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12/11/08 Town Meeting Minutes
Town of Cheverly
Meeting Minutes
December 11, 2008

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

In attendance:  Mayor Mosley, Vice Mayor Ford, Mr. Warrington, Chief Robshaw, and CMs. Eldridge, Callahan, Watson, Johnson and Schachter.

Pledge of Allegiance

Approved as written.   

Minutes – Town Meeting 11/9/08
Reserved for January.

Minutes – Worksession 11/20/08
Reserved for January.

Town Administrator Report
Mr. Warrington announced that Mr. Torres requests that residents help keep leaves out of storm drains to prevent clogs.  There will be no trash collection on Dec. 25, 26, and Jan. 1, 2009.

CM Watson inquired about the request for proposals for the concessions stands, and status of the “Welcome to Cheverly” sign.  Mr. Warrington stated that with respect to the concession stand, a firm will start the work in January.  It is for the purpose of a study.  As to the sign, a request to fix the sign can be made to the County.
Police Department Report
Chief Robshaw reported that we had a good month.  The crime rate remains down about 8%.  If it remains down than 2008 will be our best year compared to the last 10 years.  There is an open warrant for a suspect in the November carjacking.  There were 5 burglaries, 2 closed out by arrest.   Residents are urged to call the Town Police for a home security check.  Chief Robshaw announced that the State Highway has approved an $18,000 grant for overtime towards enforcement of pedestrian safety, DUI’s, and aggressive driving campaigns.   

Mayor Mosley thanked Chief Robshaw for educating everyone on the importance of writing down the serial numbers of computers.  The Mayor’s laptop was recently stolen and then recovered because she had a record of her serial number.  The suspect also was arrested.

CM Watson asked about when the Crown Victoria would be replaced, the illegal truck parking in front of Hoyer, and about vehicles frequently parked on Tuxedo Road’s shoulder.  Chief Robshaw responded that the Crown Victoria should be here in the next week, and that he would contact the County about the other issues.

Mr. Warrington, in response to Mayor Mosley’s inquiry about the lights at Hoyer, stated that the Town contacted the School Board Facilities Department, but have not yet received a response.

Mayor and Council Announcements

Mayor Mosley thanked Barbara, Mr. Torres, the Chief and Mr. Warrington for the tree lighting at the Town Center.  There is no work session in December.  The January work session is postponed to January 29.  The holiday decorating contest is next Thursday from 7-9pm.

CM Watson requested that the following topics be added to the work session agenda: the legion park holiday decorations for 2009, and the regional dog park.

CM Eldridge requested that the topic of community gardens be added to the work session.  CM Eldridge also announced that a grant request was made to Park and Planning for a motorized vehicle study of Cheverly.  

Mayor Mosley added the above items to the January agenda, with the exception that the holiday lighting be moved to the February work session agenda.  

Mayor Mosley announced the Town employees would have a day of paid leave on Dec. 26, 2008.  

  • CM Watson made a motion giving the Town employees a day of paid leave for December 26, 2008.  Vice Mayor Ford seconded.  Unanimously approved.  
CM Callahan discussed the concrete plant proposal for Sheriff Road.  The University of Maryland is going to appeal the decision approving the plan.  The University of Maryland’s environmental law department will provide pro bono services with the exception of the transcript cost, which is $600.  The Town proposes to cover half of that cost.   CM Schachter commented that most citizens are opposed to the plant.  However, CM Schachter asked if Cheverly was a party to the proceedings below.  CM Callahan expressed a desire for the Town to be part of the appeal, and if the University allows the Town to be on the appeal, than CM Callahan requested a vote that expresses the Town’s intent to participate in the appeal and provide the $300.

Mr. Colaresi is concerned about joining the appeal unless Cheverly was a party to the proceeding below.  Mayor Mosley believes Cheverly was a party.  If the University represents the Town, Mr. Colaresi insists on viewing all pleadings before they are filed to see how the Town is being represented.   Also, a motion is needed to join the appeal.  Mr. Colaresi does not believe that the Town will be in “harm’s way” or have some liability by participating in the suit.  However, he is concerned about the fact that the Town has not been a large part of the fight during the proceedings below.

CM Schachter recommended that a motion be made to allow the Town to be a party to the appeal, and the Town’s expenditure not exceed a set amount, and that CM Callahan represent the Town’s views in consultation with Cedar Heights Town Council.

CM Watson stated that this evening may be the only opportunity to decide on whether to join the appeal given the limitation of time to file the appeal.  

Vice Mayor Ford believes the Town has a “snowballs” chance in prevailing on the appeal.  He is also concerned with the political backfire given we have a new Council Member representing Cheverly that voted for the plan.  

Mayor Mosley stated that she disagrees with the Town’s Council Member because of the egregious location of the plant.  The only concern is whether entering on the appeal could make Cheverly liable in some way.

CM Schachter agreed that the Town should appeal the decision.  However, he is concerned with the fact that Cheverly’s participation has not been solicited by the University of Maryland.

