• 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

May 12, 2014
The City Council met in regular session on Monday, May 12, 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, Cooke, 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 amend the agenda by deleting Brett Summers was seconded and passed unanimously. A motion by Commissioner Thomas to approve the minutes of the April 28, 2014 Council meeting with the addition of a sentence stating that Exhibit A of the ordinance will be posted on the City's website was seconded and passed unanimously.

Public Hearing

CDBG grant application - Cedar Street Improvement Project - Phase 2-The notice of the public hearing was published in The Star Democrat on Wednesday, May 7, 2014. The City will apply under the low- to moderate-income benefit. The first of the project, also funded by CDBG in 2011, went from Route 50 to Dorchester Avenue then continued toward Perimore Street. The City was recently awarded a grant that will finish the 500 block of Cedar Street (Race Street to Pine Street). The current grant application requests funds for the areas between Dorchester Avenue and Race Street that have not yet been completed. The project includes sidewalk, curb, and gutter and installation of new streetlights and landscaping. Commissioner Cooke requested clarification of the City's $33,000 contribution. Mary Calloway said it will be for in-kind services through the Department of Public Works (engineering, etc.) and through grant management. Commissioner Cooke asked if there are any issues with the fact that there are not any sidewalks where the marina is located and then closer to Route 50 where the creek ends. Commissioner Cooke asked if this would come under the Critical Area law. Commissioners Sydnor and Thomas explained that the City is exempt. Rob Collison said from Woods Road to Great Marsh Park was exempted when the Critical Areas came into effect. Barbara Harp signed up to speak, however, she later said she did not need to speak. David Wheatley, Generation III Marina, stated that the placement of the sidewalk, curb, and gutter could impact his business in relationship to the location of his fence. Oden Wheeler said they have not performed a survey yet. The sidewalk would be placed within the City's right-of-way. The right-of-way has not been established yet. It will probably be pretty much in line with the existing sidewalk that starts up to the hill where the graveyard is located and in the other direction in line with the sidewalk that was already installed. The new sidewalks are five feet wide if there is room. That is the new State standard for ADA purposes. David Wheatley said that could have a real significant impact on his business, particularly if it comes inside his fence. That would wipe out the whole row of storage and that is a major part of his income. Oden Wheeler said if the City is awarded this funding, they will meet with the property owners like they did with other businesses in the other phases of the project. David Wheatley said he has a lot of footage there. Commissioner Thomas asked Mr. Wheatley if he consulted the Department of Public Works before he installed his fence. Mr. Wheatley said he sure did. His fence is probably two feet from the road. An intrusion of two feet would be significant. The boats are as tight as he can get them now. Commissioner Thomas said the State came into the roadway with the new sidewalks near Walmart. That is a possibility here. Nobody else from the audience asked to speak. A motion by Commissioner Sydnor to close the public hearing was seconded and approved unanimously.

Appointments

Gail Skinner, Relay for Life, to request a proclamation for Relay for Life and a variance from the noise ordinance for Friday, May 16th from 6:00 p.m. until 1:00 a.m. (May 17) at Cambridge South-Dorchester High School-A motion by Commissioner Sydnor to approve the requests was seconded and approved unanimously.

Barbara J. Seese and Lynn Hutchinson, Dorchester Center for the Arts, to request permission to hold their 38th Dorchester Showcase on Sunday, September 28th from 11:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. on High Street; close High Street from Poplar St./Locust St. to Water Street; a variance from the noise ordinance from 12 noon until 5:00 p.m.; use of Long Wharf; permission to erect a tent at Long Wharf; permission to sell beer and wine in the tent; assistance from the Cambridge Police Department and the Department of Public Works-A motion by Commissioner Sydnor to approve the requests was seconded and approved unanimously. The Dorchester Center for the Arts is to locate the tent is a position that does not interfere with parking for visitors to the Nathan of Dorchester.

Lazarus Jones and Nancy Chau to request dismissal of tax lien for weed abatement at 312 Henry Street-Rob Collison recused himself because he represents Mrs. Chau Bounds in the estate of her husband. A motion by Commissioner Thomas to deny the request was seconded and approved unanimously.

