• City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
  • City of Cambridge Maryland
Print this page

City Council Minutes

September 26, 2011
 

The City Council met in regular session on Monday, September 26, 2011 in Council Chambers.  A quorum being present, Mayor Victoria Jackson-Stanley called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. Those Commissioners in attendance were Commissioners Knox, Sydnor, Stout, Thomas, and Hanson.  Mayor Victoria Jackson-Stanley asked for a moment of silence.  Commissioner Hanson led in the Pledge of Allegiance.   

A motion by Commissioner Hanson to approve the minutes of the September 12, 2011 Council meeting was seconded and passed 4:0. (Commissioner Sydnor was out of the room when the vote was taken.)

Public Hearing

Proposed Text Amendment; Exemptions from City's Site Plan Review Process-This matter was formally introduced on September 12, 2011. Rob Collison reported that the Planning and Zoning Commission approved adoption of this text amendment.  The text amendment would allow a minor building application to be approved at the Planning and Zoning level rather than going through a 2- to 3-month process. In response to a question by Brian Roche, Rob Collison said that anything in the Historic District would still have to obtain a certificate of compliance.  Nobody else asked to speak. A motion by Commissioner Hanson to close the public hearing was seconded and approved unanimously.

Appointments

Tim Ailsworth, Executive Director for LGIT, to present to the city a check for the Law Enforcement Memorial Grant-Mr. Ailsworth presented the City with a $5,000 check to fund one candidate to attend the police academy for basic training to become a Law Enforcement Officer.

Santo Grande from Delmarva Community Services to request support for HOME Initiatives application-The grant will be in the amount of $150,000 for planning and some engineering work on the old DCDC site on High Street to develop the parcel for 9 or 10 single-family affordable homes. Their intent is to sell the homes to senior citizens. A motion by Commissioner Sydnor to supply a letter of support was seconded and approved unanimously.

Derek Wongus, The Pine Street Committee, to request permission to close Pine Street from Cross Street to Cedar Street on Tuesday, October 18th from 10:00 am to 2:30 pm for the unveiling of the Pine Street School sign, a variance from the noise ordinance, and use of City-owned trash cans-A motion by Commissioner Thomas to approve the request was seconded and approved unanimously.

Representatives from Dorchester Lodge #223 for permission to hold their Annual Organization Day Parade on Saturday, October 22, 2011 beginning at 3:00 pm; a parade from Mace's Lane Middle School to 618 Pine Street; a variance from the noise ordinance for that day; closed parking on Pine Street between Cross Street and Cedar Street from 9:00 pm until 2:00 am- A motion by Commissioner Sydnor to approve the request was seconded and approved unanimously. The route will be finalized with the Director of Public Works.

Steve Reed to discuss speed cameras-Mr. Reed asked Council if the cameras are in place for safety or revenue.  There is a lot of uproar about the speed camera and the way the program was implemented. He suggested the cameras be moved near Maces Lane Middle School and Choptank Elementary School. This area is a lot less safe for children walking to school. The issue is not the citations-it is lack of communication.  Council did the necessary legal required notification of putting the information in the newspapers. He believes most people get their news from television, radio,, and the internet.  He made an assumption that schools zones in Cambridge were just like school zones around the country; that is, when schools are in session. He made an assumption that the speed limit was the posted speed limit.  He had no way of knowing that the speed limit was changed based on a new ordinance that was passed. He suggested a grace period of 30 to 60 days when warnings are issued.  The people working for the City who administer the program did not know how the program worked.  When he opened his citation and it was from the City of Cambridge in Lanham and was to be mailed to the City of Cambridge in Philadelphia, he thought it was a scam.  He also made the assumption that the program was designed for the hours schools are in session. A friend of his received a ticket on Labor Day.  

Mr. Reed suggested putting flashing lights in the school zones. He also suggested using one of State Highway's electronic signs to educate the people.  The community is so confused on how the program works.  He suggested rescinding the program and do it the way it should have been done and inform and education the public.

Economic Strategic Plan - Gateways/Thoroughfares Recommendation - Steering Committee presentation-Dave Harp, Brian Roche, and Natalie Chabot discussed the Committee's suggestions.  The main gateways into Cambridge are Washington Street, Cedar Street, and Maryland Avenue.  The thoroughfares would be Locust Street, Pine Street, and Glasgow Street. The Steering Committee would like to partner with DPW to garner support City-wide to improve gateways without spending a lot of money. They have established capital improvement, maintenance, and code violation enforcement priorities. They feel Maryland Avenue should be the first priority and Cedar Street after that. Hopefully if the City takes the lead, property owners will begin cleaning up their properties as well.  Some other suggestions were: standardizing the trash containers; more police officers walking on the gateways; working with property owners to bring their property up to code; and shortened times before property owners can be cited for overgrown weeds and painting/repair  issues.

Unfinished Business

Second reading and vote on ordinance to amend Section 37(2)(c)(4) to modify language in order to streamline the site plan review process exempting formal submission of a site plan to the Planning Commission for review of minor exterior additions and alterations of structures (Ordinance 1016)-A motion by Commissioner Knox to adopt Ordinance 1016 was seconded and approved unanimously.

Second reading and vote on ordinance for zoning text amendment (performance bond/sureties) to amend  Section 408, Subsection 17-38 entitled "Payment of Costs"  of  the City zoning ordinance (Ordinance 1018)-A motion by Commissioner Sydnor to adopt Ordinance 1018 was seconded and approved unanimously.

