City Council Minutes
August 11, 2008
August 11, 2008
The City Council met in regular session on Monday, August 11, 2008 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. Commissioner Knox made a motion to approve the minutes of the July 21, 2008 Council meeting as distributed. Commissioner Sydnor seconded the motion. The motion was passed unanimously.
Thomas Hurley, FOP President, Representing the Public Safety Building Fitness Room Committee, to Request Permission to Raise Funds to Purchase Fitness Equipment for the Public Safety Building-Thomas Hurley said because there were no funds in the current budget for fitness equipment, he formed a committee to choose quality fitness equipment and raise funds to purchase that equipment. Once the equipment is purchased, it will become the property of the City of Cambridge. Commissioner Sydnor made a motion to allow the committee to raise funds for the fitness equipment which is to be used by authorized personnel only. Commissioner Knox seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Sister Beverly, Holy Tabernacle Born Again Faith Foundation for Feeding Hungry Children, to Request Permission to Use the City-Owned Lot on the Corner of Race and Cedar Streets to Host a Tent Revival for the Second Week of September and a Noise Variance Each Night from 7:30 pm to 10:30 pm (Set-up 9/6 and 9/7; Services 9/8 through 9/14)-Commissioner Thomas made a motion to defer this item until Sister Beverly is present to discuss it. Commissioner Sydnor seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Representatives from the Veterans Recognition Committee to Request a Variance from the Noise Ordinance on September 6th from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm at Sailwinds Park Including Firing of Cannons; and to Receive a Proclamation-Commissioner Sydnor made a motion to approve the variance from the noise ordinance. Commissioner Knox seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously. Mayor Victoria Jackson-Stanley presented a proclamation to the committee.
Request from Anthony Stafford, 450 Race American Kitchen, for Resolution for Neighborhood Business Works Program-Brett Summers offered a resolution asking for the Council's support when they go before the Dorchester County Council and then the Liquor Board. Barbara Helish is opening Bella Luna, an Italian restaurant at 303 High Street. She would like a liquor license to serve her customers. Tony Stafford said he has been working on the plans for his family restaurant at 450 Race Street for 7 or 8 months now. They are having a little struggle with the Liquor Board. Brett Summers said the process of obtaining liquor licenses in Dorchester County has been one of the most frustrating experiences he ever had. They are asking the City to adopt some resolutions to be presented to the County Council. The first resolution pertains to Pumpkin Genius (Bella Luna) to allow them to obtain a construction loan from the Maryland Department of Economic Development. The second resolution is very similar; however, there is a distinction given their location in proximity to a church. The mediation will make Dorchester County's laws consistent with the City of Cambridge's code. It will allow Shorely Delicious of Cambridge, LLC to obtain a construction loan from the Maryland Department of Economic Development to construct their restaurant. They are being obstructed by the Liquor Board. Both churches have voted to remain neutral and stay out of the hearings. Commissioner Knox made a motion to draft a resolution of support for the 303-309 High Street property as well as the 450 Race Street property on granting a liquor license on conditional approval by the County. Commissioner Thomas seconded the motion. Rob Collison said both of these projects will fully comply with the City's definition of a bona fide restaurant as far as seating, meals being served, and the food sales exceeding the alcohol sales. Rob Collison read a proposed resolution and will edit the resolution to incorporate the Council's comments. The motion passed unanimously.
Commissioner Thomas made a motion to allow the Mayor to sign a resolution (as altered) for 450 Race American Kitchen for the Neighborhood Business Works Program. Commissioner Knox seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Representative from James B. Richardson Foundation to Request Local Government Resolution for Community Investment Tax Credits-Daniel Chada, Operations Manager of the Ruark Boatworks, said the program provides substantial tax benefits for businesses who donate to their organization. The program has been very successful in the past for them and also for the businesses that choose to participate. The funds will help them completely fund the work on Maryland Avenue and Hayward Street. Commissioner Thomas made a motion to approve the resolution. Commissioner Sydnor seconded the motion. Rob Collison said the resolution of support will allow them to apply $50,000 through the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development's Community Investment Tax Credit Program. The motion passed unanimously.
