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April 14, 2016 Town Meeting Minutes

Town of Cheverly
Meeting Minutes
    April 14, 2016

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

In attendance:  CMs, Riazi, Coolen, Eldridge, Stewart, Rodgers and Daly.

Pledge of Allegiance


Minutes – Town Meeting        3/10/16

Minutes – Worksession         3/24/16

Recognition of Americanism Essay Contest Winners

The Mayor introduced Kim of the American Legion and she recognized the winners of the Americanism Essay that was held by the Cheverly American Legion Auxiliary #108.  The theme was how do we keep Lincoln’s promise to the Veterans and their families.

Chief’s Report

Chief Robshaw was in training and did not provide a report.  The Mayor noted the success of the Police Expo that was held on the day of the Flea Market event.
 Town Administrator’s Report

Mr. Warrington we are in receipt of an award from the Department of Natural Resources that recognizes the Town’s 20th year as a Tree City U.S.A. and it a flag is on the flag pole out front that has 20 year flag flying proudly.  WSSC is not done with Cheverly Avenue yet and when they are done, we anticipate them repaving in August when their year of work is done.

Recreation Council

Mayor noted that the Flea Market was great.

Green Infrastructure Committee

Dave Kneipp  I want to announce that we will be holding our second photo contest for Cheverly Day.  We have a color and black and white category and the winners will be getting a gift certificate from Ledo’s Pizza.  The theme this year is trees of Cheverly and hopefully native.  Last year we did not have any youth entrants and we forward to some this year

Cheverly Day Committee

CM Daly May 21st is a parade year, so bring on your floats.  The Cheverly Day Committee is ready to talk to you about your float. We have a new website:  On that same page is the opportunity for community organizations and vendors to get a table for Cheverly Day.  We have the opportunity for corporate sponsorships and anybody who wants to donate we will recognize you on our website.  Shoot us an email if you have any questions.  
Planning Board Report

CM Eldridge The majority of the Planning Board Meeting was focused on the County Code update.  We had a presentation from the County and many questions and concerns were discussed.  There were questions as to how our Sector Plan is going to impacted by the zoning update.  The status of the Sector Plan update has been slowed by staff changes within park and planning.  The Town is pushing for an extension and more input sessions from the community.

CM Riazi can the full Council get a report from the Planning Board?  I came away from a recent meeting with a number of questions about the County Zoning re-write.  

Citizen Input

Mr. Lucas Winston I am a resident of Carlyle Street.  I have four issues.  There is a problem in Cheverly with trees which is ivy on the inside and trees on the inside.  Trees in people’s back yards are dying and something needs to be done.  Number two is solicitation rules.  Supposed to be rules on solicitation and it is out of control as they are going door to door.  I hope the Town and the Police Department will acknowledge the rules on solicitation.  There is also a rule on the books that no work is to be done before 8 am.  I got a violent knock on my door at 7:15 am to remove my car by WSSC.  These contractors are not following the rules.  Number four, 59th Avenue crime we had problems last summer.  I want it to stop.  I will not tolerate it.

Mayor Citizen Input is not interactive, but I would like you to call the Town Administrator tomorrow and follow-up with him.

Gladys Noon Spellman Tree Donation and Grant Application

Mayor we typically do these during the Worksession.  I was approached by Chase O’Brien about beautification on their property.  They are trying to do an April 23rd birthday beautification.  They are seeking trees and a beautification grant.  They are seeking $2,000 for materials for beautification and the second is a donation of $1,500 worth of trees.

Chase O’Brien spoke on behalf of the Spellman PTA.  This will provide an opportunity for parents and the community to create a synergy between the staff, parents and the community.  If the trees are not planted by the County, then it is not the responsibility of the custodian staff.  There are going to be cared for by families in the Town to make sure the trees are watered and taken care of during the summer.

CM Coolen who is going to dig the holes and plant the trees in order to ensure their survival?

Chase O’Brien we have a tree expert that will oversee the planting.  We have a number of Cheverly organizations that will be doing some of the preparation.  

CM Riazi do you have to have permission to plant these trees on school grounds?

Ms. O’Brien the permission I was granted was from the school Principal.

  • CM Riazi motion to approve the $2,000 grant for the Spellman PTA for school beautification, maintenance and a donation of 13 trees for the project as designated in the grant request. CM Coolen seconded. Approved 5-0. CM Eldridge recused himself.
Adoption Ordinance O-1-16 Amending the Housing Code

Town Administrator this ordinance is a housekeeping item related to a landlord’s requirement to provide heat to a rental unit.  This will require a minimum of 68 degrees and will make it more clear and concise.  

  • CM Eldridge to adopt O-1-16 Amending the Housing Code. Seconded CM Daly.  Approved 6-0.
Adoption Ordinance O-2-16 Amending the Personnel Section

Town Administrator this is a second reading and will be up for passage next month.  Again this is a housekeeping item regarding designating essential and non-essential employees regarding Holiday Pay.    The Town is also trying to clarify how we recognize the “federally recognized holiday” regarding essential and non-essential employees.

  • CM Rodgers to adopt O-2-16 amending the Personnel Section.  Second CM Stewart.  Approved 6-0.
Introduction O-3-16 Amending Section 4 of the Code to allow apiaries

CM Riazi there has been an interest in town to house honeybees on private property.  More than 3 million honeybees have been lost and we will be able to benefit from honeybees in our community.  We are proposing 5 points of regulation for anyone who has an apiary on their property.  

