Mayor to reveal budget, gut environmental office

Thank you for a lively, well-attended Town Hall meeting this past week. I will aim to post some of the results from our “dot voting” on Ward 7 priorities, which I presented on, at a future date.

At our next Council meeting this Monday, the Mayor will be giving his State of the City address, as well as introducing his fiscal year 2020 budget. Of note is that the Mayor is proposing to dissolve our Office of  Environmental Policy. Not for any kind of cost savings, but purely because he feels it’s the best organizational move. As you can guess, I’m adamantly opposed to this idea, which would be an enormous step backwards, has zero support in the environmental community, and was done with no analysis, and no engagement with the community. This “go it alone” pattern of behavior is one that I hope the Mayor shifts away from soon. This is why I have introduced my own competing Ordinance that would create a Department of the Environment at virtually no cost to the City (except for one position promotion). I put this together after much deliberation with the community, staff, and another Environmental Department Director outside of the City. If you wanted to comment on this, you are welcome to do so during the general public comment period towards the beginning of the meeting, otherwise it will have dedicated public hearings before the Planning Commission and the Council at a later date. More on this below.

I will also be trying to add a discussion to the agenda about the lawsuit against big pharmaceutical companies regarding the opioid crisis, which you may have read in the newspaper. While I generally support such lawsuits, I would need to learn more before being comfortable with a City of our size and means participating. What I’m more concerned about is the process: the lack of transparency and the marginalization of the Council. I’m both disturbed and disappointed by this.

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next Council meeting, Sector study, town hall info

Happy Spring Equinox everyone! I for one am definitely looking forward to more sun and warmth, and fun in the water. Here are a few updates for Ward 7. Of note is information about our next Town Hall, where we will discuss the results of our survey results from our last meeting, the Sector Study, and hopefully will hear from the Mayor himself on some of his initiatives.

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Crystal spring, sector study update, April town hall

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! I hope everyone has a fun, but responsible, celebration. I have a few updates on some issues I raised last week dealing with Crystal Spring and the Sector Study. Also, the next Ward 7 Town Hall will be on April 3rd.

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Frustrating few weeks - laws not implemented correctly, sector study hearing closed

This has been a very frustrating past few weeks on the Council. Here’s why:

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Sector Study hearing and School Capacity vote?

At this upcoming Council meeting you’ll have another opportunity to testify in regards to how development happens in the Ward, by commenting on the Eastport/Forest Drive Sector Study. In addition, the now 12-month old School Capacity Adequate Facilities ordinance is up for final action or postponement. Will we finally take action on this?

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More development on Forest Dr? Ward 7 priorities

We had an excellent Town Hall meeting this past week. I’d like to thank everyone who came out to that, and thank everyone who helped distribute flyers (we distributed over 2,000 flyers across the Ward!). I’ll be sharing the results of all the brainstorming of 2019 priorities, including the point rating for each item (i.e. how many priority sticker votes each item received), once that information is compiled. I will likely present on this at a future Town Hall meeting, perhaps at the spring Town Hall meeting on April 3rd. Perhaps that would be a good meeting to invite the Mayor to as well.

Here is some information on the next Council meeting. There is an important items up for a public hearing, the Eastport-Forest Drive Sector Study that can potentially have widespread impacts to the Ward, for better or worse. I’ll explain more below.

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First Council meeting & Ward 7 town hall for 2019

Happy New Year!

Here is some information on the first City Council meeting for the new year, our next Town Hall meeting where we will be identifying Ward 7 priorities, an update on how the Crystal Spring Community Meeting went, and a list of some potential Ward 7 Capital projects that I would like your feedback on.

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Crystal Spring public meeting, town hall meeting to discuss Ward 7 priorites for 2019

Happy New Year and Happy Holidays!

This will be a short newsletter, as I only have a few announcements for you (no upcoming Council meetings). Read on for information on the next Ward 7 Town Hall meeting (discussing and ranking Ward 7 priorities for 2019), a Community Meeting about the Village at Providence Point (aka Crystal Spring) project, and New Years events.

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No net loss of forests passed, next up school capacity ord?

The big news I want to share with you is that my Ordinance O-27-18, “no net loss of forests”, passed with only one dissenting vote! What this means is that development projects like the Village at Providence Point (aka Crystal Spring) and Parole Place (a large development in the headwaters of Church Creek) will need to mitigate/replace every acre of forest they remove. This will help to ensure that our water and air quality doesn’t get worse for our next generation. I want to thank all of you who supported this legislation. We now have the strongest Forest Conservation laws in the entire State.

In regular news, there is only one City Council meeting in December: this upcoming Monday. There are a number of pieces of legislation up for a public hearing and final vote, which I’ll tell you about below. The one that will likely be of most interest to you is Ordinance O-8-18, which would address school overcrowding by preventing development for 6 years in districts that are over 100% capacity. I’ll go into this more below. Otherwise, I wish everyone happy holidays, and in case this is my only email update this month, happy new year!

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no net loss & other development legislation up for vote

This month there are two City Council meetings on back-to-back Mondays: the 19th and 26th. Tomorrow’s agenda is packed and I’ll include highlights below. The theme with most of the legislation up for a final vote is development, including my “no net loss of forests” Ordinance.

I’d also like to take a moment to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving and safe travels next week.

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