  • CM Callahan moved to declare the Town’s intent to participate in the University of Maryland’s appeal against the Concrete Plant Project, and to provide $300 to the University of Maryland to cover a portion of the filing/transcript fee.  CM Watson seconded.  Unanimously approved.
Mayor Mosley may call a special session to discuss this topic further.

Committee Reports

Recreation Council
No one present.

Cheverly Day Report
CM Watson announced that Cheverly Day will be June 6.  There will be no dance or parade this year.  The 5K race will likely happen.  The booklet/magazine may not be published.  The fireworks will be held.  Any ideas for Cheverly Day should be submitted to the Cheverly Day website by February.   

Green Infrastructure Steering Committee
Sheila Sailo, the tree canopy group is meeting Dec. 22, and the storm water working group will discuss the water resources master plan later that evening.  The full Steering Committee will meet Jan. 5, 2009, at 7pm.   Ms. Sailo handed out an EPA pamphlet and CD to the CM’s and Mayor on environmental issues and case studies for local governments to consider.  

Citizen Input
Ms. Sailo on behalf of the Friends of Lower Beaver Dam, urged residents to please visit Woodworth Trail to experience the new trail spur on Arbor Street.  In addition, Ms. Sailo requested that more information be given when referencing agenda items on the past meetings.

Second Reading of O-30-08 Amending the Building Code
Mayor Mosley stated that the Town is considering amending the building code.

Mr. Colaresi stated that the Town is considering amending the ordinance regarding permits for home improvements within the Town.  The goal is to provide time limits for open permits.  In addition, the amendment outlines requirements for keeping the site clean, a hearing process for time extensions, a misdemeanor penalty for work done after a stop work order has been issued, and the appeal process.   

State Aviation Division
Mayor Mosley introduced Mike Gartland, Chief Pilot with the Maryland State Police, and Vaughn Barkdoll from Dimensions Healthcare, present to discuss the helicopters flying in and out of Prince Georges Hospital.   

Mr. Gartland discussed the complaints from the noise of helicopters flying to the hospital.  A policy was set in place which imposes penalties to its pilots when helicopters are not shut down on the hospitals landing pad.  Some of the helicopters sound different because the tail rotors have been replaced.   Other missions performed are medivac, law enforcement, search and rescue, Homeland Security missions (i.e., checking Fedex field and the Wilson bridge), and disaster assessments.   There have been fewer medivacs into the hospital due to a new policy, which provides that if the accident victim is within 30 miles of the hospital, then ground transport is provided, unless there is rush hour traffic.  Usually 5,000 patients are flown a year, and the service is at no charge (it is paid for the EMS Board and Maryland State Police).

CM Schachter asked about policy no. 50, which encourages pilots to turn off engines when landing.  The citizens are complaining about helicopter routes and flying too low.  CM Schachter stated that he did not know if it was State Maryland helicopters.  He also inquired whether there was a policy that outlines permitted flight paths and altitudes?  Mr. Gartland stated that Medstar and Stat Medivac also transport patients.  In addition, Whitetops from Andrews and the Coast Guard have been training and flying in this area in preparation for the inauguration.  The State pilots are trained not to come in low, but rather take a steep approach.  The hospital records all helicopters that land on the helipad.  Mr. Gartland stated that there is a policy on the issue of which direction to land (North and South), however, if there is a critical patient, then the policy cannot always be adhered to.

Mr. Barkdoll stated that on a percentage basis, the monthly average of traffic from the State helicopters is about 60%-70% .

CM Callahan commended the State for its policy requiring turning off their engines upon landing.  There appears to be a noticeable decrease in landed noise levels.  However, the issue seems to still be altitude and circling.  

CM Eldridge inquired as to how to get other agencies to abide by this policy.

Mr. Gartland stated the Park Police have agreed to abide by the policy.  Mr. Gartland stated that there are some exceptions to turning off the engine upon landing (i.e. another helicopter is approaching, high winds, or maintenance issues)

Mr. Bartdell stated that perhaps Dimensions and the State Police could forward the policy to other jurisdictions including the Federal government.  Mr. Bartdell suggested that the Town Council endorse this policy and vote to recommend forwarding it to others.  CM Callahan also recommended voting on this issue.

Mayor Mosley thanked the Maryland State Police for their efforts, service, and policy no. 50.  The Mayor suggested writing an additional policy to require certain flight patterns.

  • CM Callahan made a motion endorsing Maryland State Police Active Policy Number 50 regarding aircraft and to encourage the hospital to share the policy with other helipad users.  CM Schachter seconded.  Unanimously approved.
Meeting adjourned.
Town of Cheverly
Summary of Action
December 11, 2008
  • CM Watson made a motion giving the Town employees a day of paid leave for December 26, 2008.  Vice Mayor Ford Seconded.  Unanimously approved.
  • CM Callahan moved to declare the Town’s intent to participate in the University of Maryland’s appeal against the Concrete Plant Project, and to provide $300 to the University of Maryland to cover a portion of the filing/transcript fee.  CM Watson seconded.  Unanimously approved
  • CM Callahan made a motion endorsing Maryland State Police Active Policy Number 50 regarding aircraft and to encourage the hospital to share the policy with other helipad users.  CM Schachter seconded.  Unanimously approved.

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