• 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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Council Meeting Minutes

February 24, 2014
The City Council met in regular session on Monday, February 24, 2014 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 Vickers, Sydnor, 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 Thomas to amend the agenda by deleting the appointment for the citizen requesting permission to discharge firearms within City limits was seconded and approved 4:0. A motion by Commissioner Hanson to approve the minutes of the February 10, 2014 was seconded and approved 4:0.

Swearing-In of Commissioner-Elect Frank Cooke (Ward 3)-Mayor Jackson-Stanley read the Commissioner's oath. Commissioner Cooke responded with "I will".

Public Hearing

The Proposed World War I Monument at Long Wharf-Commissioner Cooke recused himself on this matter because he voted on it when he was a member of the Board of Appeals. A motion by Commissioner Vickers that the City of Cambridge has a Distinguished Service Cross Award Monument (concept of the monument) placed in the Oval at Long Wharf subject to the design approval was seconded and approved 4:0. A motion by Commissioner Hanson to hold a public hearing was seconded and approved 4:0. Jerry Burroughs, Chairman of the Planning and Zoning Commission, reported that the Commission made a recommendation that the monument was in order with the Comprehensive Plan for the City of Cambridge and they approved the concept for the monument for the Long Wharf Area. They also approved the design that was presented to the Commission.

William Dennehy, Vice Chairman of the Historic Preservation Commission (HPC), reported that the Commission held two hearings on the memorial. To oppose the monument as proposed by the applicant is not the same as opposing the idea of the monument. The question tonight is how these brave men should be honored. At the first hearing, the Commission has three main questions: (1) Why the project was before the Commission given the City Council's moratorium on new construction at Long Wharf; (2) Should the application be rejected because it was incomplete? and (3) Why was the project before the HPC before the Long Wharf Advisory Committee (LWAC) had completed its review? Mr. Dennehy said Commissioner Vickers thought the application had been submitted before the effective date of the moratorium. She was mistaken and corrected the record a few days later. The Commission was working under the supposition that this project was before the moratorium took effect. The application was incomplete because the drawings submitted by the applicant were insufficient to fully describe the proposed memorial with only a simple line drawing showing the outline of the granite edifice. There were too many missing detailing to clearly understand the design. Mr. Hyman, the Chairman of the LWAC, was at the hearing and he testified that his committee was actively working with the applicant to improve the design. The applicant stated he needed a decision by December 1, 2013 and asked that the HPC rule that evening. If the HPC had rejected the application because it was incomplete, it could not have been resubmitted to the Commission for one year. The Commission voted to grant conditional approval with the following conditions (1) the final design was approved by the LWAC and (2) that the plan did not significantly change. If either of these two conditions were not met, the applicant would have to resubmit the design to HPC. Since the LWAC did not approve the design, the conditional certificate of appropriateness that the HPC issued was void. HPC and the LWAC held a concurrent hearing on October 23, 2013. The LWAC rejected the design. The applicant, although willing to make minor changes in the design, was unwilling to change the design of the memorial itself. HPC denied the application because it did not meet their guidelines. The applicant appealed to the Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA). This is public land and is a legacy project. Generations will grow up with this monument. It deserves the time to make it as perfect as it can be.

Lou Hyman, Chairman of the LWAC, said their role is to advise the City Council and develop suggestions concerning Long Wharf and the City Marina. They met with Post 88 on several occasions to discuss the proposed monument. The Post presented a design and asked for approval. The Committee asked them to develop a landscape design for the area. They made a motion that the LWAC approve the concept of a memorial to be located within the Oval at Long Wharf Park in conjunction with the present World War I memorial fountain. They met again with the Post and they did some very minor changes but did not develop a landscape design site plan. The Committee prefers a different design. They oppose anything that detracts from the fountain. They suggested that several alternatives be explored that are integrated with the fountain. After the Board of Zoning Appeals hearing, several members of the Committee developed an informal sketch of what they felt was an appropriate design. A week ago, the Committee met with the Post Memorial Committee and presented their design concepts. The Post rejected the design.

Jane Devlin, Chairperson of the BZA, said they had three choices (1) uphold the HPC decision; (2) remand the decision back to HPC; or (3) it could be overturned. The motion was that the BZA overturn the decision of HPC and approve the application as presented subject to the approval of City Council. The motion passed with a vote of 2:1.

