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June 11, 2015 Town Meeting Minutes

Town of Cheverly
Meeting Minutes
    June 11, 2015

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

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

Pledge of Allegiance

Added Pepco Briefing

Minutes – Town Meeting        5/14/15

Minutes – Worksession         5/28/15

Chief’s Report

Chief Robshaw public safety day this year will be Wednesday, September 16th.  Our next CPAC meeting will be in the apartments and all are welcome.  We are nearly done with the abandoned vehicle program and we identified 71 and only had to tow 10.  We had 18 criminal incidents this month and the rise in crime is directly related to theft.  I encourage people to lock your vehicle doors and keep any valuables out of view.      

Town Administrator’s Report

Mr. Warrington the stage was not completed on time.  They were working on it today and we have not seen them in 2 weeks, but they will complete it in order to get their final payment.

Recreation Council

Green Infrastructure Committee

Mayor  I did attend their meeting.  They are working on trying to figure out a way for the Town to offer a rain barrel program.  We will tee it up for a future Worksession.  They are also working with the Planning Board to come up with a plan for the Kilmer Street property

Cheverly Day Committee

CM Daly next year is a parade year, so get your floats ready.  Cheverly Day will be the third Saturday in May.  We have been soliciting themes for the next Cheverly Day.  Come to the Cheverly Market and provide your input.  There will be a meeting on Tuesday night at 7:30pm to review this Cheverly Day and look forward to next Cheverly Day.

Planning Board Report

Mayor the Planning Board is finishing up the Envision Cheverly document as we are getting ready to kick-off the Cheverly Sector Plan.  They are going to kick-off a study of some surrounding neighborhoods and will include the Hospital grounds.  We will be inviting everyone into this process.  MNCPPC will sign contracts in July with the consultants.  

CM Eldridge in order to provide full disclosure, my firm pursued this project and we were selected by MNCPPC.  We will be working with another top notch firm on this project.  Last night I went to the trails master plan meeting and there was a lot of good input.  I encourage you all to go to the project website where there is an interactive mapping portion.  It is nice that it is happening at the same time as the Sector Plan as it lends itself to coordination between the two.  The Anacostia Trails Heritage area has shared the boundary expansion to bring parts of Cheverly within their area.  They are focused on economic development and tourist areas.  

Citizen Input

Oscar we are here on behalf of the Cheverly Village Group, which is a non-profit organization.  We want Cheverly seniors to live a productive life in their Cheverly homes.  We are conducting a survey in order to provide services to the seniors.

Tiffany this is where you will find the survey on Survey Monkey.  To date we have 275 respondents from the Town of Cheverly.  It is open until the end of June.  If you would like a paper copy, you can call Diane LaVoy at 240-599-6346.  I believe that this village concept is important for sustainable communities.

Oscar we also have paper copies that we can get to you.  We ask that you notify all your neighbors and friends.  

Pepco Presentation

Ms. Tammy Watkins I am the government affairs representative for Pepco.  Safety and reliability are very important to Pepco and we are executing our reliability program.  Vegetation and trees cause 40% of our outages.  We must meet the RM43 requirement standards.  We are establishing clearance zones from our lines and we understand the impact our trimming has on the environment, but we are required to provide a minimum clearance for our lines.  We have highly qualified individuals that walk the lines to make the initial determination regarding pruning versus removal.  They look at a number of factors to make that determination.  Mr. Marty Leib is here with me tonight and he is highly qualified to do these types of assessments.  The Pepco foresters are a second level after this initial assessment to add or subtract from the opinions provided.  Once finalized the plans are turned over to the licensed tree experts to go into the field and perform the work.  We are looking at distribution feeders in Cheverly.  We start with a door knock, then a door hanger and then a letter from Pepco for work on private property.  We will not prune a tree on private property if the owner does not grant permission.  We are not in an active phase in Cheverly yet.  We are at the beginning of site review as to where we may need to do some work.

