out "it would help things tremendously." Commissioner Saunders made a motion to entertain the committee's recommendation to open this for discussion; seconded by Commissioner Swafford. Commissioner Saunders verified with Ms. Portia Johnson that the residents are allotted a certain amount for electricity and anything over that amount, they have to pay for.

Commissioner Watkins questioned whether or not it is the responsibility of the project developer to take care of the proper lighting on the streets. Commissioner Rice said, "that's a rough question because the answer is yes and no."

When Mayor Wooten took a vote on the motion to accept the committee's recommendation, Commissioner Saunders stated that her motion was to "entertain" their recommendation, not to accept or deny it.

Commissioner Watkins made a motion that the Street Lighting Committee furnish Council with information as to whether the City has the responsibility for increased lighting or whether the responsibility falls on the Housing Authority; there was no second to the motion. Motion carried unanimously.

TRAFFIC AND SAFETY COMMITTEE

Commissioner Rice stated that the committee met to discuss a request to clarify a parking zone on East Appleby Avenue.

The committee recommended that proper signage be installed in the first block of East Applyby Avenue to read "no parking here to intersection" on one end, and "no parking here to corner" on the other sign. Commissioner Rice moved to accept the committee's recommendation; seconded by Commissioner Swafford. Motion carried unanimously.

BID OPENINGS FOR PINE STREET EMPOWERMENT CENTER

Mr. Kinnamon advised that four (4) bids were received as follows:

1) Climate Masters
  Sudlersville, MD

$ 667,778.00

2) Gillis Gilkerson, Inc.
  Salisbury, MD

$ 645,000.00

3) T. M. D. Construction, Inc.
Crofton, MD

$ 560,890.00

4) Glenn P. Ruark
Cambridge, MD

$ 508,467.11

 

Commissioner Swafford made a motion to turn the bids over to the Department of Public Works for review; seconded by Commissioner Watkins. Motion carried unanimously.

PROCLAMATION FOR DRUG AWARENESS

Mr. Kinnamon proceeded to read a proclamation recognizing October, 1999 as Drug Awareness Month in the City of Cambridge urging all citizens to support the cause and commitment to a drug free community.

Commissioner Watkins moved to authorize the Mayor to sign the proclamation; seconded by Commissioner Rice. Motion carried unanimously. The proclamation was then presented to Jane Turner by Mayor Wooten.

ARBOR PLACE BUSINESSES' CONCERN OVER NEW BUSINESS ON RACE STREET

Mayor Wooten asked for a "show of hands" to see how many people in the audience wanted to speak on this issue. He stated, "I want to make sure everybody has an opportunity and if there's too many, we'll have to put a time limit on it to give everyone an opportunity, but it doesn't look like it's that many."

Mr. Kim Elzey started by saying, "that maybe some of this has gotten a little out of hand more than what we expected it to be. I don't want Mr. Swafford to think that we did not want him to have a business..." Speaking for himself, he stated he is concerned with the types of businesses that are coming downtown "especially when we are trying to keep the face of downtown to what it once was."

Commissioner Saunders asked Mr. Elzey to state the type of businesses that he finds acceptable to be downtown and the type he finds not acceptable. He didn't answer the question directly but stated he does not know the hours of operation for the laundromat that Commissioner Swafford is planning to open and is concerned "more so about the hours he's going to keep and what kind of public is going to be in his establishment after certain hours."

Commissioner Saunders asked what the hours of operation would be and Commissioner Swafford stated that they are tentatively going to be from 7:00 a.m to 7:00 p.m., "but as all of you know, businesses dictate what your hours are going to be." He added that there will be an attendant present, "no loitering" signs and a lot of rules and regulations. It is a public building and there will be no smoking and no alcoholic beverages.

Mr. Pritchett advised that this business is allowed in this district which is zoned C-2 (general commercial). All relevant permits have been obtained.

Commissioner Saunders checked with the Chief of Police and there are no records, over the last four years, of any regarding loitering of any prostitutes, drug addicts "or the like" at any laundromat. Mr. Elzey added "...they're already downtown in that area so we're worried that it's going to be a place that Mr. Swafford is going to have to worry about with them wanting to hang out and keep warm this winter."

The businesses wanted to know why they were mislead for several months by a sign advertising the coming of an antique mall and Commissioner Swafford advised that he was in heavy negotiations with Mike Edgar and "the deal didn't work out ...that happens in business sometimes."