Raymond Simmons, Eastern Shore Post 88, gave a brief history of the reason for the monument. The monument, like the fountain, belongs at Long Wharf for continuity sake. He has appeared 11 times to speak about the monument. Other than minor details, their design has never varied from the monument they proposed in the beginning. They have received approval from all of the legal bodies of the City. The problem in this project is the LWAC. He is asking for a mere 16-sq.ft. piece of land to build a monument of distinction within the key of Long Wharf. They wish it to be built of granite like most monuments. Granite is everlasting. They are not asking for help from anyone. They have been asked to work with the LWAC. They have and they have tried. The first time they were told they need a landscape plan. They deferred on the landscaping plan because landscaping of Long Wharf is the purview of the Rotary Club. If they build their monument, they will cooperate with the Rotary Club and the projects they have to enhance, embellish, and improve this monument. The LWAC told them to hire a landscape architect, so they did. They spent $700 to $800 for a landscape architect to appear before the BZA to give evidence that their project did, in fact, meet the criteria of the HPC. They voted 2:1 to approve the monument. They were asked to curve the monument. They do not think the curved monument is appropriate. Not only is it not financially feasible, but war is a stark business. Monuments are stark. They were told they need benches. Not one suggestion has come from the LWAC about accepting their monument as they have proposed and then attempting to suggest a design around it. They have not tried to accommodate this monument as it was proposed. The proposal that the Long Wharf Committee has is a plaza where people can come together and gather and sit. He asked were the monument was. There is a plaque on the end of a brick wall and five plaques on the ground where people can walk around on top of heroes' names. It is not sufficient for their purposes. The monument is proposed to be eight feet wide and two feet in depth. You will not see it when you come down High Street. He urged Council to approve this citizens' monument as proposed.

Commissioner Hanson asked Mr. Simmons if they two groups could get together on the plans. Mr. Simmons said they got together four times. The LWAC sees this as a good project for a plaza where people can gather and sit on benches. The Distinguished Service Cross Monument Committee does not have any opposition to the plaza concept. If a plaza concept could be incorporated into their monument, they will support that. They cannot support a curving brick wall that would be indicative of the beginning and end of World War I and as you look at it, you see a plaque with some information, and the names of the five heroes standing on the ground. That will not work. They moved the monument from 41 feet to 23 feet. They have added benches. They have agreed to attempt to curve it and they could not. They have added words on the back of the monument. They LWAC has not added one thing or made one suggestion to implement the monument. His committee is open to that.

Commissioner Sydnor asked how much money has been raised for the monument. Raymond Simmons said they raised in excess of $50,000 including donations from the Waddell Foundation, the Nathan Foundation, the Mid-Shore Todd Foundation, and several large individual contributions. This project has support from the community. They just cannot get an advisory committee to accept it. Commissioner Sydnor asked how much of the $50,000 would be allowed to be used for an alternative monument. Raymond Simmons said they are not interested in supporting the design they saw because it is not a monument. It is a plaza. They are not interested in that particular sketch. He thinks that their monument as it sits, is probably $48,000. That is not to say they will not continue to raise additional money because this monument deserves a proper dedication and proper recognition from lots from people. They would contribute to the landscape portion of a plaza around the property. They are not against the plaza. They want this to be the best thing for Long Wharf because it belongs there.

Commissioner Vickers asked if they had a site plan. Raymond Simmons said they do not have site plan because if they locate the monument either 41 feet or 23 feet, whatever the LWAC says they like, they will work with the Rotary Club who has the overall responsibility for landscaping. The Planning and Zoning Department created a CAD drawing. The monument is eight feet wide, two feet deep, and the maximum height at the center is five feet. It will not interfere with the site line coming down High Street. You will see it when you circle the key.

Mari Stanley, LWAC, said on each and every occasion that Mr. Simmons came before them, they have been impressed and can continue to be impressed by the bravery of these gentlemen. They requested that the gallant deeds of these gentlemen were down there somewhere so the public could read about them. Mr. Simmons said it was appropriate to have this monument at Long Wharf for continuity. The LWAC agrees and part of that continuity is to have some sort of connection with the existing memorial which is the fountain. Mr. Simmons said most monuments are granite and that is probably true. She thinks it is important to notice that back when the fountain was built, they chose a fountain and chose local stones to express their honor for the dead of that war. They thought the choice of material here was really important-not only to have continuity with the existing monument, but also to express the same sentiment that was expressed when the World War I moment was chosen by the citizens of Dorchester County. Ms. Stanley gave a brief history of the brave men and their lives before and after the war. The LWAC came up with a design to show the men coming out of Dorchester County and going back to Dorchester County but at the very center, being in support of our flag and our country. They see the whole thing as being a memorial. They want to inspire people by bringing them together. She gave a presentation showing their alternate design. The plaza area is about 30-feet square. The monument is curved with the flagpole rising out of it. There are story-stones to tell the stories of the individuals which mimic the bronze plaque near the fountain. This would be a place to gather for the Memorial Day Service. With paving, the wall, and the new flagpole with uplights, a very rough estimate is that it would cost about $33,000 to complete. It does not include any of the work that the Rotary has already said they would do (curb and gutter). It does not include the benches or landscaping.

