• 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
Print this page

City Council Minutes

February 12, 2007

Cambridge Maryland SealMINUTES

Council Meeting

February 12, 2007

 

The City Council met in regular session on Monday, February 12, 2007 in Council Chambers. A quorum being present, Mayor Cleveland L. Rippons called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. Those Commissioners in attendance were Commissioners Knox, Sydnor, and Brooks. Commissioner Travers arrived at 8:50 p.m.

Mayor Rippons asked for a moment of silence for Jarris and Aaron Robinson, two young men who died Sunday afternoon after the younger boy fell through a sheet of ice covering a pond and his brother tried to rescue him.

Ed Kinnamon led in the Lord's Prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance. Commissioner Knox made a motion to approve the minutes of the January 22, 2007 Council meeting as distributed. Commissioner Sydnor seconded the motion. The motion was passed unanimously.

Public Hearing

A request by the Thomas Land Group, LLC to rezone a total of 331± acres binding upon Egypt Road to the following zoning classifications: Rezone 61.065± acres from PWRD (Planned Water Resort District) to R-1 (Single Family Residential District); and rezone 270± acres from PWRD (Planned Water Resort District) to R-2 (Mixed Residential District)-Rob Collison said the certificate of publication indicates that public hearing was advertised in the Daily Banner on January 26, and February 2, 2007. The Planning and Zoning Commission unanimously recommended the rezoning as requested. This land is part of the Egypt Road resort project. There are on-going negotiations between the applicant, developer and the State of Maryland. At the present time, those negotiations have not been completed as far as a contract being formally entered into. He suggested leaving the record open until the next meeting and a vote be taken at a later date once they are kept apprised of the situation.

Sandy McAllister, representing Egypt Road LLC and the Thomas Land Group LLC, said they are applying to rezone portions of this site from its current configuration and classification as PWRD-3 to R-1 and R-2. The land is subject to the City's Blackwater Resorts approval but the City and County growth allocation decision was denied by the Critical Area Commission. The decision is currently under appeal. In early November, the State announced its intention to acquire approximately 70 percent of the site. They are still in daily discussions with the State and the deal should be concluded over the next couple of months. As of this evening, they do not have an executed contract with the State. The balance of the property that is not planned for the State acquisition is the subject of tonight's rezoning request. This area is 270 acres on the west side of Egypt Road to be rezoned R-2 and that is planned to be developed as an active adult community of 635 single-family homes plus community amenities such as a clubhouse, pool, etc. The R-2 is requested because the minimum lot size in an R-2 zone is more consistent with the active adult design trends. The development in their R-2 zone will be at a density less than required in an R-1 zone. It is not being requested to get more housing units; in fact, they are suggesting just a fraction of the approvable density. They are also requesting 50.018 acres, also west of Egypt Road and south of the 270-acre parcel, to be rezoned R-1. That area is planned to be developed into 40 one-acre single-family lots. There is a 5-acre section east of Egypt Road which is commonly referred to as a Connelly parcel that would be R-1 as well. Those are the areas that are not assumed, at this point, to be under contract to the State. They need to be rezoned because under the PWCD characterization, they cannot be developed given the criteria that the PWCD requires. The City Planning Commission unanimously recommended approval of the rezoning. The City and State laws require that there be evidence of change or mistake in order to rezone property. In general, change requires a substantial change in the neighborhood or the area surrounding the area proposed for rezoning. Mistake refers to a mistake in the existing zoning classification. The current PWRD-3 zoning requires, among other things, development of a comprehensive plan with water-oriented uses located on parcels that are bounded by navigatable water. The preliminary master development plan approved for the PWRD-3 district includes construction of a golf course, a hotel conference center, and retail center on lands that are not slated for State acquisition. Therefore, none of the PWCD components that were the basis on which the approval was granted could be constructed if the entire waterfront turns out to be acquired by the State. If the State acquires the remainder of that property (the waterfront), then the balance, which they are attempting this evening to rezone R-1 and R-2, cannot be developed in compliance with the preliminary master development plan that Council approved. They would not otherwise comply with the minimum requirements for establishment of a PWRD zone at that point. For those reasons, the applicants believe that if the State buys the land, the proposed rezoning satisfies both the change and mistake rule. It was a significant change in the neighborhood given that the waterfront is now owned by the State and it is a mistake given that it was zoned in contemplation of being able to satisfy the PWCD requirements which they cannot satisfy due to the Critical Area decision. The State's denial of growth allocation has been appealed. Unless and until a court issues a final decision in that appeal affirming the local government's award of growth allocation, the project that is approved by the master development plan cannot be built. That is the basis for the rezoning request. They have requested that the rezoning not become effective until the State purchases the balance of the property. They are actually requesting that the decision become effective upon approval by the State's Board of Public Works. Because of the current on-going status with the State, they want to reserve the right to waive or eliminate the contingency in the future.

