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06/11/09 Town Meeting Minutes
DRAFT
Town of Cheverly
Meeting Minutes
June 11, 2009

Call to Order
Meeting called to order at 8:10 pm in the Cheverly Community Center.  

In attendance:  Mayor Mosley, CMs Callahan, Eldridge and Tevault .

Pledge of Allegiance

Agenda/Approval/Changes
Mayor Mosley made a change to address Police Officer items after the agenda approval

  • Motion CM Eldridge to excuse CM Watson.  Seconded CM Tevault.  Approved 4-0 with Mayor casting the fourth affirmative vote.
Minutes – Town Meeting 4/12/09
Approved as written.

Minutes – Town Meeting 5/9/09
Approved as written.

Worksession 5/14/09
Approved as Written.

Worksession 5/28/09
Approved as Written.

Worksession 6/4/09
Approved as Written.

Presentation/ Police Department Report
Mayor Mosley invited the Chief to the podium.  Chief Robshaw provided the crime report for May and noted that in August 1979 crime data collection began.  The first five months this year are the lowest numbers since that time.  Chief Robshaw attributed the success to a number of factors, but noted citizen involvement as a major contributor. Crime this low is not a regional trend, but more of a Cheverly trend.

Chief Robshaw stated that Officer Webb as being recognized by the Prince George’s County Chief’s Association for being the Cheverly Police Officer of the Year.




Mayor Mosley read a Proclamation for Officer Francis Webb.

  • Motion CM Eldridge to pass the Proclamation honoring Officer Webb.  Seconded CM Callahan.  Approved 4-0 Mayor cast the fourth affirmative vote.
Swearing in of Police Officers
Chief Robshaw introduced Officer Earl Stone, Jr. and Officer Katrina Davis. Mayor Mosley issued the oath of office.

Town Administrator Report
Mr. Warrington reported that the Town has successfully recycled 1,250 pounds of electronic equipment to date.

CM Callahan told residents not to recycle on inappropriate days.

Mayor and Council Announcements
Mayor Mosley announced the upcoming Farmer’s Market at the Town Hall from 8 until Noon.  Announced the Worksession items: World Recycling, Foreclosures, Mayor and Council Open House, Technology, Political Signs, Bus Stop Benches and Department Head Objectives.

CM Callahan would like the future church on Medical Terrace be placed on the agenda and a representative will attend.

Mayor Mosley discussed the Zoning Hearing Examiner Hearing for Special Exception 4618 for Kenilworth Foreign Car Parts just outside the Town limits off of Marblewood.  Noted that it has been postponed to July 29th at 9am and anyone can still become a party of record and put information into the record.  The Town is opposed to the granting of this Special Exception.  It is still on the agenda to be heard on June 18th before the Prince George’s County Planning Board.

CM Callahan noted the major points of the Town’s position and noted that they narrowly defined the neighborhood, that the stormwater management is ill conceived, it is sitting inside an amphitheatre effect and noise and visual pollution will not be resolved by a 10 foot fence.

Mayor Mosley noted that a previously sent letter is available to the public, but the Town’s testimony has yet to be placed in the record.  There were so many questions and the answers weren’t forthcoming that the meeting went longer than anticipated and the ZHE wanted more information from the applicant.  Thus, the postponement until July and the record kept open.

CM Callahan we encourage people to write to their elected officials and let there opposition be known.

CM Eldridge I would like to thank County Councilwoman Andrea Harrrison for her efforts in securing a grant toward the Community Garden fence in conjunction with the Cheverly Garden Club.  Also, on Tuesday there will be a workshop at 7pm at Town Hall for the Town’s bike and pedestrian plan.  


Committee Reports
Cheverly Day
Nick D’Angelo noted that it was a great Cheverly Day and would like people to visit the website and vote for what day Cheverly Day should be held next year.  Answered the Mayor’s question that he would be doing Cheverly Day again next year.    

Green Infrastructure Committee
CM Eldridge requested that the Committee be given time at the next Worksession to make a presentation.

