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05/14/09 Town Meeting Minutes
Town of Cheverly
Meeting Minutes
May 14, 2009

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

In attendance:  Mayor Mosley, CMs Callahan, Watson, Eldridge, Johnson, Ford and Schachter.

Pledge of Allegiance

Mayor Mosley noted the long tenure and accomplishments of Vice-Mayor Ford over his 17 years on Council and presented CM Ford with tokens of the Town’s esteem.

CM Ford expressed his thanks his reflections on the Town of Cheverly and future volunteer plans.

CM Schachter related his experience of serving on the Council with CM Ford as analogous to being in a boat at sea.

Swearing in of Councilmembers
Mr. Allen from the Clerk of the Court’s Office performed the swearing in of Councilmembers Callahan, Watson, Eldridge, Johnson, Schachter and Tevault.

Changes were made to add an update on the proposed closing of the Chev-Tux Fire Station and if we have a chance to address Truck Touch overtime.   

Minutes – Town Meeting 3/12/09
Approved as written.

Worksession 4/26/09
Approved as Written.

Town Administrator Report
Mr. Warrington reported a postponement of a Special Exception for an auto recycling facility just outside of Town off Sheriff Road.  ZHE will hear the case on June 10th and the hearing before the Planning Board will in all likelihood be at their June 24th hearing.

Mayor Mosley noted that the Town of Seat Pleasant has taken a position of supporting the Special Exception. Asking Mr. Warrington to check with them to find out why.

CM Callahan noted that the City of Fairmount Heights has come out in favor of the Special Exception.  Will reach out to the Mayor of Fairmount Heights to discuss.
Mayor discussed the plans of Pepco about improving the service in the town, which includes the moving of poles and asked if we have heard back from Pepco.

Mr. Warrington said that Mr. Baker said that he was working on getting the requested information.

CM Callahan’s feedback has been almost unanimously opposed to what is being proposed.  They want Pepco to perform a more consistent tree trimming program.

CM Eldridge asked about foreclosed homes and the future of these properties?  What recourse does the Town have?  Perhaps a worksession item?

Police Department Report
Chief Robshaw reported on the month of April.  Crime is down 30% and only had 1 robbery and no burglaries.  After studying statistics, this reduction is not a regional issue and that means we are doing something others aren’t.  We are getting more and more pro-active calls complaining about a variety of things.  This is a very good thing, with ride the ride along program and coupled with our radio home program have resulted in a reduction in crime. Cautioned residents about not walking and riding on Cheverly Avenue and wants residents to please use the sidewalks.  Code Enforcement has been diligent about handing out grass notices and we are aware of the rain and are trying to give some leeway.  May is Click-It or Ticket month and it will be aggressively enforced.  Still looking for ride along participants.

CM Schachter felt that consideration should be given to giving people a sense of community and joy by blocking off Cheverly Avenue once a month on a Saturday morning to enjoy our main street.   

Mayor Mosley next month the Council will meet the newest members of our force.  This is a great start to 2009.

CM Callahan requested that the Chief be available for the speed camera issue.

Authorization for the use of Speed Cameras  

Mr. Warrington explained the legislation that was recently passed and some of the issues that it covers.  He is seeking assurance that the Mayor and Town Council officially authorize the use of speed cameras and to begin working with the contactors.  The cameras will be mobile.  To ensure that everything is done correctly, he will work with the Chief and Town Attorney to make sure that it is in full compliance with the law.

Mayor said that the Council has supported authorizing the institution of the use of speed cameras when discussed previously, but we do have a new Councilmember.

CM Eldridge concerned about collecting money and a large portion going to the State and the contractor.

Mr. Warrington explained that like a parking ticket, less the cost for the equipment and processing, the Town will collect funds unlike a speeding ticket where all the funds go to the State.

CM Watson all of the money has to be spent on traffic safety.

Mayor discussed the amount of money tickets minus expenses for the red light cameras and noted that it is not a large amount of revenue or a means of making revenue.  It is a safety issue.  The speed cameras are being viewed in the same way.

Chief Robshaw noted that parents now have a monetary stake to get their kids to school on time and that has made the speeding problem worse.

CM Tevault wondered if the Weekday Nursery would qualify?

CM Schachter will have questions about how creatively and expansive the Town could be in interpreting the law regarding the expenditure of these funds.  Noted that it doesn’t bother him one bit to make money to be used for additional public good.  Can we lower speed limits around the schools?

CM Callahan wanted to clarify that tonight we are authorizing the Town Administrator to go forth, get a contract, set procedures, set locations and it is done?