Commissioner Knox asked about the State's timeframe. Sandy McAllister said they are hopeful they can make the Board of Public Works' meeting scheduled for April.

William Giese, Maple Dam Road, said he is not speaking for or against the proposal. He supports the sale of the property to the State and at this time they have no objection to the rezoning; however, he hopes the Council will follow Mr. Collison's recommendation that any final action be held off until the State deal is finalized. Lot of things could change but hopefully they will not.

Rob Collison recommended that Council leave the record open until they are updated on the State's situation. Commissioner Sydnor made a motion to leave the record open. Commissioner Knox seconded the motion. The motion passed 3:0. Commissioner Sydnor made a motion to end this section of the public hearing. Commissioner Brooks seconded the motion. Mayor Rippons said written comments will still be accepted. The motion passed 3:0.

Appointments

Octavene Saunders, Pine Street Committee, Request to Block Off Pine Street from Cedar Street to Cross Street and a Noise Variance on Saturday, April 28th from 10:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. for the Cambridge/Dorchester Cultural Festival-Mrs. Saunders said she was advised by a staff person at City Hall that she had to go door to door before she came before Council to find out if anybody in the vicinity would have an objection to them having one block of Pine Street blocked off for their project. Nobody had any objections. The partners for the project are C-Safe, Cambridge Main Street, Cambridge Police Department, Canvasback Restaurant, Dorchester Arts Center, Dorchester County Sheriff's Department, Elks Lodge 223, Dorchester County Department of Tourism, Harriet Tubman Organization, Heart of Chesapeake Country Heritage Area, John Lewis, Maryland Heritage Area Authority, Tory Spedden, WCEM, WAAI, West End Citizens Association, and the Pine Street Committee. The event starts at 12 noon. They are working with the Police Department on the layout. Commissioner Sydnor made a motion to approve the request. Commissioner Brooks seconded the motion. The motion passed 3:0.

Unfinished Business

Update on Request to Purchase a Section of a Piece of City-Owned Property Behind 312 High Street-Rob Collison said he discussed this with Mr. Newcomb. His recommendation would be not to take any action at this time. It is his understanding that once the new public safety building is open and the Police Department relocates, that the Clerk's office and MUC will be relocated to the old Police Department building on Academy Street and they would market the MUC property at that time. He thinks it would adversely affect the value of the property by taking the piece that was being requested by an adjoining property owner. It somewhat divides the parcel. Parking would be another issue. It is his recommendation not to divide the property and to notify the party who made the inquiry that something may be done within the next six to nine months. Commissioner Sydnor made a motion to accept the recommendation of Gary Newcomb and Rob Collison. Commissioner Knox seconded the motion. The motion passed 3:0.

Discuss Promoting Cambridge Through a Series of Online Videos-Rob Collison reviewed the agreement that was submitted to the City. He noticed that it commits the City for 3 years. It would automatically renew unless the City gives them 60 days' notice of termination. His recommended a termination provision. If for whatever reason the City is not happy with the videos, then they could terminate it sooner. His other question was whether or not there would be a non-exclusive provision in case someone else wanted to do this for the City. Ed Kinnamon said it would be linked to the City's website. Rob Collison will revise the agreement for Council's review at the next meeting.

Recommendation to Award Bid for Furnishing and Delivering One New 2007 Dump Truck with Snowplow and Spreader for DPW-Commissioner Sydnor asked what the original budget line was for this item. George Hyde said it was $80,000. He said they had a utility trailer in the budget that they will defer to next year and use the money from that. Commissioner Sydnor made a motion to approve the recommendation. Commissioner Knox seconded the motion. The motion passed 3:0.