Mr. Tony Thomas, 420 Race Street business owner, came to the podium and asked Commissioner Swafford, "what is your vision for downtown Race Street? What would you like to see there?" Commissioner Swafford responded by saying that ARC did a wonderful job and "I would like to join ARC." Mr. Thomas then asked Commissioner Swafford if he was aware of the Historical Guidelines? He replied, "very much so" and stated that he has worked with Mr. Armond Hayward because there are some tax credits available although he doesn't know if he will qualify for them. Part of the roof on his building had to be taken off because it was falling on automobiles. Mr. Thomas noted that "we advertise historical downtown Cambridge." As part of the historical district, he asked Commissioner Swafford if he was abiding by the Historical Guidelines and he replied, "every single rule, sir."

Commissioner Saunders stated that the City's Historic Guidelines were not adopted. The City attorney informed Council last week that he missed having the other public hearing that was needed. He informed Mr. Armond Hayward that the final public hearing would need to be held before the guidelines could be legally adopted.

Mr. Lee Weldon, Mill Street, was next to speak. He verified that Commissioner Swafford has 24 apartments in this building with between 60 to 80 tenants, with no laundry facilities available. Mr. Weldon stated that he had read in revitalization studies "that one of the ways to encourage businesses to locate downtown, is to also encourage residential activity downtown."

Corinne Mitsak (Lilyfield Gallery) came to the podium and stated that there are no specific kinds of businesses that they are looking for in downtown Cambridge but they have been participating for some time in heritage tourism "and a laundromat is not where tourists go." They were thinking more along the lines of stores and shops "and Mr. Swafford's plan was not the best use of the property." She then asked if there would be bathroom facilities and the response by Commissioner Swafford was that there would be, and "handicapped accessible."

Several people shared their concerns about loitering and Commissioner Saunders said that she had brought up this issue at a Police Board meeting and was told, "...you got to use discretion, you got to be careful, we could start problems. Well, with the situation we got now, maybe we need to start problems and maybe we need, as a Mayor and Council, to get together and enforce this."

Commissioner Saunders made a motion to immediately attack this loitering issue, have the City attorney work with the A.C.L.U. so the City is not sued and "we get on the ball and we start enforcing the loitering if we have to put more police out, we put them out"; seconded by Commissioner Swafford. Motion carried unanimously.

Mr. Gage Thomas came to the podium and stated that Mr. Swafford had asked the Chamber of Commerce back in July for a letter of support for his revitalization efforts. However, it was not blanket approval. The letter that the Chamber had sent to Mr. Swafford stated, "the Chamber fully supports your undertaking in any activity that seeks to restore and utilize commercial space in the heart of Cambridge when the utilization is compatible with the business nature of the commercial district." The Chamber of Commerce has taken the stance "that we do not support the laundromat...we don't think it's in the best interest of downtown Cambridge revitalization, the Main Street program, however, we do support any individual's right to do whatever he wants with the property since he is a business person and the use does comply with the zoning code."

Commissioner Vickers mentioned that in the very near future there are going to be a number of public meetings held "because this Council has asked for consultation and help on zoning." All the people who were present this evening need to attend these meetings and give public input "because this is what is going to govern a lot of what happens." They should also be present for the public hearing on the Historic Guidelines because there is going to be a lot of major changes taking place. He said he is personally going to strive to keep R-1 and R-2 "no home businesses" including day care, doctors and services of that sort and told the public to watch the newspaper for the advertising of these meetings.

"MAKE A DIFFERENCE DAY"

Ms. Portia Johnson and Ms. Rachel Knox were present to discuss an initiative started by Colon Powell to insure that youths have five fundamental resources:

1)  an ongoing relationship with a county adult

2)  safe places and structured activities during non-school hours

3)  a healthy future

4)  marketable career skills through effective education and

5)  an opportunity to give back through service.

They would like to use November 20th as their "kick off" date to fulfill their commitment to serve a minimum of 220 youth, however, "we would like to serve all of our youth in this community" as stated by Ms. Knox. They would like to recognize "National Family Volunteer Day" by choosing a project and they thought about the possibility of a clean up project particularly for the Fourth Ward because it represents a variety of ethnic backgrounds.

Ms. Johnson said they want to bring Cambridge back to "a community helping a community with our young people." Ms. Knox invited everyone to come out and help clean up. They are planning a celebration for everyone who participates.