Ms. Sheila Salo I wanted to talk about the Green Infrastructure road show.  We are presenting to a number of citizen groups in Cheverly.  The schedule is on the website cheverlygreenplanpages.com

Citizen Input
Madeleine Golde 3020 Parkway of Progressive Cheverly.  Not able to attend the hearing yesterday for the salvage yard because she was at a meeting regarding the concrete batching plant.  There are a number of residents from many communities still opposing the concrete batching plant special exception.

Norman Oslik Ward 3 very egregious that we have become a dumping ground for environmentally toxic operations.  Inspections are a mockery of the whole system for these places. I would like to put in a plug for a cross walk at Montrose and Cheverly Avenue and strongly urge putting a cross walk there.  Progressive Cheverly is co sponsoring a compost workshop Sunday June 21st at the Community Center at 2pm.  Progressive Cheverly is sponsoring a series of discussions regarding energy and the environment.

Tuxedo – Cheverly Fire Station  

Ms. Harrison congratulated the Town on a wonderful Cheverly day.  I know the concern of residents regarding the potential reduction of service from the closing of the fire station. I have asked Acting Chief Jones to attend to help resolve any concerns.
 
Chief Jones introduced members of his staff.  There are thoughts and plans to relocate the firefighters at the Tuxedo fire station to the new fire station at St. Joseph’s Drive.  These decisions are based on a county wide perspective and overview.  As citizens have moved out away from the District, the fire stations did not follow.  Company 22 runs 872 calls per year and those closest run between 1,200 and 7,200 calls per year.  The idea is to reduce the workload between these stations and be properly positioned to provide better service to the County.  We have lost personnel this year and we must move firefighters to be more efficient.

Mayor Mosley asked when the station personnel will be moved.





Chief Jones yes we will be moving the firefighters as soon as the new station is built, probably in 2010.  There are no volunteers at this station.  There are discussions ongoing.  Worse case scenario is to move the firefighters from this station.  There are five stations surrounding Cheverly and there are three staffed with career and volunteer and two that are all volunteer.  There are very few all career fire stations.  Bladensburg and Kentland are all volunteer.  We run one call at a time and as calls continue to come in then companies from a further distance will take those calls.  As the number of calls increase, they are people and they get tired and they get hurt so we try to spread out the calls so they are rested.  The new fire station will better distribute the calls.  

Mayor Mosley the County is building a new building and cutting staff and that seems like it is kind of backwards.  Is there something inherently wrong with the station.

Chief Jones it has nothing to do with the building.  We need to build fire stations in more strategic areas.

Mayor Mosley noted that the Tridata study called for the construction of a fire station at 57th and Annapolis Road and now it is being built elsewhere.  Have things changes so much since 2004?

Chief Jones the Tridata is a reputable company, but there were some things they did not do well when presenting their study to the County and therefore was not adopted.  I took it into account when considering where to put fire stations.  I was not here when the site was selected, but it is logical to move personnel especially since I have lost 46 firefighters rather than have a fire station that isn’t running even 1,000 calls.  The specialty units are in that fire station because they are not running as many calls.  The specialty units are not why the calls are so low.  We are doing this to consolidate our resources.

Mayor Mosley I thought just the specialized units were leaving the station, but what you are telling me is worse in that the entire station will be closed.

CM Tevault do you have a current estimate of our response time and a future estimate of response time once the station is closed?

Chief Jones all of these stations surrounding this area will still be able to get here within 3-5 minutes.  Because of the number of stations in the area, I don’t see an increase in danger to the citizens.  Obviously, there will be some increase in response time, but there will be no reduction in service.

CM Eldridge I suppose that the hazmat was here because of the great access to the major highways. What now?

Chief Jones the hazmat located at the new station and our duplicating that capability throughout the County will be better for the County.  We have tried to spread those duties out to other fire stations because this is such a big county.  



CM Callahan wanted to know if the public can get the information that you are referring to this evening?

Chief Jones we can put that on our website.  When you look at that map, there are a lot of changes coming for fire protection throughout the County.  My biggest push is to make firefighters safe and when an ambulance goes out and two firefighters are left to run a truck, then that is not safe.

