June 14, 2007 Town Meeting
Town of Cheverly
June 14, 2007
Call to Order
Mayor Mosley called the meeting to order at 8:00 p.m. in the Cheverly Community Center. There were 10 citizens in attendance.
In attendance: Mr. Warrington, Attorney Colaresi, Chief Robshaw, CMs Watson, Eldridge, Schachter and Ford.
Pledge of Allegiance
Jack Wheat Award Presentation
Mayor Mosley recognized the 2007 Jack Wheat award winners. CM Ford and Ms. Loretta Ford were recognized for their efforts in their student mentoring program.
Ms. Ford noted the success of the 11 students she has been involved with over the years and that it was a labor of love.
CM Ford encouraged citizens to reach out to the youth in the community and provide them some solid input to make a positive influence in their lives.
Blue Star Memorial
Mayor Mosley recognized and thanked Dave Kneipp and the Cheverly Garden Club and its members for the acquisition and installation of the Blue Star Memorial designation at the intersection of Cheverly Avenue and Arbor Street. Thanked Ms. Maloney for allowing the Memorial to be placed on her private property.
Progressive Cheverly Green Home Presentation
Dave Kneipp recognized the Davis family of Belleview Avenue for becoming the first home in Cheverly to meet the criteria and earn 1,000 out of a possible 1,600 points and be named the first Cheverly green home certification.
Mayor Mosley added the subdivision of the Bilo property update at the end of the agenda.
Minutes – Town Meeting 5/10/07
Approved as written
Minutes – Worksession 5/24/07
Deferred to Worksession for approval
Town Administrator’s Report
Mr. Warrington reported that the Town has a new Town Clerk, Ms. Christie Clark. Reported that the budget was available for residents to come and view in the Town offices and that a synopsis was posted on the website. Noted that preparation for the audit will now begin.
Police Department Report
Chief Robshaw noted that he had a very short report because there was very little crime. There have been some gas station robberies and asked residents to be aware when coming in for gas at a gas station.
He shared a story regarding a robbery/vehicle theft/drug possession case, which occurred involving the same two parties.
Mayor Mosley read the Cheverly Officer of the year Proclamation, Officer Haylock and noted the promotion of Officer Cathcart to the rank of Sergeant.
Officer Haylock expressed his appreciation.
Mayor Mosley had a flag flown at Mt. Vernon to be donated to the new Cheverly Police Station.
CM Schachter asked Chief Robshaw if he thought that being fully staffed had a direct impact on the low crime rate.
Chief Robshaw noted that there seems to be a correlation with the low crime rate to being fully staffed, but that the more officers and eyes on the street serves as a deterrent to crime.
CM Eldridge appreciate action taken on Lombard regarding traffic, but does he see a way to get Town residents to be more aware that they are violating the law.
Chief Robshaw 80-90% of the violations off Cheverly Avenue are written to our own Cheverly residents. We have had difficulty with enforcing speed on Cheverly Avenue, but we hope to get a laser radar gun from the sales of our access furniture. He also mentioned the smooth operator grant that allows enforcement for aggressive driving on Cheverly Avenue and Landover Road.
Motion CM Ford to excuse CM Callahan. Seconded CM Schachter. Approved 4-0.
Mayor and Council Announcements
Mayor Mosley noted that there was a major decision in the approval of the site plan for the Pointe at Cheverly before the MNCPPC Planning Board that should move this project forward. She read the tentative agenda of the Worksession. Mayor announced that she will not be in attendance for the July Worksession.
Mayor Mosley noted that there was no representative from the Recreation Council. CM Watson did not have a report for the Cheverly Day Committee.
Mayor Mosley opened this portion of the meeting for citizen input and noted that there were no citizens present wanting to provide citizen input.
Public Hearing Regarding the Constant Yield Tax
Mayor Mosley declared the Public Hearing open for the discussion of the Constant Yield Tax.
Mr. Warrington gave a synopsis of the Constant Yield Tax. If the Town were to take into consideration the increases in assessments for real property in the Town, then the Town would have to drop its tax rate from .45 to .40 in order to keep the taxes collected as a constant. The legal advertisement required by the state included this and the proposed rate of .48 as the new tax rate. This is 18.8% higher from the constant yield.
Mayor Mosley invited public comment.