Commissioner Hanson asked Raymond Simmons if there is any way this proposed plan could work with his group, with modification, tweaking, etc. Raymond Simmons said he does not see much monument; he sees a plaza. The monument is a bronze plaque which in talking to the Maryland Military and Historical Trust, they shy away from because they believe they have maintenance problems with them, and they prefer that you not use them. You have five plates on the ground that people walk on. Heroes cannot be walked on. He would like to see the LWAC take his monument and build a plaza with this as the centerpiece. Then his committee can work with them. Mari Stanley said they struggled with taking the monument that was presented. They could have just put it in a plaza. The objections they had were its shape, its color, its materials, and its lack of sympathy or continuity with the existing fountain. They feel the fountain should be the starting point for this-not to try to connect it with the plaza. They tried to take the proposed granite monument and put it in a plaza. They felt it did not fit the site.

Commissioner Vickers said the proposal was that the monument could get higher, thicker, and there were lots of ways that it could work. Mr. Simmons did not agree that using the unpolished granite blocks would blend with the fountain color. The whole concept of doing a monument is marvelous. She thinks they need to come together. She wants a monument down there.

Dr. Paul Stagg said this is important business. We are not talking about simply an ornament to decorate our waterfront. We are talking about an honor to men of Dorchester County who were willing to risk their lives to help win the war. The Rotary Club will be glad to work with the City Council in developing a landscape plan that would tie all these things together so that the oval section of the Long Wharf area would become a monument to World War I veterans.

Tony Thomas said the fountain has been there for a long time. He thinks what the LWAC presented blends in perfectly with the fountain. He thinks everyone should be honored equally.

Marge Hull said the original fountain was erected in 1938 to memorialize the Great War. The proposed memorial should be an extension of the 1938 memorial-an integral part of the existing memorial for the Great War. It is certainly in keeping with the City's original intent. She thanked the 29th Division Association Post 88 for bringing this project to Cambridge. The alternate design presented by the LWAC beautifully completes the memorial by the addition of the five Eastern Shore heroes who earned the highest award provided by our country. It is important not to detract from the fountain but to complement and create a harmony and design that links-not separates it from our present World War I recognition. The HPC did not object to the memorial project but is required to ensure the project would support the historic district guidelines which are based on the Federal Secretary of Interior Standards and offered to work with the organization to develop a design that would meet the requirements. The presenter refused this offer leaving HPC with no choice but to vote ‘no'. The LWAC has provided the City with a well-planned design that would meet the historic district guidelines and would invite people to explore the space and simply sit and relax and reflect on the bravery of the heroes of World War I. She highly recommend that the City Council approve the use of this land for the installation of an extension of the existing World War I monument and supports referring the alternative design to the HPC for their approval.

Richard Lalka said when he first came back from Vietnam and they made the memorial out of black granite, it really hurt him. It is not the same as all the other memorials and that makes you look at things a whole lot different. When he went to that memorial, it changed his life in a way that people don't understand. He loves that black granite now. It made him look at things in a whole different way. That war was a black moment in the history of this country.

Wendell Foxwell said he thinks we owe Mr. Simmons a great service. He thinks five people should be honored. He is 100% for it. One reason we cannot get together is because we have too many committees. Everybody knows too much about this or that. He hopes we can get together. He is on the BZA. They made a decision to go along with the site and the material. The next step would not be to the Council; it would be to Circuit Court. All Mr. Simmons had to do was to go back to the Council and get straight on the land use.

Marianne Benson said the Vietnam Memorial has great impact but it doesn't stand five feet high. The memorial to those who died at the Pentagon is 100+ benches with the names of those who were sitting at their desk and were blown to pieces. There is no disrespect for those individuals. Those designs were approved by the family members of those who died. The difference between those memorials and this one is that this one memorials five gentlemen who came home from the war. We do not need a huge dramatic monument for the living. She supports this design that embraces the existing monument. These men came home to the warm embrace of their families and their friends.

A motion by Commissioner Sydnor to leave the record open until Monday, March 3, 2014 at 4:00 pm for written testimony only related to the design of the memorial at Long Wharf was seconded and approved 4:0.