CM Callahan is there a reason Tuxedo Cheverly doesn’t have volunteers?

Chief Jones The volunteers gave up the Tuxedo Cheverly station many years ago.  Kentland does not want career firefighters in their fire station. There are other stations that do not want career firefighters in their station.  The buildings and trucks are owned by the volunteer firefighters.

CM Eldridge is there a relationship with homeowner’s insurance and proximity to a fire station?

Chief Jones I know generally that insurance companies do look at that and looking at the number of fire stations in this area, there are quite a few.

CM Tevault you mentioned that Station 55 would be servicing the Town.  Could you tell us the staffing level at this station.

Chief Jones stated that it has between 16 and 20 firefighters and 24 volunteers.

Sheila Salo noted that you want to move firefighters for efficiency. You don’t have the flexibility to move them where they are most needed because they are volunteers.  That seems to be at odds with what you are saying.

Chief Jones I can direct the career firefighters at County owned facilities.  I am recruiting volunteers to come to this new facility since there are no volunteers at the Tuxedo Cheverly fire station.  The 16 career firefighters are moving.

Kennis Henry Ward 1, I am confused that you are recruiting volunteers, but the stations are owned by the volunteers so do they have to buy into the station?  Where do you go to recruit volunteers?  Do you go to high schools?

Chief Jones there are some stations that have great amenities that draws volunteers and some are very busy.  People have different interests and they gravitate to those stations.  If you volunteer your time to a station, the state will pay for your college education.  So, that is a draw to the College Park Station.  I have established and office of volunteers and I am looking for more citizens to get involved.  I have run an exploring program for the past 4 years looking for students from ages 14-20 to come check out the fire service at all of the high schools.

Angela Boone Ward 3, what proportion of the budget comes from the Federal Government and/or Homeland Security?

Chief Jones we are reaching out to look for grants and in this region we probably receive the lowest amount in the area.  Because grants are spread out over a number of functions, like Public Works, then it is difficult and some of the money is matching, which makes it difficult.  We are increasing our capability in that area.

CM Eldridge what oversight is there for volunteers?  If they own all the equipment, where do they get the money for that?

Chief Jones I go out and talk to the volunteers about their obligations to recruit new volunteers.  When they leave the station, they are under my authority and direction.  They raise funds through citizen donations and functions.

Mayor Mosley was wondering when the switch over to the new radio system will occur?

Chief Jones we are moving forward for the switch over and I am not aware of any changes.

County Councilwoman Harrison the St. Joseph’s fire station has been planned since 1993.  I recognize that Chief Jones has to work for a worse case scenario, but we will work to keep all the stations open.  All the firefighters are trained to run all the calls that go out.  The 800 mhz radios are looking to be activated in November or early 2010.  We are not cutting firefighters, but the vacancies are coming open due to retirement not cuts.

Mayor Mosley am I correct that no provision was put in for the municipalities when the County request went in for the radio system?

Councilwoman Harrison I don’t know if there was a request to help municipalities.  They are responsible for the conversion costs.  I have been told that we will not see anyone without who wants to be a part of the system. I don’t know how that will come about.  One way or another we will be sure that happens.  According to homeland security there will be some assistance, but I am not sure how that will be.  Those who want to be a part of the system will be helped.  We have not identified how we will do that.

Mayor Mosley we will be in touch.

CM Callahan wanted to mention dog park.

Mayor Awards

CM Eldridge honored to know Matt and Sheila Salo and come to appreciate their passion for the issue of the environment.



CM Callahan met the Salo’s when working on the Magruder Springs issue.  Mr. Salo has worked to clear about 500 feet behind Euclid Park of invasive species.  Ms. Salo is also the research goddess of our town.

Mayor Mosley explained the benefits the Town has received by the work of Matt and Sheila Salo. Read Mr. Salo’s award.

Mr. Matt Salo noted the environmental problems that we need to work on in Cheverly.

Mayor Mosley read Ms. Salo’s award.