Ms. Johnson requested the approval from the Mayor and Council "that Commissioner Saunders work with us diligently." Commissioner Swafford made a motion that "she be appointed to the committee"; seconded by Commissioner Watkins. Commissioner Swafford stated the he is excited about this program. He has participated in the past and he certainly plans on participating in this as much as he can. It makes a difference and gives people pride in the area they live. Motion carried unanimously.

TED BRAMBLE RE: TAPPING INTO SEWAGE TREATMENT PLANT

Mr. Bramble said he was here again about "the old southside sewer" as he calls it. He is seeking the City's participation in,getting residents from Church Creek to Madison hooked into the sewer system. In speaking with people from the Sanitary District, he was advised that there is not enough flow coming in to keep the movement and it causes backups on occasion so it would help the Sanitary District if more people tapped in.

Mayor Wooten stated that for the past seven years he has been opposed to extending sewer service to citizens outside the City because he erroneously thought the City's taxpayers had financed that wastewater treatment plant. He found out that this was paid for with Federal and State financing as well "and I withdraw my opposition and support you in that request."

Commissioner Vickers verified with Mr. Pritchett that the upgrade to the wastewater treatment plant is going to cost the City's taxpayers approximately 8 to 12 million dollars and asked Mr. Bramble if he had any suggestions as to how he could help the City's taxpayers to pay this expense, "while they are paying County and State taxes." Mr. Bramble's response was, "that is taxpayer's money, correct?" Commissioner Vickers suggested that Mr. Bramble and his group take all the money and efforts that they have put into this to the County and convince them that they need to negotiate with the City to buy the treatment plant and have a district facility, then everybody would pay their equal share. Mr. Bramble said it was his understanding that the City receives money from the treatment plant.

Commissioner Rice stated that if the logic is used that because State and Federal money was given for the treatment plant everyone should be able to hook into it, then people from Baltimore City should be able to dump their garbage at the Beulah landfill.

He added that negotiations had been started by himself and former County Commissioner Powell whereby the County owning that facility certainly made more sense "than anything else we know of." At that point in time they had discussed the County paying something less than face value for it "in return for some stuff for the City, obviously." One of those things was that all the County owned properties that abutted the City would be automatically annexed into the City, "obviously they wouldn't pay taxes, but it's a benefit to us." 2) If the wastewater treatment plant should ever cease being a wastewater treatment plant, then the property would revert back to the City. 3) That all the monies paid for the facility would be in cash, up front, no long term payments and that 500,000 gallons at the end of the plan would be retained for the use of the City of Cambridge.

Mr. Powell had been in contact with several people funding-wise and at that point in time, he was not upset that funding was not available for such a project. The project is a benefit for the community. The only way the City can grow is by annexation "and if you give away the only real opportunity that we have for that, we're shooting ourselves in the foot. We're taking all the people that pay taxes in this City for years, and saying I'm sorry, you're going to have to foot the bill forever."

Commissioner Rice went on to say that the people who live outside of any city, not just this one, do that because that's what they want. In doing so, "you stand out by yourself, unfortunately, because you are independent, you are not under the umbrella of a larger group and that's what people choose to do." The downside to it comes sometime, like the problem we are now talking about. He further stated, "the City of Cambridge and its residents and taxpayers have no obligation to be the cheapest solution to anybody."

Mr. Bramble feels "we're all supposed to be together ...working to help one another ...you all have something that we need... something that everybody pays for ...you are the hub of Dorchester County."

Mr. Joe Coyne from Madison stated that what Commissioner Rice stated was true about other alternatives but they are looking at the most environmentally sound solution which would be tying into the Cambridge facility. The state regulations pertaining to the installation of septic systems has changed and the cost is not only skyrocketing, but the risk is still there for environmental pollution.

Commissioner Saunders made a motion to set up a series of at least four public meetings within the next two months to do some fact finding, figuring and environmental studying to find out if there is a solution that they can come to amicably that will help all the families but also would not put a burden on the City. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Watkins who feels the County should be involved to take the treatment plant over. Commissioner Saunders then amended her motion to include a written invitation from the mayor and Council to the County Commissioners and ask Mr. Pritchett and Mr. Kinnamon to try to coordinate the meeting dates and make the times so Commissioner Rice can be here. Commissioner Watkins seconded the amended motion. Mayor Wooten stated that every possible scenario should be evaluated "as to how we can help the individuals who are in need and still look out for the people that are helping to subsidize this most heavily."