Vacancies on Zoning Board of Appeals and Housing Board of Review-A motion by Commissioner Thomas to defer any action on filling the alternate position on the Zoning Board of Appeals was seconded and approved unanimously. A motion by Commissioner Thomas to defer any action to fill the position on the Housing Board of Review was seconded and approved unanimously.

New Business

Approve budget amendment for the DPW Superintendent position-A motion by Commissioner Thomas to move $4,700 from Department 305 to Department 303 was seconded and approved unanimously.

Community Legacy grant round FY 2012 'Intent to Apply' (subrecipients)-Intent to Apply forms were received from:

City - Streetscape & Wayfinding Signage

City - Façade Improvement-Commercial and Residential

Ruark Boatworks-Final Phase (Richardson Foundation)

Dorchester Center for the Arts Performance Hall

Skateboard Park

Council will prioritize the applications at a future Council meeting.

Approve tax credit for Habitat for Humanity in accordance with House Bill 42-House Bill 42 provides that Dorchester County and municipalities within Dorchester County may approve a tax credit for properties owned by Habitat for Humanity.  It allows the County and City to set the amount, terms, scope, and the duration. A motion by Commissioner Thomas to require additional information on the properties and defer any action tonight was seconded and approved unanimously.

Traffic & Safety Committee Report-

West Side Bypass/Emergency Traffic Only-A motion by Commissioner Thomas to accept the recommendation of the Traffic and Safety Committee to retain or install concrete barriers with bendable posts between them at both ends of the bypass for use by emergency vehicles only, subject to obtaining permission from the owners of the properties, was seconded and approved unanimously.

Flashing Lights for Speed Cameras-A motion by Commissioner Thomas to accept the recommendation of the Traffic and Safety Committee not to install flashing lights but reconsider the item in 6 months was seconded and approved 4:1 with Commissioner Hanson opposed.

Change Speed Limits in School Zones to 20 mph-The Traffic and Safety Committee is not in favor of the change.  A motion by Commissioner Hanson to change the speed limit in schools zones from 15 mph to 20 mph was seconded and failed 2:3 with Commissioners Knox, Thomas, and Sydnor opposed.

Pedestrian Safety in the 900-1000 Block of High Street-Due to the risk of safety and the urgency of the situation, DPW made the intersection of Robbins and High Street a four-way stop to reduce the speed of vehicles.

Pedestrian Crossing(s) Poplar and High Streets-This will be discussed further after the sewer separation project is completed in this area.

Approve purchase orders:

5540 - Atlantic Tactical - ammunition for CPD - $4,821.34-A motion by Commissioner Sydnor to approve PO 5540 was seconded and approved unanimously.

5541 - Solutions Granted - SonicWALL NSA 3500 Upgrade Plus (2 years) for CPD - $3,895.50-A motion by Commissioner Sydnor to approve PO 5541 was seconded and approved unanimously.

5542 - Graves Uniforms - winter uniforms for CPD - $4,907.35-A motion by Commissioner Sydnor to approve PO 5542 was seconded and approved unanimously.

5543 - Ford Motor Credit - Five 2011 Ford Crown Victoria Patrol Vehicles (3 year lease) under State contract for CPD - $38,627.93-A motion by Commissioner Sydnor to approve PO 5543 was seconded and approved unanimously.

91568 - Lehigh Valley Safety Supply Co. - safety shoes for DPW - $2,000.00-A motion by Commissioner Sydnor to approve PO 91568 was seconded and approved 3:2 with Commissioners Hanson and Knox opposed.

Additional Action by Council

Request from Sharon Wilson, Visions America Community Development Corporation, for a letter of support for the Home Initiatives Program-A motion by Commissioner Sydnor to approve the letter of support was seconded and failed 2:3 with Commissioners Hanson, Knox, and Thomas opposed.

Repairs to High Street-A motion by Commissioner Stout that for future repairs to the 100, 200, and 300 blocks of High Street, the repairs be completed with brick was seconded and approved unanimously.  The source of funding must be identified at that point in time.

Request to limit hours of opening the Creek Bridge-A motion by Commissioner Thomas to refer the matter to the Traffic and Safety Committee was seconded and approved unanimously.

Request from Dorchester County Council for Senior Citizens for a tax break for seniors-A motion by Commissioner Thomas to refer the matter to the Finance Committee was seconded and approved unanimously.

Closed Executive Session-A motion by Commissioner Hanson to go into closed executive session after the meeting to discuss an economic development matter was seconded and approved unanimously.

Redistricting Software-A motion by Commissioner Hanson to purchase the necessary software (up to $4,000) to begin the redistricting process was seconded and approved unanimously.

RFC Train Garden-A motion by Commissioner Stout to allow Rescue Fire Company to display their train garden in the old firehouse (307 Gay Street) was seconded and approved unanimously.

A motion by Commissioner Sydnor to adjourn the meeting was seconded and approved unanimously.

With no further business, Mayor Victoria Jackson-Stanley adjourned the meeting at 9:25 p.m.  I hereby certify that the foregoing is a true and accurate account of the Council meeting Monday, September 26, 2011, insofar as I personally am aware.

Edwin C. Kinnamon, Clerk & Treasurer