At this Monday’s Council meeting, we will be voting on whether or not to ratify the Union agreements. I will likely be voting no, in light of the Financial Advisory Commission’s comments and recommendations (see below under R-35-22). Without corresponding cuts or a new revenue stream, we simply can’t afford this. While we can pay for this in the short term with COVID relief funds, in 2 or so years we will be in a bind without action taken because those one-time-use funds will be expended. This agreement sets us up for failure. One of the reasons it is so high is because of a 20% increase in police salaries to boost recruitment and retention. While I support that effort given that our existing officers are working double shifts, we need to find a dedicated funding source and also need to look at reimagining policing so that we can determine if we need so many armed officers and to see if we can reduce crime by spending on social services instead.
We will also be voting on deputizing the Mayor’s boat, and have a public hearing on a Resolution impacting arts funding.
Passing of two prominent Ward 7 residents
David was a long-time Ward 7 resident who had a 40-year career in international development, touching numerous lives along the way. He and his wife, Lisa Borre, sailed throughout the world, writing a sailing guide together for the Black Sea. Locally, he was incredibly active advocating for the environment, was a founding member of the Back Creek Conservancy (now merged with the Severn River Association), and was the driving force behind getting Annapolis waters designated as a No Discharge Zone. He will be missed.
Retired Rear Admiral Guy Shaffer
We lost our dear Guy Shaffer, a Bay Woods resident, last month. He was a retired 2-star Rear Admiral, who started his military career specializing in Nuclear Power Submarines and was the Deputy Director of the Trident Missile Development and Director of Operations at the Defense Nuclear Agency. Besides his professional accomplishments, he was incredibly active in the Ward, advocating for Bay Woods, improvements at the Annapolis Maritime Museum Moyer Park campus, finding CRAB a home on Bembe Beach Road, and for protecting the Carrs Beach property next to Bay Woods. He will be missed.
Ward 7 budget enhancements passed
I’m happy to report that all 6 of the budget amendments I proposed have passed and are currently included in the final budget, which we are set to take a final vote on tomorrow night. This includes money for the new crosswalk on Edgewood Rd near Yachtsman Way and tallwood Rd, enhancing the sidewalk through the Annapolis Maritime Museum’s Moyer Park campus, installing a new sidewalk on Bay Ridge Rd adjacent to the Shell gas station and running down the street past the nearby church towards Eastport, the elimination of PFAS chemicals from the fire Department (protecting the health of our firefighters and residents), and funding for a consultant to draft a city-wide electric mobility plan.
Stay healthy and stay safe,
Next In-person Council meeting – 6/27/22 (agenda)
This Council meeting is starting at 10am 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-37-22 – Arts In Public Places Commission (AIPCC) - Arts fund appropriation by Council - For the purpose of clarifying City of Annapolis arts funding – This would simply remove existing code language that creates an additional funding mechanism for the AIPPC through the City’s general fund revenue. At the moment, I’m inclined to support this legislation. This is being proposed because the State General Assembly passed legislation boosting the AIPCC funding by requiring that a portion of the hotel tax goes towards the AIPCC, instead of to the City itself. The AIPCC now receives significant funding after the General Assembly’s actions. I do want to make it clear that I do not support the GA’s actions, as the State is essentially telling us how we can use our tax revenues, taking such control away from us, your elected Aldermen. This Resolution indirectly addresses that.
Legislation being introduced on first reader
- O-18-22 - Stanton Center Lease Agreement - For the purpose of approving the lease between Anne Arundel County Community Action Agency, Inc. and the City of Annapolis – the AACCAA would presumably have space in the Stanton Center as a result of this lease agreement.
- O-19-22 - Stanton Center Lease Agreement - For the purpose of approving the lease between Anne Arundel Workforce Development Corporation. and the City of Annapolis – the AAWDC would have space in the Stanton Center as a result of this lease agreement
- O-20-22 - Stanton Center Lease Agreement - For the purpose of approving the lease between Luminis Health Community Clinics LLC. and the City of Annapolis – Luminis would have space in the Stanton Center to provide a dental clinic as a result of this lease agreement
- O-21-22 - Stanton Center Lease Agreement - For the purpose of approving the lease between Street Angel Project Inc and the City of Annapolis – the Street Angel Project would have space in the Stanton Center to provide counseling as a result of this lease agreement.
- O-22-22 - Stanton Center Lease Agreement - For the purpose of approving the lease between Annapolis Arts District Inc and the City of Annapolis – the Annapolis Arts District Inc. would have office space in the Stanton Center as a result of this lease agreement.