Discuss Revisions to MOU With Sanitary District to Allow Residents to Receive Water-Rob Collison presented Council with the proposed amendments. The Council entered into an agreement in June 2005 with the Sanitary District. At that time all the rates were made uniform throughout the various districts. In that document it provides that if you have a lot of record in an existing Sanitary District, you would then be allowed a connection for sewage for each lot of record. It was silent as to water. The Health Department is not issuing well permits within Sanitary Districts because that property is technically available for central water but at the present time, the City is not allowing them to connect to the water. The proposal is that if you are entitled to sewer, you would then be entitled to one connection for each lot of record in the existing Sanitary District for the City's central water system. They would have to pay the impact fee for both sewer and water for out-of-town users. Commissioner Sydnor said there would be an annual $250 fee for sewage. There is a surcharge above the City's water rate. Mayor Rippons said the sewer is contemplated on a sliding scale. There is a fixed rate predicated on the usage that we have known about. There is now a uniform rate for everyone in the Sanitary Districts. The Sanitary District imposes a maintenance surcharge. Mayor Rippons said the provision in the previous agreement provides for the same percentage increase for in-town users that would apply to out-of-town users. Commissioner Sydnor made a motion to forward the document to the Sanitary District for their perusal and then get back to Council for their final ratification. Commissioner Knox seconded the motion. The motion passed 3:0.

New Business

Request from Business Owner to Have "No Parking" Sign Changed to "Unloading and Loading Only" Sign Behind Doris Mae's Restaurant-Commissioner Brooks made a motion to refer this request to the Traffic and Safety Committee for their recommendation. Commissioner Sydnor seconded the motion. Commissioner Knox asked if this was a one-way or two-way alley. Chief Malik said you can go in or out but you are not supposed to make a left turn onto Gay Street. He would make a recommendation to possibly have the "no parking" sign remain in effect but also allow a loading and unloading sign for roughly a 15-minute period. He believes if Council were to allow a loading and unloading area without a time limit, it could be abused. There is a lot of traffic that goes in and out of that alley. He also asked the Traffic and Safety Committee to look at the sign in front of Craig's. It is for loading and unloading but it is his understanding that it is for after 10:00 p.m. The sign does not state that. With the amount of traffic we have downtown now, that space is needed. Rob Collison said the request was made 5 or 6 years ago for either 9:00 p.m. or 10:00 p.m. so the employees could be right near the door. Ed Kinnamon said there was a van unloading there this afternoon for Craig's. Octavene Saunders said there is an alley behind Craig's that comes off Gay Street. They block that whole alley with their trucks. It is dangerous with the holes in it. She would like the Traffic and Safety Committee to look into this also. The motion to review all the above requests passed 3:0.

Request from Dorchester County Recreation & Parks Board to Hold Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday, March 31st at 11:00 am at Great Marsh Park (rain date - April 1st at 2:00 pm)-Commissioner Knox made a motion to approve the request. Commissioner Brooks seconded the motion. The motion passed 3:0.

Request from Two Families on Shorter Street for Additional Street Lights on Shorter Street-Commissioner Brooks made a motion to review this request to the Street Lighting Committee. Commissioner Sydnor seconded the motion. The motion passed 3:0.

Request from Bill Watkins, CEMS, To Enter Into a Service Contract for Cardiac Monitors-Commissioner Knox made a motion to approve the request. Commissioner Sydnor seconded the motion. The motion passed 3:0.

Request from Eastern Shore Hospital Center to Hold Their Fifth Annual H.O.P.E. Run/Walk on Saturday, May 5th -Chief Malik said they have discussed this with the Hospital Center. Commissioner Sydnor made a motion to approve the request. Commissioner Brooks seconded the motion. The motion passed 3:0.

