Hello again! It has been a while! I took a nice long break during the August recess of the Council, took some much-needed family time, but now it’s time to get back into the Council work. We have 4 meetings left in this term until our “sine die”. I have a number of pieces of legislation on the docket that I’ll be hoping to bring to a positive conclusion:
- Police Enhancement And Community Engagement (PEACE) ordinance, which would transition more towards community policing, enacts common sense reforms, adopts recommendations from the AA County gun violence task force, and much more;
- Forest Conservation tweak – closing two loopholes; and
- Requiring permits when removing trees over 23” anywhere in City.
I’ll include a few election updates below, but I do want to note that you will NOT be receiving a primary election ballot since there are no contested primary races in our Ward. You WILL receive a general election ballot. I also want to say a big THANK YOU, and say that I look forward to representing you for another 4-years. I hope to organize a town hall in October at an outdoor venue.
Stay healthy and stay safe,
Next Council meeting – 9/13/21 (agenda)
This Council meeting is starting at 7pm and will be televised on local cable, Facebook, and the City website (www.annapolis.gov). http://www.youtube.com/CityofAnnapolis http://www.facebook.com/CityofAnnapolis
Anyone needing reasonable accommodation to be able to participate in a public meeting held by the City of Annapolis should contact Regina Watkins-Eldridge at 410.263.7942, by MD Relay (711), or by email at [email protected] at least five days prior to the meeting date to request assistance.
If you are unable to attend, I believe you can still submit public testimony at http://www.annapolis.gov/testimony.
Reports from Commissions
We will be receiving a report from the Charter Review Commission and they will provide a summary of their recommended changes to the City Charter. Note, with only 4 meetings (2 months) left, we will not have enough time to enact any of their recommendations this term.
- O-19-21 - Development Application Procedures - For the purpose of providing for community benefit input in the review of proposed development applications. This would allow Alderpersons to put together a community committee that would communicate with the applicant of a development project and this would become part of the project record.
- O-27-21 - Cellco Partnership, d/b/a Verizon Wireless - Lease Agreement - For the purpose of approving the lease for certain City-owned property within the City of Annapolis between Cellco Partnership, d/b/a Verizon Wireless and the City of Annapolis; and matters generally relating to said Lease Agreement. This deals with allowing Verizon to install small cell (i.e. 5G) technology throughout the City.
- O-29-21 - City Holidays - Juneteenth - For the purpose of designating Juneteenth National Independence Day as a City paid holiday. This officially adopts Juneteenth as a City Holiday, now that it has been made a federal holiday.
- O-30-21 - Market Space Lease Agreements – This legislation would approve short term leases to allow five businesses adjacent to Market Space to utilize the parking spaces as “recovery zones.”
- O-31-21 – Issuance of General Obligation Bonds and Bond Anticipation Notes - This legislation officially authorizes the City to seek general obligation bonds as outlined in the adopted FY22 budget.
- O-33-21 - Tree removal on private property – This would require that permits need to be applied for in order to remove any tree over 23” in diameter. This is currently the requirement for trees in the front of properties, adjacent to public right-of-ways, for any tree over 5”. This would not prevent anyone from doing maintenance, but would provide this additional oversight on large tree removals.
- R-23-21 - Tree Removal on Private Property - Fines - For the purpose of establishing fines for the removal of certain trees; and providing an effective date.
Legislation being introduced on First Reader
- O-35-21 - Acceptable Forms of Signature - For the purpose of authorizing use of automated or computer generated electronic or digital signatures for certain official City documents; authorizing the City Manager to delegate signature authority for certain contracts; providing certain definitions; and generally relating to signatures.
- R-26-21 - Maritime Task Force "Strategy: Strengthening the Maritime Industry" - For the purpose of adopting the Strategy of the Maritime Task Force. This would officially adopt this “strategy document” and require that it be “implemented immediately.” Having reviewed the document, I am quite impressed with the quality, amount of analysis, the effort put into it, and am generally supportive of the recommendations contained within.
Legislation on second reader (i.e. final vote)
- O-13-21 - Urban Renewal Projects - Repeal – The intention of Urban Renewal may have been good, but it also resulted in the destruction of cultural resources for African Americans and dislocated many. This addresses that legacy and removes those relics from our code. Pending any comments from you, I intend to support this legislation.
- O-21-21 - Public Ethics - Statement of Compliance - For the purpose of repealing the requirement to file a Statement of Compliance for certain individuals. – This repeals a provision in our code that conflicts with the State constitution. Pending any comments from you, I’m inclined to support this.
- R-25-21 - Position Classifications - Amendments - For the purpose of amending the Fiscal Year 2022 position classifications. – This makes a few tweaks to the position classifications. Pending input from you, I’m inclined to support.
New website for jobseekers
Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman and the Anne Arundel Workforce Development Corporation (AAWDC) announced the launch of a new website highlighting resources for job seekers, Get Reemployed. Federal COVID unemployment benefits are slated to expire on September 4. The new site, located at https://www.aawdc.org/reemployment, includes an interest form for residents looking to get connected to services provided by AAWDC, including career restart boot camps, career workshops, and hiring events.
Since there are no contested races in Ward 7 in the primary, there will be no primary election. You will not receive a ballot for the primary. Instead, you will receive a ballot for the general election, and those ballots must be postmarked by November 2nd.
How do I vote?
You can mail in your ballot (postage is pre-paid by the City), drop it off at any drop box in the City (ours is at the Eastport Library), or you can vote in person at the Eastport Library on November 2nd.
Have election-related questions?
If you or any voter has any questions or concerns regarding ANYTHING ELECTIONS RELATED, Please go to https://www.annapolis.gov/1702/2021-Elections-Information
Action Annapolis interview
I have participated in the Action Annapolis video interview where we visited three sites in the Ward as I answered their questions. If you would like to view it, you can do so at www.ActionAnnapolis.com.
I’m proud to announce that I’ve been endorsed by both the Anne Arundel Sierra Club as well as Our Revolution Anne Arundel, Our Revolution Maryland, and the national Our Revolution organization.