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June 7, 2012 Town Meeting Minutes

Town of Cheverly
Meeting Minutes
     June 7, 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

Addition to the Agenda Authorization for a letter regarding Monroe Gardens.

Minutes – Town Meeting 5/10/12
Approved as written.

Minutes – Worksession 5/24/12
Approved as written.

Town Administrator Report

Mr. Warrington noted the Town’s efforts to look at some of the County storm drains in town as a result of last week’s rain storm.  We had some flooding at Public Works, but we weathered the storm very well.  If a call comes in to the police, they will contact the person on call at Public Works and the Police have access to barricades if a street is blocked.

CM Riazi there is another storm drain at the Hoyer School that is an issue.  Second, what is the latest update with the National Park Service.

Mayor responded the 3 homes on 58th Avenue were bought by NPS four years ago.  We talked about this last month and we have progress from then.  They are now seeking GSA approval to tear them down.  We could also look at the storm drain down on Medical Terrace for a resident.

Police Department Report

Chief Robshaw our productivity is way up from last year.  There is a CPACT meeting next Wednesday.  Our paint and grass notices are going out steadily.  We have conducted a speed survey and can tell you that speed is down.  We aided the DC police whose helicopter unit was up last Friday, and our officers captured two armed car jackers who bailed out at the PG Hospital.  They are now in jail in the District.    

CM Riazi could you update us on the banquet hall in the 5600 block of Landover Road?

Chief Robshaw I visited the location and talked to the persons.  I found violations and they have taken care of those issues.  We did close them that night for loud music.  Since that time we have not had any complaints or incidents.

Mayor thank you for your efforts on the banquet hall.  What should someone do if they have a noise complaint?

Chief Robshaw the best way is someone in the radio program.  Absent that you must be forceful when you call the County Police.  You have to expand on your complaint that there is some criminal act going on in order for our Police to be dispatched.

CM Eldridge have we explored other technologies like smart phone applications?

Chief Robshaw there are some legal ramifications regarding that, which the Town Attorney would have to address.  We have cell phones that we publish in the Newsletter every week.  

Committee Reports

Cheverly Day we had a retro spective meeting and overall we broke even and we thought that turn out was a bit low.  We look forward to next year.

Green Infrastructure Report the Committee in association with Lower Beaver Dam Creek had a very successful sale of native plants at the last community market.  Next week there will be a hearing at 10 on June 14th to hear comments on incentives for on site green measures.  

Planning Board there is a meeting next Tuesday night.  At that meeting you will hear the final preparations for the Envision Cheverly after the Farmer’s Market this week.  We will have a facilitative discussion on various elements.  The MNCPPC will be providing their facilitative assistance.  We want to make sure that Cheverly is heard loud in the upcoming 202 Corridor study.  

Citizen Input

Mr. Brett Snider wanted to bring to everyone’s attention the repair work done by WSSC to replace some of the main lines in the community.  As a consequence of a sewer back up in my basement, WSSC noted that there was a breech in the line and in late April they came in and did a pipe bursting technology where they only have to excavate where the hook-ups occur.  They also introduce new gravel beds.  We took steps to installing a new hook-up a few years ago.  When they did the replacement and pipe bursting, in last Friday’s storm, we found a huge amount of water entering our basement pump system.  We are again working with WSSC to correct this situation.  We are concerned that this could happen in other areas where pipe bursting is about to occur.

Mayor and Council Announcements

CM Coolen the next community market is June 16th.  For parents, there should be hula hoops.

CM Cook not an announcement, but regarding WSSC.  We did not know that WSSC was going to be working in Ward 6 and they never mentioned this in the past two months when they were here.
CM Riazi tomorrow will the last day for Judith Hoyer Montessori.  Next year they will be at the Oakcrest location.  Thank you to everyone that contributed and went to the performances of Peter Pan.  There will be a help the homeless walk on June 30th sponsored by the Cheverly American Legion.

CM Eldridge our Town has had a very robust softball league and one of our residents is trying to revive this effort.  Just email your councilmember.
CM Riazi after the storm this week a number of people were stranded on the Orange line and now there is a listserv to address different ways of networking.