Approve Franchise Agreements for Cable Television-Rob Collison said his recommendation would be to keep the same 10-year term as we presently have. Ed Kinnamon said both companies were requesting 15 years. Another recommendation would be to increase the insurance to $2 million per incident or $4 million aggregate. It has been at $1 million for 10 years now. He also recommended that they be subject to any standard inspection fees that the City may impose. They left some provisions in about design and capacity that he thinks are outdated. It talks about bringing it up to 550 megahertz within 24 months. He imagines that was already done 10 years ago. The only other thing we have discretion is the franchise fee. Presently it is 3 percent. The City can charge up to 5 percent but they have to realize it is coming from the Cambridge citizens. Ed Kinnamon said it is generating $60,000+ which goes into the general fund. Commissioner Brooks said other municipalities use their franchise fee to air some of their meetings. She realizes we have Bay Country Communications airing the meetings but everyone in the City of Cambridge is not privy to Bay County Communications. Only people with Bay Country Communications can see the meetings. She would like to know what else the City can do with that $60,000+ to get some of the meetings to the rest of the City. Mayor Rippons said they can request in the agreement that Comcast broadcast the meetings. Commissioner Brooks asked that Council review the contracts before they vote on them. Rob Collison said the documents refer to the City Manager. He would like this changed to read the City Clerk's office. Commissioner Brooks made a motion to notify Comcast that the City would like clarification of the technical resources that are available and a modification to have the contract read 10 years, an increase in the insurance to a minimum of $2 million, and subject to the imposition of any inspection fees that may come up. The City will also request that Comcast broadcast the meetings. Commissioner Sydnor seconded the motion.

Portia Johnson-Ennels said Comcast just increased the cable costs. She asked if they would increase the cost again since the City is asking them to increase their liability insurance. Bay Country gives better service but she doesn't have it. Comcast costs more and you should have better service. Rob Collison said for a company their size, they should have at least $2 million in coverage. Mayor Rippons said they should already have that much insurance but when the contract was originated 10 years ago, a $1 million liability was the industry standard. Portia Johnson-Ennels said if they are going to increase her rates, she expects to have better service. When the City of Cambridge gave them the franchise to move here, basic cable was $4.95. It is now $57. Bay Country has a lower price. Rob Collison said the City cannot regulate what they charge. Octavene Saunders said Bay Country has come into the City and offered the Empowerment Center 5 years of free internet and cable service without them even asking for the service. They are also doing things for the businesses downtown. She asked if Comcast could be encouraged or pushed to do something for the citizens like Bay Country is doing. Rob Collison said both agreements will read identical. In the agreements they provide that the company will provide free access to the City for its various locations (City Hall, DPW, etc.). Octavene Saunders said Bay Country is working with the business community too. Mayor Rippons said Comcast does community service projects. Last week he received information about their academic challenge. They provide scholarships to several schools in the area. A few years ago Cambridge-South Dorchester won the event. Comcast also does a community service project on a rotating basis. This year they did Sailwinds East. They are not finished yet but they are revitalizing the park. Three years ago they went out to Sandy Hill Elementary School and refurbished it. There were over 100 Comcast employees painting, landscaping, etc. They bought some picnic tables for Sailwinds Park. Octavene Saunders said these are only for government-type projects. Portia Johnson-Ennels said she doesn't have children in school so it isn't helping her whatsoever. Octavene Saunders asked Ed Kinnamon to provide her with the names of the government contact tomorrow.

Jamal Pinder asked if Bay Country is available to everyone in the City. Mayor Rippons said it is not available everywhere now, but they are expanding. Commissioner Brooks said Bay Country has to be given permission and the right to use certain poles. If they are not granted access to certain poles, then they cannot bring cable service in that area. That is why Race Street is so spaced out. One block has the service; the next block does not have it. Jamal Pinder asked who we can contact to make sure they have access to the poles. Rob Collison said it is probably a combination of the electric company and the telephone company. They put up the poles and have the actual right-of-way easements to dedicate to various users. Comcast was here first and they may have bought exclusive rights from the utilities and they do not want to share it. Rob Collison suggested that he canvas his neighborhood to see who wants the new company and present it to the company. If they have enough potential users, it is going to make it economically feasible for them to get it to the neighborhood. Mayor Rippons said they may very well be able to install their own poles in the right-of-way. Rob Collison said if anyone wants the phone numbers for the two companies, they can contact City Hall. The motion to send back the two contracts with the revisions and to allow Council time to review the agreements passed 3:0. Mayor Rippons said they can send a letter along with the revisions asking for additional coverage in the area and a briefing about what the companies provide as far as community services. He said Council could invite the representatives to come to a work session to discuss this further.