Marge Hull, West End Citizens Association, to Request Letter of Support for Heritage Area Mini-Grant Application-Marge Hull said tourism is the third largest industry in Maryland. Cambridge's Historic District, approved in 1999, is the largest historic district of contiguous historic structures in Maryland. WECA provides historic tours during various festivals and on Saturdays. They are submitting a grant application for the reproduction of their brochures. Commissioner Stout made a motion to approve a letter of support. Commissioner Knox seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Ann Strauss to Request In-Kind Donations for Schooner Rendezvous October 24-26, 2008-Ms. Strauss submitted her requests in writing. She also requested a variance from the noise ordinance on October 25th and 26th. Roger Worthington said their purpose is to revitalize the harbor of Cambridge. Since the Army Corps of Engineers produced the depth at Sailwinds Park years ago (1930s), Cambridge is the second deepest port in Maryland. Ann Straus said last year, the Council allowed them to do what they are asking this year-the use of Long Wharf, free dockage for the participating boats, etc. Gage Thomas asked Ann Strauss to speak to the Sailwinds Park Management Board about the use of tables and chairs. Steve Johnson said the City paid the porta potty rental last year using the Parks and Recreation budget; however, he is not sure the money is there this year. In-kind contributions will include City dollars for DPW employees and City Police. Ann Strauss said in 2006, there were approximately 500 to 600 people. Last year, approximately 2000 people attended their event. They anticipate more than that this year (3000). Commissioner Stout said this will be the same weekend as the Maryland Municipal League Convention in Cambridge. Roger Worthington said it is a $12,000 event. They have $6,000 so they are still seeking donations and grants. Chief Malik said he believes last year they handled it with regular patrol. Commissioner Thomas suggested they work with Chief Malik for the police protection. The trash cans can be delivered during normal work hours. They could get 2 volunteers requiring overtime from our City employees for set-up. They might be able to find a porta potty sponsor. Someone will have to talk to Sailwinds about the tables and chairs. The dockage would be lost income. Commissioner Thomas made a motion that the City of Cambridge will give in-kind services as enumerated on the list with the exception of the porta potties and City employees to move the tables and chairs. Commissioner Knox seconded the motion. Commissioner Thomas included a variance from the noise ordinance on Saturday, October 25th from 10:00 am until 10:00 pm and on Sunday, October 26th from 9:00 am until 6:00 pm. The motion passed unanimously.
Commissioner Sydnor made a motion to approve the meeting minutes from the April 14th and April 28th City Council meetings. Commissioner Knox seconded the motion. Rob Collison said there had been a question concerning the proposed modifications to the Department of Public Works. They were postponed pending resolution of a budget amendment to implement them. It was resolved by the adoption of the 2009 budget. Commissioners Sydnor, Knox and Stout voted to approve the meeting minutes. The motion passed.
Request from Egide USA for a Variance from the Noise Ordinance for Friday, August 22nd from 12 noon until 3:00 pm at Great Marsh Park for Their Company Picnic-Commissioner Thomas made a motion to approve the request. Commissioner Hanson seconded the motion. The motion passed 4:1 with Commissioner Knox opposed.
Request from Blackwater Landing Homeowners Association to Block Eagles Nest Way, on Saturday, September 13th from 4:00 pm Until 9:00 pm and a Variance from the Noise Ordinance for Their Community Day Activities- Commissioner Sydnor made a motion to approve the request. Commissioner Thomas seconded the motion. The motion passed 4:1 with Commissioner Knox opposed.
Request from Hyatt for a Variance from the Noise Ordinance for a 2- or 3-Piece Band at Blue Point Provision Co.'s Lower Deck on Saturday, September 20, 2008 from 10:00 pm Until 1:00 am During Summer Send-Off Weekend (Band will be facing river/resort away from the residence.)- Commissioner Thomas made a motion to approve the request. Commissioner Hanson seconded the motion. Chief Malik said the last time the Hyatt had fireworks, the Police Department received about 100 calls so he has a concern about the band playing so late. Commissioner Thomas said the Hyatt ran an ad in the newspaper letting people know what was going on. Rob Collison said they could qualify that the variance from the noise ordinance be subject to the Police Department receiving complaints. If they receive complaints, they will ask them to turn it down. The motion passed 4:1 with Commissioner Knox opposed. Mayor Victoria Jackson-Stanley said the motion included the provision that the Hyatt put a notice in the newspaper about the music and that the variance is subject to being stopped if the Police Department receives any complaints.
Request to Go to Bid for Security Surveillance System at Municipal Yacht Basin-Steve Johnson said theft and vandalism at the Municipal Yacht Basin over the last 4 months has equaled what they experienced over the last 4 years. It is a remote location with staff there from 9:00 am and 6:00 pm. They need to provide good security for the boats by using a video camera system that would record action at the marina. If they have any damage, they will have proof of what happened to help catch the perpetrators. Commissioner Thomas said he would like to have more information on the specs. Chief Malik said there is not a great crime wave going on at the present time. It is probably kids. He is not sure this system would be cost effective. Other parts of the town could probably justify surveillance cameras a little bit more than at Long Wharf at this present time. Mayor Victoria Jackson-Stanley said she would like to see more statistics on the need for a security system. Commissioner Thomas made a motion to defer this matter until the next meeting so Council can review the information requested by Mayor Victoria Jackson-Stanley. Commissioner Sydnor seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Mayor Victoria Jackson-Stanley said that because of budget constraints that the City is currently living under and until they get a better handle on how the City money is being used and spent, she has put in an order to all department heads that any request for spending over $500 must come to the Mayor and Council prior to being spent.