Public Hearing – Constant Yield Tax Rate

Mr. Warrington provided an overview of the constant yield. Cheverly would have to reduce its tax rate from 48 cents to 46 cents in order to keep the amount collected or yield, the amount collected, the same.  The Mayor and Council chose not to reduce the rate which will net an increase of taxes collected.

Dr. Thomas Foley got a higher amount collected from the budget than the amount noted.

Mayor Mosley so noted, but we are using the State’s numbers and closed the public hearing on the constant yield tax rate.
 
Adoption FY 2010 Operating Budget and CIP
Mr. Warrington explained the additions to the budget since the last discussion of the budget and provided specific additions since the introduction.

Mayor Mosley discussed additions to the budget since the last discussion of the budget and noted the efforts made to control expenditures.

CM Eldridge noted appreciation for the fine work to keep the budget on track.

CM Tevault cited her appreciation for not being in the situation that other governments are in with the worsening economy.

CM Callahan noted a Town close to Cheverly where a raise in rate from 38 cents to 50 cents.  In our budget, our funding goes to people and it goes to Public Works, Police, our Town Staff and the vehicles they run.  It is plowed back to the people in the form of services.

Dr. Thomas Foley you fail to talk about expenses going up in the coming year.  All of the divisions except for the Mayor and Council did well to control expenses.  Getting expenses of $245,000 in back taxes would have been there all the time if collected on time.  Newsletter said that taxes are not going up, but that should have said rate as people are paying more taxes. Not complaining about the budget, but wanted to make some observations.


Mayor Mosley noted that she had not included the word rate in the Newsletter article.  The FYI was written on information that was available in early May due to a Newsletter deadline.  Special Worksessions and budget Worksessions are announced and the public is invited to attend.

CM Callahan wanted to welcome Dr. Foley for being present at 11:00 pm and appreciate that he examines the budget every year.  Would differ on a few points, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t hear what you have to say.  Some assessments went down and some people will be paying less property taxes.  One of the things that sits in the Mayor’s category that went up is because of a line item which is Urban Renewal.  We had a house roof replaced that jumps that number up, but it is leined and collected to remediate that cost.  Council raises in 2007 was done by only two members here today and the Council did not have a raise since 1972 and I hope my work and the other councilmembers work is worth $2,400.

Dr. Foley I too have worked on the Council and felt it was an honor and I did not get a W-2 or a 1099 and it was considered expenses and was tax free.  Working on the Council is an honor and not a job.

Mayor Mosley there were W-2’s issued on the salary, but not on the $50 expense check that is issued quarterly.  I consider it an honor to serve and no one does it for the money.  Thank you for coming.

Mr. Colaresi since this is being introduced and passed tonight and is effective in 20 days, I would suggest that the motion read as follows:  I move that ordinance OB-1-09 along with the budget and the tax rates attached thereto be introduced and adopted tonight as an emergency ordinance and be it further moved that it be effective 20 days after its date of adoption

Mayor Mosley asked for a motion:

  • CM Callahan MOTION that ordinance OB-1-09 along with the budget and the tax rates attached thereto be introduced and adopted tonight as an emergency ordinance and be it further moved that it be effective 20 days after its date of adoption.  CM Tevault seconded.
Mayor called for a vote.  Approved 4-0 (CM Schachter present) Town Attorney asked the Mayor to cast a fifth affirmative vote in the case of an emergency ordinance.

Meeting adjourned.
Town of Cheverly
Summary of Action
June 11, 2009
 
  • Motion CM Eldridge to excuse CM Watson.  Seconded CM Tevault.  Approved 4-0 with Mayor casting the fourth affirmative vote.
Motion CM Eldridge to pass the Proclamation honoring Officer Webb.  Seconded CM Callahan.  Approved 4-0 Mayor cast the fourth affirmative vote.
  • CM Callahan MOTION that ordinance OB-1-09 along with the budget and the tax rates attached thereto be introduced and adopted tonight as an emergency ordinance and be it further moved that it be effective 20 days after its date of adoption.  CM Tevault seconded. Approved 4-0 (CM Schachter present) Town Attorney asked the Mayor to cast a fifth affirmative vote in the case of an emergency ordinance.












 
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