I hope you have had a pleasant summer! You may have noticed that I’ve been quiet the past few weeks. That’s because the Council had an August recess, and I took advantage of that by taking a much needed vacation to Hawaii for a few weeks. I apologize if any of your emails have gone unanswered (I’m still catching up), but I pledge that I will return all of the messages I’ve received. Now I’m rested, recharged, and ready to get back to work for Ward 7!
Of particular note I want to let everyone know that one of my keystone ordinances is up for a public hearing on Monday: the effort to create an Annapolis Department of the Environment (at no cost).
Ward 7 picnic a success
Our first annual Ward 7 picnic was successful. We had a good turnout until the thunderstorms arrived about an hour into the event. Thanks to everyone who attended, and a special thank you to Cynthia Krewson, Annapolis Green (provided the water bottle refilling station - we served 28 liters of water that equals 56 bottles!), the Annapolis Maritime Museum (our generous host), local musician Jonathan Stone, Baywoods Residents Association, and of course my lovely wife Becca for all of her help.
Next Council meeting - 9/9/19 (agenda)
Council meetings are held at 160 Duke of Gloucester St (2nd floor) at 7pm and are televised on local cable, Facebook, and the City website (www.annapolis.gov)
- O-18-19 - Department of the Environment - This legislation would create a Department of the Environment (at no cost to the City). My thinking with this legislation (click for my op-ed) is that creating a Department would bring the focus and resources our environmental programs need and deserve, and give them the regulatory authority over our Forest Conservation and Stormwater programs. If you think this is a good idea, please come out and testify! I am the chief sponsor of this legislation.
- O-20-19 - Dwellings above the ground floor of nonresidential uses in the B1, Convenience Shopping District, and B2, Community Shopping District - For the purpose of creating standards for dwellings permitted above nonresidential uses in certain commercial districts; and matters generally relating to regulation of such dwellings.
- O-21-19 - Moderately Priced Dwelling Units - This legislation overhauls our Moderately Priced Dwelling Units (MPDU) program. What we are trying to do is close a number of loopholes that have allowed developers to avoid building this affordable/workforce housing. I am a co-sponsor of this legislation.
- O-29-19 - Purchasing and Procurement - For the purpose of establishing and enacting purchasing and procurement laws for the City of Annapolis
- O-30-19 - Sidewalk Signs - For the purpose of authorizing the Director of Planning and Zoning to revoke or suspend a sign permit approval in certain circumstances; and providing for a delayed effective date of the sidewalk sign permit fee.
- O-31-19 - This legislation seeks to reduce the public speaking limit from a current 5 minutes per person to 3 minutes. This would restore it to what it used to be. We’ve found that giving everyone 5 minutes to speak (they only have 2 minutes at the County Council) tends to lead to longer meetings, and ends up limiting the number of folks who can stay long and testify. We hope 3 minutes is a nice middle ground. This has unanimous sponsorship on the Council
- O-32-19 - Issuance of General Obligation Bonds and Bond Anticipation Notes associated with the adopted FY20 budget.
- O-33-19 - Modification of use of unexpended proceeds of certain of the general obligation bonds of the City of Annapolis. This is in response to the adopted FY20 budget allocations.
Legislation up for a final vote
- R-40-19 - Classic Wooden Boat Rendezvous & Race - Docking Fee Waiver - For the purpose of waiving docking fees at the Annapolis City Dock for participants of the 2019 Classic Wooden Boat Rendezvous & Race (a non-profit entity). I have not decided how I’m going to vote on this yet. I’d like to find out the cost and learn more about the justification. If you have any thoughts please send them.
County Forest Conservation bill
County Executive Steuart Pittman has introduced a bill (68-19) that would improve the County’s Forest Conservation laws. Anne Arundel County has the highest rate of forest loss in the State, clearly indicating that change is needed to protect our water and air quality, and that balance must be brought back into the system where developers have dominated. This bill would certainly start to correct this situation, and in my opinion deserves support. Here is the County Executive’s column on this Bill. However, it does NOT go far enough (as Gerald Winegrad stated in his column). The Bill as introduced is not a “no net loss” Bill, which means it won’t stop the forest loss. If you are happy with what we have done in Annapolis with our “no net loss” of forests ordinance, then I’d urge you to contact our County Councilwoman for District 6, Lisa Rodvien, at firstname.lastname@example.org, and ask her to support this Bill and to support/introduce amendments that would make this bill a true “no net loss” bill for the County, and to make a few other strengthening tweaks to the Bill.
