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May 10, 2012 Town Meeting Minutes
Town of Cheverly
Meeting Minutes
     May 10, 2012

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

In attendance:  CMs Riazi, Coolen, Eldridge, Thorpe and Cook.

Pledge of Allegiance


Minutes – Town Meeting 4/10/12
Approved as written.

Minutes – Worksession 4/24/12
Approved with a change to the amount approved for the Robotics Club.

Town Administrator Report

Mr. Warrington reported that the Town has been getting ready for Cheverly Day.

CM Riazi requested an update on the National Park Service owned homes in Ward 1.

Mayor responded the 3 homes on 58th Avenue were bought by NPS four years ago.  The desire is to have the homes taken down.  The Federal Government moves very slowly and that process has been going on for a long time.  The properties are now on the Federal Register to be purchased, but you have to move the house.  This process takes 60 days and then they get approval in a 90 day process to remove the houses.

Police Department Report

Chief Robshaw we have been fortunate that our crime is down 30% from this point last year.  Friday is bike to school day at 8 am.  Please be on the look out for the kids.  There will be bicycle registration at the schools.  I will be talking at the Governor’s Crime Control seminar to talk about the Town’s radio program to 150 police agencies.  One of the areas on the County’s Crime Task Force this summer will be the Kentland and Dodge Park area.  We are putting together our operation, in conjunction with the County, to keep the crime from being displaced this way from the County.  Our initiative on Maryland Avenue has included involving Michael Companies to keep that County area from flowing into the Town.  We are starting a new speeding initiative of “Twenty is Plenty” which is a reflection of our 20 mile per hour speed limit.  We will be writing tickets in these areas.  Please don’t bring your pets or bicycles to Cheverly Day.  Be cautious about the run and to not try to leave the Town during the run.  We have a $12,000 grant for aggressive driving enforcement and we have submitted for a $10,000 grant to the Governor’s Office to obtain personal officer video cameras.  The County has been studying the Cheverly Police Department in an attempt to mirror out success.  What I don’t want to get lost in all this is that our citizens call in and work with us and they are the reason that the crime rate is so low.  

CM Eldridge how scalable is the citizen’s radio program?  Do you think it could work?

Chief Robshaw I don’t think it could happen in Prince George’s County since they do not have the secondary radio capability with a short response time like we have. So, I don’t think it could be carried off on a large scale.

CM Thorpe how are the registrations for the 3on3 tournament?

Chief Robshaw I don’t have an accurate feel for the numbers, but we should have at least as many as last years.

CM Riazi could you describe some of the Lake Avenue data.

Chief Robshaw there are two things that people need to understand.  Even though only a few people are speeding, it becomes extreme on some of our roadways because the roads are so narrow.  It is usually our own residents, not outsiders.  It is a very small percentage exceeding the speed limits.  Tickets will be a stronger deterrent.  

CM Coolen on the west side of Cheverly Avenue on Forest is a speedway where my house is and perhaps the police could look at that area.

Mayor I wanted to say something about community policing.  In this conversation tonight we have talked about bike to school day, truck touch, 3 on 3 basketball, noise issues and conflicts with our sports fields.  I don’t think we give you enough credit for community policing.  I think having the County come in and duplicate what we are doing in our surrounding areas will be great.

Presentation – Prince George’s County Human Relations Commission

Mayor we welcome Mr. Michael Lyles, the Executive Director for coming tonight.

Mr. Lyles we enforce the civil rights laws in the County in a number of areas.  We hope that those in the community would come to us if they feel their rights have been violated.  I have been in this position for the past 6 months.  We have begun trying to instill in the staff the new mission and new vision to provide service unmatched in the state.  We had case logs backed-up 7 and one half years.  We have reduced that backlog.  Investigators have a standard of 180 days to open and close a case and 180 days to have a hearing.  So, that is a 360 day timeframe.  We are in need of new commissioners.  We are looking for 6 more commissioners.  A letter of intent and resume should be directed to the County Executive.  Statistically, the municipalities have the lowest percentage of discrimination cases, about 4%.  

CM Eldridge is there anywhere where you can find a description of the obligations of Commissioners?

Mr. Lyles you can find it on the Prince George’s County website.  It is a 3 year term and commitment that is unpaid.  The Commission meets monthly on the fourth Monday of the month.

CM Riazi if I had something to bring to your attention is there a threshold.  Do you err on the side of investigating only the strongest cases?  Is there a statute of limitation?

Mr. Lyles we will meet with anyone and walk them through what needs to happen, like charging documents and an investigation.  We just try to meet the legal and minimum threshold to send out a charging document.  It is 180 days from when the event occurred in Prince George’s County.  Everything is confidential unless it goes to a hearing.

Cheverly Day Awards

Mayor read the Cheverly Day open letter to the community.  Recognized Doug Alexander’s composting bin project for the Jack L. Wheat Award and awarded a key to the Town and a dinner certificate.  Recognized Nick and Christy D’Angelo for their efforts on Cheverly Day for the Mayor’s Award and a dinner certificate and a key to the Town and a dinner certificate.

Committee Reports

Cheverly Day is going extremely well.  Our website, Kathryn Andrews has done a wonderful job to list all the activities.  Hope to see you Saturday.  The race route is on the website.  We will have a race, an art show, birds of prey, laser tag and fireworks.