Request by DPW to Purchase Two Pickup Trucks (Street Maintenance)-Mayor Rippons said the trucks would be purchased under the State contract. Commissioner Sydnor made a motion to approve the request. Commissioner Brooks seconded the motion. The motion passed 3:0.

Request to Solicit Engineering Proposals for the Great Marsh Boat Ramp Reconstruction-Mayor Rippons said this will be covered by a DNR grant. Commissioner Sydnor made a motion to approve the request. Commissioner Brooks seconded the motion. Commissioner Knox asked what they are going to be doing and where they are going to do it. George Hyde said the concrete on the existing boat ramp is pretty much all gone. There are giant holes. Commissioner Knox said it is completely in the wrong place. It is always going to happen. You always have the tide and the tidal waters are continually washing in there. It should have been built around on the side. George Hyde said he can certainly have them look at it. He thinks it has something to do with the water depths. There would be a lot more dredging required on either side. The motion passed 3:0.

Request to Continue with the Downtown Street Lighting Project-Mayor Rippons said this project will be partially funded through a grant. Commissioner Knox made a motion to approve the request. Commissioner Brooks seconded the motion. Rob Collison suggested looking at the distance between the poles. There is a market difference between our lights and the lights in downtown Easton. Easton seems to have more lights per block. Poplar Street is a little dim at night. George Hyde said he can talk to the experts who did the study in the first place. Obviously it would be more expensive to install more lights. Octavene Saunders asked Council what part of Race Street they consider as the downtown. Mayor Rippons said it goes to Cedar Street. George Hyde said the block they are talking about is the block that goes to Cemetery Avenue. Octavene Saunders asked which blocks on Race Street they consider downtown Cambridge. Commissioner Brooks said it should be from Cedar Street to the end of Poplar Street. Octavene Saunders said then the block going toward Washington Street is not considered downtown. Commissioner Brooks said that block is more residential. Octavene Saunders asked about Wise Oil & Fuel, the Shell Station, the beauty shops, etc. Ed Kinnamon said years ago a previous Council must have considered down to Washington Street as downtown because it was part of the Commercial District Management Authority. Those businesses were assessed a fee of $75 every year. Octavene Saunders said every time she looks, improvements are being made in the 400 block of Race Street. If we are going to consider Race Street businesses all the way down to Washington Street, they should get the same amenities, the same better street lights, and everything our tax money is helping with. She gets offended when she goes as far as a certain part of Race Street and then sees other parts are left out. She doesn't see the benches, the nice trash cans, the better lighting, etc. Commissioner Brooks asked who is providing the downtown streetlight funding. George Hyde said this grant is through the Maryland Heritage Area Authority. Commissioner Brooks said if a portion is coming through Main Street, then Pine Street has to be considered as part of this downtown area as well. Octavene Saunders said they never get considered. Commissioner Brooks said it should be. Rob Collison said he thinks there is a long-term plan. The project is being done in increments. George Hyde said this is just the next phase. It certainly doesn't complete the project. Council will review the plan.

Octavene Saunders said the young man who does sidewalk cleaning stays in this block of High Street, a block of Race Street, and a block of Muir Street. If all of Race Street is downtown, it might be good if he goes all the way downtown. Since one block of Pine Street is Main Street, she has to constantly call Spencer Bradley about the leaves and trash in front of the substation. She doesn't know what is in the budget, but maybe they need two men to keep all of the Main Street area clean.

The motion to move forward with this phase of the downtown project was approved 3:0.

Completion of Service Road Between Holiday Inn Express & Woods Road-Mayor Rippons said this project began when Royale Farms completed their portion. This is a budgeted item this year. Commissioner Sydnor made a motion to approve the request. Commissioner Brooks seconded the motion. The motion passed 3:0. Royale Farms is not within the City limits; however Holiday Inn Express is in the City. They pay hotel tax in excess of $60,000 a year. The entire portion they are talking about completing is within the City. It is a public right of way. Rob Collison said normally the property owners pay for it and dedicate it to the City. George Hyde said it is a public service to access those businesses. It was promised to Holiday Inn from the beginning. Ed Kinnamon confirmed this. George Hyde said they need to consider the long-term maintenance. Rob Collison said it could be a dedicated roadway. George Hyde said it could be an easement. Rob Collison said it was his understanding that when Holiday Inn was annexed, they were responsible for their portion inclusive of the adjoining lot. Commissioner Knox said the access for the community is wonderful but he is concerned a fence could be put up. George Hyde said the City has an easement that guarantees the right to use that 34-ft strip because they have water and sewer pipes running down there. Commissioner Sydnor said he thinks part of the area behind Holiday Inn has been surfaced but there is about 70 to 80 feet that needs to be completed. That is why it was put in the budget. George Hyde said it is just about securing agreements with each of the property owners as to what happens in the future. Mayor Rippons said the motion can be amended to move forward with this with the consideration that an agreement is made with the property owners as far as maintenance. Commissioner Sydnor amended his motion to include a provision for a maintenance agreement. Commissioner Brooks seconded the amended motion. The motion passed 3:0.