- O-23-22 - Stanton Center Lease Agreement - For the purpose of approving the lease between We Care and Friends Inc and the City of Annapolis – We Care would have office space in the Stanton Center to provide counseling and homeless assistance as a result of this lease agreement.
- O-28-22 - Vehicles and Traffic - Parking Meters - Parking in metered space - For the purpose of extending time allowed in metered space. This legislation would remove the current code limit that restricts metered parking space durations to 2 hours, and allow the City manager to set this duration as set forth in internal rules or regulations.
- O-30-22 - Buildings and Construction- Fire Prevention Code - Sprinker and Electrical Assistance Revolving Funds. - For the purpose of clarifying the Sprinkler Assistance Revolving Fund and other technical changes.
- O-32-22 - HUMAN RESOURCES - Exempt service - Salary - modifying the assistant city manager position salary, creating a new special projects/arts administration position, and changing the number of days that temporary employees shall be employed.
Legislation on second reader (i.e. final vote)
- R-20-22 - Affordable Housing Development - Spa Road Site - For the purpose of expressing the City Council's support for the use of the Spa Road Site as a mixed-use development with affordable housing as a key component; and generally relating to the Spa Road Site. This Resolution would express the Council’s support that the vacant Spa Road site (former location of our Dept of Public Works) would include affordable mixed use housing. It would also direct the City Manager to issue an RFP for re-development of the site. Any development would need to comply with our Comprehensive Plan, which includes an environmental enhancement of this property, considering that it is within the headwaters of Spa Creek. I am inclined to support this, pending any input from you.
- R-33-22 - Support for Abortion Rights and United States Supreme Court Decision in the case of Roe v Wade - For the purpose of expressing Council support for the Supreme Court Decision in the case of Roe v. Wade. I support a woman’s right to control her own body. While this is not a local issue, especially for Maryland given we have enshrined a woman’s rights in the State constitution, I do see value in speaking up to protect that right. Also, now that the Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade, this Resolution needs to get updated. I will likely push for a postponement if it is not amended/corrected to reflect the intent.
- R-35-22 - Submission of Proposed Union Agreements - UFCW Local 400, Annapolis Professional Firefighters Local 1926, AFSCME 3162, and AFSCME 3406 -- for the purpose of submitting a written memorandum of Collective Bargaining Agreements between the City of Annapolis and Local 400 for the Fiscal Years 2022 through 2024 to the City Council for its ratification or rejection. Pending any comments from you, I likely will not be supporting the Union Agreements. We received an analysis/recommendation from the Financial Advisory Commission, which I tend to agree with, indicating that these agreements, without associated cuts or revenue increase, will just compound our structural deficit and really put us in a significant financial bind in a few years. According to the FAC, these agreements would add a cost of $11,300,000 over two years to the City’s staff expenditures, much of which are not covered with matching perpetual revenue, but is being covered by the COVID relief monies. I’m awaiting a fiscal impact statement from our Finance Department, as that is required in our code prior to the Council ratifying any labor agreement.
- R-31-22 - Position Classifications and Pay Plan - For the purpose of approving the Fiscal Year 2023 position classifications and pay plan; and specifying an effective date. There is a fiscal impact note attached to this report, which seems to confirm what the FAC has indicated: the labor agreements will cost the City $5.7 million for each of the next two fiscal years.
- R-39-22 - Use and Deputization of Mayor's Personal Vessel for Governmental Use - For the purpose of officially demonstrating that water transportation is a viable option in Annapolis that will reduce road congestion and greenhouse gas emissions; for further demonstrating that governmental services, as applicable, can be improved through the deputization of the Mayor's personal vessel; and related other matters. I have no concerns about this legislation. If we can’t facilitate the Mayor’s ability to champion the City and our water-based nature, I don’t know why we even bother having a Mayor. This is non-consequential and would simply allow him to park his boat (paid for and maintained by him) at City docks, given that it’s slightly larger than what’s currently allowed at some of the docks. I intend to support, pending any comments from you.
Community & Political updates
Public water access survey
Report a problem
If you need to report a problem with your City services, such as pot holes or other street concerns, or sediment control/pollution issues, you can do so from the City’s website.
Opportunity to Serve on the Annapolis Democratic Central Committee
There is an opportunity for a resident from Ward 7 to serve as an alternate on the Annapolis Democratic Central Committee (http://annapolisdems.org). In addition to fulfilling duties imposed by the Annapolis City Code, the ADCC supports a strong and viable Democratic Party. If you are interested in serving, please let me know and I will put you in touch with the Central Committee.