Appointment(s)

Jeffrey Ratnow, the Shelter Group, to discuss acquiring a 6.20-acre parcel of City-owned property on Leonard Lane and Wood Street for development as a workforce housing community-There is a piece of City-owned land on Leonard Lane that the Shelter Group would like to develop for workforce housing. Their communities come with resident services which help enrich the lives of the residents. They have homework clubs, financial tutoring, etc. The State of Maryland is their major source of funding. Their Shelter team at Cambridge Commons does a market study every month to make sure their rents are competitive and they are able to maintain a full building. They know there is a demand at the right rents. This project will help Cambridge accomplish five or six of the goals of our Sustainable Communities application. They are looking at between 80 and 100 units in a three-story garden community. A feasibility study has not been done yet. Wetlands would impact their layout. Commissioner Hanson suggested a work session and talk to the Finance Committee about it. Commissioner Cooke suggested removing some substandard housing and replacing it with new housing. Jeffrey Ratnow said that is a more challenging proposition with the type of financing tools they have available. The program is the Federal Low Income Tax Credit Program and it is geared toward projects that are 60, 70, 80, and 90, 100, and 120 units. Acquiring site and assembling sites with different property owners is too challenging with the financing tools that are available with the State. They belief is once you put in a community that is well-managed and of high quality, it puts the pressure on other property owners. Commissioner Hanson cautioned Mr. Ratnow to do a detailed feasibility study. Mr. Ratnow said to date, they have never had a property that has not performed to or above underwriting standards.

Unfinished Business

Appoint City Manager Position Committee-The members of the committee will be Bill Wise, Bill Jarmon, Steve Rideout, Will Dennehy, Gene Lauer, Rob Collison, Ed Kinnamon, Chief Ken Malik, Oden Wheeler, Commissioner Hanson, and Commissioner Vickers. Commissioner Sydnor will provide another name to Rob Collison.


New Business

Adopt Harriet Ross Tubman Sister City Resolution with Auburn, New York and St. Catharine's, Ontario, Canada-A motion by Commissioner Hanson to adopt the Resolution was seconded and approved unanimously.

Approve Electricity Bid with APPI Energy-A motion by Commissioner Thomas to award the contract to Washington Gas Energy Services (WGES) for 48 months at the rate of $0.07686 was seconded and approved unanimously.

Selection of A/E Consultant for City Hall Renovations-A motion by Commissioner Vickers to award the contract to Gant Brunnett Architects in the amount of $202,970 with a schedule of 37 weeks was seconded and approved 4:0 with Commissioner Cooke abstaining.

New Sustainable Community designation by the State of Maryland-The City of Cambridge was designated as a Sustainable Community. This combines what was previously known as Community Legacy and Designated Neighborhood. It allows Cambridge to continue to be eligible for Community Legacy grants as well as the SGIF funds and the Neighborhood BusinessWorks Program.

Approve Water Resources Administrator job description for MUC-A motion by Commissioner Hanson to approve the job description for Water Resources Administrator was seconded and approved 3:0 with Commissioners Vickers and Sydnor opposed.

Approve budget amendment for Financial Administration Department-A motion by Commissioner Sydnor to approve the budget amendment was seconded and approved unanimously.

Approve Purchase Orders:

PO 2014-065 - Galls/QuarterMaster - Ballistic Vests (CPD) - $4,730.00 (50% grant funded)-A motion by Commissioner Sydnor to approve Purchase Order 2014-065 was seconded and approved unanimously.

PO 2014-066 - Fail Safe Testing, Inc. - Annual NFPA Hose Testing (RFC) - $8,012.20-A motion by Commissioner Sydnor to approve Purchase Order 2014-066 was seconded and approved unanimously.

PO 2014-067 - Island Trailers, LLC - Three Utility Trailers (DPW) - $4,647.00-A motion by Commissioner Sydnor to approve Purchase Order 2014-067 was seconded and approved unanimously.

Public Comments

Request from Jeff Hubbard, Cambridge Rotary, for permission to hold an oyster roast to raise money for Long Wharf on Saturday, March 29, 2014 from noon until 4:00 pm, a variance from the noise ordinance, closure of half of Long Wharf, and permission to apply for a one-day liquor license to serve liquor in the park-A motion by Commissioner Vickers to approve the requests was seconded and approved 4:0 with Commissioner Thomas out of the room.

Mayor's and Commissioners' Comments

Closed Executive Session-A motion by Commissioner Thomas to hold a closed executive session (if needed) on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 6:00 pm to discuss the acquisition of real estate was seconded and approved unanimously. (note from typist: the executive session was not held.)