CM Eldridge does pre-existing rights mean easements?  Mr. Leib yes.  CM Eldrige so, a citizen can refuse removal on private property?  Mr. Leib yes.  

CM Riazi nothing on here states that the homeowner has a right to refuse.  People are going to look at this as written and think they can’t refuse.

CM Coolen are these new policies? Ms. Watkins RM43 was adopted and put in place in 2012.

CM Riazi how does the Town stay notified and involved as to what is happening?  Mr. Leib we met with Mr. Torres and we agreed to get the on the ground planner out in the Town and then go around with Mr. Torres to show him what we have in the works. We can’t share private property information, but we will talk about public property trees.

CM Coolen about talking to people, the Pepco representatives were using inflammatory words to coerce and owner to allow Pepco to cut down trees.  To have these trees cut down and aggressively pruned, I hope you will be very, very cautious as their replacement won’t be replaced in my lifetime.  

CM Riazi the statement that every tree gets two looks, does that happen on paper or does that happen in person? Mr. Leib both.

CM Stewart is the level one plan discussed with the homeowner?   Mr. Leib yes.  CM Stewart after the work if the homeowner feels that the work was different from what was proposed is there a means to address that?  Ms. Watkins yes, we can follow-up and work with that homeowner to mitigate their concerns and issues.

CM Coolen does Pepco replace trees lost with a mid-size type of tree?  Mr. Leib we do have a tree replacement program and we are working with Public Works on that.  We replace public space trees on a one for one basis.  We do private property trees roughly the same.  We do not replace large canopy trees under the power lines.  We practice right tree in the right place principals.  We do work with our municipalities.

Mayor if a homeowner is unhappy with what is happening on their property, I would ask them to contact Public Works or me.  

CM Riazi I have seen electrical lines with a wrap that allows them to go through trees can we do that in Cheverly?  Ms. Watkins Pepco facilities are on the top of the line.  When we can use tree wire we do.  Mr. Leib our tree wire is a black plastic coating, but tree wire is not a fix all.  The orange thing you are seeing is line hose, which is a band-aid on a repair.  It is used when repairs are being made and it is not a long term fix as that is not what it is designed.  It is a temporary fix until we can get back with vegetation management.  

CM Daly are we going into an active status?  Mr. Leib we are currently collecting data and when that is complete we will then do the review with Public Works and then go active.

Mayor I would ask you to be less aggressive to the interpretation of the standards. Four years ago we had a fairly aggressive trim and we feel like we deserve a level of respect as partners.  We ask you to keep Juan informed weekly.  

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 final of 3 public hearings before amending the Master Plan.

  • CM Coolen to adopt the amendment to the Town Park Master Plan. CM Daly seconded. Approved 5-0.
Public Hearing - Constant Yield Tax Rate

Mr. Warrington explained that the State of Maryland requires taxing bodies to hold a public hearing if their constant yield, which is the amount of money to be collected in the upcoming budget year, exceeds the amount collected in the past budget year.  Even though the Town’s rate has remained unchanged, assessments have increased and therefore the yield, or amount to be collected, will increase.  The State requires notice and a public hearing so that residents have an opportunity to address the increase.

Adoption 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 was introduced last month and adoption sets our fees and taxes as well as our budget for next year.  Explained the budget for FY16 and the fund balance where we will be in good shape.  

Mayor noted that a number of items about the budget have been in the newsletter.  We’ve changed the pay grade to make the police officer’s salaries more competitive.  We have done a good job of keeping our vehicle fleet in good shape.  We only have to buy one police vehicle per year to keep our fleet up to date.  Also, explained other aspects of the budget.  Kentland lost 2 fire trucks and there is a campaign to help replace those fire trucks.  I think this is a one time cause to support the volunteer fire department and I am looking for a motion to put a line item in the budget.

CM Eldridge can we do a budget adjustment to include it in FY15.  I would recommend that, so as not to wait until July.

