I have a number of important updates for you regarding this Monday’s Council meeting.
Penguin Swim team survival at stake
Many of us have had our kids go through the Truxtun Park Pool Penguin swim team. It’s our only public, accessible swim team in our area. As a lifelong swimmer, who has competed nationally in high school and college, this is an important issue for me personally, as well as because as your Alderman, I know many of you appreciate this program.
Unfortunately, after around 20 years of peaceful cooperation with the City (except last year), our Rec & Parks Department has decided to attempt to restrict the number of lanes that the team can use, reducing them from the historic 5 lanes down to 3 or 4. To put it simply, we can’t have a competitive team at our pool with only 3 or 4 lanes, as it leads to crowded, unsafe lane sizes, and an inability to have enough kids for a viable and competitive team.
Furthermore, reducing the lanes to a point where it drives the team away, does not comply with the intention of the new pool, as stated in our Capital Improvement Plan that specifically states that the pool shall include a 6-lane competitive pool. Additionally, Rec & Parks’ own performance standards, again approved by the Council, state that they should be striving to improve competitive team sporting within our City.
Our Penguin team has long recruited and promoted the team amongst our lower income neighborhoods and title 1 schools. This is a key program to ensuring our kids see swimming as a vital skill and sport, and that the sport itself increases its diversity. Eliminating or forcing out the team is not the answer.
If you have had kids who have gone through this program, or if you yourself have gone through it, please consider showing up to testify on Monday (7pm at 160 Duke of Gloucester St) or submit your testimony at www.Annapolis.gov/testimony
Workforce Housing O-40-23
We defeated a motion to postpone O-40-23 at our last meeting, but apparently we made a mistake and also needed to vote on specifically approving or denying this legislation, as opposed to just the motion to postpone. Hence, it has popped up again on our agenda. Same as last time, I will be voting against this for the reasons I’ve expressed before.
State of City address & FY24 Budget
This is also the meeting when the Mayor introduces his FY24 budget to the Council, and when he gives his “State of the City” address. I hope you can tune in to watch.
Stay healthy and stay safe,
Next Council meeting – 4/10/23 (agenda)
This Council meeting is starting at 7pm and will be televised on local cable, YouTube, Facebook, and the City website. You can submit public testimony at http://www.annapolis.gov/testimony. This will be an in-person meeting.
- O-11-23 - Changes to the Resilience Authority of Annapolis and Anne Arundel County - For the purpose of conforming the City's Resilience Authority law with Anne Arundel County changes: to stagger resilience authority member terms; to make the resilience authority director an Anne Arundel County employee; to change how the authority's Chief Financial Officer is appointed; to alter reporting requirements; and generally relating to the Resilience Authority of Annapolis and Anne Arundel County.
Legislation being introduced on first reader
- O-14-23 – FY24 City budget
- O-15-23 - Building Height and Elevation Limit - Exception for FEMA Flood Zones in Annapolis - For the purpose of exempting building construction in Federal Emergency Management Agency's AE flood zones including the Annapolis' City Dock area from certain elevation restrictions; setting exception criteria; and generally related to Planning and Zoning height measurement.
- R-21-23 -Fee schedule for FY24 budget
- R-22-23 - Fine schedule for FY24 budget
- R-23-23 – Position pay plan for FY24 budget
- R-24-23 - Support for Penguins Swim Team Practices and Meets at Kenneth R. Dunn Municipal Swimming Pool - For the purpose of acknowledging the importance of a city-supported swim team; commending the City of Annapolis Penguins Swim Team efforts as they practice at the Kenneth R. Dunn Municipal Pool at Truxton Park; and indicating City Council support for dedicated swim practice time for the Penguins Swim Team. This is legislation being spear-headed by a number of us. Please see my comments at the beginning of this message. What I’m attempting to do with this Resolution is show that the Council supports our Penguins team, wants them to continue, re-affirms what we’ve already voted on regarding the need to have a competitive team in this pool, and resolves to support the Penguin’s use of 5 lanes (on average) for 2.5 hours, 4 days a week, along with their morning swim meets during the 2 months of their season. I will be supporting this Resolution. If you would like to chime in to support this effort and defend the team, please do so at Annapolis.gov/testimony or attend the meeting on Monday.
Legislation on second reader (i.e. final vote)
- CA-1-23 - Finances - Third Party Indebtedness and Bonds - For the purpose of allowing the City of Annapolis to issue Third Party bonds; and generally related to City bond authority. I’m inclined to vote in favor of this, pending any comments from you.
- O-11-22 - Standard Restaurants - B1 District Special Exceptions - For the purpose of modifying additional standards for food and beverage-related uses in the B1 District that are subject to special exception. I believe the original intention with this legislation was to allow an indoor bar at restaurants in certain business districts. The legislation as written is a bit broader in scope but I believe the sponsor has an amendment to narrow it back down so as not to open the door to too many atypical activities in these districts. I intend to support, pending any comments from you.
- O-40-22 - Workforce Housing - For the purpose of the purpose of allowing workforce housing as a permitted use subject to standards in certain residential, commercial, office and mixed use districts; establishing the standards for workforce housing; and generally related to zoning. At our last meeting we defeated a motion to postpone this legislation, and most of us thought that meant this legislation was then dead. However, the law office is telling us we need to act on a motion to approve (or disprove) in order for it to be removed from our agenda and be defeated or passed. My thoughts haven’t changed from the last meeting, and now that R-1-23 passed I will again vote against this.
- O-2-23 - Budget Target Dates and Financial Impact of Labor Negotiations - For the purpose of clarifying the timeline for negotiations between the City and employee groups; requiring the Finance Committee to be briefed; technical corrections to the City Budget section of the code; and generally related to the annual city budget schedule requirements. The intention of this legislation is to improve our code governing union negotiations, by clarifying when negotiations should start, clarifying that projected negotiation results should be included in the proposed budget from the Mayor, that the administration should provide an update on negotiations to the Finance Committee, and clarifies when the Financial Advisory Commission should provide recommendations. I intend to support this legislation, pending comments from you.
- O-6-23 - City of Annapolis Cellular Antenna Lease with New Cingular Wireless - For the purpose of updating and extending the City's lease with New Cingular Wireless for a cellular antenna on top of the City water tower on Janwall Street. I think this is just a renegotiated lease, and pending any comments from you, I’m inclined to vote in favor.
- R-13-23 - Third-Party Bond Fees - For the purpose of setting the City of Annapolis fees regarding bonds issued by the City on behalf of a third party by the adoption of CA-1-23; and generally related to bond issuance. I intend to support, pending any comments from you.
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