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11/13/08 Town Meeting Minutes
Town of Cheverly
Meeting Minutes
November 13, 2008

Call to Order
Meeting called to order at 8:00 pm in the Cheverly Community Center.  

In attendance:  Vice Mayor Ford, Mr. Warrington, Chief Robshaw, and CMs. Johnson, Eldridge, Callahan, Watson, and Schachter.

  • CM Watson moved to excuse Mayor Mosley from the Town meeting.  CM Callahan Seconded.  Unanimously approved.
Pledge of Allegiance

Approved as written.   

Minutes – Town Meeting 10/9/08
Approved as written.

Minutes – Worksession 10/23/08
Approved as written.

Town Administrator Report
Mr. Warrington announced that with respect to the leaf collection, public works will come a day after it rains.  Please do not rake leaves into storms drains.  Mr. Warrington also encouraged residents to recycle.  When recycling is not done, it is at a great cost to residents and taxpayers.  
CM Callahan noted that the more that is not sent to the dump, the more money is saved.

Mr. Warrington announced that the homes behind the palm readers house on 202 is constantly flooded due to parkway runoff.  The Department of Interior, Department of Planning has purchased those 4 or 5 homes.  The Town will lose some tax money as a result.  However, the Dept. of Interior will demolish the homes, and this cleared area will add to the green space the Town has sought.  The Town will work with the Dept. of Interior’s demolition contractor to try and take the palm readers home down at the same time for a reasonable price.  
Finally, the Town has completed a Program Open Space project - the padding along the stage to help kids from bumping into it.
Police Department Report
Chief Robshaw reported that the crime rate remains down for the year.  The recurrent problem is breaking and entering in the southwest portion of Town and within the apartments.  The town is working on some leads.  Chief Robshaw reminded residents about the free home security services that the police department offers that will help advise on changes to make for home security.  Chief Robshaw noted that most burglaries involve electronic equipment.  Unless serial numbers are taken, it is very difficult to track stolen laptops, computers, video games, etc.  The police department has issued about a third of the radios to residents recently.  The Town is still waiting for an FCC license from federal government.  Meanwhile, the town radio frequency will be used (which is not as strong but is functional).  The program has already paid for itself in terms of response:  a suspicious person was reported and they were later found to have had an open warrant, and several stolen vehicles have been recovered.  
Also, the Town has received several thousand dollars from the Department of Transportation to assist in DUI surveillance.  Finally, with respect to the first car jacking of the year that occurred several weeks ago, two suspects have been apprehended and as a result five open car jacking cases were closed.   

CM Callahan asked about air conditioner thefts, and whether the home security check could assist in protecting units.  Chief Robshaw responded that there have been 3 such thefts in the past month for a total of 5 this year.  It is a County wide problem but Cheverly’s theft rate is comparatively small.  As for protecting the units, there is a definite benefit in outside lighting, not just by the door but also on your yard.

Mayor and Council Announcements

Vice Mayor Ford announced that he has been elected to the County Solid Waste Advisory Commission.  It is a new 15 member commission dealing with all issues of solid waste (locations, transportation, etc.).  Also, Vice Mayor Ford will be absent for the November 20 worksession agenda.  The agenda will include the following topics for discussion: the proposed bike trail plan, a police department position, a budget adjustment, a police vehicle, annexation, holiday decorating judging day, Kenilworth and Cheverly Avenue and Hoyer Center lights.  The December 11 town meeting will include the State Aviation Division, and the second reading of the building permits revision.  Finally, Vice Mayor Ford thanked the election officials for their organization and efficiency on election day.

CM Watson recommended that the department head objectives be first for discussion and perhaps the CM’s can break out into groups to discuss.

CM Eldridge expressed appreciation for the recent Green Infrastructure Committee’s meeting which had about 40 residents in attendance.  CM Callahan noted the excellent learning experience from the meeting and encouraged residents to attend because the Committee is taking a broad view of the Town’s assets and how to best meet the Town’s needs.  He also noted that St. Ambrose and the Methodist Church are hosting a Cheverly blood drive the day after Thanksgiving.  Finally, there is a November 19 meeting in Upper Marlboro on the proposed cement plant.

