• 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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City Council Minutes

August 25, 2014
The City Council met in closed executive session at 6:15 pm to consider the acquisition of real property for a public purpose and matters directly related thereto and to discuss a personnel issue.

The City Council met in regular session on Monday, August 25, 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 Thomas to amend the agenda by deleting the appointment of Gary Smith, Sr. was seconded and passed unanimously. A motion by Commissioner Thomas to approve the minutes of the August 11, 2014 Council meeting was seconded and passed unanimously.

Appointments

Proclamation for Celebrate Recovery Month-John Winslow, representing the Dorchester County Addictions Program and the Dri-Dock Recovery and Wellness Program spoke about this national event. They will be hosting a celebration on Saturday, September 20th at Sojourner-Douglass College. A motion by Commissioner Hanson to allow Mayor Jackson-Stanley to sign the proclamation was seconded and approved unanimously.

Economic Steering Committee to make a recommendation regarding extending the New Resident Senior Tax Credit and Downtown Development District Tax Credit and Impact Fee Waiver incentives-Rich Loeffler gave a brief history and summary of each program. The first program is a way to attract retirees to our community. The second program is a way to try to bring businesses to our downtown area. Both programs will expire in September 2015. Since starting the new resident tax credit in late 2010, we have had 18 new residents that have taken advantage of the three-year 50% tax credit on their City property tax. Of the 18 new residents, 3 were residents of Dorchester County. The first application was made in 2012. The assessed value of the properties that the 18 new residents purchased was about $3.5 million. If you look at what these properties were paying in taxes and then giving the tax credit, this would amount to about $13,000 per year, if all 18 had been in the same year. These new owners invested more than $74,000 in those properties after their purchase. The figures were taken from the building permit process. This did not include plumbing, HVAC work or electric work that may have been done to these homes. The City has not seen a lot of use for the Downtown Development Tax Credit and Impact Fee Waiver. With the economy starting to come back, they are seeing some interest in people locating to the downtown and possibly buying some of the building and doing work on them. There are approximately 18 or 19 properties on Gay Street, High Street, Poplar Street, and Race Street that are for sale. Nobody has used the program yet. In some cases, people did not use the tax credits because they had opportunities elsewhere for funding. Commissioner Sydnor asked if the Committee would consider modifying the program so citizens of Cambridge can take advantage of it also. Natalie Chabot said she believes the consultant suggested it be for people outside Cambridge so they would not hurt the revenues that the City already has in place. The program would bring new investments and give them an incentive to be here. Commissioner Sydnor said he does not think we should alienate our own citizens who built up what Cambridge has but give it to someone outside. Rich Loeffler said this would be the time to make a change if Council so wishes. The Committee would like to know in three or four months what Council wishes to do.

Unfinished Business

Public comment and finding on whether the following property is excess property and no longer needed for a public purpose: An unimproved lot containing 3,329 sq. ft. of land, more or less, located at 411 Light Street, Cambridge, Maryland; Tax Map 302, Parcel No. 4794-The Department Heads did not see any reason to keep this property for future City use. Notice of tonight's comment session was published in the Star Democrat on August 21, 2014, and the Dorchester Star on August 22, 2014. No written or verbal comments were submitted prior to tonight. Margaret Ann Sawyer and Lonnie Sawyer said they live at 409 Light Street and are interested in the property. They have been cleaning it and cutting the grass for 5 years or more. A motion by Commissioner Sydnor to close the public comment session was seconded and approved unanimously. A motion by Commissioner Thomas to declare the parcel (411 Light Street) as excess property and put it out for bid was seconded and approved unanimously.

Discussion

Charter resolutions and ordinance relative to City Manager -A motion by Commissioner Thomas to hold a public work session on Monday, October 6, 2014 at 6:00 pm was seconded and approved 4:1 with Commissioner Sydnor opposed.

New Business

Permission to apply for DHCD FY2015 Technical Assistance Grant (Economic Development)-A motion by Commissioner Hanson to proceed with applying for the technical assistance grant was seconded and the vote resulted in a 2:2 tie with Commissioners Vickers and Cook opposed and Commissioner Sydnor abstaining. Mayor Jackson-Stanley voted for the motion; therefore, it was approved 3:2. A motion by Commissioner Thomas to adopt Resolution 14-006 was seconded and approved 3:2 with Commissioners Vickers and Cooke opposed.

Request to go to bid for annual street resurfacing-A motion by Commissioner Sydnor to go to bid for annual street resurfacing was seconded and approved unanimously.

Request to issue an RFP for engineering consultant to assist with High Street study-A motion by Commissioner Hanson to issue an RFP for an engineering consultant was seconded and approved unanimously.

Approve Gant-Brunnett Architects to proceed with final design and specifications for 307 Gay Street-A motion by Commissioner Sydnor to approve Gant-Brunnett to proceed with the final design and specification for 307 Gay Street was seconded and approved 3:2 with Commissioners Vickers and Cooke opposed.

Approve Purchase Order(s):

PO 2015-011 - John W. Tieder, Inc. - installation of conduit, light bases, and repair concrete walks for 500 block of Cedar Street (Community Legacy Grant) - $23,000.00-A motion by Commissioner Sydnor to approve Purchase Order 2015-011 was seconded and approved unanimously.

Public Comments
Request from Family Tabernacle of Faith Church (900 Pine Street) to request a variance from the noise ordinance on Sunday, September 14, 2014 from 12 noon until 8:00 pm and to close Robbins Street from Pine Street to Central Avenue-A motion by Commissioner Sydnor to approve the requests was seconded and approved unanimously.

Mayor's and Commissioners' Comments

Approve MOU with Parks Company-A motion by Commissioner Sydnor to approve an MOU with the developers of Sailwinds Park as presented by Rob Collison was seconded and approved 4:0 with Commissioner Cooke abstaining.

Request for a Consultant/Broker to Market Use on City Towers-A motion by Commissioner Cooke to proceed with advertising for a consultant/broker to market the tower space was seconded and approved unanimously.

Housing issues (poor condition, abandoned, etc.)-Commissioner Cooke requested a committee be formed to look at solutions to housing issues and working with the County on properties now owned by the County. He requested this be discussed at the next Council meeting.

Historic Preservation Commission-A motion by Commissioner Vickers to appoint Michael Russo as a full-time commissioner on the HPC as of September 1, 2014 was seconded and approved 4:1 with Commissioner Sydnor opposed.

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

With no further business, Mayor Victoria Jackson-Stanley adjourned the meeting at 8:50 p.m. I hereby certify that the foregoing is a true and accurate account of the Council meeting Monday, August 25, 2014, insofar as I personally am aware.



Edwin C. Kinnamon
Clerk & Treasurer

COMMISSIONERS OF CAMBRIDGE
CLOSED SESSION REPORT

A Date: August 25, 2014
Time: 6:15 pm
Place: City Council Chambers

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

X 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;
X 3 consider the acquisition of real property for a public purpose and matters directly related thereto;
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
Frank Cooke Vote: Y
Gage Thomas Vote: Y
Commissioner Hanson Vote: Y

Motion to close meeting: Comm. Hanson 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: (1) Sailwinds Project (2) Personnel Issue
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 Cooke, Commissioner Thomas, Commissioner Hanson, Rob Collison, Ed Kinnamon, Oden Wheeler
F Actions Taken at the Closed Session: No motions were made