Request to Go to Bid - Annual Paving Contract-George Hyde provided a list of the streets. Commissioner Brooks said before the streets are picked, she would like the Commissioners consulted. They have requests each year from some residents that have complaints about the streets they live on. This time last year, Commissioner Cephas was asking for Douglas Street to be upgraded with sidewalks, etc. She sees that is not on the list again this year. She said she guesses Bayly Road completion is out of the question because it started in 2003 and it is still not completed. She notices that Robbins Street is on the list but the end of Robbins Street that they are going to do is better than the part of Robbins Street that they are not going to include. She has some problems with the 2007 paving list. She would like Mr. Hyde to get some input from the Commissioners who have requests from citizens of Cambridge. George Hyde said the list is prepared by the Superintendent based on where they have to concentrate their maintenance efforts fixing roads. He tries to take care of those areas. Mayor Rippons asked Council to table the vote and asked that each Commissioner work with Mr. Hyde or Mr. Bradley to construct the list. Octavene Saunders asked them to look at Charles Street. It is a terrible street. George Hyde said a lot of the streets need a lot of work but it is more than just doing an overlay. This list is a list of street that they can just go in and overlay. There are a lot of other streets that need to be put in the budget as capital improvement projects when you are talking about curbs and sidewalks. This is just for resurfacing. Jamal Pinder said Race Street in front of Chesapeake College has been bad for years. He asked how bad a road had to be in order for it to be put onto a list in order for it to be considered to be ripped up and repaving. Patching over it is not working. George Hyde said if they had unlimited funds, there are a lot of streets he would love to do. We have $400,000 in the budget and he is trying to stretch it as far as he can and take care of the worst streets. Commissioner Brooks said they are going to listen to Mr. Hyde when he talks about capital improvement projects and they will make sure that Douglas Street gets put in the budget for capital improvements and Charles Street for the sidewalks and things like that. Jamal Pinder asked if the budget was a matter of public record. Mayor Rippons said it certainly is and there are budget hearings where everything is outlined.

Portia Johnson-Ennels said some of the streets are so narrow that the new fire truck cannot get down them. She asked if there is money in the budget to widen them. That is part of improving the City. Commissioner Sydnor said if it is a narrow street and it is in a residential area, then they will have to look at them to see if it should be a one-way street. Portia Johnson-Ennels said it is already one way. She is talking about Charles Street and Edgewater Avenue. Nothing has been done. The property would probably burn down before the fire trucks could find a way to get in there. George Hyde said he would have to defer to the Fire Chief. He is not aware of any streets that they cannot get down. If there is, that is something they would have to look at.

Approve Budget Amendment for DPW-Commissioner Knox made a motion to approve the budget amendment. Commissioner Sydnor seconded the motion. The motion passed 4:0.

Approve Purchase Order 855 - Criswell Chevrolet - Two Pickup Trucks $33,014.00-Commissioner Sydnor made a motion to approve the request. Commissioner Knox seconded the motion. The motion passed 3:0.

Approve Purchase Order 856 - Barr Sterling - Dump Truck with Snowplow and Spreader - $85,273.00-Commissioner Sydnor made a motion to approve the request. Commissioner Knox seconded the motion. The motion passed 3:0.

Approve Financial Statement for December 2006-Commissioner Sydnor made a motion to approve the request. Commissioner Knox seconded the motion. The motion passed 3:0.