  • CM Eldridge to make a budget adjustment in the amount of $4,000 to support the Kentland Fire Station fire truck replacement fund. CM Riazi seconded. Approved 5-0.
Mayor I have a question about the police car and can you describe why a police car costs over $40,000?

Mr. Warrington we have moved to the SUV type Ford Explorer.  Ford and Dodge are the only ones making police vehicles and we piggyback on the County or State order to get a better price.  Since we have single officer patrols, this will come with a cage area, which improves officer safety.  We did check our police vehicles after a discussion at the Worksession and found that our police vehicles are legal.

CM Eldridge well that isn’t the only thing I am looking for, as I think our officers should be visible and the citizens should be able to make eye contact with the officers.  I know the Chief has an effective and deliberate theme of connecting with the community.  I would strongly encourage you to delete this option or not encourage this option.

Mayor I think people would like to know that the historically the new car goes to the most productive officer.

Mr. Warrington yes, this was an issue some time ago when a senior officer felt that they should get the car, but they were being out produced by officers that had less time.  So, the Chief determined that productivity would be the factor to determine the assignment of the new car.  So, the Chief will be assigning this vehicle to the most productive officer.  It is a way or rewarding or recognizing the hard work of the officers.

CM Stewart is there a demand for a larger vehicle?

Mr. Warrington part of it is all the equipment they now have with e-tickets, e-tickets printers, computers, two police radios and lots of other equipment.  We now have a container in the back that allows them to lock everything up making it secure.  It gives more room for transporting folks and this is what they are making and you have to buy what is available.  If you are sitting in a vehicle for 10 hours this is more comfortable as well.

CM Eldridge this isn’t based on a quota system where writing tickets are encouraged?

Mr. Warrington no this is based on checking doors, locking gates, turning reports in on time and that is what we use as productive.  We do not have a quota system for writing tickets.  If we have officers making traffic stops and finds an open warrant.  The officer that just sits and doesn’t do anything is not producing.

CM Stewart is this replacing a car in the fleet?

Mr. Warrington we have one car that is dead on arrival will be crushed so it is a one for one.

  • CM Raizi to adopt OB-1-15 Adopting the FY16 Budget. CM Daly seconded. Approved 5-0.
Mayor and Council Announcements

CM Coolen this weekend, Saturday, please come to Town Park for the Community Market.  Congratulations to all the winners of the photo contest, they are on line so take a look at them. Please remember to water the trees that have been planted this spring.  I’ve noticed a lot of poison ivy and I ask that you remove it and bag it up well to protect our public works employees.  
Please remember to pick-up after your animal.  Meals on Wheels is done out of Prince George’s Hospital and they need volunteers, if you are interested call Gail Scott at 301-772-6264.

CM Daly I wanted to thank Public Works for mowing 6301 Kilmer Street.

Mayor I want to bid a fond farewell to Pastor Surade for her service to our Town and her church at Cheverly United Methodist Church.  We are planning an open house, which will be a culmination of the Planning Board and Green Infrastructure Committee efforts.  Worksession for June 18th:  Town Code for Tree Stumps, Building Use Policy Amendments, Update for Pointe@Cheverly, MML Discussion, Adult Entertainment Application, Rain Barrel Program and Fence Building Permit Policy and Procedures.

Town of Cheverly
Summary of Action
June 11, 2015
1. CM Coolen to adopt the amendment to the Town Park Master Plan. CM Daly seconded. Approved 5-0.
2. CM Eldridge to make a budget adjustment in the amount of $4,000 to support the Kentland Fire Station fire truck replacement fund. CM Riazi seconded. Approved 5-0.
     3. CM Raizi to adopt OB-1-15 Adopting the FY16 Budget. CM Daly seconded. Approved 5-0.

Barbara Bibbs, Town Clerk
6401 Forest Road
Cheverly, MD  207895

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