CM Thorpe the Progressive Cheverly Picnic is this Sunday from 3-6 and is open to all.  First Lego League is starting up in July.  It is time to get a team ready.  E mail  We are also looking at a pilot program with older kids and if you are interested then contact

Mayor Our efforts have resulted in the removal of the graffiti from the CSX bridge.  I recently was at a Redevelopment Authority Meeting about the Pointe @ Cheverly.  For the upcoming Worksession agenda: the Pointe @ Cheverly, Landover Park Shopping Center, Trent Street Property Discussion, CPRC Grant Request, Amending Off-Street Parking Definition.
Second Reading 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 and within 5% either way and maintain one man one vote.  There is a map posted in the front lobby that shows the proposed changes.  As soon as passed next month we will notify the County, so they can prepare for the May 2014 election.

Adoption – OB-1-12 Adopting the FY13 Operating Budget and C.I.P.

Mr. Warrington this is a non-codified Ordinance that adopts your budget which includes your expenditures, fee schedule, tax rates and revenues and serves as a road map for the next year.  By adopting this Ordinance you are adopting all of its contents.

Mayor we have been working on this since February and have put out as much information as possible to keep residents informed.  Mayor discussed aspects of the budget noting the loss of businesses and the re-assessment of the entire town properties, which became an $800,000 problem.  We looked at our costs and 66% of our costs go to personnel costs.  20% of our costs are dead set that we have to make payments.  There are some costs you can not cut, like the bond payment on the police station and electric and water bills.  We are freezing 2 positions that are now empty.  We are not going to cost of livings this year for employees.  We are not giving our department heads bonuses.  We will freeze raises after July 1st.  We are not purchasing any new vehicles.  We have had to look at revenues, which includes taking the residential tax rate from .48 to .58.  However with the average home decrease of property value, most homes will not see a raise in their tax bill.  Most homes will not see as great a decrease.  Regarding multi family homes, we are changing this rate from .48 to .98.  We feel it reflects the level of service provided.

CM Eldridge this is not an easy decision for any of us.  It is for the greater good of the Town to make sure that the community we have tomorrow is the same community we have enjoyed and that attracted us here.  I encourage folks to get involved next year as it happens every year.  

Mr. Thorpe the participation level in the budget has been amazingly low.  The last minute comments are surprising as we have been discussing this for months.

CM Cook we have gone through a number of Worksessions discussing these matters and we have thought long and hard about making these decisions.

CM Riazi the reality is we need to look at a longer view past just this year when we make these decisions.  We need to keep our services up in order to continue to improve and maintain the equity in our homes.

CM Coolen I want to thank our Town Staff for also bearing the brunt of what we are doing here.

Mayor I want to echo that in that this is not an easy message for the staff as well.  This is our fiduciary responsibility.  There has been an awful lot of comment.  I would invite people to look at other municipalities, which are far higher than we are.

Mr. Alex Sundress with Folger-Pratt the owner of Cheverly Station read a statement that is included in the minutes.

Mr. Ed Terry resident Ward 2.  I have sat in on many a discussion and Worksession regarding this budget and I totally agree with the choices you have made.  As a follow-up to the previous comments, I believe that the residents of the other wards have for years been supporting the Cheverly Station apartments.

  • CM Eldridge to adopt OB-1-12 Adopting the FY 13 Budget and Capital Improvement Program.  CM Riazi seconded. Approved unanimously.
Monroe Gardens Statement

Mayor it is very powerful when a letter is sent under the name of the Town rather than just the Mayor.  You are allowed exceptions to the zoning code by calling it a revitalization project.  We have sent a previous letter and I want to re-write it and incorporate the information from the Green Infrastructure Committee.

  • CM Eldridge MOTION to authorize the Mayor to draft a letter regarding Monroe Gardens that will be shared with the Council emphasizing the Town’s position.  CM Coolen seconded. Approved unanimously.
Mayor meeting adjourned.

Town of Cheverly
Summary of Action
June 7, 2012

  • CM Eldridge MOTION to adopt OB-1-12 Adopting the FY 13 Operating Budget and Capital Improvement Program.  CM Riazi seconded. Approved unanimously.
  • CM Eldridge MOTION to authorize the Mayor to draft a letter regarding Monroe Gardens that will be shared with the Council emphasizing the Town’s position.  CM Coolen seconded. Approved unanimously

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