Commissioner Saunders thanked Mr. Bramble "for giving the most calmest, sensible presentation that I've heard on this issue" in the last three years. Motion then carried unanimously. She then asked the gentlemen to leave their names and addresses with Mr. Pritchett so they can be notified to let the surrounding people know when the public meetings will be held.

OLD BUSINESS: DISCUSS CONCERNS ON RACE AND POPLAR STREETS

Mr. Tony Thomas, President of ARC, came to the podium regarding guidelines for signage on Race and Poplar Streets. He then invited Commissioner Swafford to the next meeting of ARC. They are scheduled for the fourth Wednesday of every month at 6:30 p.m. and are held at Mr. Thomas' store on Race Street. He then said they will come back to Council the second week in November with all their guidelines.

BANNER FOR "NATIONAL ADOPTION MONTH"

Ms. Diana Benson came to the podium representing Dorchester County Department of Social Services. She was present to request permission to hang a banner for "National Adoption Month" on Race Street beginning November 1st through November 30th. The purpose of hanging the banner is to celebrate adoptive families and to increase the public's awareness of the need for more permanent homes for children who are in need of homes.

Commissioner Saunders made a motion to honor this worthwhile request and ask that they work with Public Works in getting the banner up; seconded by Commissioner Watkins. Motion carried unanimously.

DISCUSS MORATORIUM ON DAY CARE CENTERS

Commissioner Saunders said that the City attorney informed her that the time is almost up but he is not able to be here tonight so she made a motion to extend the moratorium two weeks beyond the date that was set; seconded by Commissioner Watkins. Motion carried unanimously. (The moratorium was set for 120 days at the June 7th Council meeting.)

RESOLUTION/ORDINANCE ON ETHICS COMMISSION

Commissioner Saunders said the City attorney is out of town and it would be more feasible to wait until he can be present at the meeting. She made a motion to delay this matter until the second meeting from tonight; seconded by Commissioner Vickers. Motion carried unanimously.

IMPROVEMENTS TO ALLEY ADJACENT TO CITY HALL

Commissioner Saunders stated that this is in the Ward that she represents and she had a nice conversation with Mr. Lednum. She suggested that Mr. Lednum call Commissioners Watkins and Vickers because Commissioner Rice wasn't here and Commissioner Swafford already knew about their conversation.

Commissioner Vickers offered some suggestions for Council to look at. He said they were discussing a percentage ratio for the property owners to pay for paving the alley. Also, the City attorney would need to check if there is anything in the City Charter preventing the City from spending money on private property. There would also need to be a "cap" on the amount to be spent. In this situation, "we're talking $2,000."

Commissioner Saunders made a motion that if the City's cost does not exceed $2,000. "we would do what needs to be done"; seconded by Commissioner Watkins. Commissioner Saunders amended her motion to make sure the City attorney says this is legal and that each case be taken on its own merits. Commissioner Swafford said "before we put ourselves out on a limb, we need to find out what the boundaries are and what the actual costs are ...before we commit ourselves to any funds." He further stated that these funds have not been appropriated and he wants to know how much money they're talking about. Commissioner Watkins seconded the amended motion and it carried 3 to 2 with Commissioners Rice and Swafford opposing.

Mr. Donald Haring, Garner's Menswear, came forward to say he did not sign the request for paving. Before he would sign it, he had some questions that needed to be answered. The two hour parking in the City Hall lot has not been enforced in the last year and a half ...the State is taking up the whole parking lot. He is willing to go along with this and pay his share but asked if the two hour parking limit is going to be enforced.

Commissioner Saunders made a motion that the mayor and Council address the Police Department that a letter go out immediately, to the State Police in Easton and any other Police Departments that are abusing the 2 hour parking limit in the City Hall lot, requesting that they do not utilize this lot when going to court when there is unlimited parking behind the courthouse; seconded by Commissioner Vickers. Motion carried unanimously.

Commissioner Saunders then said that she will speak with Chief Wroten to make sure his department steps up the enforcement of the 2 hour parking limit "and if you merchants are doing it and get a ticket, don't come down here complaining."

Mr. Haring said, regarding some loitering concerns discussed earlier this evening, that he had called the Police Department two weeks ago about a group of nine individuals, three on bicycles hanging out on Poplar Street. The ones on bicycles were going down to the corner, coming back just as fast as they could, sliding their bicycles trying to see how close they could come ...on the sidewalk. He further stated, "this is going on all the time." When he called the Police Department, the answer he got was "we'll talk to somebody about it. I have not seen a policeman yet."

