Categories: 2004 Council Minutes Date: Mar 22, 2010 Title: City Council Minutes
The City Council met in regular session on Monday, November 8, 2004 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, Cephas, Watkins, Brooks, and Travers.
Ed Kinnamon led in the Lord's Prayer. Commissioner Travers led in the Pledge of Allegiance. Commissioner Travers made a motion to approve the minutes of the October 25, 2004 Council meeting as distributed. Commissioner Cephas seconded the motion. The motion was passed unanimously.
Traffic & Safety Committee-Commissioner Brooks reported that the committee met on November 3rd to discuss the following issues:
Commissioner Brooks made a motion to approve the recommendations. Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Street Lighting Committee-Commissioner Cephas reported that the committee met on November 3rd to discuss the following issue:
Commissioner Cephas made a motion to approve the recommendation. Commissioner Brooks seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Laura Weldon to Request Permission to Hold Christmas Parade-Laura Weldon reported that plans are underway for the 57th Annual Christmas Parade. She requested permission to hold the parade on Saturday, December 4th. The line-up will begin at approximately 4:00 pm and the parade will begin at 5:00 pm. Commissioner Travers made a motion to approve the request. Commissioner Brooks seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously. Mayor Rippons presented Mrs. Weldon with a check for $800 to help with parade expenses. Mrs. Weldon asked that the City waive the vendor-permit fee for non-profits who set‑up booths to sell coffee, hot chocolate, etc. during the parade. Commissioner Cephas made a motion to continue this past practice. Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. Any for-profit vendors will require a permit. The motion passed unanimously. Mayor Rippons thanked the parade committee for their efforts.
Open Bids for Cedar Street Outfall Dredging-David Pritchett reported that they did not receive any bids.
Joe Ross to Give a Shore Health System Update-Joe Ross, President and CEO of Shore Health System, said they saw growth in all services this year in Cambridge. They saw about 4500 admissions to the hospital. They saw a 12 percent jump in utilization of out-patient services including the emergency room and expect to see 18,000 or 19,000 visits this year. They attribute this to the aging of the community coupled with some population growth. A new physician was added this year. The ICU project and the Waterford project were finally completed. Right now they are renovating the cafeteria. They saw a continued reduction in their nursing vacancy. Their vacancy rate is half the state average and less than half the national average. In the next year they will be focusing on the imaging department and would like to put MRI services at DGH. The biggest challenge is professional liability insurance. They have formed an insurance group with ten other health systems because they could not buy professional liability insurance in the market place. He asked anyone on Council to call him with any questions or concerns.
Appoint Members to the Housing Board of Review-Mayor Rippons asked that this be discussed during the next meeting.
Second Reading and Vote on Resolution to Amend the Trash Disposal Fee-Commissioner Travers made a motion to adopt the new fees. Commissioner Brooks seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Second Reading and Vote on Ordinance to Amend Section 11-8 "One-Way Streets"-Commissioner Travers made a motion to approve the resolution. Commissioner Brooks seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously. (Ordinance No. 926)
Second Reading and Vote on Ordinance to Amend MUC Fees- Commissioner Travers made a motion to approve the ordinance. Commissioner Cephas seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously. (Ordinance No. 927)
Award Contract for New Garbage Truck-David Pritchett reported that they recommend awarding the contract to the low bidder, Elliott Wilson Capitol Trucks, in the amount of $76,076 which is approximately $6,000 under the budgeted amount. Commissioner Travers made a motion to award the contract to Elliott Wilson Capitol Trucks. Commissioner Watkins seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Appoint Members to Dorchester County Housing Task Force-The Dorchester Council asked that each Commissioner submit a name from their ward. Commissioner Travers appointed James Fitzhugh. The remaining appointments will be made at the next meeting.
Select Date for Public Hearing for PWCD Moratorium Extension-Rob Collison said the PWCD Review Committee recommended extending the moratorium. He said he will work with Planning and Zoning to schedule a night for the necessary public hearings for this moratorium and other topics.