Mr. Frank Fanel I am a 20 year Cheverly resident and I have been interested in gardening and ten years ago I noticed a decline in my garden.  Since I introduced bees to my property, I have seen a resurgence of my garden.  I want to say that I have been keeping bees and there is a great number of misunderstanding about bees.  I would advocate keeping bees and this change in the law.

CM Rodgers I am not a big fan of bees, but my question is that some people are allergic to bees and if we pass this will there be a sign so they are aware of the bees?

Mr. Dave Kneipp there are other Cheverly residents who have gone through bee courses and they are interested in having bee hives in their yards.  There are over 400 variety of native bees in Maryland.  I would suggest that the Council be supportive of this.

Ms. Diane LaVoy I leave across the street from Frank and I benefit from his bees.  My tomato plants have benefited from this.  

Mayor we will place this on the Worksession and try to refine this proposal.  It is an education process and the next three months will allow people to give their input.

Introduction FY17 Operating Budget and C.I.P.  

Town Administrator this is the introduction for the funding for all of the things that allow the Town to function.  We have a couple of Capital items that are major purchases.  Basically we are doing a lot of things we planned on doing.  We did have a mid-year charge for depositing our recycling and we now have budgeted for that in FY17.

Mayor we got this in March and this is our first look at the budget. I will not be here on the 28th, but this budget will be discussed.  We are coming out of a period when property assessments were down and we are coming out of that situation as property assessments are on the rise.  We did a lot of things to get through this tough period of time.  Last year the increases in assessments were 7.5% or about $250,000.   The standard is to have about $1 million as our fund balance.  We held expenses and didn’t increase taxes until last year when assessments increased.  We have to look at how much in this year’s assessment will be required for this needs of the Town.  We need to look at our Public Works building to fix the office facility.  We need to start the effort at 6301 Kilmer Street Park and a dog park.  These two things are not in this proposed budget.  One penny on the tax rate is about $60,000.  We will be looking at this in the upcoming Worksession and I will send out my thoughts on these matters.  We will put more in the Newsletter.

CM Eldridge this is the resident’s, our collective investment in our community.  Don’t want to lose sight of that.

Mayor our Public Works Department does what it does with one less person than in 1989.  The average assessment in town is $254,000.  That is lower than it was 3 years ago.

CM Coolen if we were to lower the tax rate from .58 to .48 would result in the Town collecting less money in taxes than 3 years ago.  A drop of that amount would only be $130 per year or $10 per month.

CM Riazi now is when I need the residents of Ward 1 to reach out to me to tell me what you want in your community and we will try to get you the cost of these items. What we have and do is an asset to our community and our homes.  Just like our homes ask money from us, so does our Town in order to thrive.

Discussion of Cheverly Avenue Bump-Out and Adoption Plan

CM Coolen the bump-outs aren’t necessarily making our Town any prettier.  They are traffic calming devices and they have been a point of controversy ever since I can remember.  Recently we were talking about the possibility of beautifying Cheverly via an adopt a bump-out program.  A group or individual can apply for a grant, buy plants and make it beautiful for the future.  I have written a list of guidelines and I have talked to the Garden Club regarding what should be planted and what can keep living.  Maybe we can even have some signage to see who adopted that bump-out.  Perhaps we can concentrate on the 8 bump-outs along the parade route. We would have a maximum of $200 per bump-out along that route on Cheverly Avenue.  This will be a pilot program.

Mayor if we concur, then CM Coolen will put out a News and Announcements with all the details.  CM Coolen will serve as the point of contact.

CM Riazi they will contact CM Coolen, but what are the logistics for getting the funds?  Do they turn in receipts after or what?

Mayor they are going to contact CM Coolen and when someone is ready to go, she is going to recommend that they are ready to go forward and the Town Administrator will release the funds.  Receipts will then be turned in to the Town.

Mayor and Council Announcements

CM Daly I just want everyone to know about a great activity going on at the American Legion, on April 23rd we are doing a halfway to Halloween Party.  There will be a costume contest and lots of other fund things that kids may enjoy.  

CM Riazi April 23rd there are a couple of clean-up opportunities.  The Cheverly Planning Group is offering a how to modifications to your home to allow you to age in motion here at the Community Center at 1pm.  

CM Coolen my passion is the Community Market and on May 3rd they are having a fund raiser over at Franklin’s. Please come out and support the Market and please tell Franklins it is for the Community Market.

CM Rodgers this is for the Cheverly apartments, the rental office is the place to sign your kids up for the Cheverly Boys and Girls Club.  They are aware in the office.

Mayor election time is upon us so please get out and vote.  Our election is May 2nd.  The Worksession coming up will include:  the FY17 Budget, Discussion on 6301 Kilmer Street Park, Discussion on Commercial Parking on corner lots, Cheverly Avenue curb and gutters, bee discussion, Grant application for Cheverly Day, Grant application for Green Infrastructure, Noise Ordinance Procedures.

Town of Cheverly
Summary of Action
April 14, 2016
1. CM Riazi motion to approve the $2,000 grant for the Spellman PTA for school beautification, maintenance and a donation of 13 trees for the project as designated in the grant request. CM Coolen seconded. Approved 6-0 CM Eldridge recuse himself.
2.  CM Eldridge to adopt O-1-16 Amending the Housing Code. Seconded CM Daly.  Approved 6-0.
3. CM Rodgers to adopt O-2-16 amending the Personnel Section.  Second CM Stewart.  Approved 6-0.

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