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May 14, 2015 Town Meeting Minutes

Town of Cheverly
Meeting Minutes
    May 14, 2015

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

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

Pledge of Allegiance

Agenda/Approval/Changes

Minutes – Town Meeting        4/9/15
Approved.

Minutes – Worksession         4/23/15
Approved.

Recognizing Councilmember Thorpe and Cook
Mayor bid farewell to CM Cook and CM Thorpe and presented CM Thorpe with gifts from the Town.  

Swearing In of Councilmembers
Mr. Sydney Harrison the Clerk of the Court issued the oath of office to each Councilmember.  

Presentation the Jack Wheat Award
Mayor read a Proclamation recognizing Oliver Greaves as the Jack Wheat Award Winner.

Mr. Oliver Greaves thanked the Mayor and noted that he has enjoyed working for the Town of Cheverly for the past 21 years.

Presenting the Mayor’s Award
Mayor read a Proclamation recognizing Luanne Smith as the Mayor’s Award Winner.

Ms. Luanne Smith thanked the Mayor and noted that this was an award that her father would have been proud of and happy that she received.

Delegate Jimmy Tarlauh read a Proclamation from the Legislature welcoming the two new Councilmembers.

Chief’s Report

Chief Robshaw for the first 4 months this year we have the lowest crime records since we have been keeping records.  Thefts from autos has dropped at least 50%, we think is aided by residents contacting the police.  The new cell phone system where the officers carry it from 5pm to 5am goes directly to the officer in the car.  We are interested in your observations around the town.  We will be creating a poster contest to promote the use of that cell phone because it is the fastest and most accurate way to respond to a situation.  We have identified 70 vehicles in the Town through our abandoned auto program.  We encourage those notified to remove the vehicles within the next 2 weeks.  We want to remind everyone that tomorrow is bike to school day principally along Cheverly Avenue and Kilmer Street.  The hill that leads down to public works will be used for handicapped parking and band members that need to come and go.    

Town Administrator’s Report

Mr. Warrington the Chief’s cell phone program works as I used it this past week for an alarm call at 3am.  We have our new LED lights in all our buildings via a Pepco Smart Energy grant.  We are getting more light for less cost.  Our grant for the addition to Pinkey’s Park, which adds a quarter acre to Pinkey’s Park and we will be having a landscape architect to come in and make it much better than.

Recreation Council

Green Infrastructure Committee

Ms. Shiela Salo.  I want to give the new Councilmembers a copy of the Green Infrastructure Plan.  You must have your photo contest entries by 5pm tomorrow. The bio blitz will be Saturday morning to help identify species of plants, trees, shrubs, fungus and other creatures in Cheverly. There will be a native plant walk and there will be a wildlife identity seminar.  If you need more information go to www.greencheverly.org to get all the details. There will be a Children’s Nature walk as well.  Come by the Cheverly Green Infrastructure Committee table to let us know what you want to see at the new park at 6301 Kilmer Street.

Cheverly Day Committee

CM Thorpe Cheverly Day is here and I want to thank the organizers of the Chev run.  Now it is time to party tomorrow night with the Chev Prom.  Cheverly Day is the next day with several activities with lots of music, games, food, miniature golf and fireworks.  We do survive in part by your donations.  You can go to cheverlyday.org or cheverlyday.com and donate.  Thanks to all the Cheverly Committee for all their efforts.

Planning Board Report

CM Eldridge the Planning Board meets on the second Tuesday of every month at 7:30.  The Envision Cheverly document is almost done.  This may feed into the Sector Plan that MNCPPC is doing in and around Cheverly.  The Planning Board will be soliciting input for the use of the property we purchased at 6301 Kilmer Street.  We are in the idea gathering stage.  The County is developing a Trails Master Plan and is having listening sessions on June 6, 10 and 11 so keep your eyes open for announcements.  

Citizen Input

Mr. Jack Warner and Diane LaVoy we are here for the Cheverly Village Planning Committee.  We hope to offer support services to allow seniors to remain in their homes to continue to live in our community.  We have developed a survey and we would like everyone to take this survey.  You can do it on line at suveymonkey.com.  We want all ages to participate and there are 2 surveys for those over 55 and under 55.  If you come to Cheverly Day we will have paper copies for you to complete at the table.  