Mayor Mosley seeing no input declared the public hearing closed.
FY08 Operating Budget and Capital Improvement Program
Mayor Mosley asked the Town Administrator for an overview of the proposed budget.
Mr. Warrington provided details of the proposed budget. It was noted that $281,000 is being held in reserve until the real property on Annapolis Road is sold. Listed a number of capital items included in the budget for the parks and for the various departments. He noted the bond payments for vehicles from past years and the bond payment for the new Police Building. He noted that the adoption of the budget includes the increase in the tax rate.
Mayor Mosley noted that approval of the site plan today for the Pointe at Cheverly will move that project along and that will facilitate the sale of the property on Annapolis Road. Noted that a comprehensive green infrastructure and trail master plan will be developed beginning in late June.
CM Schachter explained his approach to the budget. He noted that the only concern with the budget is that there should be a larger tax increase.
CM Watson agreed with some points CM Schachter made, but disagreed with him on the unanimity of citizens to not reduce various public works functions. He noted that he is unwilling to exceed the given tax increase to .48. Believes we should look at our structural revenues and structural expenditures to get the two lines to cross.
CM Ford had wanted a higher tax increase last year which would have put the Town at the point they are this year. No one anticipated the jump in energy costs when the budget was passed last year. If we want the quality of life we are living, then we must pay for it. We are a gem in the midst of a crime wave everywhere. This quality of living costs.
CM Eldridge is also in support of this tax increase. It all comes down to choices. If we don’t want to pay these increases in taxes, then we have to figure out what we want to cut. I think you would be hard pressed to find items that are not necessary services. It should be noted that we are also raising taxes on the Cheverly Industrial Park from .87 to $1.10. Washington, DC is an expensive area to live.
Statement reading from CM Callahan: Support the Fiscal 08 Budget. He wanted it to be known that he is comfortable with the tax increase when measuring Cheverly versus other Towns of equal size and services.
Dr. Thomas Foley addressed the Mayor and Council regarding the proposed budget and submitted a statement for the record entitled “The Rest of the Story.”
Mayor Mosley noted that red light cameras are not installed for revenue, but rather public safety. Some of the old staff members were not the Town’s health plan, but the addition of new people requires the addition of health care coverage and other items.
CM Schachter commended Dr. Foley for his comments and his handout. Addressed other items noted in the handout including the issue of bonuses.
Dan Smith noted that it will be difficult to cut utility costs in the future and that green standards would have paid itself back regarding the Police station. He is looking forward to future discussions for green infrastructure protection. A trash free Potomac is a goal for 2013 and we will all have to follow standards in the future. To clean up the Lower Beaver Dam Creek is not a nicety, but a necessity.
Mayor Mosley you mentioned a street sweeper, but this was an item that we had to cut when preparing this budget. We may well look at other measures to obtain one in the future.
Ms. Henry - 6303 Inwood Street- concerned that there was not a real due diligence in regards to the budget. A long-range approach would end the piece meal 2 cents here and 3 cents there each budget year. I am in favor of mandatory recycling. Feels there is a low percentage of people in Cheverly that actually recycle. Would like to see some true due diligence.
Mayor Mosley our Public Works Director would love to have mandatory recycling, but it was put to a referendum and it was defeated resoundingly. It was a non-binding referendum, but our staff feels it would save money. Our citizens voted against it and they are paying the tax increase. We are not happy with having to raise taxes twice in two years.
CM Eldridge we do want to look at long range budgeting and are going to work towards that.
CM Schachter it wasn’t lack of planning, foresight or due diligence. It was poor judgment by some of us up here to not raise taxes. We will be back next year to raise taxes again because we are not raising taxes enough this year like we did last year. There is no significant room to cut services.
Mayor Mosley I am not convinced we will be raising taxes next year. We will see next year. Call for a motion to pass the Fiscal Year 2008 Budget.
Motion CM Watson to adopt the FY 08 Budget Ordinance. Seconded CM Ford. Approved 4-0
Meeting Adjourned 10:45
Town of Cheverly
Summary of Action
June 14, 2007
1. CM Ford moved to excuse CM Callahan. Seconded CM Schachter.
2. CM Watson moved to adopt the FY 08 Budget Ordinance. Seconded CM Ford. Approved 4-0