This Monday is our “special” Council meeting, so it’s dedicated to public hearings and ceremonial items. There are a few non-controversial items up for legislative action on the consent calendar (means we pass them all with one vote) and I have summarized them below. There are also a few new pieces of legislation being introduced.
Read on for some information for Halloween and the County GDP. Otherwise, I don’t have much other news for you. Happy Halloween!
Next Special Council meeting – 10/26/20 (agenda)
This Council meeting is starting at 7pm and will be televised on local cable, Facebook, and the City website (www.annapolis.gov). Due to COVID-19, our meetings are now being held virtually. 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@example.com at least five days prior to the meeting date to request assistance.
If you would like to submit public testimony, we have included a link allowing written testimony to be submitted into the recorded minutes of the meeting. Submit written testimony: http://www.annapolis.gov/testimony.
We now are allowing audio-only testimony by the public, via Zoom, at the beginning of our second (the Special Council Meeting) meeting each month. Those who wish to testify must submit the request through www.annapolis.gov/testimony at least four hours before the start of the meeting (3pm for Council meetings). All those offering public testimony must dial in at least 15 minutes before the start of the meeting. Per code, you will have 3 minutes to provide testimony.
Since this is a “special” Council meeting, there is no legislative action and the entire meeting is dedicated to public hearings and ceremonial citations. The first meeting of the month will have the legislative actions.
Legislation being introduced on First Reader (on the Consent Calendar)
- O-43-20 - Aldermanic Annual Allowance - For the purpose of specifying types of appropriate expenditures for use of the aldermanic annual allowance. This is legislation I have introduced. We currently receive $1,500 for training and my intention is to allow that money to also be spent for constituent services (such as for town hall materials). There is no budget impact.
- O-44-20 - Employee organizations- For the purpose of removing the deadline for employee organizations to petition the City for recognition as an exclusive bargaining agent for eligible government personnel. Currently, City law only allows employees to petition to join a union in one month out of the entire year. I encountered this barrier when I worked for the City and our union drive had difficulty because of it. This legislation would allow such a petition to be filed at any time during the year. This is sponsored by Alderman Schandelmeier and I.
- O-45-20 - Audit Committee - For the purpose of clarifying the responsibilities of the audit committee members; specifying reporting requirements; providing for external and internal reporting services; providing program metrics, measurements, and evaluation; and generally relating to the audit committee.
- R-58-20 - Local Journalism - For the purpose of supporting local journalism, including fair economic investment in newsroom staffing and resources. I am a co-sponsor of this legislation. If it passes, it would make it clear that the Council believes it’s important to have a strong local newspaper and encourage The Capital owner (Tribune Publishing) to consider selling the newspaper to return it to civic-minded ownership. Personally, I feel it is of utmost importance to have an independent local media that will inform the residents and hold elected official accountable. They provide a necessary civic duty, and we need to preserve that to have a functioning democracy.
- O-41-20 - Alcoholic Beverages - For the purpose of updating citations to the Maryland State Code in Chapter 7.12 of the Code of the City of Annapolis. There’s nothing substantive with this change. Just corrections to references.
- O-42-20 - Emergency Medical Services - For the purpose of modifying the provisions of the Annapolis Emergency Medical Services program. This ordinance modifies the Annapolis Emergency Medical Services program by adding provisions for “treatment” in addition to “transport” of patients. Currently, the program addresses only ambulance transport in Code Section 6.28.020 – Financial arrangements. The proposed change will allow billing for treatment if the patient isn’t transported.
Legislation on second reader (i.e. final vote) (on the Consent Calendar)
Pending any comments from you, I intend to support all of the legislation below and am not planning on removing anything from Consent Calendar (which would result in the legislation being voted on separate from everything else on Consent Calendar).
- O-28-20 - Parking Permit Display - For the purpose of requiring that a residential parking permit must be visibly displayed on the vehicle to which it was issued.
- O-32-20 - Vessels and Persons using City Waters - For the purpose of establishing noise level standards for vessels on City waters; and establishing swimming and water skiing restrictions for persons using City waters.
- O-33-20 - Towing of Vehicles - For the purpose of clarifying when a stopped, standing, or parked vehicle is subject to towing.
- O-36-20 - Site Development - Prohibited Discharges - For the purpose of improving the protections of City waterways and public thoroughfares from harmful discharges from development sites during non-business hours. This is legislation I’ve introduced that is responding to an issue where construction sites were not securing their properties before/during storm events, which led to trash and other debris being blown into our waterways. This would require that they properly secure trash and other materials.
- O-39-20 - False Alarms - For the purpose of clarifying the procedure and penalty for excessive false alarms.
- R-51-20 - City Sponsored Special Events in Fiscal Year 2021 - Amended - For the purpose of adding the Juneteenth Parade and Festival to the approved FY 2021 City Sponsored Special Events; and waiving certain related City Fees.
Public comment open on County General Development Plan
Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman released the draft of Plan2040, the county’s General Development Plan (GDP), for public comment and review. Plan2040 is a comprehensive plan that covers a broad range of topics including the environment, land use, housing, transportation, schools, recreation and parks, public safety, and economic development. Plan2040 incorporates and aligns goals and priorities from many recent County functional plans including the Move Anne Arundel Transportation Plan and the Land Preservation Parks and Recreation Plan.
Public comment will be open for 45 days, through November 15, 2020. The document can be downloaded at www.aacounty.org/Plan2040. Plan2040 is the Countywide plan to guide future land use decisions, and lays out an ambitious vision for a greener, more inclusive Anne Arundel County over a 20-year timeframe. All master plans and development regulations adopted subsequently by the County must be consistent with the goals, policies and recommendations of the GDP.