ADDITIONAL ITEMS

Mayor Rippons acknowledged Scott Schilling from Bay Country Communications and told him how everyone was talking about how much Bay Country Communication was doing for the community. Rob Collison said there were some questions that came up on the plans for future expansion. Mr. Schilling said they are doing several of their smaller expansions. They got their main line out and this spring they are going to be filling in with the feeder. They will be doing Governor's Avenue, East Appleby, and down Glasgow Street. They had a real tuff time getting pole permits. Pole permits predicate on how many wires are on the pole. They will be doing a lot of construction. He said he will ride out to Park Lane and then he will be able to give Mr. Pinder a better idea. Mayor Rippons said they would like to have a work session and invite Mr. Schilling to speak about his company. Mr. Schilling said they would love to do it. They are a small cable TV company and they try to contain their growth from within. They have no outside investors. That is how they keep costs down. However, it limits how much they can grow.

Commissioner Knox said his thoughts and prayers go out to the Robinson family for their tragic loss. He made a motion to have our Engineer and City Planner work on some sort of signage that Council can require all current developers and developments that have already finished with stormwater management ponds to have some signage on their fences. He is not talking about just a "no trespassing" sign. He would like to have some wordage that would send a message to our young citizens about the hazards of such ponds. This could possibly prevent a tragedy of this nature from happening again. Commissioner Brooks added to the motion to direct Mr. Collison to see if we can bring about a change in our code or ordinance to require a height limit and type of fence that is going to be required around the storm drainage as well as retroactive to go back to the ones that are already in place. Commissioner Knox agreed. He was watching the news earlier this evening and he believes in Salisbury they had actually created some kind of a device where there was a glass enclosure with a life preserver. Someone from the audience said it is called "Sam's Box". Commissioner Knox said they could go one step further and look into that. It is his understanding that when an individual grabs the life preserver, an alarm goes off to the 9-1-1 Center. Commissioner Knox amended his motion. Commissioner Sydnor said in speaking with our Chief of Police and our Fire Chief, they are going to look into this situation. Those things are being taken into consideration along with possibly a height limit that they might have to make a part of our City code. Someone is looking into that particular situation. Commissioner Brooks seconded the motion. Scott Shilling said they work with the 9-1-1 Center and if those Sam's Boxes are an affordable solution and are IP-driven, the access to the 9-1-1 Center could be through Bay Country Wireless Network. You don't have to run a phone line to every one of them.

Jane Devlin said there are possible two issues. You have to deal with existing stormwater ponds. She can understand the idea of signs. She doesn't know if that would work with young children. Sam's Boxes would probably be one of the best solutions for existing ponds. She asked George Hyde about the recent project at Golden Shore Academy School on Mill Street. Their stormwater management is not exposed. They have no stormwater containment pond. They are doing everything underneath the surface. She asked if this is something we can potentially look at with future developers. George Hyde said it would be very difficult with the larger developments. Certainly with the smaller sites it could be done. Jane Devlin asked if it wasn't a better alternative to look at this to see if it is financially feasible. George Hyde said it could be looked at.

Commissioner Brooks said there were some major concerns when they dug the stormwater drainage where she lives. They came in and required, through protest after protest with the City, that they make it safe for the children. They put up a 6‑ft fence with barbed wire around the top of it and it is completely covered on the outside with shrubs so the children don't even know that 2 feet from their backyard is a very deep stormwater drainage. It is not pretty but it will save a life.

Commissioner Knox said they have to do whatever they possible can to hopefully have some kind of satisfaction that they have done everything they possibly can to prevent such a tragedy from happening again. Every suggestion is a good suggestion. The motion passed 3:0.

Commissioner Brooks said she would like to offer her heartfelt sympathy to the Robinson family and friends for their tragic loss. In addition to that she would like to send out a special and heartfelt thank you to our Sheriff's Department, Police Department, EMS, and RFC Staff for their tallest effort and commitment to the dedication in our community in saving lives. She thinks they did an outstanding job and her prayers are with them as they go through this tragic loss as well.

Commissioner Brooks said Anne Roane has asked that Council select one Commissioner to sit on an interview committee to review five proposals for our comprehensive plan. The comprehensive plan will have to be read from front-to- back, page-by-page. They are trying to have everything done by the first week of March. The interviews will most likely be taking place during the daytime. Commissioner Sydnor asked if they could possible rotate. George Hyde said he thinks the person would have to be in all the interviews. It would not be fair to see only certain people. Commissioner Brooks said she will volunteer unless Commissioner Travers or Commissioner Cephas volunteer.