Commissioner Saunders said she is hearing, more and more, people saying the same thing that Mr. Haring has stated. At one time, about seven years ago when she came into office, there was an uproar..."we need a citizens advisory committee." Council asked the citizens to work closely with the community and the Police Department. The newspapers advertised it, Mr. Cromwell put it on the radio. She then said, "the citizens, after they complained and got what they wanted, they didn't support it." A suggestion was made by Commissioner Saunders to revive a citizens advisory committee because someone needs to help be the eyes and ears. She feels Mr. Haring has a valid concern and "the Chief hears me and I can guaranty you tomorrow morning, something is going to happen over there on Academy Street." Mr. Haring said "I don't want to see a blue and white ...I want to see that man that's uptown walking."

REQUEST FROM KAREN KIMMEY TO BE REFERRED TO STREET LIGHTING COMMITTEE

A request was received from Karen Kimmey, Property Manager concerning streetlights at the Leonard's Grove Apartments.

Commissioner Rice moved to refer this matter to the Street Lighting Committee; seconded by Commissioner Watkins. Motion carried unanimously.

REQUEST FROM RODNEY KNOX TO ANNEX PROPERTY INTO THE CITY

request was received from Rodney Knox to annex property own? by Linda Freeman at 5607 Lawson Lane into the City. Commissioner Saunders moved to refer this to the Planning and Zoning 'Committee; seconded by Commissioner Watkins. Motion parried unanimously.

REQUEST FROM CAMBRIDGE, INC. FOR A NOISE VARIANCE

Cambridge, Inc. has scheduled a party at Sailwinds Park on Friday, October 1st from 6:00 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.

Commissioner Saunders made a motion to allow a noise variance until 10:30 p.m. with the understanding from the company that they are in the same situation as Black & Decker was this weekend. Should the City get a concern from a citizen, the Chief will have to send his people out. She did state that Cambridge, Inc. will reduce their music after 10:30 p.m. "and it won't be a problem." Motion was seconded by Commissioner Watkins and it carried unanimously.

Commissioner Saunders said the second point is public safety and a legal issue. She has spoken to Chief Wroten, Dave Pritchett and Chief Hurley. The company has a surprise that needs to take place no later than 9:45 p.m. for all of their employees. However, because it is a legal issue and a public safety issue she made a motion, depending upon the outcome of the executive meeting with public safety people this evening, that Council allows this to move forward "if that's a productive meeting." Motion was seconded by Commissioner Vickers and it carried unanimously.

APPROVE PROMOTIONS FOR POLICE DEPARTMENT

Commissioner Saunders referenced correspondence from the Cambridge Police Board mentioning several promotions approved by the Board, pending City Council approve. She made a motion that, as a group, these promotions be approved without identifying the specific personnel; seconded by Commissioner Swafford. Motion carried unanimously.

COUNCIL TO DISCUSS Y2K PLAN

Commissioner Saunders made a motion, based on the expertise of Commissioner Rice, that Council accepts the plan; seconded by Commissioner Watkins. Motion carried unanimously.

Mayor Wooten said he had brought this up at a Department Head meeting several months ago and everybody has said that due diligence has been given and that Y2K preparations have been made and everyone should know that "we have done what we can do."

APPROVE BUDGET AMENDMENTS

Commissioner Swafford made a motion to approve the Budget Amendments for the Police Department and the Department of Public Works; seconded by Commissioner Saunders. Motion carried unanimously.

APPROVE BUDGETED EXPENDITURES OVER $250

Commissioner Swafford made a motion to approve all budget expenditures over $250 that were listed in Council's packet; seconded by Commissioner Watkins. Motion carried unanimously.

COMMENTS FROM SECOND WARD

Commissioner Watkins referenced a letter that was received from the Elks Lodge No. 223 asking permission to have their annual Organization Day parade on Saturday, October 23, 1999 beginning at 3:00 p.m. The parade route will be from Maces Lane Middle School to their Lodge at 618 Pine Street.

Commissioner Rice made a motion that the parade route, so long as it is coordinated with Chief Wroten and his department, be approved; seconded by Commissioner Saunders. Motion carried unanimously.