Committee Reports

Recreation Council
CM Eldridge, on behalf of Barbara Pejokovich, announced that December 6 is Cheverly’s annual holiday party.  There will be gifts for kids, Santa Claus, and the Blue Sky puppets will be in attendance.

Cheverly Day Report
CM Watson announced that the Town is soliciting comments on the 2 proposed dates for Cheverly day:  June 6 or June 13.  Please visit the website or speak to your council member to voice an opinion on the date.

Green Infrastructure Steering Committee
Cynthia Robinson, in charge of education and outreach for the Committee, announced that the meeting had an excellent turnout.  The meeting had two speakers.  Dana from U.S. Forest Service, discussed what Green Infrastructure Plan is and its benefits to the community.  CJ  from the Prince George’s County Green Infrastructure Plan discussed how Cheverly’s Committee can work with the County’s plan.   The Committee meets every first Monday from 7:00-9:00pm at the Community Center’s conference room.  

Citizen Input
Ms. Robinson noted the Cheverly Community Market will be held Nov. 22 and Dec. 13, from 10:00-4:00pm.

Public Hearing – Speed Hump and Stop Sign request for 64th Avenue
Mr. Warrington announced that the Mayor and Counsel received a petition for a speed hump and/or 4 way stop at the intersection of Inwood and 64th Avenue.  The Town Clerk verified the petition reflected 60% or greater was in favor of the request.  The Mayor and Council are required to hold a public hearing, which is tonight, but is not required to decide the issue during this meeting.  When the decision is made is at the discretion of the Town Council and Mayor.

John McGuirk, of 2901 64th Avenue, requested a 4 way stop sign to address the speed issue on this block.  

Joan Horcler  2905 64th Avenue, obtained the petition signatures, and is very concerned for the children.  She stated that the speeds appear to be over 40 mph at times, particularly when parents are driving their children to St. Ambrose in the morning.  She requested a speed hump to slow down cars and believes it is the best way to slow the excessive speeds.  Further, she is not opposed to the placement of the speed hump in front of her house.

Arvin Lal, of 64th Avenue, is in favor of a traffic calming device, particularly the stop sign.  

Vice Mayor Ford noted the cost of the speed humps are significantly higher than a few years ago, and that the street would likely have to be repaved as well (but noted that this street is slated for repaving in the next year).  Experts usually recommend two speed humps to achieve the desired results, and to accommodate emergency vehicles.  This issue will be discussed at the worksession.

Newsletter Policy Amendments
Mr. Colaresi stated that the town has decided to allow community organizations to post events and to submit articles.  The community events and articles section will allow town organizations to advertise events and submit an article.

  • CM Eldridge moved to adopt the revised guidelines for the Town newsletter.  CM Callahan Seconded.  Unanimously approved.
Introduction O-30-08 Amending the Building Code
Mr. Warrington announced that the Town has ran into issues with building permits with respect to the amount of time projects are taking.

Mr. Colaresi stated that the County has grown less proactive in monitoring building permits.  Some projects are open for a year or more with construction materials out.  The Town instituted a policy that the permit would be open for only 6 months.  The Town has also further revised the policy to set conditions, revoke permits, and breaking down into sections large projects taking longer than 6 months.  The town has made it a misdemeanor for those citizens that violate stop work orders.  The revision is driven primarily by issues of property values and aesthetics.   
Vice Mayor Ford announced that this is an introduction to the issue.  It may be adopted in January.

Meeting adjourned.
Town of Cheverly
Summary of Action
November 13, 2008
  • CM Watson moved to excuse Mayor Mosley from the Town meeting.  CM Callahan Seconded.  Unanimously approved.
  • CM Eldridge moved to adopt the revised guidelines for the Town newsletter.  CM Callahan Seconded.  Unanimously approved

Cheverly Executive Offices:   6401 Forest Road, Cheverly, MD 20785  (301) 773-8360
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