County Excise Taxes-A motion by Commissioner Cooke that City Council offer testimony at any County Council meeting that is imminent and/or submit a letter with regard to excise taxes was seconded and approved 4:0 with Commissioner Sydnor out of the room.

Board of Zoning Appeals-Commissioner Frank Cooke resigned from the Board of Zoning Appeals now that he is serving as a Commissioner.

Closed Executive Session-Mayor Stanley announced that Council met in closed executive session at 6:00 pm to consider a matter that concerns the proposal for a business to locate, expand, or remain in the City.

Closed Executive Session-A motion by Commissioner Thomas to hold a brief closed executive session directly after this meeting to discuss a legal matter was seconded and approved unanimously.

 

A motion by Commissioner Thomas to adjourn the meeting was seconded and approved unanimously. With no further business, Mayor Victoria Jackson-Stanley adjourned the meeting at 9:40 p.m. I hereby certify that the foregoing is a true and accurate account of the Council meeting Monday, February 24, 2014, insofar as I personally am aware.



Edwin C. Kinnamon
Clerk & Treasurer

COMMISSIONERS OF CAMBRIDGE
CLOSED SESSION REPORT

A Date: February 24, 2014
Time: 6:00 pm
Place: City Council Chambers

B Citation of Authority/Purpose: State Government Article, Section 10-508(a) (check one of the following):

1 discuss: (i) the appointment, employment, assignment, promotion, discipline, demotion, compensation, removal, resignation, or performance evaluation of appointees, employees, or officials over whom it has jurisdiction: or (ii) any other personnel matter that affects one or more specific individuals;
2 protect the privacy or reputation of individuals with respect to a matter that is not related to public business;
3 consider the acquisition of real property for a public purpose and matters directly related thereto;
X 4 consider a matter that concerns the proposal for a business or industrial organization to locate, expand, or remain in the City;
5 consider the investment of public funds;
6 consider the marketing of public securities;
7 consult with counsel to obtain legal advice;
8 consult with staff, consultants, or other individuals about pending or potential litigation:
9 conduct collective bargaining negotiations or consider matters that relate to the negotiations:
10 discuss public security, if the public body determines that public discussion would constitute a risk to the public or to public security, including: (i) the deployment of fire and police services and staff; and (ii) the development and implementation of emergency plans;
11 prepare, administer, or grade a scholastic, licensing, or qualifying examination;
12 conduct or discuss an investigative proceeding on actual or possible criminal conduct;
13 comply with a specific constitutional, statutory, or judicially imposed requirement that prevents public disclosures about a particular proceeding or matter; or
14 before a contract is awarded or bids are opened, discuss a matter directly related to a negotiating strategy or the contents of a bid or proposal, if public discussion or disclosure would adversely impact the ability of the public body to participate in the competitive bidding or proposal process.


C Members present and vote of each member as to closing the session:

Victoria Jackson-Stanley (only in a tie)
Jackie Vickers Vote: Y
Donald Sydnor Vote: Y
Vacant Vote:
Gage Thomas Vote: Y
Commissioner Hanson Vote: Y

Motion to close meeting: Comm. Sydnor Seconded: Comm. Thomas

D Topics Discussed: Explanation of topics to be discussed (this may be by reference to the citation of authority listed above if further explanation would thwart the purpose of closing the meeting: a developer who wants to build homes in Cambridge
E Persons Present at the Closed Session: If listing an individual as present would thwart the purpose of closing the meeting, do not list the individual but note that an individual was not listed for this reason Mayor Stanley, Commissioner Vickers, Commissioner Sydnor, Commissioner Thomas, Commissioner Hanson, Rob Collison, Ed Kinnamon, Rob Collison, Oden Wheeler; Frank Cooke
F Actions Taken at the Closed Session: (1) Commissioner Sydnor made a motion to have Rob Collison gather the information that will be needed in terms of waiving impact fees was seconded by Commissioner Thomas and approved 3:0 with Commissioner Vickers abstaining. This is a straw vote--non-binding decision to pursue the option. (2) Commissioner Sydnor made a motion to have Rob Collison gather the information that will be needed in terms of waiving impact fees was seconded by Commissioner Thomas and approved 3:0 with Commissioner Vickers abstaining. This is a straw vote--non-binding decision to pursue the option. Commissioner Sydnor made a motion to allow Mayor Stanley to sign a letter of support for the Route 343 round-about was seconded by Commissioner Thomas and approved 4:0.