Discuss Sailwinds Park Management Board-Mayor Rippons said the three members of the Board who wished to continue have forwarded a letter to Council. Commissioner Cephas said three members said they will serve but only under certain conditions. One was that the Mayor be the liaison; another was that they would select the two new Board members; and they would handle the day-to-day operations. He is willing to compromise but he does not want to be held hostage by anybody. There are other committees throughout the City and the Mayor and/or Council selects the members. He doesn't feel this committee should be any different than any other committee throughout the City. No other committee picks their own members. He doesn't have any problem with the three Board members being part of the selection process but he doesn't think the City should be left out of the process. He thinks Mayor Rippons should be the liaison. He thinks that along with the three existing Board members, the City Council should make the final selection of the two new members. If there is a problem with that, then he said maybe they should consider a seven-member Board. Commissioner Watkins complimented the Sailwinds Board for what they have done over the last few years. He thinks it has been one of the most outstanding activities that we have had. He thinks the Board should make recommendations and the Council should make the final appointments. Commissioner Brooks suggested two City Commissioners and one Sailwinds Board member would make up an interview Committee to choose the other two Board members. According to the letter, nobody has said that if Council chooses the other two appointments, that they will not come back. If that is the case, then maybe they will need more than two to appoint to the Board. They welcome the three who would like to come back to go through the same selection process. The Council would like to have two people sit along with a Board member to make the selection. Commissioner Knox said maybe in all fairness to the three gentlemen who would like to return, Council could form a review committee with those three on the committee and possibly three other people; for instance, two Council members and one individual from the public. He doesn't feel Council has any problem with the three gentlemen who want to return.
Robert Peters, a Board member, said the reason they sent the letter was so they could complete the term of which they had agreed to, to have an inventory, and to have an audit to show what the success of Sailwinds has been for the last three years. Three members have agreed to come back even before the letter was submitted so it would not be a completely new Board. They are not an advisory Board; they are a hands-on Board. They put in quite a number of hours during the week. The reason they wanted to be involved in making the selection for the Management Board is as it has been before. The Board appointed him to the Board when Dr. Heirs resigned. They want someone who they feel is business-oriented, is willing to spend time and work. They are not saying the City Council should not be involved. He suggested they submit names and let the Board review them. They need to move forward. There are 50+ events booked so far for 2005. They have requests for dates in 2006. That is his reason for staying on. Maybe they can get members on a rotating basis, so everybody doesn't go off at one time. They should have already booked their entertainment for the first half of 2005. He feels it is one of the biggest assets to Cambridge and Dorchester County. Commissioner Brooks asked if Mr. Peters would be willing to work with two City Commissioners in making the selection on the other two members. He would be willing to have them submit names and have them interview the people. Commissioner Brooks said their recommendation would be that two Commissioners sit in on the interview process along with the three Board members. Mr. Peters said he would be willing to sit down and speak with them. Commissioner Brooks asked if he would remain a part of the Board if they made that decision. Mr. Peters said at this point, he would. Commissioner Knox asked if he would object to a staggered term. Mr. Peters said he feels that is the only way to have it. There would never be a completely new Board. Portia Johnson-Ennels suggested that one new Board member should be a female.