Report from City Manager Committee-Steve Rideout and Rob Collison developed a matrix to help Council understand the big issues that the committee decided on as a result of the work of the drafting team. What they came up with is very much similar to what was originally presented. It was agreed that the person should have a Masters degree and have city manager or assistant city manager experience as the primary desire. Failing that, if there could not be a candidate that was acceptable, then it would be a Masters degree and someone who had worked in a city or county and had been a department head of a city or county the size of Cambridge or larger. The committee was not in consensus about a third level with someone with a BA degree but who had served as a city manager or assistant city manager for some extended period of time. This will need Council's input. They felt it was important that the city manager live in Cambridge but if there were good reasons not to, like a hardship or if he or she could not find the house that they wanted in the City, they felt that City Council could excuse that as part of the contract agreement. The Mayor or a Commissioner could not be appointed as city manager during their term or within one year after their term ended. The search committee could be comprised on of five members allowing each Commissioner to appoint someone to that search committee led by the Mayor. The search committee would make recommendations to City Council as they completed the search process. They would do interviews, meet with candidates who were screened, and possibly the consultant could assist in that. Mr. Rideout said it is his recommendation that at the point of getting ready to hire someone, the consultant work with the City Council about the contract to make sure the contract is going to protect the City appropriately. The search committee should be made up of residents of the City or people who own and run business in the City or people from the County who may own businesses or someone who may have some expertise that Council may be aware of that they feel is an important piece of that search process. There would be a transition consultant who would support the search committee and also help with the transition to the city manager form of government. They hope the legislation will be finalized late this year with a start date of July 1, 2015 for the city manager but giving six months or so for transition. All six members of Council would be able to vote on termination. Four out of six would be the vote that would cause termination. The City Charter will need changes.

A motion by Commissioner Thomas to move forward with having a city manager position in place for FY2016 and provide monies (FY2015 budget) to fund the creation of the position, scope of work, search criteria, and search was seconded and approved 4:1 with Commissioner Sydnor opposed.

Unfinished Business

Second reading of ordinance to adopt and approve the budget for FY2015 which appropriates the necessary funds for the operation of the government and administration of the City and establishes real and personal property tax rates (Ordinance 1036)-A motion by Commissioner Thomas to hold a work session on the budget between now and the next meeting was seconded and approved 4:1 with Commissioner Sydnor opposed.

Public comment on changing traffic light to blinking at the intersection of Maryland Avenue and Hayward Street-Barbara Harp said she uses the light a lot because she does not like to turn left onto Maryland Avenue. As Sailwinds is developed, there will be more traffic. That light is very important. Lou Hyman would like to see this change go into effect. He drives that stretch more than two or three times a day and gets caught at that light on a very regular basis with no traffic on Hayward Street. It is very inconvenient for a lot of folks. With no traffic on Hayward Street, the City is stopping traffic for no reason. Martin Pepper said he is against the light being placed in a flashing mode at this point. He has evaluated the traffic and the effect it would have on his business as well as safety. He considered the bridge ordeal as a consideration. He suggested perhaps sensors so if there is a case where there is no traffic sitting on Hayward Street to turn, perhaps the City could put in sensors to activate such as it does on Race and Washington Streets. Jane Devlin said she is at that intersection quite a bit. She agrees that to take the light to flashing at this point is problematic. She doesn't think they realize how many people use that intersection because it is safe. She thinks the way to go is possibly the sensor. In the next couple of years there will major build out in this area. There are a lot more people using Hayward than Council realizes. Nobody else asked to speak. A motion by Commissioner Thomas to defer any action and have the Traffic and Safety Committee consider use of sensors was seconded and approved unanimously.

Public comment on Byrne-JAG Grant (CPD)-The City would like to apply for a grant for $10,439 for emergency equipment for the Police vehicles. Nobody from the audience asked to speak.

New Business

Approve exercising the option on Real Estate Purchase Option on Map 303 Parcels 5234, 5235, and 5236 on Sunburst Highway (between the Commissioners of Cambridge and Tal-Dor Partners LLC)-This item will be deferred until the Council meeting on Tuesday, May 27, 2014.