Ms. Diane Beedle I live on Forest Road and have lived in Cheverly for 11 years.  I am here to bring a hazard to the Town’s attention.  A tree in our neighbor’s yard is in decline and if it goes we are afraid we are in the line of fire.  After a number of discussions with our neighbor I approached the Town for help.  I feel under Section 18 of the Town Code it was hazardous and needed to be removed.  I have spoken with 3 Town employees and was told that they could not use the remedies in the Section 18-2, but that the elected officials had instructed the staff to only address abandoned and vacant properties.  I feel in a bind and am concerned that the tree will come down and harm my family or home.  I contacted an arborist and he told me that the dead limbs present a real hazard.  We shared it with our neighbors and we are hoping that seeing an assessment by an arborist will move them.  The Mayor has said that in 2010 there was a discussion about hazardous trees and hopefully we can get back to using the tools that the Town has to address trees not only on abandoned and vacant properties.

Proclamation – Declaring May as Peace Month in Cheverly

Mayor read the Peace Month Proclamation.

Sofia read a poem for peace.

Proclamation – Declaring May as Asain American Month in Cheverly

CM Eldridge read the Asain American Proclamation.

Public Hearing Amending the Town Park Master Plan

Mr. Warrington the Mayor and Council have been asked by the Boys and Girls Club to eliminate the field that is closest to the Public Works yard.  They feel that the other fields will be more productive, playable and safer.  This is the second of 3 public hearings before amending the Master Plan.

Discussion of the FY16 Operating Budget and C.I.P.

Mr. Warrington explained that this was introduced at the last Town Meeting and was discussed at the last Worksession.  This will be our guide for the next 12 months.  The Mayor and Council requested a reduction in our overall bottom line and we have since identified the requested $200,000 net reduction of that amount.  This is will be up for adoption at the June Town Meeting.

Mayor I want to add that we faced the three years of lower assessments we raised the tax rate, but not the tax revenue.  We have had flat taxes for the past 3 years.  The Staff managed to keep the deficit at $800,000 deficient while keeping it at $500,000 while adding a $300,000 expense, which was the purchase of 6301 Kilmer Street property.  We will be starting with approximately $1 million in our fund balance.  People need to understand that we are following industry standards and need to have 90 days operating in our fund balance, which is approximately $1 million.  We will not be raising your rate, but we will be raising your taxes by virtue of the increase in your assessment.

CM Eldridge there are other things going into people’s tax bills that may be significant.  The County has a proposal to raise the residential tax rate.  The Town of Cheverly is not the only one dipping their hand into your bank account.  I feel the Town uses our tax dollars very wisely and frugally.

Introduction of the OB-1-15.

Mr. Warrington explained that this is the non-codified ordinance that will allow us to adopt the agenda at the next Town Meeting.  Unless and emergency ordinance, you need to introduce an ordinance at one meeting and adopt at another.  This is in anticipation of adoption next month, which sets our fees and taxes.

Mayor and Council Announcements

CM Riazi a thank you for the opportunity to work with David and Carolyn.

CM Coolen we are a special council as 5 of 6 of us are women. Two weeks from Saturday is the first Community Market.  I want to thank everyone who went to Franklin’s for the market fundraiser.

CM Stewart I wanted to thank you all for the warm welcome.

CM Daly I wanted to thank Carolyn for all her support and I too thank you for the warm welcome.

CM Eldridge I am looking forward to working with the new Council and enjoyed working with CM Cook and CM Thorpe.  Everyone should expect a year of headaches because construction is to begin this month on the year long water line replacement along Cheverly Avenue.

Mayor I want everyone to take the opportunity for everyone to put the Police cell phone number into their cell which is 301-789-5090.  The agenda for the Worksession is: raising the fixed asset threshold, election of vice mayor, Discussion of moving June Worksession date, Dead Tree Policy, Building Use Policy, Update on Pointe@Cheverly, Budget discussion and SHA letter response.

CM Eldridge perhaps a Town Attorney introduction with the Town Attorney.


Town of Cheverly
Summary of Action
May 14, 2015
No actions taken


Barbara Bibbs, Town Clerk
6401 Forest Road
Cheverly, MD  207895
301-773-8360


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