City Council Minutes
August 12, 2013
The Council met at 5:45 pm in closed executive session to consider a matter that concerns a proposal for businesses to re-locate, expand, or remain in Cambridge.
A motion by Commissioner Hanson to adopt the agenda as presented was seconded and passed 4:0. A motion by Commissioner Vickers to approve the minutes of the July 22, 2013 Council meeting was seconded and passed 4:0.
Susan Luby, Character Counts, to request permission to use Great Marsh Park on Friday, May 2, 2014 at noon through Saturday, May 3, 2014 at 5:00 pm for their annual fundraiser, Six Pillars Century; permission to serve food; and a variance from the noise ordinance-A motion by Commissioner Sydnor to approve the requests was seconded and approved 4:0.
Reed Parks, Valley Proteins, to request permission to reserve Great Marsh Park on Sunday, October 6, 2013 from 12 noon to 4:30 pm and a variance from the noise ordinance for a company picnic-A motion by Commissioner Thomas to approve the requests including a variance from the noise ordinance was seconded and approved 4:0.
Kerry Turner, 4-H Program Assistant, to discuss a storm drain stenciling project in Cambridge-This program brings environmental awareness to the community. Stencils and special paints are used. There will not be any expense to the City. A motion by Commissioner Vickers to allow Ms. Turner to meet with Oden Wheeler and then report back to Council was seconded and approved 3:0 with Commissioner Thomas abstaining because he is affiliated with 4-H.
Robyne Feehley, Leaky Pete's Oyster and Wine Bar, to request permission to requesting to close the alley behind Leaky Pete's for a festival on Friday night, October 18th from 4:00 pm until 1:00 am; a variance from the noise ordinance until 11:00 pm; and permission for outside liquor sales for a fundraiser for returning veterans with amputated limbs-A motion by Commissioner Sydnor to approve the requests was seconded and approved 4:0.
Jim Chaney to request the City forgive the fines on parcels he wishes to purchase and re develop-Mr. Chaney has been working on acquiring 43 properties in the City; some have blighted buildings, some are vacant lots, some are in decent shape. Previously he presented Council with a document outlining the properties, their conditions, and his future plans for each property. He will be tearing down roughly 14 houses. Many already have City-ordered demolitions on them. He is asking the City to waive the fines so he can move forward and improve the neighborhoods. He plans to sell the houses-not rent them. The fines total $36,663.56. He is not asking for the hard costs ($1,482.64) to be forgiven. It is estimated that it would cost the City $62,604.00 to pay for the demolitions. The City has $12,000 budgeted for demolition this year with another $9,000 encumbered from last fiscal year. If settlement occurs with 60 to 90 days, all 14 properties could be demolished within 12 months following settlement. A motion by Commissioner Sydnor to proceed with an agreement for Council to review including a clause that the City would agree to consent to the transfers, the fines would remain, and they would be abated at a later date after certain events occur was seconded and approved 4:0.
Citizen group to discuss establishment of a City Manager Position for Cambridge-Bill Jarmon reported that a group of 10 citizens have been meeting for approximately 3 months to discuss a City Manager. Development is a priority for the City. The citizens used resources and data from cities within Maryland to justify the need of a City Manager. Other cities with similar demographics and population all had City Managers. Steve Rideout explained the objectives, goals, and strategies that they think may be necessary. The ultimate power and authority for the vision of the City and its policies will remain with the Council. The implementation would be placed with the full-time City Manager who directs and oversees the day-to-day operation of the City, its staff including Department Heads, the work of City departments, and also maintains communication with City Boards and Commissions. The City is growing and becoming more prosperous. When they began looking at this issue, the first concern raised by people was the cost. In most circumstances, when cities and counties hire a Manager and allow them to do their job in a professional manner, those cities and counties have saved money and become more fiscally strong while improving services. They would like a City Manager to be hired by July 1, 2014. A motion by Commissioner Thomas to move forward to explore a City Manager position was seconded and approved 4:0.
Shearer Bailey, Dorchester County Republican Women, to request permission to have an event on Saturday, October 12, 2013 at Realerevival Brewing on Poplar Street; close Poplar Street from 2:00 pm until 8:00 pm; permission for outside alcohol sales; and a variance from the noise ordinance-A motion by Commissioner Sydnor to approve the requests was seconded and approved 4:0.
Recommendation for award of contract for Long Wharf Restroom-A motion by Commissioner Vickers to accept the recommendation of the Department of Public Works to award the contract to Hill-Kimmel Contracting in the amount of $134,250 and to hold off on the pergola until the end of the construction was seconded and approved 4:0.
Approve resolution for Sailwinds Park Inc.'s application to the State's Smart Growth Impact Fund to improve properties around the Sailwinds Park property in advance of its redevelopment (Resolution 13 014)-A motion by Commissioner Sydnor to approve Resolution 13 014 was seconded and approved 4:0.
Discuss draft of ASOP on Long Wharf Advisory Committee recommendations-Minor changes were suggested. A motion by Commissioner Sydnor to defer any action on the ASOP until the next Council meeting after the residents within 200-feet of the park are notified was seconded and approved 4:0.
Community Legacy Program - review and prioritization of applications (Resolution 13-015)-A motion by Commissioner Vickers to approve the grant applications in the following order:
1. City Streetscape
2. Harriet Tubman Organization's Second Floor Expansion
3. Façade Improvement Project
4. Habitat for Humanity Choptank for a Neighborhood Building
5. James B. Museum Foundation's Community Learning Exchange Classroom
6. Historic Cambridge, Inc.'s Acquisition of 505 Race Street
and authorize Mayor Stanley to sign Resolution 13-015 was seconded and approved 4:0.
Approve Purchase Orders
PO 2014-005 - George, Miles & Buhr
PO 2014-007 - Center for Environment and Society
PO 2014-008 - Washington College
A motion by Commissioner Hanson to have the Finance Committee review the purchase orders and defer a vote until the next meeting was seconded and approved 4:0.
Closed Executive Session-A motion by Commissioner Hanson to go into executive session immediately following the meeting to discuss a personnel issue was seconded and approved 4:0.
Employee Bonuses-A motion by Commissioner Sydnor to award bonuses to current City employees who were employed by the City prior to June 30, 2012 in the amount of $1,500; current City employees who were hired by the City between July 1, 2012 and June 30, 2013 a $500 bonus; employees who were hired after June 30, 2013 will not be eligible for bonuses this year; and this one-time only bonus will be distributed on November 22, 2013 was seconded and approved 4:0.
Hiring Process-A motion by Commissioner Sydnor to allow Chief Malik to begin the process to hire two police officers and one dispatcher was seconded and approved 4:0. A motion by Commissioner Sydnor to allow Oden Wheeler to begin the process to fill the Secretary I position at DPW and the Account Clerk II position at City Hall was seconded and approved 4:0.
A motion by Commissioner Hanson to adjourn the meeting was seconded and approved unanimously.
With no further business, Mayor Victoria Jackson-Stanley adjourned the meeting at 8:34 p.m. I hereby certify that the foregoing is a true and accurate account of the Council meeting Monday, August 12, 2013, insofar as I personally am aware.
Oden C. Wheeler Jr.
Director, Department of Public Works