Mayor if everyone is in favor, then you can enter a contract, and then bring back the guidelines for review. Tonight we are authorized the negation and execution of a contract.

CM Callahan I would like to have a touch point before the program is implemented.

CM Eldridge wanted to know about the information collected? What are the up front costs?  Can these be left on and used to track people?

Mr. Warrington up front costs is zero, but the expenses are factored into the contract, just like the red light cameras.

Chief Robshaw noted that once a ticket is paid, it is gone. There is no tracking or collection. We are about to use credit cards for red light camera payments, which will take us out of the equation completely. The discretion of having a police officer writing a ticket allows the assessment of points, but this is a civil violation and carries no points.  People can still go to court to challenge them.

CM Watson stated that in the implementation process allows for a warning period.

CM Johnson wanted to be sure Ward 5 is considered.

Dr. Thomas Foley Crest Avenue will these do a better job in reducing speeding than our police officers?  These companies want you to get them so that they can make money.  This new law without a policeman on duty will encourage speeding because you can go 36 mph and not get a ticket.  You are racing into this without addressing the issue.

CM Johnson since being a police officer, this will be a supplement to police officers that will still be at the schools.  There will not be an absence of police officers.

CM Callahan believes that there is a culture of speeding and hopefully the speed cameras will change that culture.  A knowledge of the cameras there will keep us from speeding.

  • CM Tevault made a Motion to authorize the Town Administrator and staff to enter into a contract for speed cameras.
CM Watson seconded.

Mr. Colaresi does the motion specify the number of cameras?

Mayor Mr. Warrington has stated that it is an availability issue.  Does the Councilmember want to restrain that?

Mr. Warrington would prefer that the staff be given flexibility regarding availability.

CM Schachter would like to amend the motion.  Move to amend the motion to direct staff to seek to contract for the maximum number of cameras allowed by law to the extent that it is practical.

Mayor fails for a lack of second.  Do we want to put limitations on that, but we have been talking about three. If not then we can address the original motion.

Mr. Colaresi asked can the motion add to work on the implementation issues and report back to the Council.

CM Tevault as the maker of the motion agreed.

Mayor call the vote and it passes unanimously.

Mayor and Council Announcements

Mayor Mosley announced that the next worksession will be on May 28, 2009.  Topics for discussion include:  a vehicle exception on Carlyle; a brief Cheverly Day update; discussion of the proposed budget; foreclosures; a Pepco update; and selection of Vice-Mayor.   

CM Watson we could do in June: technology; Mayor and Council open house and yard signs.

CM Schachter stated that he would specifically request that the World Recycling topics be placed on the June worksession.  Would like an invitation to the management inviting them, the history of the property and what suggestions that the Councilmembers have to make the property more attractive.  I also want the foreclosure issue to the special meeting, so a presentation can be made by Mr. Sullivan’s ideas to address the situation.

Mayor the foreclosures will probably not be best at the special worksession since Mr. Colaresi does not usually attend special meetings.  So that could be addressed as to what the Town does currently at the regular May Worksession.  A more detailed could be at the June Worksession and include World Recycling.

Mayor Mosley stated an additional meeting may be necessary to address these additional items. Suggested that a breakfast meeting be held with the Hospital Center folks if that is agreeable with the Council?  Also, there is a planned dance being called the Cheverly Prom.

CM Tevault noted the proposed prom on May 29th with admission being $10/ person and $100 per table.  This is a bring you own alcohol and pot luck.  Could still use volunteers.  There is more information on chevprom on facebook.  Also, there is now a Ward 6 yahoo group coming soon for discussion of issues.  This is peace month and there is a peace workshop on May 20th at the Hoyer cafeteria sponsored by the Community First Fund.  RSVP to me.

CM Eldridge I did have a good meeting with the Hospital as no one knows the future of the hospital.  The green infrastructure plan has a professional looking power point presentation for anyone interested in seeing this presentation and would like to present it to Council.  It will be a 15 or 20 minute presentation at the July Worksession.  We will present some concepts.  The non-motorized study kicked off a week and a half ago.  They would like to have a stakeholders meeting during the day with staff and council on the 26th or 27th of May. The Planning Board has two new candidates.  Talked to the University of Maryland about their real estate program for some ideas for the future.  Discussed the future of the lot where the Palm Reader house stands.
CAPS has their meeting on May 27th to discuss safe routes to schools. Cheverly Young Actors Guild has a production of Annie at the Playhouse this weekend.

Committee Reports

Recreation Council
No representative present.