Commissioner Brooks asked anyone who would like to be a part of the Sailwinds Board to submit their resume to the Council and then the three remaining Board members will review them with two Commissioners and they will go through the interview selection. She asked that resumes to be submitted within two weeks. John Ondrick asked who the review committee would be. Commissioner Brooks suggested the three Board members, two Commissioners, and someone from the public. She asked that this be advertised in the paper. The committee will make the selection. The full Council would give the final approval. Commissioner Knox asked if Mr. Peters is saying that they want the final say. Mr. Peters said they would like the final say on who they can work with on the Board. Commissioner Brooks said the City Council has the final say. Mr. Peters said he doesn't think it is going to work. Wendell Foxwell thinks the Board should submit the two names and then Council should approve or disapprove them. They know more about the business than Council does. John Ondrick said he is opposed to that. It seems their prerogatives are taken away as Council people and diminished by agreeing to this. Commissioner Knox made a motion to have the three returning members of the Sailwinds Board sit on a review committee made up of two Commissioners and one person from the general public to review potential applicants to sit on the Sailwinds Board. When the committee makes their decision, it will come to the City Council for their approval. Commissioner Brooks seconded the motion. Commissioner Knox added that he would like to include in his motion that Commissioner Travers and Commissioner Brooks represent the Council on the committee. Commissioner Brooks seconded the amended motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Request from "The Friends of Stanley Institute, Inc." for Support with the Completion of the Coal Shed and the Restoration of the Interior of the Stanley Institute School-Commissioner Cephas said he reviewed the letter the Council received from Herschel Johnson. He feels the City should make some type of contribution to them. The City contributed $1500 toward another function at the Hyatt. He feels the City should do the same for the Stanley Institute as well. Ed Kinnamon said typically the City has not given to private organizations. However, that is a decision of this Council. The event at the Hyatt was a tourism-type event for Dorchester Tourism. Mayor Rippons asked that this be investigated further so a decision can be made at the next meeting. Commissioner Watkins said this is not a private group; it is a group trying to restore the Stanley Institute to make it look good. He hopes Council will find some way to make a contribution. Jane Devlin, West End Citizens, warned Council to be very careful of the precedence they could be setting. The event at the Hyatt was tourism-related. It was the acceptance of the county groups that have worked to promote the county for the Preserve America designation. It is totally different than a non-profit or private organization looking for a donation for rehabilitation. She is very concerned about the direction Council could be going with this path. Portia Johnson-Ennels said with the work that the Friends of Stanley Institute is doing, it will become part of the tourism package. It is just like the money the City contributed to a Christmas Parade which will evaporate in a few hours. The Stanley Institute will be there for the duration of time. It would be in the best interest of the City to give to the Stanley Institute because of the people who attended the Stanley Institute and the educational learnings that were made there. This is history and something we should be proud of. Mayor Rippons said the letter requested assistance from the citizens also. Jeff Hubbard said he thinks the Stanley Institute is absolutely tourism for Dorchester County. This is exactly the thing tourists staying at the Hyatt want to see. Commissioner Watkins made a motion to consider a contribution to the Stanley Institute and to make contact with the person involved to find out how far they are and see what we can do. Mayor Rippons asked Ed Kinnamon to contact Herschel Johnson and Council will revisit this issue at the next meeting. (no second or vote)
Request from the Raging Unstoppable 10-10 Marching Unit for a Noise Variance for 522 Greenwood Avenue for Tuesdays from 6:00 pm until 8:00 pm; Wednesdays from 4:30 pm until 6:30 pm; and Saturdays from 10:00 am until 12 noon for the Next Three Months-Commissioner Travers made a motion to approve the request. Commissioner Watkins seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Request for Crosswalk on Race Street Near the Pedestrian Mall to be Referred to Traffic and Safety Committee-Commissioner Watkins made a motion to refer the request to the Traffic and Safety Committee. Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Request for Reimbursement for Building Permit-Ed Kinnamon said he received a request from the Department of Public Works to reimburse a lady who has paid for a permit for a new home. A problem arose which will prevent her from getting her home. Although the City does not have a policy established for reimbursement of the permit fee to an individual or a for-profit organization, we do have one for a non-profit organization. In June of 2001, the City issued a permit and due to unforeseen circumstances, the family could not proceed. They requested their permit fee be returned. Council felt that reimbursement of 85 percent was appropriate. David Pritchett said the reason they went with the 85 percent previously was because even though it did not go through the full review process, the City staff had spent time working on it. In this new case, they do not have any time other than the administration time in rejecting it. No time was incurred for engineering. Rob Collison said this is within the Council's discretion. The City should develop a policy. He feels that there was some time spent in receiving and reviewing the application. He thinks 15 percent being withheld would be appropriate. Commissioner Watkins made a motion to have Rob Collison work with David Pritchett in ascertaining costs at that time and to submit a recommendation to Council at the next meeting. Commissioner Brooks seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Request for Representatives to the EMS User Fee Committee-Mayor Rippons submitted the name of Chief William Watkins and Mike Collins. Commissioner Travers made a motion to submit these names to the County. Commissioner Watkins seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Discuss Marina/Hazardous Fuel Spill Containment Kit-Commissioner Watkins made a motion to approve DPW to purchase the kit. Commissioner Cephas seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
City to Apply for Pre-Application for Grant/Loan for EDA (New Industrial Park) and Adoption of Resolution Authorizing Application-Mayor Rippons reported that Commissioner Brooks, Commissioner Knox, Rob Collison, David Pritchett and he met with the Dorchester County Council. Rob Collison said this is strictly to authorize the City to begin the application process for these grants. While the industrial park is not presently in the City, the grant money will be used for water and sewer extension and the City is the owner of that facility. That is why the City will be the applicant. Commissioner Watkins made a motion to allow the City to move forward with this procedure. Commissioner Knox seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Discussion to Amend Zoning Code to Require 10,000 sq.ft. Residential Lots in Historic District-Commissioner Travers made a motion to refer this to Planning and Zoning. Commissioner Knox seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Request to Extend the MOU with the County Relative to the Airport-This will be discussed at a later meeting.
David Pritchett said he received a letter requesting a four-way stop at the intersection of Peachblossom and Phillips. Commissioner Brooks made a motion to refer the request to the Traffic and Safety Committee. Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Commissioner Cephas referenced a letter from Oden Wheeler regarding monitoring the fire alarm system at the Empowerment Center. The annual cost is $380. The Pine Street Committee cannot afford to pay it at this time. Commissioner Cephas made a motion to have the City pay to monitor the fire alarm system at the Empowerment Center. Commissioner Watkins seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Commissioner Watkins thanked everyone who was so kind to him during his sickness.
Commissioner Knox thanked Chief Malik and the police officers whom he toured the City with on Saturday from 10:00 pm until 2:00 am. It was long enough to show him how professional our professionals are. A big round of applause goes to the officers he saw on duty on Saturday. Chief Malik thanked him for the compliments.
Commissioner Knox said he noticed at several construction sites in the First Ward that they do not have visible building permits. David Pritchett said they have never adopted a policy to require the display of the permit but they advise people to do so. He will speak to the inspectors.
Rob Collison announced that the Council met in closed executive session beginning at 5:30 pm this evening to review and evaluate bid proposals as well as personnel matters.
James Cornish, Chairman of the HIV Ministry of Bethel AME Church and Vice President of Dorchester County AIDS Foundation, announced that World AIDS Day is December 1, 2004. They are having a program at Bethel AME Church at 3:30 pm where the HIV Ministry along with Dorchester County AIDS Foundation will host a program. He invited the public to participate. Mayor Rippons thanked him for his work in our community.
Portia Johnson-Ennels asked about the $90,000 remaining in the CDBG program. Mayor Rippons said the City used part of it for a demolition project. The original scope of the project encompassed Schoolhouse Lane only. This goal was accomplished. The State would not allow them to use the funds for other areas. Ms. Ennels said she has some ideas for the area. She said the area often looks worse than when the houses were there. Rob Collison will review the documents and report to Council at the next meeting.
With no further business, Mayor Rippons adjourned this portion of the meeting at 8:17 p.m. I hereby certify that the foregoing is a true and accurate account of the Council meeting Monday, November 8, 2004, insofar as I personally am aware.
Edwin C. Kinnamon, Clerk & Treasurer