Commissioner Watkins made a motion that they be allowed to block off the area between Cross Street and Cedar Street until 6:00 p.m.; seconded by Commissioner Rice. Motion carried unanimously.

Commissioner Watkins then made a motion to grant a noise variance until 10:30 p.m.; seconded by Commissioner Rice. Motion carried unanimously.

COMMENTS FROM THIRD WARD

With reference to the Organization Day parade, Commissioner Saunders made a motion that, after the parade, parking on both sides of Pine Street be eliminated from Pine and High Streets to Pine and Cedar Streets until 10:30 p.m. Motion was seconded by Commissioner Watkins and it carried unanimously.

Commissioner Saunders said she has been approached by a couple of landlords that wanted to talk about some issues and concerns of landlords that are owners of properties that are rental in the City. As Council President, after conferring with Council members, she has honored this request and has scheduled a public meeting on November 20th at Council Chambers from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Pamphlets with reference to the meeting were handed out.

They will not handle or discuss any issues that are pending in the Court at the present time. Issues to benefit the landlords, the tenants and the City are the main purpose for this informational forum.

COMMENTS FROM THE MAYOR

Mayor Wooten stated that he had gone to the Korean War Veterans commemoration at the V.F.W. on Saturday. It was an excellent crowd, many from out of the area, and a lot of good was done.

He further mentioned about the Dorchester Arts Showcase that was held on Sunday and how good it was.

A note of thanks was given to the Police Department and the Department of Public Works for the excellent job they did during our recent encounter with Hurricane Floyd. He then offered the media a chance to look at a memo from Mr. Pritchett which entailed all that was done by his department during the storm. There are some interesting facts and statistics that the public should know about.

The Mayor then proceeded to read a commentary submitted to Council with regards to actions taken by the Maryland Environmental Service staff averting what could have resulted in a major environmental catastrophe when lightning struck the electrical transformer at the Trenton Street wastewater pumping station on August 14th. He said he was proud of what our people did and he wanted to commend them for what they did... "and that is good news that needs to be shared."

A memo from Major Maloney addressed to the Mayor was read aloud. The Police Department has received approval of a Local Law Enforcement Block Grant in the amount of $40,248 with a city match of $4,472 to be used to purchase new and replacement equipment. The Mayor stated that Major Maloney came across that grant on his home computer "and another thanks is in order to some of our City staff and I want to express gratitude for that as well."

COMMENTS FROM FOURTH WARD

Commissioner Swafford said he was very disappointed tonight to hear that the President of ARC and the President of the Chamber of Commerce had signed a petition "against my wife and I for having a family owned business on the corner of 500 Race Street." The City realizes that there are some zoning problems within the City and that is why a contract has just been awarded to have this worked on in the near future.

He feels that the people who signed the petition from ARC and the Chamber owe him and his wife a public apology "and we will be looking for that."

In response to a question from Commissioner Saunders, Commissioner Swafford stated that the petition against the laundromat had 22 signatures and he has a list of at least 100 people who are in favor of it. He felt he had to defend himself from the way he was being attacked.

COMMENTS FROM FIFTH WARD

Commissioner Rice stated that Council needs to officially accept resignation from John Cannon from the Historic Commission and he moved to do that; seconded by Commissioner Saunders. Motion carried unanimously.

Another motion was made by Commissioner Rice to appoint Mr. Grayson Winterbottom for the rest of that term; seconded by Commissioner Saunders. Motion carried unanimously.

As an addendum to the item relative to the Trenton Street problem, the Chief from Rescue Fire Company and his people who were on line and ready to do what needed to be done there (in fact the Chief was actually the one physically got the pumps running in the right direction) need to share some of the limelight.

Commissioner Rice stated he does not have a problem with a true difference of opinion... "heaven knows I have plenty of them With a lot of people." The one thing that bothered him tonight, "whether I agree with what Danny did or not, doesn't matter." There was a laundry on Poplar Street for years. The point of the issue is very simple. "You have a piece of property which is zoned in a particular way. The person who bought the property, invested his money, has a right to utilize that property within those means.If he goes outside those means, I have a problem with that. "He doesn't feel any business would appreciate someone coming to them and saying "you can't do that because I don't like it. "Commissioner Rice stated, "when I sat here tonight and heard character assassination, that's not right."

Another problem Commissioner Rice had was the fact was stated "you people all of a sudden grouped everybody into Danny's league, we all opened up that laundromat. That's a crock... I didn't, he did. If you want to raise the devil with somebody, raise it with him."