Introduction and adoption of Standard Operating Procedure for Opting Out of Health and Pharmacy Insurance Coverage by employees-A motion by Commissioner Sydnor to adopt the ASOP for Opting Out of Health and Pharmacy Insurance Coverage was approved 4:1 with Commissioner Vickers opposed.

Approve Resolution 14-001 for submission of CDBG for the Cedar Street Improvement Project-A motion by Commissioner Sydnor to approve Resolution 14-001 was seconded and failed 3:2 with Commissioners Vickers, Sydnor, and Cooke opposed.

Approve budget amendment for Cambridge Police Department-A motion by Commissioner Sydnor to approve the budget amendment for the Cambridge Police Department was seconded and approved 4:1 with Commissioner Vickers opposed.

Approve budget amendments for Financial Administration-A motion by Commissioner Sydnor to approve the budget amendment for Financial Administration was seconded and failed with Commissioners Vickers and Cooke opposed. A four-fifths vote is required because this is a budget appropriation. A motion by Commissioner Thomas to take a separate vote on each of the two line items was seconded and approved unanimously. A motion by Commissioner Thomas to approve the budget amendment for $1,400 for meetings and conventions was seconded and approved unanimously. A motion by Hanson to approve the budget amendment for professional services was seconded and approved 4:1 with Commissioner Sydnor opposed. A motion by Commissioner Sydnor to approve the second budget amendment for meetings and conventions was seconded and approved unanimously.

Approve budget amendments for Department of Public Works-A motion by Commissioner Hanson to approve the budget amendments for the Department of Public Works was seconded and approved unanimously. A motion by Commissioner Cooke to approve the second budget amendment for the Department of Public Works was seconded and approved unanimously.

Approve Purchase Orders:

PO 2014-094 -Solesbee's Equipment & Attachments LLC - thumb for CAT backhoe (DPW) - $1,600.00-A motion by Commissioner Sydnor to approve Purchase Order 2014-094 was seconded and approved unanimously.

PO 2014-095 - Hopkins Sales Company - Sniper 12-gallon extractor for cleaning floors and carpets (DPW) - $1,253.00-A motion by Commissioner Sydnor to approve Purchase Order 2014-095 was seconded and approved unanimously.

PO 2014-097 - Clark & Sons, Inc. - Two overhead doors for old shop at DPW - $3,050.00-A motion by Commissioner Sydnor to approve Purchase Order 2014-097 was seconded and approved unanimously.

Public Comments

Mayra Maldonado, First Hispanic Baptist Church, requested permission to close Muir Street in front of Overflow Café (400 block toward the traffic light on Academy Street) on Saturday, May 31, 2014 from 7:30 am until 1:00 pm and a variance from the noise ordinance from 9:00 am until 1:00 pm-A motion by Commissioner Cooke to approve the requests was seconded and approved unanimously.

 


Mayor's and Commissioners' Comments

Planning and Zoning-Commissioner Cooke announced that the Planning and Zoning Commission will soon be presenting Council with a major revision of the City's zoning ordinance.

Board of Zoning Appeals-Commissioner Thomas reported that Mr. Larry Cornish has expressed an interest in becoming a member of the Housing Board of Review. He also asked Council to consider merging the Housing Board of Review with the Board of Zoning Appeals.

Raccoon Control-Commissioner Sydnor asked Council to look into ways to control the growing raccoon population in Cambridge.

Cedar Street Sidewalk Project-Commissioner Sydnor informed Council that he may rescind his vote on the Cedar Street improvement project at the next Council meeting.

Request from the Partnership for a Drug-Free Dorchester for permission to put a secure receptacle at the Public Safety Building as a host site for the Drug Take Back Program-A motion by Commissioner Hanson to approve the request was seconded and approved unanimously.

Dorchester County Safe Streets-Chief Malik requested permission for the Cambridge Police Department to participating in this program through the Local Management Board-A motion by Commissioner Hanson to allow the Cambridge Police Department to participate in Safe Streets 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 9:36 p.m. I hereby certify that the foregoing is a true and accurate account of the Council meeting Monday, May 12, 2014, insofar as I personally am aware.



Edwin C. Kinnamon
Clerk & Treasurer