September Sunset Concert Series
Thursdays 6-8pm | September 5-26
Ellen O. Moyer Nature Park | 7300 Edgewood Road
Music by the Bay! Beer and wine will be for sale, with proceeds benefiting our education programs. Food trucks will be on site. Admission is FREE; donations appreciated. Bring a chair or blanket for seating.
9/5 Pressing Strings | Folky, Soulful, Bluesy
9/12 Swamp Candy | Primitive Blues
9/19 Johnny Monet Band | Rock N' Roll
9/26 Dublin 5 | High Energy Irish Rock
Plastic pollution is one of the most important environmental threats we face today. Each of us contributes to the problem, and it’s up to us all to reduce, and ultimately, end it.
Annapolis Green and the City of Annapolis are teaming up to tackle the issue head-on with the launch of Plastic Free Annapolis, a month-long public education campaign designed to reduce—and eventually eliminate—single-use plastic.
Now, more than ever, people are seeking out and engaging in important environmental initiatives. By replacing single-use plastic products with high-quality reusable and compostable ones, business owners can lead by example, educating and empowering their customers to make a real difference. Plastic Free Annapolis makes it easy.
Participating establishments receive a toolkit and have access to dedicated webpages containing:
- Helpful information on how to make the switch from plastic products, such as take-out boxes, straws, and cutlery, to compostable ones (samples included).
- Sources for procuring high-quality compostable and reusable products
- Case studies containing valuable insights from peers, including those within the hospitality and tourism business, already on the plastic-free path.
- Plastic Free Annapolis artwork for table tent cards and bar coasters.
- Plastic Free Annapolis participant window cling.
- Inclusion in all print and digital marketing, advertising and publicity.
- Social media marketing ideas.
- Online Plastic Free Annapolis customer pledge (coming shortly).
- Invitation to a public celebration at the end of the campaign.
FALL GREENSCAPE FOR THE NATION’S ANNUAL “MAKE A DIFFERENCE DAY”
Bulb ordering begins Monday, September 9
(Annapolis, MD, August 27, 2019) — Mayor Gavin Buckley and the Annapolis Recreation and Parks Department invite community members to participate in the nation’s annual Make A Difference Day by volunteering for the city’s fall GreenScape project on Saturday, October 26. Make a Difference Day is a national effort encouraging groups and individuals to volunteer in their community to improve the lives of others.
Reservations for bulbs starts Monday, September 9. Volunteers may order up to 100 tulip bulbs and 100 daffodil bulbs for each project. This year we will be offering red tulips and yellow daffodils. The bulbs are free but only available on a first-come, first-serve basis.
To place an order, please e-mail Marisa Wittlinger at email@example.com and provide your name, contact phone number and organization (if applicable), and indicate what public landscape area you will be planting and the number of bulbs you’re requesting. Bulb pick-up will be held Monday through Friday, October 21-25 at the “Pip” Moyer Recreation Center located at 273 Hilltop Lane in Annapolis.
Anne Arundel County Gun Violence Prevention Task Force to Hold Meeting for Public Comment
Annapolis, Md (September 4, 2019) The Anne Arundel County Gun Violence Prevention Task Force announced that it will hold a meeting devoted to public comment on September 17.
Date: Tuesday, September 17, 2019.
Time: 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Location: Anne Arundel Community College
C.A.L.T Building, Room 100.
101 College Parkway
Arnold, MD 21012
“Mercado Hilltop” Farmer’s Market in Annapolis to Open Eight Saturdays in August and September
Fruits, vegetables, flowers, plants, food, handcrafts, piñatas, art and more will be available starting August 10 at “Mercado Hilltop,” an open-air market in the parking lot of the Salvation Army on Hilltop Lane in Annapolis. The market will be open, weather permitting, every Saturday until September 28.
The market is in partnership with Center of Help, the Annapolis Art in Public Places Commission, the Salvation Army and the City of Annapolis.
The market is organized by the Mayor’s Community Engagement Hispanic Liaison Adriana Lee. The cost to participate in the market is $30 for one Saturday; $100 for four Saturdays; or all eight Saturdays for $180. If you would like to sell at the Mercado Hilltop, call for information or to register: 410-570-9052.
Market dates: August 10, 17, 24 and 31; September 7, 14, 21 and 28. Market hours: 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Annapolis 2020 Comprehensive Plan survey
Take a few minutes of your time to complete this survey for the 2020 Annapolis Comprehensive Plan update and share where your priorities lie for the next 20 years in the City. The questions regarding planning priorities are informed by meetings with stakeholders over the last two months and the first public meeting that was held on May 7th.
Take the survey here: https://forms.gle/uYdq7sCX2ihF96dq8