Commissioner Brooks said for the Housing Task Force members are scheduled to meet next Tuesday, February 20th with Jeff Paxson who will take them to Salisbury to look at a housing development similar to the one he is proposing for Cambridge. Anne Roane, two of her staff, and possibly George Hyde will also attend. She asked Ed Kinnamon to contact Jerome Stanley to see if he would provide transportation. Portia Johnson-Ennels and Jane Devlin said they could not go. Rob Collison said they would like to have a briefing with some landlords and City Code Enforcers on the on-going litigation with failure to register for lead paint violations. Commissioner Brooks said they could probably just have an extra date for that meeting. This trip was arranged over two months ago. Jane Devlin said the concern was that the issues did not go well at court. The concern came back from the judge that obviously the City did not inform the landlords correctly so they have received a waiver until March 21st. Portia Johnson-Ennels had the idea to invite them to the Housing Task Force meeting. Commissioner Brook said she should have been informed about that because you cannot have two people making an agenda at the same time. They are looking at affordable housing and the project they are trying to bring to the City of Cambridge. Portia Johnson-Ennels said Judge Norton stressed this in court. They went into court twice in one month. The City of Cambridge looked bad each time. The judge said they should meet with the landlords and explain to them what is going on. They have been working on affordable housing for years and haven't gotten anywhere. She doesn't know if they will get anywhere going to Wicomico County. She doesn't think that the City needs to go to court in March and look as bad as it looked in January. Commissioner Sydnor asked if the Council should know when the City is going to court. Rob Collison said they go to court practically every week for property maintenance issues. Jane Devlin said if these people are really intending to finally follow the mandate that they were given, you want to have a meeting soon enough that they have time to possibly contact contractors. Commissioner Brooks said they could possibly schedule a meeting on February 22nd for the landlords. She heard the Code Enforcers did a very good job in court. Portia Johnson-Ennels and Jane Devlin said they were not prepared either time. Rob Collison suggested having the meeting with the landlords on February 27th. Commissioner Brooks asked Ed Kinnamon to get a letter to all of the members of the Housing Task Force for the trip that is going to be taking place on Tuesday, February 22nd at 10:00 am. They will need to respond if they would like to go to Salisbury.

George Hyde asked for clarification on the paving. He asked if he should set up individual meetings with the Commissioners. The paving contractors said to get their best price, they should go to bid in February or March so they can pave early in the year. Mayor Rippons said they would allow each Commissioner latitude to poll their constituents. Then they will contact Mr. Hyde to set up a meeting within 1½ weeks. That will allow him to propose something for the next meeting.

Jamal Pinder said he was appointed to a special elections committee and he attended one meeting with Mr. Wright and Ms. Johnson-Ennels then they were supposed to reschedule. This was some time last year and he hasn't heard anything. Rob Collison said he thinks there was a second meeting. The comments that were made at the meetings were submitted to the Council and a charter amendment was adopted and approved. Portia Johnson-Ennels said that is correct. Jamal Pinder asked how he was notified. He received a call from Ed's office in reference to the first meeting. They were supposed to set up a second meeting and to his knowledge it was never done. Rob Collison said they had two meetings. Jamal Pinder said he was asked to be on it and then he never heard anything else. Rob Collison said he will have a copy of the charter resolution forwarded to Mr. Pinder.

Commissioner Sydnor made a motion to go into executive session directly following the meeting to discuss personnel. Commissioner Brooks seconded the motion. The motion passed 3:0.

Jamal Pinder said he heard a nasty rumor that Mayor Rippons made a way for Mr. Gianiny to receive cell phone records from members of the City Council. He wanted to give Mayor Rippons a chance to address that. He knows it is not true. Mayor Rippons said he has no knowledge of it whatsoever. Mr. Gianiny has not requested it from him.

With no further business, Mayor Rippons adjourned this portion of the meeting at 8:52 p.m. I hereby certify that the foregoing is a true and accurate account of the Council meeting Monday, February 27, 2007, insofar as I personally am aware.

                                

                                                                                                                                    

                                                                                    Edwin C. Kinnamon

                                                                                    Clerk & Treasurer