Green Infrastructure Report CM Eldridge noted that the Green Infrastructure committee attended a workshop on the Anacostia River.  

CM Riazi noted that the Neighborhood Design Center had a meeting regarding Town Park and met to see what we as a town wanted the park to be.  They will develop a plan that we can work on in stages to develop.  They will be here on Cheverly Day to speak with people and see how the park is used.

Planning Board they have been making progress on Envision Cheverly.  A workshop is scheduled for June 15th as the community market is winding down that day.  

Citizen Input

Ms. Joyce Lang I want to focus on Peace Month and to get everyone involved I want to read a personal pledge of non violence.

Discussion FY13 Operating Budget and CIP

Mayor we have included information in the past two newsletters.  With the reassessment of homes we will lose $700,000 in revenue and over three years it is a $2.1 drop in revenue over the next three years.  We will not hit the FY11 revenues until 2015.  We have not adopted anything yet, but will include these items when we adopt the budget.  We are considering an increase from .48 cents to .58 cents and as your rate will go up, your tax amount may not since the reassessment has reduced the base from which it is multiplied.  There are some proposals to reduce costs including freezing salaries and freezing two positions.  Please talk to your Councilmember and tell them what you think we should and should not do.

CM Eldridge we don’t have a lot of Town staff, but I am proud of what our community can do without a lot of staff.

Mr. Tom Foley of Ward 1 commented on the budget and provided a handout to the Council.  Proposed using the surplus rather than raising taxes and could assess the streets to be repaired as a front foot benefit charge or issuing bonds.  I wouldn’t want to pay for a road in front of someone else’s house if my road did not need repair.  

Mayor I would like to address those questions.  I appreciate the fact that you look at this every year and come every year.  I agree that we need the $800,000 fund balance and when you start to use that fund balance you need to manage that over 5 years and we are looking at that.  The $950,000 for the road projects is an element we would consider.  I think we do not have the funds to do this.  

CM Riazi I try to avoid a divisive assessment of per ward expenses.  We all benefit from projects done to improve the town.

Mayor discussed the tax cap about changes needed to be made by tax category.  The cap was .58 cents, but when we looked at the apartments only paying 3.5%, we decided to change the amount to get them closer to 7% and we had to raise the entire tax cap.  It was raised to $1.20, which would allow us to raise the rate on a particular category.

Mr. Foley raising the tax cap could affect everybody.  This new cap to double the taxes on the apartment people and will be passed on to the tenants and they are the least members of the Town that can afford it.  

Introduction CAR 2-12 Redistricting

Mr. Warrington the Town adjusts its Wards every 10 years to address the changes in the United States Census.  We have used the census numbers and made a few minor adjustments by pulling a small tract from ward 2 to ward 4 and making some adjustments between ward 5 and ward 6.  Basically we are trying to get all six wards as equal as possible.

Introduction  OB-1-12 Adopting the FY13 Budget and CIP

Mr. Warrington this is the introduction of our non-codified Budget Ordinance to allow us to adopt our budget at the June 7th Town Meeting.  This is required.

Second Reading O-1-12 Amending the Street Section to Require a Permit

Mr. Warrington this ordinance relates to public utilities.  The Mayor and Town Council have the ability to require public rights-of-way restoration by various companies.  The issues we have had are relatively minor.  In the last year and a half it has been the little things that have been difficult.  This will require a permit and a fee for cutting the streets and sidewalks in town.

CM Eldridge I would like to enact this as soon as possible.

Mayor if the Council would like to adopt this tonight we can.  WSSC is in town, but I don’t mind waiting another month, but I am also comfortable in passing it tonight.

Mr. Colaresi there is nothing to preclude you from enacting tonight.  It will not be effective for 30 days.

  • CM Riazi MOTION to adopt O-1-12 Amending the Streets and Roads Section.  CM Coolen seconded. Approved unanimously.
Mr. Colaresi if telephone poles are in the right-of-way, then they will need a permit.

Mayor and Council Announcements

CM Eldridge just a reminder that the bike to school event is tomorrow at Legion Park at 8am.  I saw some copies of the green infrastructure plan at a regional meeting and many people were impressed.

CM Coolen I want to remind people that the first community market is May 19th from 8-12. Congresswoman Donna Edwards has offered to help us with the NPS houses.  I toured the Smith Recycling facility last week and I would say that it was a full tour that took 3 hours and we discussed the boom, noise and environmental issues.  They are willing to work with us to resolve our issues.  They are recycling 80% of what is going in to the facility.
CM Riazi May 17th will bring Peter Pan to the Cheverly Theatre via the Young Actors Guild and you can purchase tickets at Cheverly Day.

CM Thorpe Cheverly Day Inc. is a separate entity from the Town and anyone who wishes to donate to the cause you can send your check to the Town Center.

CM Eldridge there has been a lot of interest in accessible playground equipment at Gast Park and we will have to take into consideration as we move forward.  Perhaps we can explore some partnerships with Town organizations.

Mayor I am going to keep this short. We had a great meeting with the representatives of Smith and Sons Recycling.  We met with the County Executive and his key staff and we had the opportunity to sell Cheverly and the Cheverly area. It was very productive and we have scheduled some follow-up issues.

Town of Cheverly
Summary of Action
May 10, 2012

  • CM Riazi MOTION to adopt O-1-12 Amending the Streets and Roads Section.  CM Coolen seconded. Approved unanimously.

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