Cheverly Day Report
Nick D’Angelo announced that Cheverly Day is June 6.  There will be a pull out of all Cheverly Day information.  There will be the annual east – west softball game.  There will be a 5 on 5 basketball tournament in the gym in the afternoon.  There will also be video games for the first time.  There will be a midway, music, and fireworks.  The history of Cheverly will be highlighted.  There will be a beer garden catering to the non-alcoholic crowd with root beer.  CPRC will have an area for younger children, but no baby sitting.  Sponsors and volunteers are very much needed. Also, fireworks.

CM Callahan the history club would like to have people come up and provide anything on the Cheverly history time continuum no matter what.  You will find a lot of fascinating history and we want to hear your story.

Green Infrastructure
Already done by CM Eldridge.

Citizen Input
Michael Giese of 6208 Kilmer Street, wanted to thank people of the Town of Cheverly for coming out to last weekends plant sale.  It is our one big fund raising effort.

Mayor do you like the empty hanging planters?

Mr. Giese we do, but they could come with something in them as well.  The vast number of items in the plant sale are donations from residents.  Our prices are very reasonable.

Amending the Boyd Park Master Plan and Adding a Fence

Mr. Warrington this is a simple amendment to the Master Plan.  It was adopted to ensure that additions to the park are acceptable to the community and that they have an opportunity for input.  This amendment proposes the installation of a fence for the new community gardens to keep the deer from eating everything.

CM Schachter basically the civic association is in favor of the fence on the condition that it is not a privacy fence.

CM Eldridge I have information about the funds for the fence.

Mayor Mosley asked for a motion:

  • CM Schachter MOTION to amend the Boyd Park Master Plan to include the construction of a fence from the west end of the tennis court to the existing wooden fence provided the fence shall be suitable for restraining animals from the gardens and is not a site tight fence.  CM Eldridge seconded.
CM Eldridge noted this very impressive motion. The community gardens submitted an application to County Council Andrea Harrison’s office to see if they could get $3,500 for the fence and a small storage shed.  They received $1,500.  There is interest to see what the Town could do to help and I would like it on the Worksession.

Mayor called for a vote.  Passed unanimously. Mr. Colaresi was allowed to leave since there were no more attorney items.

Discussion FY 10 Operating Budget and CIP

Mr. Warrington gave a brief overview of the budget and CIP as proposed.  

Mayor Mosley discussed the proposed addition of a road to be paved, the cost of living adjustment, the desired fund balance. Would like to wrap-up the budget at the next worksession in order to pass it at the June Town Meeting.

Mr. Warrington noted that he needs the Town’s tax rate at this time for reporting reasons to the State and County and in order to run the required newspaper announcements.

Mayor is Mr. Warrington correct in assuming that the tax rate will stay the same. Yes, then you can run the advertisements that are necessary.

CM Watson along with the COLA’s we will be looking at the salaries of Department Heads.  Looking to try and maintain an $800,000 fund balance.

Mayor looks like we will end the year in the black.

Update on the Tuxedo-Cheverly Fire Station
Mayor Mosley announced that there is a movement afoot to either close or reduce the activities at the station.  The County is proposing a new facility be built at St. Joseph’s Drive.  One possibility would be that they would just leave an ambulance and/or a fire truck, but it is unclear at this point in time.  We are concerned if our coverage ends up being only the Kentland and/or Bladensburg Volunteer companies since we have had a number of fires recently in town.  We will put this on a future Worksession and we will have to work to not let this happen.

CM Eldridge is the station just a specialty force down there?  

Mayor Mosley stated that it is a full fledged fire station. The County has money to build stations, but no funds to staff.  I think we are in severe danger entirely if this happens.

CM Callahan is St. Joseph’s Way near the church or by the College?  Our insurance rates are tied to where the fire stations are located.

Mayor Mosley noted she is hoping to get more information from the fire department.  This will be a future agenda item.  With no other items, wanted to be sure to welcome Emily to the Town Council and bid Mr. Ford great thanks.

Meeting adjourned.
Town of Cheverly
Summary of Action
May 14, 2009
  • CM Tevault moved to authorize the Town Administrator and staff to enter into a contract for speed cameras.  CM Watson Seconded.  Unanimously approved.
  • CM Schachter made a motion to amend the Boyd Park Master Plan to include the construction of a fence from the west end of the tennis court to the existing wooden fence provided the fence shall be suitable for restraining animals from the gardens and is not a site tight fence.  CM Eldridge seconded.  Unanimously approved.

Cheverly Executive Offices:   6401 Forest Road, Cheverly, MD 20785
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