COMMENTS FROM CLERK-TREASURER

Mr. Kinnamon addressed a building permit application for Thomas H. Johnson 2407 Beech Street (Lot #22 Clifton Woods). The permit fee is $1,820.00 for a 1,790 sq. ft. house with a detached shop and the cost is $160,000.00.

Being that it's over $100,000, Commissioner Rice moved to approve the application; seconded by Commissioner Vickers. Motion carried

Mr. Kinnamon then addressed a memo from the C.E.M.S. Director requesting approval of the Exposure Plan. Commissioner Saunders made a motion to make approval contingent upon the attorney saying it's viable; seconded by Commissioner Watkins. Motion carried unanimously.

COMMENTS FROM THE AUDIENCE

Mr. Ray Curran said he has in his possession a letter that was sent by Mr. Green who is involved in a piece of property on Route 343. From the tone of the letter, it appears that Mr. Green is in a favorable position with the City Council to have annexation of this property. Mr. Curran stated this property is across the street from Greenlawn Cemetery (which is owned by Mr. Curran). This is being introduced tonight because the letter talks about sewer and annexation "and things of that nature. It's never come up, but I've been told a couple of times that it might come up here at a City Council meeting."

Commissioner Saunders advised Mr. Curran that Mr. Green has already been before Council and publicly introduced his idea and showed his designs. "This Council has made no action because annexation also has public hearings and we have to also work with the County Commissioners on that."

MORE COMMENTS FROM THE AUDIENCE

Reverend Cornish, 448 Race Street, came to the podium to say that he has received complaints that the music is too loud at his church. He understands that the First Amendment grants them the freedom of religion and speech. "How in the world could you have a problem with us worshiping God and you got a bell that rings all around town at Grace United Methodist Church." He further stated that they are not disturbing the peace and since he moved on Race Street "the drunks from Cheetah's Pub and the prostitutes staggers into my church and we help several people, not only black, white as well, financially through our ministry." He then said he was expecting more people here tonight, "and if it's got to be bus loads of people come into this town, and shake this town up, I'm willing to do whatever I got to do but you're not going to tell me how to worship my God and that's all I have to say."

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS FROM THE AUDIENCE

Bishop Wheats of St. John's Holiness Church, 448 Race Street, said he was approached by a woman from Arbor Place who told him if he doesn't stop the noise, "somebody is going to stop you." Bishop Wheats asked "why can't we make a joyful noise? We don't run out in the streets bothering nobody... we just try to help someone who comes in that needs help ...so why can we not have a church in peace?"

MORE ....

Mr. Gage Thomas came to the podium and stated he is only representing himself on these particular comments. He stated that he respects Reverend Cornish's comments but when he spoke with Reverend Cornish, he just wanted to make him aware of the noise ordinance. He further said that he is not an officer of this City but there has been a lot of discussion on amplified music. Apparently when the doors to the church are left wide open, it tends to amplify and bounce off the buildings down the street. Mr. Thomas stated he was just conveying a message to Reverend Cornish "nothing as an attack, but this is what Cambridge is all about when it comes to noise."

Commissioner Saunders said there are exceptions to the noise ordinance, "so don't be intimidated by the noise ordinance being quoted to you. Talk to Mr. Kinnamon tomorrow and get a copy of the noise ordinance." She then stated if they want to leave their church door open, "I think the Police Department, if you're covered by the noise ordinance, has common sense enough to come and say, look, you might want to close your door you're violating our noise ordinance, and some people are complaining."

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Minister M. C. Tilghman El came to the podium and said "if we're going to grow as a people, as a small town we need to try to work along and try to compromise." He said he does a street ministry daily because he does not have a building to use. "Whenever you want to put a limitation on God, that's when you get in deep trouble."

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Pastor Hall from Atlanta, Georgia was next to speak representing Pastor Cornish. He said part of his job is to help change the prostitute and the drunkard, not to criticize them because they're already down. These ministers are trying to introduce them into society where they won't be a menace to society, but a productive unit to the society. He then said, "we hope the City Council get behind us 100% to help us to get these people off the street."

With no further comments, meeting adjourned at 10:10 p.m.

I hereby certify that the foregoing is a true and accurate account of the Council meeting of Monday, September 27, 1999 insofar as I personally am aware.

Edwin C. Kinnamon, Clerk-Treasurer