Approve PO 91212 - Eastern Service - $1,650 - Clutch Kit for Truck #52 (DPW)-Commissioner Sydnor asked that the account number be corrected and the purchase order re-submitted for the next meeting. Commissioner Thomas made a motion that the purchase order be deferred. Commissioner Hanson seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Approve PO 91219 - Reit Lubricants - $1,010 - Hydraulic Oil for Trucks (DPW)
Approve PO 91220 - Dorchester County Highway - $819 Cold Patch (DPW)
Approve PO 91221 - David A. Bramble - $594 - Blacktop for Street Repairs (DPW)
Approve PO 91222 - Dell - $971.60 - Computer (DPW)
Approve PO 91223 - Mid-Atlantic Waste Systems - $2,375 - Slide Panel for Trash Truck (DPW)
Commissioner Sydnor made a motion to approve Purchase Orders 91219, 91220, 91221, 91222, and 91223 for the Department of Public Works. Commissioner Thomas seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Approve PO 4960 - Draketail, LLC - $517.05 - Lease for Choptank Avenue Substation-Commissioner Hanson made a motion to approve the purchase order. Commissioner Knox seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Approve PO 4854 - Zoll Medical Corp. - $2,340.80 - Medical Supplies-Commissioner Thomas made a motion to approve the purchase order. Commissioner Stout seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Approve Invoices for City Hall, CEMS, and RFC-Ed Kinnamon said the City Hall expenses includes envelopes for tax bills, annual dues for the National League of Cities, and insurance for the year. Commissioner Thomas made a motion to pay all the invoices for City Hall with the exception of the National League of Cities dues of $1,432. He said in the essence of return benefit to the Council and the community, Council felt it unnecessary to maintain their membership with the National League of Cities. Commissioner Thomas amended his motion to include that Mr. Kinnamon give Commissioner Sydnor the department numbers and account numbers. Commissioner Hanson seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Commissioner Sydnor made a motion to approve the CEMS invoices contingent upon the fact that they are budgeted items and that Ed Kinnamon supplies him with the proper account numbers. Commissioner Thomas seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Chief Jeff Hurley said all the items on Rescue Fire Company's list of invoices are budgeted items for FY2009. The funds for the sections of hose will be reimbursed by the insurance company once they are replaced. Commissioner Sydnor made a motion to approve the invoices for Rescue Fire Company. Commissioner Thomas seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Commissioner Sydnor asked that the ditches on Bayly Road be cleaned out.
Commissioner Thomas asked anyone interested in serving on a City committee to contact their Commissioner. He asked the media to assist in this also. Commissioner Hanson asked that they also supply their Commissioner with their background and experience for the committee they are interested in.
Mayor Victoria Jackson-Stanley asked that any citizen who has a concern with a particular department to talk to their Commissioner before or after the meeting to discuss their issue.
Wendell Foxwell asked that the agenda be published in Friday's newspaper as it has been in the past.
Wendell Foxwell requested that a section of road on in front of 412 Glenburn Avenue be patched where it has been dug up.
Grady Wilson requested that Council review the regulation that landlords are responsible for the water bills. He asked that the tenants be responsible for them just like they are for other utilities (electric, gas, phone, etc.).
James Chaney, President of the Landlords Association, said it has come to his attention that there is an ordinance that states that if you own rental property in Cambridge, you must either have an office within the City limits or a resident agent. He would Council to change this and give a little distance on the regulation.
Gil Cephas asked for an update on the Christmas lights for Pine Street. Steve Johnson said Delmarva Power is going to replace some poles which will allow the addition of decorations for the poles. The decorations on High Street, Race Street, and Poplar Street are put up by the Jaycees. The City will have to find somebody to take responsibility for hanging the decorations. There will also be an expense involved in preparing the poles to accept the plug-in power and the power itself. It is usually $7 per month per pole. Commissioner Cephas said in a previous year, Council put an extra $1000 in the Jaycees budget for Christmas lights. Since it wasn't a reality he is assuming they have an extra $1000 for someone to put the lights up.
La-Shon Brooks said it appears the new Council is changing the way they are handling some business. Because the citizens will not be able to ask questions at the end of the meetings, she asked if Council will go back to having work sessions on the third Monday of the month so the citizens can bring their agenda to the podium and discuss it with the Commissioners. Mayor Victoria Jackson-Stanley said they will hold work sessions but they will not hold one in August.
La-Shon Brooks pointed out that Sister Beverly was not given her noise variance because she was not present; however, Council gave variances to the first 3 people under New Business and they were not present. Commissioner Thomas said there were some questions as to the general operations of the revival. La‑Shon Brooks asked if all the residents living near the Hyatt were sent letters asking if they were opposed to music being played until 1:00 a.m.
Jamal Pinder asked if the citizens in the audience will be allowed to speak on the items on the agenda. Mayor Victoria Jackson-Stanley said his point is well taken. She asked that people raise their hand if they have something to add to the discussion.
Ray Shelley suggested that Cambridge add chess and checker boards to the tables at City parks for citizens and tourists to use. He suggested teaching chess and checkers to the children who do well in school.
With no further business, Mayor Victoria Jackson-Stanley adjourned the meeting at 9:50 p.m. I hereby certify that the foregoing is a true and accurate account of the Council meeting Monday, August 11, 2008, insofar as I personally am aware.
Edwin C. Kinnamon
Clerk & Treasurer