There is quite a bit of legislation up for a public hearing at Monday’s City Council meeting. This includes an adjustment to our chicken permitting and the short term rental legislation proposed by Alderwoman Tierney. Also, we have some legislation being introduced that would institute non-partisan elections in Annapolis. I’m open to the idea, if done right, but this legislation would not do it right and it’s also not something that should be introduced this close to an actual election, before our Charter Review Commission even releases their recommendations. Read on for more on my thinking on this.
Towards the end of this email I have a number of community updates for you, including a City-wide youth town hall and details on our fourth of July celebrations.
Party on the beach! Re-election campaign kick-off
I have been honored to have had the opportunity to serve you for the past 4 years, and I hope you will give me an opportunity to do so for another 4 years. I am holding a re-election kick-off party on Bembe Beach, overlooking the Severn River, at the Annapolis Sailing school on June 24th, complete with food from Main & Market and bossa nova from local musician Jonathan Stone. I hope we can reconnect and catch up at this event (from 6 to 9pm). You can get tickets at https://www.robsavidge.com/campaign_kick_off_21
Stay healthy and stay safe,
Next Council meeting – 6/14/21 (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
This meetings are virtual until July. If you would like to provide live testimony, go to http://www.annapolis.gov/testimony
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.
- CA-1-21 - Office of Community Services - Established - For the purpose of establishing the Office of Community Services; updating the powers and duties of the City Manager, and generally relating to the Office of Community Services. This would put the Office of Community Services under the management of the City Manager, not the Mayor’s Office.
- O-1-21 - Bulk Regulations - R4 and R4-R Residential Zoning Districts - For the purpose of correcting conflicts in the bulk regulations table and the table notes related to attached single family and multifamily dwelling units. This is essentially a technical correction.
- O-7-21 - Short Term Rental Licenses - Conservation Districts - For the purpose of requiring special exception approval for a new non owner-occupied short term rental license in the R2-NC, C1, and C1-A conservation residence districts; requiring special exception approval for the transfer of any existing non owner-occupied short term rental license in the R2-NC, C1, and C1-A conservation residence districts; providing definitions; providing for the waiver of special exception approval for certain individuals; and generally related to short term rental licenses. This would require that all non-owner-occupied short term rental license applicants in certain conservation districts in downtown and Eastport would need to go through the special exception process.
- O-16-21 - Maintaining Chickens - For the purpose of modifying the application and approval procedures for maintaining chickens; providing notice requirements; and generally relating to maintaining chickens. This legislation slightly adjusts the permitting process when seeking to own chickens. Rather than requiring approval from your neighbors, it still requires notice be given to your neighbors, but the actual approval would lie with the Planning & Zoning department.
- O-17-21 - Public Services - Water and Sewer - For the purpose of modifying the charges for water service for certain users; modifying the charges for sewer service for certain users; and generally relating to providing water and sewer service. This adjusts the fees that water and sewer customers who live outside the City have to pay.
- O-18-21 - Municipal Elections - Canvassing - For the purpose of modifying the day on which the Board of Canvassers shall convene following all municipal elections. Rather than have the election ballot canvassing (counting) be done the Tuesday following the election, this would move it to the day (Wednesday) after the election, with an amendment proposed to make it Thursday, given certain restraints regarding the County’s role in managing our elections.
Legislation being introduced on First Reader
- CA-2-21 - Non-Partisan Elections - For the purpose of providing for non-partisan elections for the offices of Mayor, Aldermen, and Alderwomen; providing procedures for the filling of vacancies in these offices; removing partisan consideration in the composition of the Board of Supervisors of Elections; modifying certain procedural timelines for the filling of vacancies; and generally relating to non-partisan elections. See my comments under the next item.
- O-20-21 - Non-Partisan Elections - For the purpose of providing that elections for public office in the City of Annapolis are non-partisan; eliminating municipal primary elections in the City of Annapolis; removing the central committee election by parties provisions; removing certain reporting requirements; removing nomination by petition provisions; removing certain recount provisions; modifying appointment requirements for election judges; modifying certain definitions; making this ordinance contingent on the taking effect of a Charter Amendment; and generally relating to non-partisan elections. I’m open to the idea of non-partisan elections, but I don’t think doing it during an election year is wise. First of all, we only have 4 months left in our current term (not counting our August recess), not leaving much time to discuss this, and secondly, even if this passes it won’t apply to this year’s election. Thirdly, it doesn’t make sense to move forward with this before our Charter Review Commission completes their work. Finally, this legislation is flawed. It would remove our primary system entirely, leaving just one election, which means that it would make it more likely we have candidates winning election without a majority (only a plurality) of the vote. That is not the way to bring people together. As I said in the paper, if we decide to go the direction of non-partisan elections, we should keep a primary and have a runoff, and/or combine it with a ranked vote/instant runoff system. But the way this is being introduced strikes me more as a political move than a well-thought-out policy move.
- 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 legislation seeks to remove the ethics requirements that are imposed on our public boards and commissions. The rationale seems to be that they may violate the Maryland Constitution, though I do not see an alternative proposed as to how boards will be educated on ethics requirements.
- O-22-21 - Administrative Hearing Officer By Contract Established - For the purpose of establishing the position of Administrative Hearing Officer by Contract; providing for certain Contractual terms of service and line of authority; providing for certain powers and duties; revising the powers and duties of the Planning Commission; revising the powers and duties of the Board of Appeals;; revising procedures for major site design plan applications, planned developments, special exceptions, variances, and nonconforming uses and structures; providing for appeals; providing that certain catchlines are not law and may not be considered to have been enacted as part of this ordinance; and matters generally relating to the Administrative Hearing Officer position. I remain very skeptical of this rather significant change to our development review system, but will wait to learn more as it goes out for a public hearing and to our Planning Commission.
- O-23-21 - Annapolis Harbor Lines - 222 Severn Avenue - For the purpose of amending the configuration of the Annapolis harbor line outboard of 222 Severn Avenue on Spa Creek; and generally related to said harbor line.
Legislation on second reader (i.e. final vote)
No legislation is up for a final vote at this meeting.
Youth Town Hall
Annapolis Fourth of July celebration details
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